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The winning benefits of losing

Couple uses online calorie-counting system to shed pounds

Created date

May 22nd, 2012

Before moving to Greenspring, an Erickson Living community in Springfield, Va., in May 2008, Clint and Vickie Lambert retired from their nursing careers and traveled the world serving as international nursing consultants. They visited Australia, Finland, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand, reaching out to those in need. However, not until December 23, 2011, did the couple learn that they would need to turn their attention and their expertise to their own lives. Clint s cardiologist told him that he must lose 20 pounds before Easter, says Vickie. Having nursing backgrounds, we both knew what the right choices were when it came to food, but we just weren t practicing it. After speaking with Clint s doctor, we both immediately discussed using My Nutrition.

Online partnership

My Nutrition, an online resource, enables members of the Greenspring community to view the nutritional value of each meal item served daily at the community s four restaurants. The program is just another step forward in our efforts to provide healthier options for residents, says Greenspring Director of Dining Services Burt Allman. For instance, there are no menu items at Greenspring containing trans fats, and there are options for vegans and vegetarians, as well as fruits, vegetables, and even desserts with no added sugar or salt. Additionally, My Nutrition makes it simpler for those with certain food allergies to filter out menu items containing wheat, soy, shellfish, milk, eggs, tree nuts, and peanuts. It also provides quick nutritional information that can be a guide for those closely monitoring their diets. Armed with this helpful tool, the Lamberts began their weight loss journey the day after Christmas. At the time, Clint weighed 220 pounds, and Vickie weighed 175 pounds.

The journey begins

We knew that if we consumed a total of less than 1,000 calories daily, we should lose at least two pounds a week without increasing our physical activity, says Clint. To maintain their targeted 1,000-calorie daily intake, the Lamberts used My Nutrition to create a customized meal plan, including three balanced meals per day. We began looking up the calories of every menu item on a daily basis via My Nutrition and comparing the lowest-calorie items offered in each restaurant for dinner, says Vickie. We decided to eat the lowest calorie combination available. On Sundays, Vickie organizes the next week s meals by using My Nutrition, and we are able to make adjustments due to social engagements that crop up, says Clint. An example of an evening meal for the couple includes a large tossed salad with lemon juice, salt, and pepper in place of dressing; baked salmon; and a large side of cabbage. We also stopped our consumption of bread, wine, and desserts except at our monthly wine club dinner and the dinners with the chefs, says Clint.

Simple but effective changes

We also made other small but significant changes, such as eating more slowly and not rushing off after a meal, says Clint. The Lamberts have not added to or subtracted any other food items or activities from their daily routine. Our physical activity includes walking our 13-year-old miniature poodle, Sir Barkley, around the campus twice daily and actively participating in Wii bowling, says Clint. The couple won the 2012 winter season tournament. Just 90 days after starting their customized meal plan with My Nutrition, Clint lost 43 pounds and Vickie lost 30 pounds, and both ceased taking some of their hypertension medications. Clint has lost eight inches from his waist, and Vickie decreased her dress size from an 18/20 to a 14/16.

Support team

Clint s cardiologist repeatedly tells him how proud he is of his weight loss and pleased that he had lost 43 pounds as of March 30, 96 days after going on the calorie-counting diet, says Vickie. We would and do encourage all residents to make active use of My Nutrition, says Clint. It doesn t cost anything and is the best way we know to know what you are consuming. We have counted calories before, and it was a pain to have to measure and weigh everything. My Nutrition does the work for you. It couldn t be any simpler.

Looking to the future

Both Vickie and Clint hope to lose at least 10 to 15 more pounds. Once we reach our weight goal, we plan to maintain our new weight by gradually increasing our food consumption while also gradually increasing our activity, says Vickie. We plan to have our physical stamina and endurance assessed by Greenspring s fitness center staff, who will then develop a strengthening plan for us aimed at strengthening our core musculature. However, we have no intentions of ever simply eating food just because it looks good, she adds. Rather, we plan to utilize My Nutrition, especially the calorie count of food items, to help us decide what is within the calorie count we desire to eat for the day for the rest of our lives. Since starting My Nutrition, we both have more energy, sleep better, and feel better overall, says Clint. We can t wait to achieve our desired weight and then maintain it for the rest of our lives.