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Ada Obiako: 8 Ways I Lost Weight Without Exercising

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Weight is one of those topics that never gets old.

Men, women, boys, girls…one’s weight size is an ever-changing, ever-unnerving issue. Now, I’ve never been considered heavy-set (I have no problem with anyone who is heavy-set) but my weight has definitely had its yo-yo moments over the years and personally, I prefer the size I am now. In previously recent years, I had a hard time getting rid of the extra 15-20 pounds that had attached itself to my body uninvited. When I finally felt like getting rid of the extra adipose tissue, I took a few meaningful steps that helped me cut back the weight and get to a size that I felt more comfortable with. A couple of people asked what I did to shed the few pounds. I’m not a fitness expert and by no means am I against exercising (I have ways to go in that department); I simply made a few specific changes in my eating habits that proved to be successful for me, which I’m happy to share. Hopefully it will be of help to those of you that are interested in getting rid of that extra 5, 10, 15 or 20 pounds.
Here it goes:

Saying “No” to Sodas
I swear by this one. Once upon a time, I was addicted to Sprite. I mean, 2,3 bottles a day. I love the stuff. However, when I found myself unable to get rid of the extra pounds one of the first thing I looked to as the culprit was Sprite. And I was right. I decided to challenge myself to go cold-turkey on it because I knew slowly weaning myself off Sprite would mean I’d never stop drinking it. It was painful. It’s not easy giving up what you love and conveniently, once I made the decision to stay away from Sprite I started noticing free Sprite everywhere (at work, at events, at friend’s homes, etc). Go figure. After about 3 months of not drinking Sprite or any other soda/juice, I noticed a significant change in my body. I had lost a couple of pounds and my stomach had gotten flatter (which I really wanted). I still have a bottle of Sprite from time to time (after about a year of not drinking soda/juice, I knew I could have one without feeling the need to have another) and I end up having an average of 4 bottles of Sprite a year (that number might be a few bottles higher). When you compare that to the almost 4 bottles of Sprite A DAY I used to live on, you can imagine the amount of sugar not going into my body now. Note: I started using Wyler’s Light Sugarless powders in my water for flavor. They have the Lemonade, Pink Lemonade, Peach, and Strawberry flavors. I fell in love with them. It made the process so much easier.

Switching from Fried to Grilled
I used to eat a lot of fried foods (especially deep-fried chicken, potato fries, plantains, etc) without much thought to the amount of oil I was taking into my body. I thought about it one day and I figured that it wouldn’t kill me to substitute some of my fried foods for grilled. And guess what? Grilled chicken is darn right delicious. Grilled/roasted potatoes are just fine too. I season them just like I would if I were frying them but instead, pop ‘em in the oven. I noticed a difference in my weight when I did this for sure. However, I’d be lying if I said I don’t still eat some fried foods. I love my fried plantains and have no desire to stop eating them. And now that I’m back in Nigeria, my heart has only grown fonder for puff puff. And then of course, chin chin. So, moral of the story here? If you can’t say no to all fried foods, at least say no to some…sometimes 🙂

More Home-cooked meals
There was a time when I was the expert at eating out. Practically breakfast, lunch, and dinner would be eaten out. The lazy girl in me loved it because it meant I didn’t have to lift a finger to make my meals but my money pockets weren’t too thrilled. I figured I’d better start putting my cooking skills to good use and stop overwhelming my system with all that preservative-filled, butter-laden & sugar-loaded takeout and restaurant dishes. My system was thankful, and so was my bank account. It’s so much cheaper to buy groceries and cook than to spend money outside. Granted, I still eat out from time to time but again, when you compare how many times I eat out now to back then, there is a significant difference.

Get Sauces on the Side
When I go to restaurants, I try to remember to ask for my sauces on the side. I never realized it before but this makes a huge difference. I noticed that when I get my sauces on the side (i.e. barbecue sauce for ribs, salad dressing, maple syrup for pancakes, etc), I normally don’t use more than half of the sauce on my dish. Half of a small container of sauce might not seem like much but when you add up all those half containers of sauce each time I go to a restaurant, it adds up! This one has been a real eye-opener and I can honestly say it helped me with my weight.

Saying “No” to Dessert
There was a time I made a habit out of eating an appetizer, entrée, and dessert when I ate at restaurants. Blame it on American influence. At some point, I decided that I didn’t need all three – which always left me feeling sick and overstuffed. Instead, I commit to eating an entrée and once in a while, an appetizer beforehand. This doesn’t mean I don’t ever have dessert; it just means I rarely do. From my vantage point, it works better for me to curb my sugar intake more than my salt intake. (Yes, I know too much sodium isn’t good; I’m doing my best with that).

Portion Control
I’m Nigerian. You already know what that means. When I eat, I have a natural tendency to fill my plate to the brim with carbohydrates. Piles and piles of rice, spaghetti, potatoes…the works. What has helped me is reducing the portion of food (carbs especially) I eat in one sitting. It doesn’t mean I don’t still eat quite a bit (oh, I do), it just means that I now spread out what I would usually eat in one moment into two meals throughout the day. It helps. FYI: This rule has a way of jumping out the window when I’m famished and can’t seem to see straight. Free me o.

