Happy (or not, if you’re superstitious, sorry) Friday the 13th, guys! I’m so excited today because I’ll be sharing with you guys how I lost 10 lbs (~4.5kgs) in 30 days! I’m just going to come right out and say that I’m not a certified dietitian, but this is my personal experience (hopefully it can be yours too!) and what I’ve learned from my nutritionist. A little history behind my attempts to lose weight (I say attempts because they’ve never worked out!): I’ve tried going on diets, took replacement meals, and even tried fasting (literally not eating food for 3 whole days, don’t try this at home kids!), but nothing ever worked out for me. I would lose weight, and gain it back twice as much and twice as fast. Today I’ll be sharing a couple of reasons why I could never lose weight (and probably why you’re not either!) even though I was working super hard to shed those pounds.
A Plethora of Diets
There are SO many diet plans available out there like the no carbs diet, skipping meals, meal replacements, and I’ve even tried one that I had to eat only an apple for each meal of the day. Google diet plans, and you’re bombarded with 11 million results. Starting with the no carbs diet, do not ever do that! You hear me? Never. Carbs are so important – your body needs carbs to function properly. Carbs break down into glucose and that is your main source of “fuel” for your body. There are both good and bad carbs, and knowing which is which and what to eat is the way to go!
Replacement meals used to be my main weight loss plan. Replacement meals basically come in little sachets and you mix in water, shake and voila, dinner! Most of the replacement meal plans I’ve tried replaces breakfast and dinner, so I only eat one regular meal a day. Eating one regular meal a day will not provide enough nutrients for your body to function well!
The most intense diet I’ve tried is… *drumroll* fasting. What in the world was I thinking? The fasting diet is a 3, 5 or 9 day plan where you eat only 3 red dates (which I just found out is called jujube) a meal. So 9 jujubes a day, that’s all you get. Please, may I have some more? No, you may not.
Why “Diets” Aren’t Working For You
Most diet plans deprive your body of something your body needs: like carbs or protein. Our body’s energy (or calories) comes from carbohydrates, proteins and fats. The main, preferred source of energy comes from glucose. Carbohydrates break down to form glucose. When there is not enough glucose, your body uses the stored carbohydrates, called glycogen. Glycogen carries with it water, so when your body burns it off, you lose weight. But once you stop the diet, you gain it back twice as fast. Why? Because the weight you lost is just water weight.
When your body is deprived of protein, you won’t be able to build muscle. This is because muscle is made of protein. You might be thinking, “I don’t even want muscles! I just want to lose weight!”. Well, well, I’ll tell you why you’d want muscles! More muscle burns more calories in a day, even when you’re at rest. This will, in return, increase your metabolism, woohoo!
How I Lost 10 lbs (~4.5kgs) in 30 Days
10lbs in 30 days might not seem like much to some, especially now that there are a ton plans that promise “Lose 10lbs in 1 week!” or something cray-cray like that. I won’t say that it will not work, because it will, you will lose weight. But whenever you lose weight that quickly, you can bet that it’s just water weight. Anyway, back to 10lbs in 30 days.. not much to some.. yada yada.. but let me tell you.. I eat so much in a day now. I eat triple the amount that I used to eat while I was gaining weight, but I still manage to lose around 2-3 lbs a week. Yes, I’m eating the right foods, and no – the right foods are not limited to tasteless salads or bland boiled chicken breasts. More about that in a bit!
The best decision I made was to go see a nutritionist. At that time, I was done. D.O.N.E trying to lose weight! DONE! I was so sick and tired of the bleh food, all the hard work exercising, and not losing any weight. My boyfriend suggested going to his family’s nutritionist and I told him that it would be the last time. One last chance. And I’m so glad I listened, because my nutritionist is so helpful and taught me so many things about losing weight. He taught me all I know, and told me why I wasn’t losing weight no matter how hard I tried. With his guidance, I was finally able to (and am continuing to) lose weight.
Cut Calories, Not Food!
