Hey guys! It’s been a while since I’ve done a Weight Loss Wednesday post. If you’re reading my blog, chances are you are interested in eating a healthier diet…or at least somewhat. Be it health-, exercise-, or weight- related, we all have our individual reasons which motivate us to opt for more nutritious options. Unsurprisingly, my sole reason to overhaul my diet in 2004 initially came down to weight loss. While I have reached a weight which I’m comfortable at, and now have various other motivators to eat healthy most of the time, I’d be lying if I said that my appearance wasn’t still one of them…i.e. to keep the weight off.
That being said, my approach to food & exercise has changed remarkedly over the years. Ultimately it comes down to trial & error and although it’s taken a while, I’ve finally learnt what works for my body. While I can’t go back and change anything, hopefully sharing some of my realisations will benefit others:
1) Eat the yolk: I was the stereotypical ‘dieter’ in that I only ate the white part of an egg. For an added protein boost, I still do frequently supplement my meals with egg whites. However my intake of yolks has also increased over the years, averaging to about 1-2 whole eggs daily. Sure egg whites contain a fraction of the calories but consider the nutritional benefits of adding even just one yolk to your diet: a wide range of fat-soluble vitamins (A, B, E, D, K), B vitamins, folate, iron, and calcium to name a few. Nutrition aside, that extra bit of flavor is more likely to leave you satiated after your meal, and hence contribute to you eating less later on in the day.
2) Lift weights: I prefer the term “cardio queen” over “cardio junkie” but both could aptly describe me a few years ago. Running made me sweat more than weight training, left me out of breath, and burned more calories per session than weight training. Obviously that meant it was more effective, right? WRONG. Since trading some of my cardio sessions for weight-lifting sessions, I’ve seen more changes in my physique, I don’t constantly feel drained, and I’m burning calories even after my workout. If you’re worried about bulking up, give it a rest: we don’t have enough testosterone.
3) Think twice about low-fat products: I was a marketer’s dream. If the packet featured buzzwords like “Low-Fat” or “Fat-Free”, I probably bought it. While these kinds of products may contain less calories than their full-fat counterparts, they didn’t do any favors to my weight. To compensate for the loss of taste that comes from fat, manufacturers need to amp up the product’s sugar conent. As a result, that excess sugar spikes our insulin levels, which makes it harder for our bodies to burn fat. It’s safe to say that my pantry no longer has room for Reduced-Fat Skippy.
4) Less is not always more: When it comes to losing weight, who doesn’t want to get ahead of the game? I sure did! With hopes to speed up my weight loss, I’d sometimes eat less than my Weight Watchers leader advised. Trying to be an overachiever only backfired on the scales and the lack of food left me constantly hangry. Dropping my intake too low merely gave my body a reason to conserve energy rather than burn it off. Food is fuel, so feed you body enough to keep your metabolism ticking and hence efficiently burn the fat. And plus: food always makes us that much happier ;)!
While I could write a manuscript on all that I’ve learned over the years, I’m going to end this post before it gets any longer. I’ll save the rest for another Wednesday 🙂
In relation to food & exercise, what have you learned over the years?