These Healthy Swaps Helped Me Lose 5 Pounds in a Week (PHOTOS)

Losing weight in 2013The Stir's Emily Abbate is working toward her 2013 resolution to lose weight and get fit. Check back every Wednesday to follow along on her journey, read tips and tricks that work for her, and join in to share your hard work in the comments section. Because hey, losing weight is always easier when you have your friends supporting you.

The first week of any big diet change is the hardest. The first week you can slip up a little and tell yourself, "It's OK, it's just the beginning," or you can stick your guns. Let me tell you, sticking to my guns the first week of my 2013 pledge to get fit is the most rewarding thing I've done in a while. Why? Because I lost 5.4 pounds.

The best part is that I ate PLENTY of great things. I went out for sushi, made awesome chicken stir-fry with veggies, had ice cream, and rediscovered my childhood love for Kix.

This week's big lesson? Anything is possible by making a few healthy swaps. Let's take a look at how things went down week one:


Until I finally committed to getting in shape once the new year hit, I was eating like the world was ending tomorrow. My friends came to visit, and we went out for an unreal tapas dinner with fried calamari and a mocha caramel sundae to boot. Too lazy to make dinner on a weeknight? Well hello there, conveniently located, newly opened Pan Asian restaurant under my apartment -- we meet again.

This week, though, that all changed. Instead of ordering a complicated 12-piece roll topped with spicy mayo on a sushi dinner date last Thursday, I opted for a simple pepper tuna avocado roll, a side salad, and miso soup. I got to enjoy my friend's company, found myself NOT missing out on the super fancy mass of fish, and still feeling full.

Another great swap? My afternoon snacks. As much as I absolutely ADORE chocolate, eating it straight from the Lindt bag like popcorn isn't exactly an effective weight loss strategy. Instead, I've been HOOKED on these new Chobani bites, smaller cousins of the regular Chobani but in much better flavors. My personal favorite? The coffee with dark chocolate chips. For 2 Weight Watchers points (and only 100 calories), it's the perfect mid-afternoon treat.

And of course, we can't forget about that ice cream cone I mentioned. After a long work week, I rewarded myself on Friday afternoon by grabbing a dollar ice cream cone from McDonald's. I know, you've probably shuddered and want to tell on me for walking into McDonald's while trying to lose pounds. The truth? At 150 calories and 4 Weight Watchers points, it was JUST what I wanted.

Sure, at the time you MAY really want to load your sweet potato with cheddar cheese or cave on that burger for lunch. The truth, though, is you don't need to deny your satisfaction just because you're trying to get fit. If you refuse to give up the cheddar cheese potato, choose a salad for lunch and balance it out. If you NEED that burger, opt for a veggie or turkey variety instead of the fat-dripping beef. Believe me, the payoff is just as delicious.

... and now, this week's photos:

Losing weight in 2013: week 1

I'm feeling super motivated going into week two. As a note: It's VERY typical to drop high numbers in your first week and slow down going forward. Every time I've started a weight loss program, I've seen similar first week results. Listen to your body, and don't get discouraged going forward when next week's numbers are MUCH different.

Now, it's your turn to talk. Tell me:

How was your first week of 2013? Do you have any tricks that have helped you stay on track this week?


Images via Emily Abbate

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