Jeyanthy was interested to know how and what I do in the quest of losing weight and she requested I blog about it.
For the record, I have now lost 5 pounds after 6 weeks.
Certainly, I'm NO expert in losing weight. By all means, use my exercise plan if you choose to refer but just speaking from experience, you may need to tweak your exercise plan from mine cos' what works for me, might not work for you. I know some people like pilates or yoga to keep them lean, but as much as I wanted to like those type of exercises, my body just couldn't agree with it. It's an ongoing process for some people who has harder time losing weight like me, largely hormone and thyroid system to blame but never give up. You will have to experiment yourself before finding what works.
Bear in mind that I wrote this post way before I went to see the doctor. So here goes...
What I do for exercise?
- At least 4 cardio a week. I do running on the treadmill for 30 mins or home video aerobics for 30 minutes. The cardio must not be too tiring for you. My rule of thumb for cardio workout is tiring enough for you not able to speak a full sentence of words. If it's too tiring, you can get discourage to do another workout the next day.
- Immediately after cardio, I do 100 times crunches for abs. 10 times of each work out the obliques, lower ab, upper ab, middle ab and all over body. You can find these variations in books or videos, I'm sure they'd explain better. Abs for Dummy is a good guide.
- On alternate days, I do strength following a home video carrying 10-20 lbs of weight. If your gym has weight machines, use it. If not, buy your own weights (preferably the ones that has adjustable weights as you might need as you get stronger) I do alternately between gym machines and home video. The video I use is called Power 90.
- In addition to my workout days, I jump in the chance for hiking, swimming, running outside, shopping... or even just housechores, mopping the floor, wash the toilet, do laundry. Whatever it is, the calories burn while you do activities will work for you.
- For breakfast, my food can be as following: A cup of oatmeal (5 tbsp of oatmeal and 1 tbsp of sugar), a frozen waffle with some maple syrup, one cup of cereal with light soymilk, two toasted bread with a tablespoon of peanut butter or on weekends, I'll have two eggs (scramble, half-boil or sunny-side-up) served with 2 sausage links. I make it special on weekends coz with Hushby around, I tend to eat more.
- For lunch, I always do dinner leftovers. Usually a type of protein like lean pork, chicken or beef, 4 tbsp of brown rice and lots of veggies. Or sometimes I do a cup of spaghetti with lots of salad. No salad? Replace it with fruits.
- For snack in between (around 3-5pm), I do a handful of roasted almonds or prunes. Sometimes lots of water, or even another apple, orange, banana or a handful of bluberries and my favorite, blackberries. At times, I'll reach out for some Special-K cornflakes or a bar of Chocolatey Mocha. Sometimes a combination of these foods.
- For dinner, try to eat before 8pm. I'll try to go light but it doesn't always work with a cavemen who has appetite like a dinosaur - I tend to eat more just looking at him. Unless I have snack throughout the day, I don't crave for food as much at night. For regular oriental, home cook food, again I'll do one portion of veggie and another lean protein like chicken, fish, egg, tofu or pork serve with 4 tbsp of brown rice. If western food is served, I'll eat more veggie, a deck of card size of meat and about half cup of good carbs like mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes or pasta. Don't forget, pasta is high in protein too.
- For dessert, it can be as following: a scoop of ice-cream, a low sugar, low fat cupcake, frozen yogurt, apple sauce, a piece of dark chocolate or just diet coke. If I don't have any cravings, I won't do dessert.
- Before bedtime, I try not to eat but I have been experiencing tummy growling lately usually 2 hours after dinner. It is a sign that the metabolism rate has increased, which is a good thing but it can be torturous if you obey to Oprah advising against people eating after 8pm and especially before going to sleep because the reason you feeling that way is due to your body burning the fat. I find that hard to give in... I can't go through that hunger and worse, I always wake up with a stomach pain. So to combat that feeling, I'd take a half cup of cornflakes or just a cup of chocolate soy milk and it works great! No more discomfort in the tummy.
My tips for you:
- For the first few weeks, muscle aches are unavoidable. It is best to be patient, and it is crucial to rest more for you to do better the next day. When I feel extra tired or if my joints feel pain, I would not go workout that day, even if it means that I would be skipping a day's workout.
- For shorter recovery muscle ache time, try eating more alkaline food like all green veggies, avocado, lemon in water to eliminate some of those lactic acid in our body.
- Not every day will go as plan. On some days you will find yourself breaking all the rules on your own meal plan because you're super hungry, or you just don't find the stamina for running because you lower ab hurts. Don't fight against it. Rest if you need.
- Do have a cheat day once a week. It's the day you may go for a BBQ buffet, or have a whole load of finger lickin' good fried chicken - if you decide.
- If you're running, take a magazine with you and cover the TIME part. I hate to see the time ticking away because it goes by SOOooooo SLOWwwwwww. I found that by covering, I lost track of time and my cardio goes by faster. And then of course, a good pair of running shoes and an iPod helps too.
- Make sure you do stretching and warm up enough for your workouts. It is necessary to prevent injury and stitches. I get stitches in my abs muscle all the time and didn't realize it was the insufficient warm up.
- Create goals that are small and easy, and near enough to reach. For example, set goals for 2 weeks, to lose a pound. Or in 1 week, you want to do 4 cardio and strength workouts. Plans like that are easily achievable than say, 3 months from now, I want to lose 20 pounds. In between, you lose the motivation because it is so far to reach.
- You have to make a meal plan that works for you. DIET DOES NOT WORK because lets face it, nobody can survive without sugar, fat or carb for their entire life. It is impossible! You cannot skip dinner just to cut 500 calories or you cannot NOT eat ice cream for 3 months. But what you can do is make healthier choices and it will be part of your lifestyle before you know it. If you feel like having steak, do it but eat only half a portion. If you need ice cream, by all means, have a scoop but nothing more. The more you suppress your craving, the more you will gobble everything up and fall off track. At least from my experience, I can say that's for sure.
- Don't just take your weight into account. Your body measurement is a good way to keep track of your weight loss. I learned so much talking to our OysterSpeak founder the other day, that what matter is how you feel and how you look. Not how much weigh you lose.
- Treat yourself well everytime you reach a goal. It could be a spa day or play your favorite game online or buy yourself something you always wanted. Whatever makes you happy.
- Drink 2 tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar diluted with a cup of water before you brush your teeth and an hour after lunch. Helps to detoxify and melt that fat. It has lots of other benefits too, but do your research online. Your body may disagree if you have a weak stomach.