It’s the new year again and I’m sure that among the goals almost everyone has is either losing weight or keeping it off.
I myself have gained 3 kilograms during the last two months of 2017. It was partly due to holiday eating, partly because I had to take medication during odd hours which required a full stomach. Today, I’m almost back to my maintenance weight of 57-57.4kgs.
Almost all of us, especially women, are conscious or have struggled with weight. I’ve always been heavier than my peers, but I’ve not cared about weight until I hit 25yo–I’m a late bloomer in many things.
Nonetheless, in the past five years, I’ve only been able to maintain my goal weight for 8 months at most, then yo-yoed +10kgs. I’m hoping to break that record and maintain a healthy weight for the whole of 2018. Here is the wisdom I’ve accumulated thru the years:
1. Never stop trying and looking for the kind of diet/lifestyle that will work for your specific body.
There are many different diets out there found in books and the world wide web: the keto, paleo, slow carb, slow-carb-high-fat, south beach, fasting, etc. The key is to try which one will work for you. I’ve tried keto, and a lot of people have made huge progress on it but I can’t sustain it because I find it difficult to get enough fat in my calorie count. Also being on a keto diet doesn’t improve my blood levels specifically my triglycerides, cholesterol, LDL, HDL.
Here’s an excerpt from my diary last year:
15 April 2017
Perhaps I’m dissatisfied with the fact that I have already reached success with weight management only to let it slip slowly back to 61-62 kilograms. This cannot be. I am a 55-57kg kind of woman. F*** all the shenanigans. I’m frustrated with myself. How could I have let this happen?
I came from a heavy vegetable diet and let myself go back to “normal” eating habits without having the motivation, energy nor desire to go back to eating mainly vegetables. Surely there must be a lifestyle where I can eat chicken, pork, beef and fish, and maintain my weight, right?!
It was after a few more months, July, that I was able to hack a meal plan/diet/schedule that would work for me and only then did I start losing weight. Key learning: keep looking for the right fit in diet and lifestyle
2. Do what you know.
Sometimes the struggle is simply doing what you know. We know that processed food is not good for us and that sugars cause weight gain and insulin tolerance, yet we pick up the cookie instead of the apple. We know that not getting enough sleep is a cause of weight gain but we still drink coffee in the afternoon and chose to stay up late to watch TV. Do what you know.
3. Be resourceful, aim for sustainable.
Like I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been on a Keto diet, I’ve been on a high vegetable diet. And both of them worked for me, especially the latter. But unfortunately, they are not sustainable in terms of resources and meal preparation. They take too much time, too much thought, there is difficulty in finding the resources that these diets became a chore, a burden to follow. So that wasn’t going to fly in the long run.
What I’m doing now:
I’m down to 57.7 kgs today and aiming to normalize to 57 in the next month. Here’s what works for me:
- Intermittent fasting. Being strict about having my last meal at 5pm. And making sure that last meal is not high in carbs, high in fat, moderate protein. I’ll eat a light to heavy breakfast the following day, usually a HEAVY lunch, then a light to heavy snack. Calories I eat during this period is still around 1500 or more. Intermittent fasting for 5/7 days in the week works, but sticking to it for 7 days will produce massive results with fewer fluctuations caused by overeating for a day.
- I’m off coffee (and sugary liquids)! I drink a minimum of 2 liters of water a day, I don’t drink soda or juice and have stopped taking coffee because I can only take that with sugar. Instead, I drink black tea. My mantra is I’d rather eat my calories than drink them.
- I am working on: not eating Double Stuff Oreos and Lindnt Lindor Truffles (I eat these on a daily basis), and potato chips; while focus on eating more simple home-cooked meals and avoiding fast food. I do love my KFC Original Recipe.
- I am working on: fixing the composition of my calories, adding more vegetables, consuming less carbohydrates, and a balance of fat and protein.
- Blood works: The best result of my blood work comes from eating plenty of vegetables. However, I still want to eat my chicken & pork with it. So I’m negotiating/experimenting how much or little I need.
- Lupus under control. Whatever I’m doing now, I’m able to maintain a low dose of 5mg prednisone a day, paired with an immunodepressant. I still need to work on eating more vegetables to pass my lupus blood tests.
How about you? What’s your eating habits and weight maintenance like?