Let me start by saying I’ve never been skinny in my life. Add the fact that I’m a food lover and you’ll get a picture of the state of things.
Having said that I’ve never been obese either. I’m sharing these details because if your situation is different from mine and you decide to do these things you might end up with different results.
The routine I adopted was largely shaped by my personality. I’m a social introvert. I love and prefer my own company, but I can do extremely well in social situations and it’ll be difficult for you to detect that I’d rather be in bed than spend time talking to you.
Yes! I starved myself. Let me explain. Most people eat 2 – 4 slices of bread at breakfast. I can eat on average 6 – 8. That’s 600 – 900 calories minus “accessories”. I had to cut that down drastically and I starved! The feeling of starvation didn’t last too long. After about a month my body adjusted. If like me, you’re already used to over eating you have no choice in this matter. And to those that say bulk with veggies, abegi! You can’t get the same satisfaction from cucumber that you get from fried Chicken. #justsaying. Ps. I did bulk with veggies it just wasn’t the same.
You need to workout
At first, I didn’t work out because I was not in the mood. I lost 200g the first week and 700g the next. That wasn’t cutting it for me. I had to dust my running shoes and hit the streets to speed things up.
This is where my personality comes in. I tried to workout in a group, but it didn’t work out (see what I did there!) I discovered that I did better alone because I could wake up in the morning, get dressed and be on the road in 5 minutes. No phone calls, no logistics and no need to explain to people when I was not in the mood. Shout out to all the joggers I met on the road with face beat, smelling of perfume, they definitely needed more than 5 minutes!
Power walking > Intermittent Jogging
I discovered that when I was low on motivation to jog it was because I was dreading the stress. I used the Nike app to track my workout and one day when I power walked, I burned more calories than when I jogged intermittently. This was because after jogging for 1 mile, I’d walk for another mile slowly to recover which averaged out to a slower pace. I did an average of 10 miles a week in the beginning and increased to about 15 miles a week. I have built strength and endurance over the weeks and can jog for much longer now. Besides, I like to jog past people on the road to feel superior (I’m not perfect).
If you’re a foodie, please cheat on your diet
I went cold turkey the first two weeks and I ended up eating a whole Pizza, Chicken wings, Chocolate cake, Semo and Banga etc, etc in one weekend! All the deprivation made me crave junk even more. Now I cheat steady, but with sense. If I eat a bit more than I should I make sure I don’t miss the next morning’s workout. Most importantly, I try to have more good days than bad #balance.
My progress was slow because I often didn’t meal prep and I ended up eating things I’d have preferred not to. If electricity permits, make healthy meals that’ll last you a few days to a week and freeze. It could be the difference between having junk and a healthy meal when you’re hungry.
Eat lots of Oatmeal
This might be just me, but I found that having Oatmeal (made from 70-100g of dry Oats) kept me full for longer. I tried to replicate this with Granola and other fiber rich foods but couldn’t. If any one understands the reason, please explain in the comments.
Weigh your food
I really didn’t weigh my food much to be honest because I work with food and can guess food weights relatively well. However, if you ask most people to measure a 100g of Rice for example they’ll often end up with double. It’s important to weigh your food so that you don’t over eat. Once you get a hang of what quantities are like, you can start estimating. Invest in a kitchen scale; it’s so worth it. And on that note, cups are NOT a good substitute. My measurement of one cup can be up to 50% more than yours.
Drink lots of water
I often started my day with cucumber and lemon water. The cucumber and lemon were there purely for flavour. I was able to drink more water during the day when I added them than when I didn’t. It goes without saying that drinking lots keeps your stomach full. (Side effect: you pee a lot!)
Not everyone will lose 10kg in 1 week. Even if you’re not losing weight initially, the fact that you’re not gaining weight is a sign that what you’re doing is working. Just push further and don’t get discouraged. The results will come.
BONUS – Count it all Joy
During this period, I was under a lot of pressure at work. There was an event we were catering to, that required us to supply Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. We were at work very early to get the Breakfast sorted, went to the client’s site to serve and rushed back to sort out lunch. The same thing during dinner. Some of the days I had to leave my colleagues to get groceries coupled with having to climb the staircase, because there was no lift.
Ordinarily, I’d be frustrated but all I could think of was the calories I was burning!
At another time, the fan of my car AC started “touching” which meant it stopped when I got into heavy traffic and I had to turn it off to stop the car from overheating. I was too busy to drop the car with the mechanic, so whenever I got into traffic I’d sweat like a pig.
In the past I’d be lifting my eyes to the hill from whence cometh my help but this time I was thinking of all the calories I was burning, and my heart was filled with gratitude!
In total it took me about 9 weeks to lose 5kg. I’m happy with my weight now but I’m trying to lose 5kg more. I took a Christmas break which has been extended to Valentine! Fingers crossed I can get it done in a shorter time. My starting weight was 77kg at last weigh in I was 72.4kg.
I still have my “food expert’s waistline”. Father Lord please send angels to snatch my waist. I have tried! 😩
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