As someone that has learnt a lot about weight loss and nutrition and has struggled with it; I’ve come to learn what works and doesn’t work for me. Having lost 40 kgs when I was 16 and then failing to keep it off and losing 20kg again to restore myself to lowest weight I had been in over 8 years. Now I’m in another and hopefully final weight loss phase with 11 kgs lost so far. In this post I will be sharing what has worked for me.
The number one rule, the universal principle which has always led me and will lead everyone to weight loss is calorie restriction. That is; consuming less calories per day then you are burning. Your lifestyle, your lineage, and your metabolism affect the calories you burn per day. There are tests that you can do to find out your personal metabolic rate: I have included a good article that summarises metabolic tests that you can do to measure your metabolic rate (calories burned during rest and excercise) here https://www.verywellfit.com/is-metabolic-testing-helpful-for-weight-loss-3495498 .
After learning my personal caloric requirements to maintain weight I then educated myself on nutrition and fitness. In this post I will talk about nutrition because it’s the most important aspect when it comes to a healthy lifestyle and weight loss. As I started to read more about nutrition the first thing I learnt was that processed food and junk food contain a lot of empty calories. I came to this conclusion after counting calories and realising how large a portion of my daily calories processed foods take up. I have indulged from time to time but in my regular routine I really didn’t see the benefit of having half of my calories a day on junk and processed food. This is because when I started to prepare meals that were nutritionally beneficial for me that had a combination of vegetables whole grains healthy fats protein I saw myself remaining satisfied for longer and more productive in other areas of my life. So I started to use the MyFitnessPal app to log the meals that I was preparing and whatever else I was snacking on throughout the day to learn about the calories in each food type and the nutritional information of each food type. I’ve used myFitnessPal for a few years on and off; it has really educated me on what foods contain and where I might be splurging and unaware of the hidden calories in a food. There are countless times that I underestimated calories and hindered my progress because there was too much oil, or didnt account for coffees and teas or was snacking and was unaware of how many calories was in the actual snack. What I do now is if I’m craving a specific snack I plan it outside of my meals in a ballpark figure so I know that day whether I can snack or not.
Another thing that I did was start drinking a lot more water which really gave me the energy. It also made me more aware of the difference between being thirsty and hungry which a lot of people mix up too. This is a very difficult habit to get a hold of because you are unaware of when you are really thirsty because you never really hydrated your body to its full capacity. 1 good tip is to have a lot of water at hand and whenever you would usually reach for a snack, reach for water instead. Over time you will see the benefits and you will experience thirst more. The benefits you gain are a well-functioning systems, weight loss, detoxifying your body, and better skin.
On selecting your meals the general rules are choosing leaner proteins healthier fats and incorporating whole-grain carbohydrates as well as vegetables and fruits and reducing processed foods and sugars. Keep in mind the differences in calories that each food group has. This will ultimately lead you to a healthier diet. Once again the main objective is to reduce the calories so if you are pressed for time due to work or school or unable to cook then the usual foods that you consume should suffice as long as you do the healthy substitutes whenever possible and are always counting your calories. Thanks alot for reading! Please let me know in the comments below what you found useful and please share tips that have worked for you.