I had always been a chubby girl and then, one day, I simply had enough of all the snide remarks and comments and decided to shed the kilos. There was a time when I thought I couldn’t do it, that I’d always be on the heavier side, and then there came time when I fit into the dress that was once 10 sizes too small for me. It took some hard work and determination, and not liposuction like the doctor suggested, but I’m now a weight I’m comfortable with.
I’ve come a long way and many things have changed but there are a few things that have stayed with me. Now that I’m lot fitter and thinner than ever before, it’s not like there aren’t lazy days when I falter in my routine and fitness plans. However, there are a few things that I follow rigorously to ensure I don’t put on weight. These things make me feel good about myself even when I skip my diet and exercise plan besides ensuring that I won’t fall off the bandwagon and gain the kilos I’ve lost.
Here are my three mantras that I guarantee work really well if you are on a weight loss journey. I have dropped down to my current weight of 50 kilos from 74 kilos and maintained that ideal weight by following these crucial steps.
Chug water whenever you can
I know everybody always tells everybody else this. But this is an important aspect of weight loss. Drink too little water and you may be at risk for headaches, muscle cramps, dizziness, constipation and other nasty health issues. However, if you drink the right amount of water the benefits are aplenty. From a clearer mind (and skin) to more energy, there is a lot water can do. It can also help your body metabolize fat besides getting rid of your hunger pangs. Sometimes we tend to confuse thirst with hunger. If you feel hungry an hour or two after eating, try drinking a glass of water and see if you still feel hungry.
As a rule of the thumb, I start with two large glasses of water a day and move on from there. It will be difficult initially but in a while, you’ll get used to it. Drink a glass of water every two to three hours. Carry a bottle of water with you so that you can keep sipping at it when you’re on the run. If plain water is too boring for you, then add a dash of lemon, or some slices of cucumber. In the winter months, however, warm water with a teaspoon of honey works best. It is so soothing and comforting, that you’ll need no reminders to keep reaching for a glass every now and then.
Eat when you are hungry and eat in moderation
Eat moderate portions throughout the day rather than having two or three big meals. According to research, eating five to six times per day is ideal for your metabolism and will help to optimize your energy level throughout the day. It’s best to have three reasonably sized meals with two to three small snacks in between. Also, eating every two to three hours will prevent excessive hunger that can lead to overeating in some people. Also, you need to slow down and enjoy your meals. If you speed through a meal you’re likely to overeat and you’ll have eaten a lot more by the time you realize you are full.
Before you take a second helping, wait a while. It takes your body about 20 minutes to register that it’s full. If you rush into seconds too soon you’re likely to overeat. Another thing that I find works for me is to sit down in the kitchen and eat. I don’t watch TV or read when I’m eating. When distracted we mindlessly consume more than we would like. The key to eating in moderation is being aware about what you eat. One of the best ways of doing this is to eat before you feel hungry. Nibble on some walnuts and almonds, have a slice of cheese, or an apple throughout the day and you are less likely to feel the hunger pangs and stuff yourself during lunch or dinner.
Walk, walk, and then walk some more
I love to walk and Kathmandu gives you plenty of opportunities to walk. The alleys and streets of Kathmandu are fascinating and since the whole city is quite small, you can easily walk everywhere you need to go. I find walking makes me less anxious, and I love discovering new things about the city I live in. You’re not taking in your surroundings when you are on a bus or riding your scooter, but when you’re walking you’ll see things with a different eye. This is just one of the many benefits of walking.
Depending on how often you walk, you can easily manage to lose one kilo per week. More than that is an unhealthy way to lose weight. Think about it, in just about five months you can be 15-20 kilos lighter without going on a diet or heading to the gym. You can walk just about everywhere. You just have to leave a little early, that’s it. However, balance is important. Overdoing it can increase your risk of soreness, injury, and burnout. If you’re new to this, start slow and gradually build from there on. You can start with 30 minutes of brisk walk every day and then take it from there. Exercise is important not only to lose weight but to keep the weight off as well, and there’s no physical activity better than walking for that.