This is the most important part of this entire “plan”. If you’re someone that has been on diets, or if you only eat one or two meals a day, and you’re thinking why the heck you’re still gaining weight when your friend can pile on the burgers and donuts and look 1/3 of your size. << Sorry, that was my rant.
A big piece of chicken, which can fill you up, is 300 calories whereas one slice of cheese pizza (just pizza dough with cheese on top and nothing else!) is 272 calories. Top it with some pepperoni, throw in a few more slices, and you’re up to 800 calories. With 800 calories, you could eat: 1 palm of chicken, 1 palm of fish, 2 palms of vege, and 1 palm of tofu. Basically what I mean is, you shouldn’t cut down on the amount of food you eat, but eat foods that are lower in calorie.
Everyone has an ideal daily calorie intake, depending on a variety of factors. You can get this ideal daily calorie intake by downloading MyFitnessPal on your phone (available on Apple Store & Android – not sponsored! Just a huge fan haha) and entering your weight, height, age, and stuff like that. Not only does it calculate your ideal calorie intake, you can keep track of your daily calorie intake in the app.
High Protein, Low Carbs
Every meal should have more protein to carbs. You still need enough carbs to give your body enough energy, like I mentioned 2491210 times. Ugh, just shut up already, Jiawun. But yes, carbs. Important. When I say low carbs, I’m talking about simple carbs like white rice, sugars, candy, and sweetened stuff. If you want to eat simple carbs, eat a very small amount. I avoid simple carbs at all costs and swap them for complex carbs like brown rice, potatoes, vegetables, beans and lentils. However, protein is even more important. More protein, more muscles! More muscles, more calories burned per day.
Choose Your Meats Wisely
This might be the hardest parts for some people. I cut out red meat completely. Red meats include beef, pork, veal, lamb, etc. Some red meats contain high levels of saturated fat that raises blood cholesterol, which increases heart disease.
Eat More Meals, and Never Skip Meals!
Make sure you feed your body every 4 hours – say you have breakfast at 8am, make sure you eat something before 12pm. If you can’t eat lunch at 12, eat a fruit somewhere around 10am, and you can eat lunch at 1-2pm. If you’re not eating a meal in the 4 hours, grab a (healthy) snack! Another one of the most important things to losing weight is to.. Never skip meals! Ever. Capiche? Skipping meals causes your blood sugar to dip, and makes you eat more when you do eat, which will then cause your blood sugar to rise too much, and excess sugar will be stored in fat cells.
Drinking water is so important! Water is a no-calorie drink and helps you burn calories (win-win, right?)! Every time you eat or drink, your body has to work to process it, burning calories. Not only that, sometimes when you feel hungry, you’re actually just thirsty! I make sure to drink a glass of water every hour, from when I wake up to 7pm. I limit my water intake after 7pm so I won’t have the urge to pee (lol) and disrupt my sleep in the middle of the night.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Workout
If you’re lazy like me, but you still want to work out.. HIIT workouts are your best bet! HIIT workout is basically doing high intensity exercises in shorts bursts, and last for less than 30 minutes a day. The HIIT training I’m currently doing is the Bodyboss 12-week program. I like this program because it has a 4-week Pre-training program, which is great for beginners or people who have not worked out in a long time (like moi). HIIT workouts are great because they help you burn fat AND build muscle. Cardio workouts are great at burning fat, but it’s harder to build muscle, and it’s the other way around for weight training. HIIT combines the best of the two to get you the best results.
Pre and Post-Workout Meals
Never, ever work out on an empty stomach, guys! My favourite pre-workout snack is a banana. It gives me enough energy to last through my workout. When you work out, it is normal to lose protein so a post-workout meal that is high in protein is essential! I don’t usually eat a full-on meal after working out, I like to carry a protein shake or a protein bar with me for my post-workout snack.
That is everything for now, guys! If you’ve been trying to lose weight for some time now but you haven’t been seeing results, hopefully this post will help you get started. Remember, cut calories, not food! Let me know in the comments if you guys have any other tips and tricks to lose weight! 🙂
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Thanks for reading, xoxo