Howell couple losing weight, still enjoying food indulgence

Husband and wife follow the 80/20 rule in healthier lifestyle change

HOWELL, Mich. – Lauren and Jason Weber believe in setting small, realistic goals when it comes to weight loss.

"Every great thing starts with a small goal," Lauren Weber said.

The Howell couple both committed to eating healthier and making fitness a priority in 2015 and have collectively lost more than 60 pounds since January. 

Jason has lost 40 pounds and Lauren has lost 23 pounds.

"I kind of just got tired of being overweight year after year, of having the belt size go up a little bit.  I was kind of, just hit a point 'allright that's enough, if I don't do something, I don't know where it's going to end up,'" said Jason Weber.

Jason's determination motivated Lauren and she decided to try and lose her baby weight at the same time. The couple have three children, a 4-year-old, 3-year-old and 11-month old.

They began by tracking their calories and what they were eating including snacks with the My Fitness Pal app on their phones.

"I tracked the calories I was consuming and kind of figured out where I could cut corners where I was eating too much and got my portions under control, that was No. 1," said Lauren Weber.

"It kind of gave me a budget for the day of what I could do. If I want to splurge on lunch that's fine, I'm just going to cut back a little bit on dinner," Jason Weber said.  "You realize how much damage you're doing essentially by snacking like that, so it kind of kept me honest with myself."
They also choose to eat more home-cooked meals instead of eating out. While making those meals they made some healthy swaps to help control calorie intake.

"Instead of sour cream we use Greek yogurt. Instead of the full fat cheese we use the 2 percent milk cheese," Lauren Weber said.

The Webers cut out sugary drinks except for the occasional pop. They are also making better decisions with their snacks opting for string cheese, fruit, nuts and Smart Pop popcorn instead of processed junk food.

However, they still satisfy their cravings for some of their favorite foods by following the 80/20 rule.  Lauren Weber said 80 percent of the time they are doing well, and 20 percent of the time they are indulging.

"When it comes to the weekend, I know that's kind of where I splurge a little bit. I go a little bit over, but as long as I kind of  catch up Monday through Friday and kind of eat healthy and kind of get things under control it seems to work out for me," Jason Weber said.

"A big part of weight loss that a lot of people lose sight of is you do need to indulge.  I have cravings. I love beer, I love chocolate, I need to indulge in those cravings to feel like a person instead of always being completely diligent," Lauren Weber said. "So I definitely indulge where I can."

Lauren is the mom behind Mrs. Weber's Neighborhood, a local blog about family life in metro Detroit.   As parents, both of them are motivated to lead a healthier lifestyle for themselves and their children.

"I know they're going to go out and make their own decisions and do their own thing when they get older, but as long as we can give them a good foundation to start on that's kind of all we're hoping to do," Jason Weber said.

"I want my girls to find that eating healthy and fitness is fun, it's empowering and it makes you feel great," said Lauren Weber.

The Webers each wear Fitbits and track their steps daily. Playing with their children helps them reach their goal of 10,000 steps each day.

"The kids give me such motivation to move. We literally take several walks a day, we go places, I try to get my steps in, I chase after them," said Lauren Weber.

Both Lauren and Jason also run.   Jason said the aches and pains he suffered before losing weight no longer exist.

The couple told Local 4 making the lifestyle changes together did make a difference for them.  They were also both mentally ready to commit to the changes.

"It was absolutely easier to do it as a couple because we just weren't buying the garbage, we don't have it in our house, we don't have snacks, together we can do great things," Lauren Weber said.

Their advice to other couples is to start with a small goal because big weight loss doesn't happen overnight.