Planning exercise, caloric intake for weight loss

One little and yummy Hershey Kiss is 25 calories.

One of my readers, Keri, asked me a question on my Go Fit Girl! Facebook page earlier this month. I do my best to answer her question(s) here.

Dear Go Fit Girl,

Can you help me understand why I can exercise 5 days a week for two months and not have lost any weight? Seriously, not even a pound.

P.S. Any suggestions on healthful lunches I can make at home and bring to work?

My initial response to her question is with a few questions myself: What kind of exercise are you doing? Does it vary? Have you changed what you are eating? Are you eating more now that you are working out?
When I was losing weight about five years ago the first 20 pounds had to do with my adjustment with food and calories. I hadn’t started exercising yet. I learned how to make better food choices along with portion control. And drinking more water helped as well.
The last 10 pounds I lost while introducing exercise (a lot of yoga) and continuing with my eating in moderation and portion control.
Here’s what I think the biggest mistake people make: Because they exercise they think they can eat anything they want. I went to yoga today so now I can eat this hamburger. I went to spin today so now I can eat this big bowl of pasta. I went for a 5-mile run so now I can have a hot fudge sundae.
One tiny little Hershey Kiss is 25 calories. Think about how long it takes to burn 25 calories. And really do you only eat one Hershey Kiss?
What I find works best for me with exercise is a mix of cardio (spin); yoga (various kinds whether more aggressive or not); weights; and abs.
Keri, I know you have a wacky work schedule so meals can be even more difficult to plan.
I do eat Lean Cuisines and I partner them with a side salad (the kind that comes in a bag) with a little oil and balsamic vinegar. Though lately I have been cooking a little more and have been eating fewer frozen dinners.
I try to cook a thing or two over the weekend and have stuff to take for my lunch or any easy and healthy and filling dinner that I just have to heat up.
This morning I cooked a delicious recipe I got from my Yoga Journal: lentils and root vegetables. It will be a couple of dinners and a couple of lunches.
Sometime ago I bought a rice cooker at Target for 20 bucks. Best $20 I ever spent.
I use my rice cooker many times during the week. On Sundays I make a big batch of brown rice for the week (for lunches and dinners). The rice cooker also has a tray so I can steam veggies. My favorite veggies to steam are broccoli; Brussels sprouts; eggplant; carrots.
I buy frozen chicken breasts at the grocery. I marinate in fat free Italian dressing and then cook up quickly with the George Foreman grill.
Hungry Girl has a lot of great recipes and suggestions to make your favorite foods and drinks in a more healthy and lower calorie way.
Lory Benson Pilates has some great veggie suggestions. I make her carrot & tomato soup pretty regularly. And I put it over brown rice. Makes a great lunch or dinner.  She has some other great recipes on her FB page and blog. Check it out.
I hope the ideas I have written about are helpful. If you have any more questions or want me to focus on something more specific I am more than happy to do so. Feel free to write in the comments, send me an e-mail at or write on my Facebook page.