8.11.2019

How Doing One Simple Thing Helped Me Lose 20 Pounds Before Turning 50



2019 is my year to be fifty.  Some may consider that number to be a milestone. AARP certainly does. I've already received my second invitation to become a member.

I still have kids on the younger side so I don't think of myself as fifty, honestly. I don't feel fifty. But yet, people who were born in my year are all fifty whether we like it or not.

NC Blogger Leigh Powell HInes at the Beautiful HIstoric Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, NC. This Black and White Hallway is an Inn landmark. Leigh shares her weight loss journey before turning 50. She lost 20 pounds.
March 2019 at 50
Photo by Curious Notions Photography

I feel that turning fifty was certainly better than turning forty-five. Beginning at forty-five, the body as I knew it began to change. I started holding weight in my midsection than rather my hips and every year, the scales would get heavier.  By the age of forty-nine, I was twenty-five pounds than I had been five years earlier. Now, at fifty, I'm not skinny. I'm average, but am twenty pounds lighter and weigh less than I did at the age of forty-four.

Having a blog is like having an online time capsule. I've written about weight many times before. The first time I wrote about weight was when I was participating in a clean eating/detox program. At forty-three I weighed 125 to 130 pounds.  Just a year later, I talk about turning forty-five soon, and I had jumped to 136 pounds so once again. I was working on a new eating program. I was finding that keeping weight off was not as easy as it once was and it was something I would battle throughout my forties.

Add moving to a new home, busy schedules and way too many carbohydrates in a diet, the pounds kept adding up.  In fact, I have very few photos of myself from 2105 and beyond and very few full-body shots like this one below from 2017. It's easy to tell in this photo that those twenty pounds were in face, arms, bust, and stomach.


Losing weight after 40 is hard. AT45, it gets even harder, NC Blogger Leigh Powell Hines before a low-carb lifestyle in 2017.
In the summer of 2017 at 47

When we moved into our new home, I started exercising more because of our clubhouse pool and gym. We even adopted a dog that needed walking.  No doubt, I was moving more by the time I was 48 in our new home, but my diet was not right.

 In July of 2018 when I went for my well-visit, I was shocked to learn that all that exercise and dog-walking may have toned my legs a little, but I was five pounds heavier than I was six months prior and unfortunately, I was only five pounds lighter than my husband. I was determined to make a plan right then because I was not turning fifty and be heavier than my own husband.

Before Weight Loss.
Summer of 2018 at 49

I had dinner with my college roommate who is the medical field. We discussed carbs and sugars that night over a great dinner at Bida Manda in Raleigh.  She said to me, "Go home and google keto and lower-carb. You'll find so much information." She told me how she monitored her carb intake daily.



That July night of 2018, I downloaded a free app. I just googled "free carb counting" in the play store and came up with the Carb Manager.  I used the free version.  As you educate yourself on the Keto diet, it advises about 25 carbs a day.

Hello, 25 grams of carb is basically one sandwich a day. One medium tomato has nine grams of carbs.  I learned very quickly that I was eating a ton of carbs in my diet and had no idea how much carbs I was really eating in a day. I cooked a lot of pasta meals for the family because they were quick and easy.  This had been my lifestyle for years.

Twenty-five carbs a day was not going to work for me. I decided to shoot for 50 carbs a day and it would be OK if I went to 75 carbs some days. I figured I was eating about 200 carbs a day before changing my habits so going to 75 carbs a day would at least help.

The carb manager app helped NC Blogger Leigh Powell Hines track what she was eating daily.


I continued to walk the dog and go to the gym. I moved daily thanks to the dog, Andy. My weight loss was slow and steady at about a loss of one pound per week. By December (my birthday month), I was down finally down 20 pounds.

North Carolina Blogger Leigh Powell Hines is owner of the HinesSightBlog, Travel, Food, and Life with A Southern Spin.
Photo by Curious Notions Photography


I did not gain weight over the holidays. I did give up a lot of pasta throughout this process and I now use a lower-carb bread for sandwiches at home. When I was working to lose weight, I was strict, I would rarely eat a sandwich in a restaurant for lunch.  Instead, I would eat a chopped salad, tuna salad or chicken salad. Bread is not your friend on a low-carb diet, but fats are more tolerable. I also ate very little beans during the weight loss process.

Once I achieved a twenty-pound weight loss goal, I stopped using the app because I started to know my foods, but once I stopped using the Carb Manager app, the weight loss stopped.

50-year-old NC blogger lost 20 pounds on a low-carb eating plan.
Photo by Turnkey Photography


I've maintained my weight at about 132 pounds. I've fluctuated up to 135 pounds, if I don't eat well or drink enough water. I also will eat a sandwich out or a burger with bread now in a restaurant on occasion. I've learned now that my weight may creep up if I do it too many times in a row. I also eat more beans now than I did when I was trying to lose weight.  Everything I do has to be in moderation.  The biggest take away for me that I've learned from this experience is to actually lose weight, I need to log everything I eat with the app and be under 1300 calories a day. It was that simple.

Log what I eat, keep carbs between 50g to 75g per day, and do not go over 1300 calories.

The one thing that I did not give up through this entire process was NC Craft Beer, but I had very little wine unless it was sparkling. I rarely ate sweets and I kept sugar at a minimum. I still try to abide by both those rules.

On My eating plan, I still kept NC craft beer as part of my diet. This is a local beer from Brice's Brewing in Raleigh, NC.
Photo by Turnkey Photography 


What did I miss most on this diet? I missed spaghetti and meatballs. When I was losing weight I did zucchini noodles and let's be honest, there is no substitute for a big plate of angel hair.

I will eat angel hair now, but I really try to watch the portions or mix it with zucchini noodles so I can still get a hearty portion.

I'm really glad that I got my weight in check before turning fifty. If I can do it, you can, too.

How Lifestyle Blogger, Leigh Powell Hines, of the HinesSightBlog lost 20 pound before turning 50. She did one simple thing that helped her achieve her weight loss carb goals.



Disclosure: My thanks to Wells Family Dental Group in Wake Forest, N.C. for being a HinesSightBlog sponsor. My sponsors help keep me # OutaboutNC and writing editorial content at my desk. If your business is interested in becoming a blog sponsor, please email me at leigh@Hinessightblog.com for advertising rates.










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