Not eating After 9:00pm
Some experts say don’t eat past 6:30 or 7pm. That won’t work for me, sorry. For someone like me who’s been known to eat around 11pm, sometimes midnight, 9:00pm is a good-enough compromise. Even that I’m not always successful at.

Snacking Differently
I’m not much of a snack person. However, once in a while I get cravings for chips or candy or cakes (Have you ever had the Berry Chantilly cake from Whole Foods? Ridiculously delish). Sometimes I indulge that craving. Sometimes I decide to have fruit (orange, blackberries, grapes, etc) instead.

It’s important to note that none of these things I did required a drastic lifestyle change but instead involved replacing old detrimental food habits with new, practical, and helpful ones…gradually. I am not one for starving myself (I tried being anorexic in high school – I lasted one day. I like food too much abeg!) but I do believe that there are certain compromises I can make with my eating habits that will allow me to enjoy my meals while at the same time provide me with added benefit. I hope that this article provides some helpful tips for you in getting rid of those pesky pounds and mitigates the common, overwhelming feeling associated with losing a little extra weight.

Any tested and tried weight-loss tips you’ve done that have been successful for you?

Any that haven’t worked for you?

I’d definitely love to know and I’m sure others would too.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Mimagephotography

Adaeze Diana is a freelance writer, copy-editor, speaker, and vision coach who helps young Christian women feeling depressed/hopeless discover who they are and why they exist so that they can learn how to enjoy more fulfilling and fruitful lives. She blogs about the spiritual lessons she's learned at www.deserveyourgreatlife.com. You can follow Adaeze on Twitter and Google+.

36 Comments

  1. Realist

    July 26, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Nice tips. Practical and not too depriving. Add a 30 minute workout everyday and you have your weight reduced and controlled in no time

    • Kili

      July 26, 2015 at 7:49 pm

      I swear you spoke my mind: I was going to type “that’s just about it and add 30 minutes of workout 3-4 times a week and. You ll be fine, except u want to be a body builder “

    • Iris

      July 26, 2015 at 10:33 pm

      Please for how long do you have to do this to see results? I’ve been working out for weeks and my diet is pretty decent, but I don’t see no change.

    • Hian

      July 27, 2015 at 2:05 am

      Hi Iris,

      You could be over eating or undereating. If you are not losing and staying at the same weight, then you are eating just enough. For weight loss to happen, there must be a calorie deficit. To lose 1lb you must have a 3500 deficit. Try and cut down portions this week and weight yourself in a week…if weight has not moved then try upping your meals sensibly. Also you might not be burning enough exercise wise. If you can, please look up Fitness Blender on YouTube. Their exercise catalog is amazing. The body is funny. Also try and either take pictures or use measuring tape to see weekly progress. You might see inches dropping off before your very eyes. Don’t give up, keep up and one day you will wake up and feel and look lighter.

    • Adaeze Obiako

      July 27, 2015 at 1:28 pm

      Thanks Realist. If only I can take that 30 minte workout tip to heart 🙂

  2. Demilade

    July 26, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    I found this so helpful. Thank you for sharing !
    coco-bella.blogspot.com

  3. Tosin

    July 26, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    1. You are completely right.
    2. You are right about the tummy 🙂 I looked at Seyi Shay and looked at my tummy and swung into action getting trimmer.
    3. Next step for me is a lifestyle that includes sport or something. No hurries though.

    • Kili

      July 26, 2015 at 7:50 pm

      Sheyi shay has my dream body lol ( joking though). She’s hot for days.

  4. Ademola adeeko

    July 26, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    Thanks

  5. nunulicious

    July 26, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Correct! in addition to all you listed here, I started walking-parking my vehicle a bit farther, using the steps instead of elevator and running my errands rather than send the maid.
    I’m also trying WALK 30 mins three times a week. (too lazy to exercise)

    • Ada Ada

      July 27, 2015 at 10:27 am

      Just walking works like magic. Eat right and just walk, you’ll be amazed at the results.

    • Adaeze Obiako

      July 27, 2015 at 1:31 pm

      Taking the stairs versus elevator is a great tip! I should start that one too. Thanks, Nunu 🙂

  6. Mekka

    July 26, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    Try the mini fast. Eat only dinner 5x a week fruits and nuts through the day. Small portion of dinner before 8pm take a break weekends and watch the weight fall off. You ll loose 1kg a week guaranteed after 2 weeks of starting. Thank me later.

  7. dayo

    July 26, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    Thank’s for this tips.Drink 2litres of water or more a day can also help.

    • Adaeze Obiako

      July 27, 2015 at 1:32 pm

      You’re welcome, Dayo. Drinking more water is a great tip to add 🙂

  8. Heeba

    July 26, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    7. WATER start getting used to drinking water…….the weight will come off fast
    8.Eating 6 TIMES A DAY (small portions oooo) e.g
    i9am morning fruits + green tea
    11am Mid morning oats or scrambeled egg &1 slice toast
    1pm lunch salad turkey
    4pm moi moi + basmati rice
    7pm fish pepper soup
    9pm fruit
    It’s speed up your metabolism
    9. if you like tea/ coffee substitute with green tea……green tea now comes in different flavours

  9. Adams...

    July 26, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    Everyone talks about adding weight which is cool. But for lepas like us, can we have a post on how to actually GAIN weight. I swear down we really need it. (OK I know it’s oop but nevertheless)

    • YB

      July 26, 2015 at 10:50 pm

      LOL….you talk my mind but I will advise, instead of asking to add weight pls stay fit which is the most health. …The grass is not always green on the other side o.

