Like most people, I have gone through weight loss, weight gain, weight loss, weight gain, weight loss and weight gain, again and again. This is one experience that can be very discouraging or sometimes depressing. The cycle went on and off until I finally discovered the secrets which I must share with you. Let’s look at these Nuggets.
1. Don’t approach your weight loss from a rocket science standpoint
As much as it is good for you to set goals or give yourself a target or deadline towards your weight loss, you must never subject yourself to unrealistic expectations. Never ever be too hard on yourself, as this can lead to frustration or discouragement. And when this happens, you are most likely to give up altogether. You can set your goals as modest as six months or one year, even two years wouldn’t be a bad idea, if you really want it to become part of you. So set gradual, but consistent goals.
2. Try reducing your food intake by half
One of the ways to a permanent or stable weight loss is by reducing your food intake by half. You can also start gradually until you get used to eating little per time. Consuming too many calories can stop you from losing weight. On the other hand, too few calories or starving yourself like me as I mentioned in “My Journey To Weight Loss” can give you hunger pangs from time to time, plus, it can also slow down your metabolism and reduce muscle mass.
3. Look out for health on your plate rather than taste
Tasty meals are good and flavor is fantastic, but they should never be your focus anytime you carry a plate of food. Instead, you should always ask yourself, “is this food good for me?” “is it healthy?” If you are not tracking what you eat, you may be consuming more calories than you realize. You may also be getting less protein and fibre than you think.
4. Tell Yourself “it’s possible” tell yourself “yes, I can”
Never ever give up on yourself. Tell yourself “I can” The best way to achieve this is to always see yourself in the light of what you want to look like eventually, not what you are once you start your weight loss journey.
5. Reduce Your Cravings As Much As Possible
As much as possible, reduce your cravings. Don’t forget that one of the things that brought the weight you are now trying to lose today, is your inability to control yourself from eating the things you love. Friend, a little self-discipline or self-denial is required this time, if you must achieve your dream body. However, occasional indulgence, maybe one or two times a month, for you to satisfy your cravings is not a crime. I call it my “cheating days.” For me, I do a lot of ice cream and chocolates on such days. After this, you go back to your new lifestyle, until it becomes a part of you. It will also get to a point that your taste bud wouldn’t just accept anything like before
6. See Your Weight Loss More From A Health Angle And Not Just Aesthetics
Some years ago, weight loss for me was more about the look. It was more about aesthetics as against health, until I went for a medical checkup at one of the Teaching Hospitals. My physician told me I had a fantastic health and that I should continue whatever it is I was doing. But, he said, “But, you should watch your weight.” And she actually gave me the recommended weight for my height.
7. Do something that will make you sweat out every day, for at least 30minutes
Lack of exercise can lead to loss of muscle mass and lower metabolism. On the other hand, too much exercise is neither healthy nor always effective in weight loss, and unless you are a weightlifter or an athlete, it may lead to discouragement. Studies show excessive exercise is unsustainable in the long term for most people and may lead to severe stress. However, there are things you can do to sweat out on a daily basis. They include: climbing the stairs several times in a day, vigorous dancing, rope skipping, one spot jogging, brisk walk, aerobics if you can make it fun and not compelling, etc.
8. Don’t focus too much on Scale Weight
Avoid using the scale to check your weight every time. Yes, you can do this at the beginning as a form of before and after. If you’ve been working out, you may be gaining muscle and losing fat. When this happens, your clothes may start to feel loose, especially around the waist, despite a stable scale weight. Measuring your waist with a tape measure and taking monthly pictures of yourself can reveal you’re actually losing fat, even if the scale number doesn’t change much.
9. Increase Your Protein Intake
Getting enough protein is extremely important if you’re trying to lose weight. Protein has been shown to help with weight loss in several ways. It can reduce appetite, increase feelings of fullness, decrease calorie intake, increase metabolic rate and protect muscle mass during weight loss. To optimize weight loss, make sure each of your meals contains a high-protein food. For more on protein, please read my previous article on protein. “YOU ARE PROTEIN.”
10. Avoid Eating Too Often
If you eat every time you feel the urge, you may find it difficult to monitor or check the volume of your food intake. It is also not good to let yourself get too hungry before you eat. It is better to eat a snack than to become ravenously hungry, which can cause you to make poor food decisions.
11. Increase Your Fibre Intake
Eating enough fibre can help reduce your appetite by filling you up so you eat less. It may also help you absorb fewer calories from other foods.
Some fibrous foods that are readily available to us in Nigeria include: All types of beans; White ( black eye pea), Brown beans, Soybeans, Green peas, Oats, Sweet Potatoes (boiled or grilled. Not fried), Brown rice, Tomatoes, All types of pepper, (Red and green bell peppers are tasty and crunchy. Just remove the seeds, slice and add to your raw or steamed veggies) Cabbage, Carrots, Spinach, Papaya (Pawpaw), Mushroom, Pineapple, Yam, not more than a slice; cut into cubes and boil, to be eaten with vegetables
12. Have a bottle of Water on you or your favorite Tea and some Healthy Snacks to nibble on throughout the day
Examples of healthy snacks available in Nigeria: Banana, Avocado, Orange, Tangerine, Cucumber, Carrot, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Grape Fruit, Corn, Low-fat Yoghurt, Fruit Salad, Roasted Soya, Peanuts, Wall-nuts, Apples, Pears, Assorted nuts and so on. For more on tea choices, please read my article; TEA! TEA! ALL THE WAY