It took me awhile to realize that to lose weight, what I need to do is not go on a diet.
I need to change the way I eat.
Dieting is short term and so are the results. Changing your eating habits goes a much longer way.
Check out how you can start making changes to your diet.
The first thing you need to understand is that eating to lose weight actually involves eating and NEVER starving. That’s one of the most common methods used. Be it skipping meals or wearing corsets to avoid overeating.
The following are just some of the simple changes you can start making to kick start a healthier diet:
- Reduce sugar, salt and refined carbohydrates
- Choose healthier cooking alternatives eg. Baked vs fried
- Consume more fruits and vegetables
- Minimize unhealthy snacking
- Eat consciously, slowly and stop when full
- Avoid eating late at night
"One of the biggest mistakes people make is to eat late at night. This will store as fat in the body overnight and is actually an effective way of gaining weight." -- Jeremy, C25
Those were the changes that I started making early on this weight loss journey. While my weight reduced, my progress wasn’t as drastic as I had hoped. That’s when I decided to take my diet change to the next level.
Now, let’s move on to how you can plan your new diet to see better results on your weight loss:
How Much to Eat
Food contains calories which gives you energy to conduct your daily activities. If you consume more calories than you burn, you will put on weight. If you consume less calories than you burn, you will lose weight. Have a go at this calculator to determine how much calories you should consume to achieve your desired weight. The amount is dependent on the weight loss duration, your current weight, height and activity.
Ideally, you should not go below 1200 calories a day and that’s where I keep my daily intake at.
"Write down what you consume in a day, both food and drink, snacks and all. Even that cup of milo you had in the middle of the afternoon." -- Jeremy, C25
Counting calories can be tedious. Although I’m not obsessed with calorie-counting, I monitor what I eat so that I can estimate how much I’m actually eating in a day as well as determine which kind of food is contributing most to the calories I’ve consumed.
I use an app called My Fitness Pal for this purpose. It has a huge database of foods (including local foods) and you can sync it to the website.
What to Eat
Sometimes we can’t tell from the amount and how full we feel. For instance, one would think that a handful of cashew nuts is a little snack but the calories are equivalent to a bowl of rice or 6 apples. For a small packet of McDonald’s fries I can have a filling meal of pasta with beef and vegetables.
Eating to lose weight does NOT mean NOT eating. Never let yourself go hungry. There are endless types of food out there and it’s up to your creativity how you want to have them.
This is generally what I look out for when choosing my food:
- High in fiber and nutrients: eg. Leafy greens, onion, bell peppers
- Low in fat, sugar and sodium (if I can help it): Cut down on mayonnaise, cream, soft drinks
- High in protein: eg. Beef, fish, eggs
- Unrefined carbohydrates: eg. Brown rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat
- Minimal amount of wheat, corn and dairy: Cut down on cookies/biscuits, wheat bread/noodles, cheese
When to Eat
"Spread your daily intake into 5 small meals per day. Eating 2 or 3 meals per day will only starve your body for 5 or 6 hours and it’ll store fat to cope." -- Jeremy, C25
Many “dieters” don’t eat enough. Once again, NEVER starve yourself!
People look at my food thinking that I’m not eating enough and that I’m letting myself go hungry, which couldn’t be further than the truth.
The key is to eat frequently in smaller portions as well as eating quality food so that you feel fuller and more satisfied throughout the day.
If you have any questions for Jeremy regarding fitness or diet, please don't hesitate to ask them in the comment section below.