    • Anonymous

      July 27, 2015 at 1:38 am

      Be careful what you wish for… Was in your shoes some 4 years ago& after DH& DS, I have moved from UK size 6 to UK 14 with a large bulge on the tummy… The once svelte me is gone & out came the Orobo version I always wished for but now hate ?

    • yvonne

      July 27, 2015 at 2:12 am

      thank you jare, please we want the “how to gain weight” post too 🙂

    • atinuke

      July 28, 2015 at 3:04 am

      take protein and lift weights

  10. Marie Antoinette

    July 26, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    GM diet is one of the best ways to drop the kilos without tough exercises.

  11. winneR

    July 27, 2015 at 5:07 am

    Dear lepa’s in d house,kindly unfollow d tips listed to gain weight.:-)

  12. Billionaire in grace

    July 27, 2015 at 6:15 am

    I started 2 weeks ago, I cut down all the take aways, now I eat once a day.
    in the morning I will have my oats at 10am, then during lunch time I will have a 1 or 2 yoghurts low fat, then couple them with some fruits, It is really working for me.
    And I am intending to keep it that way.

    Thanks for sharing with us your story

    • Adaeze Obiako

      July 27, 2015 at 1:35 pm

      Good for you! You sound dedicated to your new routine so I’m sure you’ll get your desired results soon. As for sharing my story, anytime 🙂

    • Sade A

      July 27, 2015 at 3:48 pm

      Wait just oats and fruits + the yoghurts??? Lol I’d probably have gone food crazy

  13. prettyeki

    July 27, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    I totally agree with her. When i discovered that i was overweight,i had to analyse my lifestyle and discovered that coke was one thing that was very constant in my life. I drank coke like it was running out of season. i stopped that and began to eat lots of fruits. I blended water mellon spiced with ginger to kill my urge for coke,ate less cabonhydrate and in small portions if at all. I also walked a distance on a daily basis. In 3months,i went from being a size 14 to 12 and now,i am a size 10. Now,i see coke and all other sugary drinks without any urge whatsover to drink them.

  14. yemilade

    July 27, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    Guys always know the 80/20 rule. 80% is food and 20% is excercise. So basically watch what you eat. I am currently calorie counting. It works for me. Lost 10 lbs already

  15. Sade A

    July 27, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Your advice on soda ??… I work out and everything but Mehn me and sugar in fact me and coke sigh* it’s terrible.. Trying to cut down but i phew it’s hard.. Work in progress on that one

  16. Ms. WANNA LOSE WEIGHT

    July 27, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    SPOT ON. I have abandoned many of the things you have mentioned (sodas, bad fats, over sized portions e.t.c ) for about a year now and I am more active than most people I know, yet I have been unsuccessful in my quest to lose weight. A week ago (YES, JUST A WEEK) I decided to ditch any juice drink ( I used to take juice drinks because I believed them to be healthier than soda) and just drink water and herbal teas. My diet (also developed a week ago) consists mostly of whole grains, proteins, and healthy fats. I made the decision because I have came to realise that my weight is not just as a result of my lifestyle (I have never been a lazy person or a foodie) and moderate changes won’t cut it : I needed to go HARDCORE! fast forward to after a week of strict adherence, I cannot believe the changes am observing ( Wallahi I am not exaggerating!) My cellulite is slowly disappearing, my skin is moisturised and glowing, my metabolism is on-point, my energy levels are superb and to sum it all, I am already a happier person even without losing any weight. A coursemate today said to me “kai! these past days you have just become finer! what is it now!?” lol…

  17. 'Diddie

    July 27, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    Another way is to get heartbroken by someone who you virtually planned on spending your life with. # You lose weight fast,trust me

    1
  18. Koffie

    July 27, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    For those of us whose major problem is putting on weight, nna ehn, God dey. People just say to do the opposite of what weight loss experts advice but that would be damning your health with all the advice that go extra on junk foods and soda. Na jedi dey await us if we do that.
    To the author, those things you put in your water to give it flavour, do they contain aspartame? lol, obvious that I need to to my own research. I’m not a big fan of water but I know my body needs it so the idea of flavoured water without side effects sounds great. Plain water is boring

  19. Hippie

    July 27, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    So not helpful….this is okay when you are already slim and just need to drop like 2kg…..mtshweemmm

  20. Belema

    July 27, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    @Hippie , go and sleep! kmt

  21. maryann

    January 25, 2021 at 12:57 pm

    Please i didnt see swallow mentioned here.. does it mean i will abandon sweet soups in nigeria 😢or is there a way ill eat the soup and sstill lose weight. And which foods to avoid pls?

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