Disclaimer: I’m not going to go as far as saying that these practices are healthy. I’m just narrating the story of how I managed to lose weight in the past couple of months.
Let me tell you a short story of how I gained weight. Short story: a full-time job happened. Stress happened, and I compensated with overeating. Last year, I was extremely unhappy with how I look because of the extra pounds I gained over my first year at my then-new job. Then I got tired of being unhappy, and decided to do something about my situation. However, I couldn’t shake off my laziness. For a month, I tried to regularly do jump rope exercise three to four times a week. I wasn’t very successful, as I usually came home late and tired and ready to sleep.
I decided to make little changes to my lifestyle to help me lose weight. Some of these might be common sense, but I swear by these.
1. Drinking lots of water before and after meals. I drink three cups of water before breakfast, two cups before lunch, and three cups before I leave the office. At home, I keep a one liter-bottle full of water and challenge myself to drink 1L everyday. That takes my daily water intake to a total of 3 liters. Downside is you’re always walking to and from the water dispenser as well as the comfort room, but that’s about it. My advice is to always have a bottle of water within reach, and make it a habit to drink water first before meals or when you’re feeling hungry.
2. Drinking two jiggers of Acai Berry juice in the morning. Discovering acai berry is one of the best things that has happened to me this year. I believe it helps me curb the cravings and the hunger pangs just by drinking two jiggers of acai berry juice first thing in the morning. It’s a habit that’s somewhat pricey to maintain, with a bottle of acai berry costing Php 1950 every two weeks. However, it’s a price I’m willing to pay.
3. Getting enough sleep. I’m still working on this, but I noticed that when I’m well-rested, I don’t have the urge to make up for the stressed feeling by over-eating.
4. Choosing rice substitutes. Nilagang saba, kamote, and corn are just three of my favorite rice substitutes. They keep me full without the guilt. Thanks to these, I have limited my rice intake to one cup a day, usually during breakfast. Instead of having rice meals, I go for a bowl of muesli granola, fruits, and milk!
5. Going for healthier desserts. Yogurt is my go-to dessert nowadays.
6. Staying away from cola and sweet drinks. I used to always crave for milk tea and sweet juices. Nowadays, I limit my choice of fluids to water or a yogurt drink. Another change I made to my lifestyle is reducing my coffee’s sugar and cream serving from two each to one. I know it’s not much, but reducing these two things always help!
7. If I can eat at home, why not? I decided I would minimize eating out or having food delivered. Not only does it help me save money, but it also forces me to prepare my own food. When we prepare our food, we’re more conscientious on the ingredients we put and the preparation of the food.
8. Not rewarding myself with food. Instead, focus on getting yourself something more practical and lasting. My reward of choice is allowing myself to shop for new clothes or shoes, or going on a pamper day.
9. Avoiding skipping meals. It’s natural to want to skip meals when we’re watching our weight. However, instead of skipping meals, I have disciplined myself to eat small servings of fruits. Tip: keep bananas or apples in the fridge for when you’re trying not to eat, but don’t want to skip a meal.
10. Reallocating my food budget to buying stuff on my wishlist. This actually forces me to not spend on food, and is a great motivation to keep my spending in check.
I haven’t recovered my pre-2014 body yet, but I won’t count on it without putting in the time and effort to exercise. There’s no alternative to a healthy level of activity, so I still recommend exercising regularly and eating healthy!
Do you have any small lifestyle changes for losing weight that you swear by? Share it with me in the comments section below!-HANA