As the old saying goes, “Slow and steady wins the race.” I highly agree with this, especially when it comes to weight loss. Unless you’re a bodybuilder, fitness model or trying to trim down for a shoot, as a regular everyday person, it is hard to sustain a lifestyle full of restrictions. Most people that lose weight quick and gain it back just as quick. Sometimes they gain more than what they started with.
I spent three years overseas and gained 18kg/39.6lbs in that time. Mainly due to a lot of partying, eating and just enjoying the good things in life while travelling. Another three years later since my return, I am happy to say that I have lost it all, slowly but surely.
I have also managed to travel, party, eat the foods I love and still make progress. It is such a great feeling to be able to find that balance between all of the things I love and still reach my fitness goals. I wanted to share my three top tips on how I was able to achieve this without any crazy diets, restrictions or having to give up anything I enjoyed.
Such a simple thing but most often forgotten. We don’t need to turn into a gym junkie or eat clean every single meal. Great for those that have that type of discipline, but if you’re anything like me, it just isn’t sustainable.
Start with creating one habit that will help you to reach your goals and keep it realistic and consistent. For me, it was hard to go back to the gym when I hadn’t been in years. I started with small baby steps and eventually built it up over time. I went for a walk once a week, which turned to twice a week. Then I started to run once a week. (When I say run, I really went for a jog).
I started to get bored with that so I decided to try yoga once a week as it wasn’t strenuous and was actually good for my busy mind. This eventually led me to joining a boot camp, fitness groups and then hitting the gym every now and again alone. Now I go to the gym six times a week without anyone training me as I am literally addicted. If you keep consistent, the tiniest bit of effort makes a massive difference, it all adds up over time.
I made a YouTube vlog about this, as it is a rule I absolutely live by in all aspects of my life. Some people do 90/10 but to be honest, I’m not that disciplined and I love food and socialising way too much. I love pizza, pasta, white rice (I am Asian after all) and I love having a nice sugary treat. Donut time is my weakness.
The 80/20 rule means to eat well 80% of the time and the other 20% is to eat whatever you want, not to the point of binge eating where your stomach wants to burst and you feel sick you could throw up, but in moderation. In saying this, I have been known to eat a whole pizza to myself every now and again, but I am also training quite hard so I don’t feel bad about it.
I still ate the food I enjoyed but made small tweaks. Instead of normal pasta, I would use high fibre pasta made of vegetables or even the wholemeal alternative. Instead of white bread, I would use wholemeal or rye and instead of white rice, I switched to brown. I still eat white rice though; it’s in my Filipino blood!
Sometimes it can feel like a drag having to work out, especially when you are starting to get back into things. Keep yourself busy so you aren’t on the couch eating snacks all day in front of the TV. Get outdoors, go have coffee with friends, take a walk and listen to music.
For me, I love the outdoors so I am forever chasing waterfalls, hitting the beach, hiking and taking in the beauty of nature. I find that when I am lost in the moment, the last thing on my mind is to stuff my face with food.
Find new hobbies. If you’re meeting up with friends, suggest a nice stroll somewhere scenic, go check out some nature hot spots in your area and just get busy living. You may even find that you enjoy it and it keeps you away from eating out of boredom.
Weight loss is a journey and it doesn’t happen overnight. It would be great if it did but unfortunately it doesn’t work like that. Any progress is till progress and more often than not, other people will notice the difference before we do.
Aim for a lifestyle that is sustainable and you know you can enjoy. It’s not about the destination, it’s about progress and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Every thing starts from the first step, no matter how big or small. Take a moment and think about what you can do that will enable you to reach your goal and just do it. As simple as it sounds, I swear it’s true.