It’s been six months since I gave birth to lil’ Mr. GJG and I’m back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I can now fit into my old clothes comfortably without much bulge hanging everywhere, but I do need some serious toning. It’s not enough that I’m back to being “thin” as I’m more concerned on establishing my core’s strength so I can be healthier.
Yours truly 5 months after giving birth.
I’ve been asked more than a few times by friends on how to lose weight. So I posted my tips on my old blog on how to lose weight a few months after I gave birth to Gabbie. Now I’m sharing again some basic tips on how to effectively lose weight or at least maintain your weight. It’s no rocket science. I believe the formula is easy.
Based on my observations, here’s my understanding on how things work, weight wise.
WHAT YOU EAT + HOW MUCH YOU MOVE = DETERMINES YOUR WEIGHT
MORE FOOD +LESS MOVEMENT= WEIGHT GAIN
LESS FOOD + MORE MOVEMENT= WEIGHT LOSS
MORE FOOD + MORE MOVEMENT = RELATIVELY NO WEIGHT GAIN
LESS FOOD + LESS MOVEMENT = RELATIVELY NO WEIGHT GAIN
Make sense right?
*Disclaimer: I’m just sharing tips based on my own experience, best to consult an expert for a more detailed information*
The common misconception of diet is to not eat at all. I personally find this ridiculous. I love eating and eating right helps you lose weight. In short, bawal gutumin ang sarili (don’t starve yourself) okay? You need to slowly and gradually work your way into changing your eating habits. Diet and losing weight take time so there’s no need to hurry and don’t fret if you don’t see the results right away.
Choose one indulgence per meal. I admit I was and somehow still am an unhealthy eater. It was only when lil’ Ms. GJG was born that I managed to change my eating habits. I love sweets and I have a soft spot for junk food while fruits and vegetables never seemed appealing to me. If you’re used to eating three full and heavy meals in a day and you tend to have extra rice, softrdrinks and dessert, I say slowly eliminate and choose one indulgence per meal per day. Do this for a month so you can form it as a habit. If you’re really craving for something (usually when its the time of the month) use it as an excuse for a cheat day. Cheat day ha not cheat daysss. Here’s a chart I made to help you get an idea of what I do.
See how I gradually eliminate one indulgence as weeks pass by? Two cups rice to one cup. Bacon but I opted for cereal instead of pancake. Ice cream over iced tea. Cake over softdrinks. Rice to vegetables.
Small meals can aid in helping you achieve a flatter tummy.
Eat small meals a day. The stomach daw is trained to expand based on how much food we put in it. So it expands if we eat a lot in one sitting and after a few hours you feel the need to eat again thus, the feeling of being bloated. But if you eat six to eight small meals a day, your stomach will adjust based on your food intake and if it gets used to expecting a certain amount of food to digest, you won’t have hunger pangs because it knows that in an hour or two you get to eat again. It may sound crazy but that’s at least how I interpret it sana lang ma-gets nyo (I hope you get what I’m saying).
4. WARM WATER
I’m liking drinking warm water or hot tea every meal.
You know how it is in other Asian countries (Japan & China for instance) where people particularly drink hot tea after a heavy meal? It is said that doing so will help aid in digestion. I’ve somewhat made it a habit to drink warm water or hot tea whenever I feel I had too much junk or unhealthy food. Say I ate two yummy cupcakes, I won’t down them with soda or juice but instead with warm water. Since I’ve already indulged in sweets I’m skipping out on a sugary drink. Remember also to try and drink at least eight glasses of water a day. This I am very guilty of not achieving so what I do is I drink a cup of water before every meal, even during snack time and another cup after every meal. Not only will water keep you hydrated but it also helps make your skin more healthier, more glowing.
5. FRUITS & VEGETABLES
Incorporating fruits with sweets. Banana + cookie butter= compromise in healthy eating.
They’re actually not bad at all. If you have kids I suggest start them young with fruits & vegetables. They wouldn’t know it tastes yucky unless you introduce sweets first. Anyway, while it is very easy and yummy to eat sweets, chocolates & the like for a snack try switching these with your favorite fruit instead. I personally love mango, banana, apple and melon so I stock on these fruits and first try to incorporate them on my junky snack (see my example photo above). For the vegetables you can eat it to fill your hunger. Trade one cup of rice for two cups of vegetable and you’ll feel full in no time. Partner your tenderloin steak with a cup or two of steamed vegetables instead of rice.
Start a movement regimen. If not in a gym, assign a part in your home where you can do a quick workout.
Tip number six should’ve been named as EXERCISE but because I’m no exercise fanatic, I’ll stick with MOVE instead. Any kind of movement burns a certain amount of calories. I remember shortly after I gave birth to lil’ Ms. GJG that I downloaded a calorie counter & diet management app (try My Fitness Pal) and recorded what I ate and what I did even if I just slept for 6 hours, sat for 1 hour and do errands. Since I couldn’t exercise immediately, I had no choice but to gradually move so that no matter how much I ate I wouldn’t gain weight. You need not to enroll in a gym to lose weight although it’s more enticing to workout with a friend and more motovitaing, it’s only an option. You can walk in your area for 30 minutes, take the stairs on the last two floors or even do chores just to break a sweat. Quick tip: If you’re using a smart phone you can download Nike Training Camp app. It has easy to do workouts that’s suitable even for beginners.
Cheat day weekends are love.
It is very important to reward yourself. It is normal that during your transition to changing your eating habits you may feel that you’re depriving yourself from the food that you’ve come to love. In order to prevent depression and getting back to your old eating habits, remember to reward yourself at the end of every week- call it cheat day. Say you’ve managed to cut down on rice for your first week. Go ahead and treat yourself to a choco chip cookie (one lang sana). Just don’t get too excited in treating yourself, if you’ve been craving for a mocha frap, go ahead and indulge BUT don’t go overboard by ordering a venti size, of course let’s not forget the calories in it, so start with the smallest serving possible. Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s really not a walk in the park to change something you’re used to since you can remember and rewarding yourself for making an effort to change can boost your self esteem and confidence. Knowing you can do it and that in every sacrifice you make over the weekdays, you have something to look forward to come weekends.
If you have the support of the people around you plus the little effort you put into your goal then you can achieve it. I cannot believe I fit into a size 24 jeans again!
Get support from your family and friends. Tell them your plan to a healthier eating lifestyle. Any endeavor that has no support from the people you love tends to go to waste and sometimes done halfheartedly without any effort and inspiration. No matter how much you psyche yourself to change and no matter how much attitude and perseverance you have, if there’s no support from the people around you, you tend to give up halfway through especially when the going gets tough. If they plan on eating unhealthy food that you feel would tempt you to eat along with them, ask if they can indulge on weekends instead so that you can join along. Ask them to join you to change for the better if not, the least they can do is to not stock on junk food, sweets, soft drinks and the like at home as a kind of support for you.
As cliche as it sounds but nothing really is impossible if you’ve got the right tools and the right attitude. There is no secret formula into losing and maintaing your weight. If others can do it, you sure bet you can too!
As of the moment, I still am a sucker for sweets. I eat sweets once a day (because I’m a chocoholic) but I make sure that I limit it to one serving if not, at least I try not to indulge on it.
I hope this post helps you one way or another. Good luck on your way to a healthier you!