After posting my 'before' and 'after' photo on my personal Facebook account, quite a number of my friends asked me for tips on weight loss. I am not a nutritionist nor a fitness expert and my knowledge is limited to my experience with my own body. I am truly humbled by the trust they have put in me so I have decided to share 7 tips to lose weight in 6 weeks.
Do keep in mind that as everyone is different, there will probably be variations to how these methods may work for you compared to me. You may lose more or you may lose less. However, it is my hope that by sharing this I will be able to help someone out there in some way to find their own unique health-enhancing practices.
The obligatory before and after photo. Lol.
I took the first step towards changing my diet on June 24, 2016 - a day after my 30th birthday. It wasn't until July 12, 2016 that I did even more intense changes to my diet due to health reasons. I covered this in a previous post, so if you haven't read it yet I strongly recommend doing so before continuing reading this. It will give you a better understanding on why I eat like I do, the way I do.
1. Eat Smaller Portions
I don't believe in 'cheat days' so I eat all the foods that I can and reduce the amount. Nothing drastic mind you, just about 30% less than what I would usually have. If I used to take 2 scoops of rice, I now take 1.5 scoops of rice. It's a less drastic change and way less stressful on my emotions. Hehehe...
2. Stop Before Feeling Full
Another new practice I have adopted is to stop eating when I am just starting to feel full and keep what's left of my meal for later. I threw out the mentality of "Might as well finish it since there's only a little bit left" and it has helped me not to feel overly full or sluggish later on..
3. Load Up On Vegetables
I confess, I don't really like vegetables. In the past would only eat it if it's cooked and served in front of me. When I initially started adding veggies to every one of my meals, it was a PAIN. How I coped was by mixing my favorite (mushrooms) in with other veggies. If you look at my Instagram feed, you will probably see mushrooms peeking out among the pile of other veggies in most of my meals. Hehe..
Load up on them veggies yo'.
4. Feed Your Visual Senses
This means not only cooking something delicious that appealed to my sense of smell and taste, but also presenting the food in such a pretty way that makes it appetizing to look at. I know, I know, it sounds new age-ish and a bit coo coo but I swear it makes a difference.
The easiest example I can give is when you have a cold and you can't smell the food you're consuming, it would taste bland right? Being able to smell your food makes it tastes better. The same concept applies. Having a visually stimulating food presentation enhances your dining experience and will leave you feeling satisfied and less likely to go off looking for something else to eat just because.
I love the pretty colors on this plate.
You don't have have to be a food stylist to do this. It can be as simple as putting food on a pretty plate instead of an ugly, orange plastic one (or even worse, in a plastic container) or using a pair of kitchen thongs/serving spoon to place your food neatly in a plate instead of just pouring it from the pan, making it splatter all over the plate like dog food.
Another way is to include different colored vegetables in your dish. E.g. fried rice with yellow bell peppers, broccoli and tomatoes. Or perhaps noodles in soup with spinach, mushroom and carrots. This takes minimal effort but I promise you, it's so worth it. Having a rainbow on your plate also meant that you are getting all the different vitamins that are good for you in every single meal.
5. Prepare Your Own Food
Preparing my own meals gives me more control over what goes into my body. I can put in more of the things that I love and be creative in the combination of ingredients in my meals. I love watching cooking shows on AFC (Asian Food Channel) and the Food Network Channel to get new ideas. I also get a lot of my inspiration from Pinterest which is one of my favorite social website of all time.
I love making these Oatmeal Banana Pancakes on my days off. Yummy!
Cooking and making every single one of my meals was overwhelming at first but I persevered and after a while I have gotten into a rhythm that works for me. I have always enjoyed cooking even though I didn't do it often. Now prepping ingredients and even cleaning up cooking has become kind of like a therapy for me. No joke.
6. Eliminate Or Reduce Highly Processed Foods
This is also a big one for me. I really liked instant noodles and would eat it almost every single day. I also drink a lot of instant beverages (3-in-1's). I have cut those out completely and reduced my intake of convenience foods such as tinned goods.
This also extends to my seasonings. I substituted coconut oil (for frying), extra virgin olive oil, rock salt, garlic, ginger and a selection of dried herbs to season my food instead of vegetable oil (for frying), iodized salt and powdered flavorings. This enables me to enjoy the natural taste of the foods I cook instead of it being masked by artificial flavors. It felt weird in the beginning but now I am enjoying my meals so much more because of it.
7. Have Healthy Snacks Handy
There are days when I didn't manage to cook but don't want to spend the money to eat out during lunch hour. What I would do is keep a packet of dates and dried figs handy in my handbag so when I feel hungry I would have something to tide me over until my next home-cooked meal. I also have soy milk and digestive biscuits in my office in case dates are not enough to sustain me.
This has truly saved me from making rash and random decisions because let's face it, when we are hungry we tend to crave for something salty and sweet from the junk food section instead of something healthy right?
3 dates, 2 digestive biscuits and a small cup of soy milk is my snack of choice.
So there you have it, my 7 tips to lose weight in 6 weeks. Another week has gone by and I have actually lost another 1kg, Alhamdulillah. I hope that this post will be helpful for all of you in some way and form. I also hope that all of you will find a set of practices that will help you achieve your health and weight goals. In shaa Allah, Amin.
What is your biggest challenge in terms of weigh loss? Do share in the comments section below. I love hearing from you guys. :)