Weight Loss Wednesday: Sharing the wisdom

by Khushboo on January 30, 2013

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.

someecard weight loss

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.

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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.

Reduced Fat Skippy.jpg

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? 

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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

ritika January 30, 2013 at 2:13 pm

i am still so scared of the yolk, it’s more in the mind, i will perhaps slowly start including one whole egg in my scrambled eggs – especially for the folate. yeah and the other change needs to be the PB, the skippy reduced pb needs to go. :D
looking forward to another wednesday

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Khushboo January 31, 2013 at 12:25 am

Until you start eating yolks, PLEASE go for the regular PB! You’ll never look back :) !

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TorontoRunner January 30, 2013 at 2:18 pm

I love having one hard boiled egg a day :D

the lifting weights tip is soooo true. Nothing beats the cardio high for me, but lifting and getting stronger is such a GREAT feeling. and you’re right – your body composition and shape can drastically change with weights!

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Khushboo January 31, 2013 at 12:26 am

One of the reasons I stuck with cardio was because of that amazing high…turns out it also comes after weights too :) !

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Jess January 30, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Love it!!! Wish I could have read this as a teen!!! Amazing the madness we put ourselves through!

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Khushboo January 31, 2013 at 12:26 am

Haha you know it- could’ve saved a lot of energy that’s for sure!

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Sam @ Better With Sprinkles January 30, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Egg yolks = yes!! I usually have 1-2 yolks supplemented with extra whites. Yes, they are good for you; no, they will not raise your cholesterol; yes, they just taste better. An egg white omelette next to an omelette made with 1-2 eggs + whites just does not compare.

And yessss on the strength training! I’ve seen more changes in about 8 months of focusing on weights than I did in years of being a cardio queen. And evidently, I did not bulk up. I have noticed that my shoulders have gotten a bit broader, but I consider that to be a good thing – I can wear tank tops without the straps sliding off every 5 seconds!

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Khushboo January 31, 2013 at 12:27 am

It’s funny- I actually love the taste of plain egg-whites but you’re right about adding in a yolk or 2..it takes it to a whole new level! And I love your outlook towards broad shoulders, Sam! :) !

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Min January 30, 2013 at 6:35 pm

These tips are all the things that I learned the hard way as well. I NEVER ate yolks until my teachers told me that dietary cholesterol is not the culprit of cardiovascular diseases. What’s more important is the cholesterol made in the body. My only form of exercise was to run like a mad woman everyday. And low-fat products disturb me now. I’ve come a long way, huh? I’m glad we know better now ;)

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Khushboo January 31, 2013 at 12:28 am

Ohhh it disturbs me when I hear people avoid egg yolks because of their cholesterol levels- old myths die hard!

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Parita @ myinnershakti January 30, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Great lessons, K! I’ve learned that more (in terms of exercise) is not always better. And that less (in terms of food) is never better! I’ve also learned that no one day is going to knock me off the healthy train – living a healthy lifestyle is a lifetime committment and not a fad. :)

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Khushboo January 31, 2013 at 12:30 am

Absolutely! Healthy living is not a temporary fix…even when I’m on holiday, I definitely indulge more but it’s not an excuse to revert back to my old ways (not that I even want to)!

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Amanda @ .running with spoons. January 30, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Yes, yes, yes, and YES! These are all such great realizations, Khushboo. They’re all ones that I struggled with at some point, but the last one is especially salient. There was a time where I was training way too hard and not eating enough to support that level of activity, and my body actually started to put weight ON because of how badly I was stressing my system. As counterintuitive as it seems, when I cut down the exercise and upped my intake, the weight actually came off. Just goes to show you how goofy our beliefs can be sometimes.

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Khushboo January 31, 2013 at 12:31 am

It also goes to show that sometimes we over-complicate things…not everything is supposed to be hard yet that’s the only way we feel it will work!

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Meghan @ After the Ivy League January 30, 2013 at 7:50 pm

Great post! It took me awhile to learn number 4 back when I was trying to lose weight, but boy is it ever true. When I stopped worrying about calories, started eating more, and eating when I was hungry, the weight seemed to fall off easily since I was working out hard also. And yes, egg yolks everyday! Way more satisfying and filling than the egg whites alone.

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Khushboo January 31, 2013 at 12:32 am

Easier said than done, intuitive eating really does work wonders! :)

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Kelly January 30, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Great tips! I love eating the whole egg, its soo yummy! What I’ve learned is that health is a balance of eating right, while still letting yourself eat your favorite foods, exercising, and drinking plenty of water!! <3

<3 Kelly

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Khushboo January 31, 2013 at 12:33 am

Love your approach, Kelly! It’ all about finding a balance between your physical health (ie eating nutritious foods) and mental health (eating your favorite foods despite their nutritional content)!

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Alex @ therunwithin January 30, 2013 at 10:15 pm

these are great, seriously. so refreshing to hear such a healthy approach

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Khushboo January 31, 2013 at 12:33 am

Thanks, Alex :) !

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Sara @ Nourish and Flourish January 30, 2013 at 10:50 pm

I love this post, Khushboo, and think it’s one that every aspiring (and current) “healthy-eater” needs to read. I can identify with each of these bullet points, and only wish I’d had these tips in front of me years ago, when I was entrenched in the diet mentality! Like you, I always avoided the yolks in eggs, believing them to be nothing more than pointless calories and fat grams (and it was ALL about the calories and fat grams–nothing else mattered!). I spent 1-2 hours on cardio machines EVERY day, yet my body never changed, and I was a sucker for those 100-calorie pack snacks and Hostess cupcakes, often choosing to make them meals. I cringe when I think about those days!

