Hello everyone! This is the most requested post so far and one of the posts I’m most excited to write. I hope my story and tips will inspire and help those of you who are trying to lose weight. Let’s start!
I was not, ekhm, chubby always. I started putting on weight close to my 17th birthday I guess, but the weight gain wasn’t major. The real problem started after I went to university and then it just escalated. I tried different ways to lose weight but I was only gaining more and more. My lifestyle had changed and problems accumulated. I was extremely busy with the student organisation I joined as well as with my studies and many extracurricular activities. I was not able to handle the pressure and that led to compulsive eating. In my “fattest moment” I was 60kg while being only 158cm tall. That was heavy, literally. I felt awful. I was avoiding having pictures taken or even looking people in the eyes, that’s how insecure I felt. My horrible acne only made it worse. When I hit the 60kg of weight, something in me burst and I decided it’s enough of this nightmare and I need to change. Overall, I lost 17kg and I stayed like that. Below you can find tips based on my experience.
1. Overeating is in your head, not stomach.
I heard so many times “I’m so stressed, I need chocolate”, “I had a bad day, I need a pizza”, “Ice-cream is the best therapy”, both in real life and rom-coms where’s usually that girl eating ice-cream straight from the box and crying because of a heartbreak. Pressure gets released through compulsive eating which gives a bit of relief at the time, but at the time only, because soon afterwards there is guilt and despise. If your problem is overeating because of stress, forcing yourself not to eat if you feel like you need it to calm down can be efficient only few times. The key is to handle the stuff in your head in order not to feel like you need food to feel comforted. Unless you do that, permanent weight loss might be impossible.
2. Don’t be too rough on yourself.
Nothing comes without any effort and there are ups and downs. If you are hating on yourself for anytime you ate something you shouldn’t have and you ate it because of stress you are likely to do it again because you stress too much about that and you need to eat again to calm down. It’s a vicious cycle.
3. Find a sport that you like and enjoy exercising.
I am not a fan of gyms. Honestly, I hate gyms. When I was losing weight instead of gymming I was attending dance classes, practicing later at home and walking A LOT (and by this I mean walking fast and long distances). And that’s it. Of course, the more weight you need to loose, the tougher the exercises, but since I wasn’t obese it was enough for me to lose weight.
4. Sleep enough.
If you are sleep-deprived your body asks for more food to keep going during the day because it needs to compensate for the lack of energy. Body calls wants more food that will boost the energy quickly and that is, sugar. You snack on chocolate bars, have sweet beverages, multiple cups of coffee and so on and you gain weight without even noticing how fast it’s happening.
5. Water is to drink, juice is a dessert.
I drink only water and unsweetened tea (and I like it the most as well). Anything that you drink when you’re thirsty that contains sugar (even only fructose) is fattening, I’m sorry to say that. If you’re drinking colorful drinks, juices, or sodas on a daily basis just from cutting these from your diet you can notice a difference. For me it wasn’t a problem because I prefer water over anything else but if you don’t like water you can add fresh apples, oranges, lemons or mint to give it some flavour. If you want to drink juice, go for a freshly squeezed one and treat it as a dessert or a snack.
6. That caramel-mocha-latte-whatnot even on skimmed milk isn’t your best friend.
Let’s take the biggest flavoured latte from a famous coffee shop – in one cup of coffee you get around 0,5 l of milk (!) and a ton of sugar, not to mention that it’s 1/4 of the calories you should consume per day (considering the average calories amount recommended for women). In a single drink. I put on so much weight just on flavoured coffee (gingerbread lattes, anyone?) ! I then switched for skimmed milk and sugarfree syrup, but it didn’t help much. Quitting flavoured coffee completely helped my to lose weight. By the way, I recently overheard two women standing in a queue in one of the chain cafes talking about how they cannot lose weight. Then each of them ordered a big cup of coffee with syrup and a piece of cake. Well, seriously?
7. Good fats are healthy.
People trying to lose weight often buy all the so called “light” products that are low in fat. These products are indeed low in fat but usually have more carbs then their regular versions. And because fat is still better then carbs, I wouldn’t bother with all the “light” stuff. Certain types of fats are also good for us, like for example Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
8. Cut the sweets.
So obvious, yet so hard isn’t it? If it’s so hard read point 1 again. Actually, if you cut sweets from your diet (maybe not radically but significantly) you get used to not eating them and they don’t taste the same afterwards. I was going through that sugar-cleanse phase twice (once as a teen, then during the weight loss) and it was around three months. After that time, I stopped even liking most of the sweets.
9. Don’t buy unhealthy food.
If you resist the temptation at a supermarket, you won’t need to resist it all the time at home or at work knowing that there’s a lovely pack of chips waiting for you. Just don’t buy the stuff, it’s really easy. Because, let’s be honest, how likely are you going to change clothes and go out in the middle of the night to buy some snacks? Not that much likely, I believe.
9. Try to cook your own meals.
Ready-made meals or restaurant food is usually highly processed and richer in fats (often the bad ones), carbs and calories because it’s simply tastier that way. And if it’s yummy – people will buy it again, it’s just business. If you make your own meal you can control what’s really in there as well as the size of a portion that you consume.
10. Dieting can be more harmful than good for you.
Strict diets often have something in common and that is the yo-yo effect. If you starve yourself, eventually you may lose it and get back to the old habits. Losing weight it’s not about some diet you can keep for a while to be back to fries every day. It’s about permanently changing your habits. I have some good news here: you don’t need to switch to eating kale every day. Just eat rationally, as simple as that.
11. Don’t snack.
And if you have to, go for something like nuts or fruits. By snacking often, we make our stomach used to getting something all the time so it will be harder for us to stay slim. Whenever I feel like snacking but I’m not actually hungry, for example when watching something, I make myself a cup of green, fruit or herbal tea and drink that instead.
12. Counting calories can make you fatter.
How? Let me tell you what I used to do do: I was eating an apple for breakfast, then some salad for lunch which, as I counted, was around 500 calories just so that I can eat a pack of chips and then chocolate cookies at night. In total it was 2000 calories that an average woman should consume per day. Seems legit? Theoretically, because the calories amount was within the limit. But it’s not the amount of calories that matters but where do you get them from. So I stopped counting calories and just started eating as healthily and rationally as possible. And yes, there were still some carbs that we all need and there were healthy fats. But they were coming from balanced meals instead of junk food so I lost weight easily.
Please remember that the effects don’t come immediately so don’t give up if you don’t fit into a smaller size after a week. Or a month. Just keep working.
I hope you found these tips helpful! Of course, each person is different but this is just how I lost weight – it might help you or it might not if you don’t relate to what I wrote. What I think is, the key to success is in your head and if you want to lose weight, if you are honest with yourself and if you work on your strong will then you will achieve your goal no matter what.
Sorry for the long post! I still tried to write it briefly so if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask me!