My weight loss support group BLS 2020 just had our first weigh in a few days ago. This is after a month into the programme. It’s basically us girls who are trying to lose weight with a coach minding our progress. The coach is none other, also our friend of the same study batch. HA ha ha.
We are free to choose whatever fitness programme we like. Be it keto, paleo, GM diet, Intermittent Fasting and what not as long as it supports the idea of a CALORIE DEFICIT.. We can do whatever physical activity to our liking. The ultimate goal for the support group is to motivate each other, exchange recipes (if any) and hope to lose at least 10kg within this 6 months. Just in time before our reunion in April 2020.
For the past one month, I find that I am more obsessed to understand my eating habits and food of choice. I did not do much on physical activity yet. I incorporated a bit of the Smartlife programme I did back in hospital as a facilitator. Part of the strategies from Smartlife include;
- Calculate your calorie requirement per day in line with your lifestyle. I lead a sedentary lifestyle now that I am working in a clinic setting and my requirements came up to only 1285kcal/day. Knowing that, I should aim for a deficit.
- Having a food diary. Everything is online now. Find an app and just record your meal intake/calories. I use the inbuilt Samsung Health app. There’s not much Malaysian food in it so most of the time I just record it manually.
- Set a small, achievable, measurable health target every week. Two, if you’re ambitious. It can be an eating habit, a lifestyle change, a spiritual boost et al. If I could go beyond, I feel great.
- Physical activity log. I still have a lot to improve on this area.
In the process of learning about food intake and calories, I discovered that;
- Healthy eating need not be expensive. Yes, you see people take shakes, almond milk, organic this and that, avocado, berries, greek yoghurt and chia seeds. If you’re on a budget, then my advice is go for real food. Meaning tak salah nak hirup sup bayam as snack. Nak telan tofu ngan sos tiram bawang putih masa lunch. Nak minum kopi O satu sudu teh gula as breakfast. Nak minum smoothie jambu batu dan epal. Cause we know in Malaysia, things like avocado and berries are kinda premium purchases, apatah lagi almond milk. So choose food according to your own budget. Make it local. Yet healthy. I think there are more and more trainers/coaches in Malaysia that are trying to make meal plans more local, more Malaysian. If budget is not an issue, then go for it. I personally loved Velvet’s Almond Milk with that nectar thing in my morning coffee.
- Hydration is really important and is a miracle. Apart from water being good for your skin, it suppresses hunger and make you eat less. Sometimes I add a drop of doterra Grapefruit EO or Lemon inside my drinking water for a tinge of flavour.
- I need to slow down and be more mindful of what I eat. I have always been fast ever since I was a houseman. Including my husband. Back during the times when we were dating, we’d be walking in the mall like we were tracing blood investigation results. Laju semacam. Makan pun laju. So having to consciously remind myself to sit at the table and have my meals S.l.o.w.l.y kills me a bit, knowing that it is important for proper digestion to occur. I even find 7 mins to make my perfect half boiled egg very agonizing.
- When you are just starting, try not to have cheat days first. Cause it’ll kill the momentum. It is undeniably difficult during long weekend holidays. But, TRY.
- Food prep helps. A LOT. When you plan ahead of what you want to eat, it keeps the motivation high to see the numbers on the scale change. You are less likely to give in to the temptation of tapau-ing food or grab fast food. Come to think of it, I haven’t had McDonalds for quite a while now. But I still have KFC from time to time. The breast part without the skin in my sandwich.
- I should eat less bananas and less snacking on almonds if I want to use my calorie bank for other food items. 13 almonds is 100kcal. I can have like 2 kiwi fruits to substitute for that. In other words, I learnt to switch and prioritise my meals.
- Once I am firm and consistent with my regime, my family especially my husband tends to follow suit. Lately, he has been getting less portion of food from pasar malam and is more thoughtful of the types of food he wants to buy for dinner. Of course he still buys Tam Tam and Super Rings but not as much as he did before.
- I can still eat out but I must be smart with my food selection.
To warm up my engine, I just made sure I was eating on a calorie deficit and that my meals were before 730PM. It’s because I tend to reach home just before 6pm and would need to do prayers first before I prep dinner. I wasn’t confident nor ready to commit to a GM diet or a keto yet. Once I get the hang of eating on a calorie deficit on top of HYDRATION with light exercise ( a bit of dumbbells and planks) – I feel I am ready for more.
So I tried Intermittent Fasting. I downloaded an app called Zero to help me get started. I managed it for 3 days in a row until I got my period which kind of tipped things a bit differently. In a way, I need to modify how and when I eat so I wouldn’t get symptomatic anemia while I bleed for the next few days. I figured eating regular meals on a deficit would be better for now. Until I find new ways of how to diet safely while menstruating. Ha ha ha.