Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist and I do not give medical recommendations, I am just sharing my experience and what worked for me to lose weight.
In this post, I will explain how I lost 10kg permanently without following a strict diet
My struggle with unwanted kgs goes back to my early 20’s when I left my parent’s home to live by myself. I never had a talent for cooking so I mostly ate outside.
I lived in Paris and I loved food so I allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted it.
I enjoyed having nice pastries for breakfast, orange juices and hot chocolates, 3 courses meals for lunch with my favorite desert “le fondant au chocolat”… and pizzas for dinner.
These eating habits did not affect my weight at first, when I was still in my early 20’s ( my metabolism was still working hard to help me grow) …but as I was going towards my mid 20’s I started noticing changes in my body, I would not fit in my favorite jeans ( I never had that issue before), and my already a bit chubby cheeks started looking a bit chubbier…slowly I started gaining substantial weight over these years and went from size 8 to size 12.
I was not really happy with my weight so I had to try dieting to see if I can go back to my “normal” self. I tried every diet under the sun…starving myself, eating just apples for a week…or eating just once a day…when I look back at those days I realized how stupid this was.
Obviously, I experienced what is known as the yo-yo phenomena…rapid loss of weight (fat and muscles) during the diet phase followed by a rapid gain of weight (mostly fat)….so essentially no results…
I exercised as well while maintaining the same unhealthy diets, without any noticeable results.
Most people do not lose weight because they are not willing to do what it really takes
because I never really had to diet for the first 20 years of my life, I really did not know what I was doing ( does it sound familiar?) and arrogantly, I did not take the issue seriously. I thought short term diets would get me back to where I started…looking slim without much effort…This could not be further from the truth.
As you would expect, none of this worked and I wasted a lot of time and energy because I was not admitting to myself that my body was aging and that I needed much more than just a quick fix.
Reality is I was not ready to do what it really takes for me to lose weight…which is a real, big and permanent change of my eating habits.
This is the number one reason people are not able to lose weight or to achieve anything they want really….they are not willing to change their habits.
But why are we not willing to do what it takes?
It’s all to do with our mindset, when we do not have control over it, it’s very easy to give up when we encounter the first obstacle or when we do not see quick results.
Here is the truth about losing weight:
To lose weight, you must:
- Have a true desire for it, and that your desire is stronger than the discomfort that comes with the effort you will put in ( because you will have moments when you will feel very low and you will need that desire to keep you going).
- Have control over your mind, everything takes place in the mind first.
- Change your habits, you do not look for a quick fix or miracle diets, nothing in life comes quickly or easily
- Be disciplined and committed.
This truth did not come to me that easily, I had to have a wake-up call to realize it.
The wake-up call
So I moved countries and things got really worse for me.
Fresh and good food was more expensive there, and not that easy to find and accessible…so I fed myself almost exclusively junk food, no fruits, no veggies and I became size 14 in less than 3 months.
It is only when I had serious back pain because of the belly weight that I decided to take real charge of my weight problem.
So I started researching anything I could learn about diet, weight loss, and fitness.
The first thing I realized was that following a diet only works for short-term results…so I was doing it wrong all this time.
The second thing I realized was that my habits were actually very bad ( even some which I thought were healthy), because I did not know that orange juice from the grocery story was full of refined sugar, I did not even know that refined sugar was bad for that matter…
And finally, I figured out the things I needed to do.
I gradually implemented a few changes in my eating habits and lifestyle.
I did it gradually but religiously, I took it very seriously because I was determined to see results and was willing to do what it takes.
I did not have any guarantees of success, but I had enough desire and patience to wait and see it.
Here are some examples of my bad habits:
- I consumed a lot of processed food and refined sugar food contains in obvious food like cakes, chocolate, sweets but also hidden in things like orange juice, sauces. (If you want to learn about which food is “good” and which one is “bad” for your diet, grab the fat burning kitchen, you will learn all the things that I talk about in this blog post and many more, you will be able to change your eating habits for a permanent weight loss).
- I barely drank any water, I was drinking juice, coke, and coffee instead.
- Protein was not in every meal, but carbohydrates were and in big quantities.
Refined sugar is the enemy
I think the number one reason for my weight problem was refined sugar food. I consumed lots of it and sometimes without knowing it as it was hidden in all sorts of meals, soups, and drinks.
As a consequence, my body was producing too much insulin and storing too much fat.
I started losing weight by simply cutting off anything which was high in refined sugar alone.
This was the first rule I implemented in my life.
Below are all the rules I followed in order to lose 10kg permanently….Rules that I still follow til this day to maintain my ideal weight.
I eat whatever I want as long as it does not conflict with the rules, and I allow myself a cheat day once in a while…I am 1m69 and currently a stable 56kg for the last 4 years.
#1. Cut off all food high in refined sugar
I went completely sugar free for 6 months … ( again if you want to learn about food and how much hidden sugar is in it, the fat burning kitchen is a good place to start)…No sugar in my coffee, or tea, no orange juice from the store, no cakes, no pastries, no biscuits, no chocolate, no pre-cooked meals, and no sauces.
The fruits and other food were my only source of natural sugar ( There is a huge difference between natural and refined sugar).
Then I gradually introduced back low sugar biscuits, dark chocolate, and pastries sometimes.