I think the most profound lesson I’ve learned during my “health journey” is that the cliche mantra “moderation moderation moderation” is very true. Granting myself permission to eat whatever I crave–in reasonable amounts–has proved to be the ticket to both physical and emotional balance.

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Khushboo January 31, 2013 at 12:34 am

Glad we have both learned for the better, Sara! It also makes me cringe to think back on how much money I wasted on those 100-cal packs- ick! And you couldn’t be more right about moderation- a little bit goes a long way!

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Brittany January 30, 2013 at 11:50 pm

Ohh girll I HATE low fat foods. FULL FAT FOR ME!! These tips are great, and they are HEALTHY both physically and mentally. I need to lift weights..NEED NEED NEED. I did a cross training type workout a few days ago…it was sad. HAH.

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Khushboo January 31, 2013 at 12:35 am

Haha as much as I’m all for lifting weights, any kind of workout (e.g. cross training) beats no workout :) !

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Deana January 31, 2013 at 12:28 am

I agree with every single one of the above! Give me really food, just less of it! I need to be personally better with weight training. I am a weakling and would do better with some toning for calorie burning and body shape ‘wants’.

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Khushboo January 31, 2013 at 12:41 am

Even if you start off with 1-2 weight training sessions a week, I’m sure you’ll see a difference :) !

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Sunnie@ModernGirlNutrition January 31, 2013 at 7:42 am

Such great tips! I have recently starting eating the yolks, too- so many nutrition benefits! I always do 1 egg +2 egg whites. I love that e card! Haha

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Khushboo January 31, 2013 at 10:17 am

If I’m not going for 2 whole eggs, I do the 1 egg & 2 egg whites too..makes a world of difference!

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honeywhatscooking January 31, 2013 at 10:04 am

great tips K. I follow all of them.. love lifting weights, I’ve seen a big change in my body and it is more toned now. Love the yolks, I do leave them out at times when i’m using like 8 eggs, I can do without 3 yolks let’s just say. I don’t believe in eating fat free at all… low fat, only when it comes to dairy.
What have I learned… hmmm.. that it isn’t about counting calories, but just eating right and in moderation. :-)

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Khushboo January 31, 2013 at 10:24 am

Snap about dairy- it’s the only place where I don’t miss the fat!

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Tara @ Sweat like a Pig January 31, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Haha I can relate to every single one of these – lucky we are both older and wiser now ;)

I went from having 6 egg white omelettes to now having 3 whole eggs per day. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time I had an egg white – maybe six months ago? I have super high testosterone levels, and even I struggle to bulk up from lifting! The idea of low-fat peanut butter makes me cringe – what is the point of that?! My poison of choice was low fat yoghurt which was pumped full of sugar. Ooops!

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Khushboo January 31, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Haha even for people like us with whacked out hormones, bulking up Schwarzenegger-style isn’t possible…I don’t think other women have anything to worry about! ;)

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AD January 31, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Cant wait to get home and use my ankle weights and pump up some action ;)

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Khushboo January 31, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Be careful with ankle weights! They put a lot of strain on your joints- wouldn’t want you to get injured :) ±

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Tessa @ Amazing Asset January 31, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Thanks for your insight on this… and I really like the whole aspect of focusing on WHOLE FOODS rather than the diet form of everything. Mainly because I have been sucked into the trap for years and years! Well not as much recently of course, but diet this and that used to be the only things I ate. I mean whyyy would I eat full fat yogurt when I could have non-fat?! Oh that’s right because it is so much better for you, keeps you satisfied both physically and mentally as well!
And heck yes to weights, I have been all about them recently and it’s been such a welcome change in my weekly routine!

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Khushboo January 31, 2013 at 11:55 pm

Glad we have both seen the light, my friend :D ! Hopefully others will too!

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Natalie @ Free Range Human February 1, 2013 at 12:01 am

Great tips! I fell into all of these traps for awhile, but as I started to learn more about healthy living, I realized how silly I was being. I love eggs!!

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Khushboo February 1, 2013 at 10:16 am

Same here- no matter how bare my fridge may be, it will always have eggs!

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Miss Polkadot February 2, 2013 at 2:27 am

Thanks for sharing! I think it’s always great to learn from each other and help others avoid common mistakes.

Ugh, yes, light products … Honestly, reading the ingredient lists of some of these things is pretty scary – lots of E numbers and weird stuff I’ve never heard of. We don’t have as many of these options around here – no boxed egg whites or light PB – but still too many that aren’t needed. It’s so true that a little bit of the real thing will leave you much more satisfied than huge amounts of reduced-fat versions.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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Khushboo February 2, 2013 at 10:54 am

Those E numbers and lengthy ingredient lists are scary stuff…while I wouldn’t put my nose at them completely, I definitely wouldn’t eat those products regularly!

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Ameena February 2, 2013 at 3:28 am

I love eggs…eat them almost daily. And the yolks are my favorite part!

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Khushboo February 2, 2013 at 11:12 am

I can’t even imagine only eating eggs without yolk…nor do I want to!!

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