#2. Drink more water
It may seem obvious that we need to drink water, but when I paid attention to how much water I was drinking, I realized I was way below the recommended daily intake (around 2.7 liters for a woman).
Here is how I make sure I drink enough water every day, I drink ½ liters first thing in the morning and ½ liter in the evening time, and then I remind myself to drink water or tea during the day which makes up for the other 1.7 liters.
I was never really a big fan of going to the gym…and I still am not, but I knew that in order to see results, I needed to integrate exercising to my lifestyle.
First, I had to choose something which does not get me bored and give up quickly ( Does it sound familiar? if so you are not alone, I find it just too difficult to run for 1h or more, when some people just seem to do it effortlessly…Not me I am afraid)…
I tried a couple of things, swimming, spinning, running, Zumba, yoga, fitness, and some other stuff of which I don’t even remember the name and I came to the realization that I should keep it simple and stick to one to three of these and alternate between them depending on my mood, so I chose running, spinning and swimming.
First I was already exhausted after running or spinning for 10 min or swimming for 20 min, but now I do run or spin for about 30 min ( not more because I just can’t) and I can swim up to one hour.
Taking pre-workouts was definitely helpful to keep me energized and improve my performance. You can check-out my personal favorite passion fruit from Idealfit.
They are just amazing. They are specifically made for women and are one of the few pre-workouts on the market to be completely caffeine-free.
If you feel you are tired after only a few minutes, it is also because your muscles are too weak to take on the pressure of extended periods of exercise ( and 10 min was already too long for me), so I learned that I needed to build my muscular mass in order for me to improve my performance…two things for that, eat a lot of natural proteins ( refer to point 4 below) and have a protein shake in the morning because while you are changing your eating habits and losing weight if you do not protect your muscles, you will most likely start to lose them first, before getting to the fat…and you do not want that. You can find various protein shakes in the market with different flavors for all tastes. I personally recommend the Mint chocolate from Idealfit because it really tastes good, is low in calories, and has Calcium and Vitamin D.
#4. Eat less processed food and more whole food
Another bad habit I had was that I loved processed food….cookies, desserts, pizzas, sauces, frozen chips, pasta sauces, instant dry soups or canned soups…
I almost don’t eat any of this anymore.
Instead, I eat raw and cooked vegetables (I might allow myself a bit of mayonnaise but in very small quantities), and I eat a lot of fruits (at least 3 a day, 5 on average, and with their skin).
I still eat pasta but I make my own sauce.
#5. Eat protein in every meal
I did follow this rule strictly during the first 6 months but today, I could not follow it for breakfast so I replaced it with a protein shake Mint chocolate….but I do eat protein for lunch and dinner, no matter what…
As I said earlier, besides all the health benefits, eating protein will help you reduce your hunger and boost your metabolism to burn more fat, especially if you are working out.
You naturally start eating less of the crap when you get used to quality proteins.
#6. Eat a lot of healthy fat, cheese, avocado, olive oil
Like a lot of people, I thought I was fat because I ate fat.
So when I was following diets, the first things I would cut off were all the high-fat foods…what a huge mistake!!!
Healthy fat is essential for our body to function well, and they are not really the reason you have so much fat in your body, the number one reason is refined sugar.
Today I eat healthy fat foods like nuts, olive oil, seafood, eggs, and avocado.
It is delicious and does not make me gain weight and help me feel full for longer.
#7. Allow yourself a snack
My snacks used to be milk chocolate (full of refined sugar), low-fat yogurts (also full of hidden sugar), biscuits, cookies…Etc.
Now my snack is either apples or other fruits, or natural yogurt with nuts.
#8. Got cravings control supplements
I did support my new lifestyle with weight loss supplements which were not claiming to burn my unwanted weight but more realistically claiming to reduce cravings which I believe were the root of my weight problem.
The unhealthy lifestyle which I had before implementing those changes caused me to be hungry every other hour ( sugar does that to your body) and got me into the vicious circle of the more I ate the more I needed to eat.
Cravings control supplements along with the other rules helped me reduce the frequency of cravings crisis and feel full for much longer than I used to, which ultimately helped me eat less because my stomach size also adapted to the new food intake ( It’s amazing how the body works and adapts to everything you do).
How can you successfully implement those rules to become habits that are part of your life?
One rule at a time
- Don’t try to follow all of them at the same time.
- I only start implementing the second rule after I was fully comfortable with the first one.
Have an action plan
- Know exactly what you are going to replace the banned food with
- Where you are going to shop it
- What strategy to have when you feel an urge for the banned food ( I found tea, and healthy snacks to be very helpful)
I did not check my balance at all for the first 6 months.
In fact, I did not have a balance, I was focused on the process,
I just made the commitment to lose weight and look more attractive again, without putting any timeline to it ( and I think it helped me a lot to carry on the process without feeling any real pressure until I got the results I wanted, I did not know when I would hit my target, I just knew I would not stop until I do).
I was less worried as a result and I focused entirely on the process and would check my progress by looking at the mirror.
Forgive yourself for cheating sometimes
I am no superhuman and I have my weaknesses and so are you.
Forgiving myself for cheating allowed me to keep going despite being weak sometimes and going back to square one
until I was less and less attempted to cheat and I achieved my goal.
…And one last thing, just remember, the more natural your diet is, the easier it will be for you because we humans were not meant to live in an industrialized world, we were meant to pick up the apple from the tree and eat it.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post.
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