A friend with whom I shared my food log (www.myfitnesspal.com) commented on how little I ate. I also noticed that she had a few issues dealing with her weight loss — I shared my thoughts through an email…..here it is.
You have no idea, how many people I meet, talk to , communicate with, tell me how lucky I am to lose this weight. I smile and thank them all for their kind words. But seriously, in my head I think “lucky my ass”. If hard work is luck, then yes, I am very lucky. It almost feels as if people believe that those like me who lose weight, are illusionists. They eat some magic potions, and behold one day, wake up smaller, just as one day they woke up fat.Unfortunately, luck has nothing to do with weight loss. Just as it had nothing to do with weight gain. Laziness plays a big role in gaining weight (of course there are those who are afflicted by very painful illnesses and just cannot exercise), we start calling it ‘lifestyle’ issues. Hard work plays a major role in losing it, simply!
It’s pure science though. Nothing to do with magic.I was eating way too much. I discovered when I started logging my food. I would honestly think I wasn’t eating much. My meal portions were really small. One piece of bread (roti bread), or a small portion of rice, with simple lentils and salad was my regular meal. Honestly, that was it. Then how did I gain the weight?What I did not account for was all that I ate in-between my very small portions – the two biscuits I dunked into my coffee each morning, the post breakfast snack at the office, the post lunch snack, the potato chips pre dinner, the couple of whiskeys with tandoori chicken, and then the yummy ice cream, or chocolate that followed my very small dinner. Oh, and if I felt very happy that night, and if I was distracted some exciting ‘food’ show on television (thank you Masterchef), I would inadvertently get at least 2 slices of bread pan toasted with enough butter for a week.
In my mind, I was eating about 1200 calories a day, which is the recommended calorie intake for women my age. However, when I did finally log in my food intake on www.myfitnesspal.com (a free tool to log in food, drink and exercise) I was beyond shocked!!! I was eating for at least 2 women, and some days for three. No wonder I was the size of a house (a proper 3-bedroom one at that -:))
To lose weight, I realised all I had to do is simply eat for one person. Eat right kind of food. You cannot eat for one person, and eat a horse. You got to eat right. Decide your meals for next day a day in advance. Plan, plan, plan. Most of us don’t know how many calories we intake in each meal. Use free tools such as www.myfitnesspal.com.
Divide your meals into
– morning snack
– afternoon snack
– evening meal
When I started eating right, some days I struggled with even consuming 1200 calories a day. When I was eating ‘whatever’ came my way – I was eating upto 4000-5000 calories a day.
It’s simple science. None of us really need to get into specifics of that. What we need to simply remember is consuming our recommended calorie intake every day, exercising every day (any form of exercise is fine) and leading a good lifestyle (drinking plenty of water, and getting at least 8 hours of sleep). Staying HAPPY is very critical. I learnt that I am an emotional eater. I eat when I feel low. Now I substitute that with exercise, reading and simply annoying others 🙂
Let’s not pretend that our weight is just coming on its own. Let’s take ownership, so we can change it, so we can get healthier.
I challenge you to log in your food today on www.myfitnesspal.com. Log in every morsel, every drink, coke, pepsi, sprite, every thing…and then check how many calories you actually take in. Then calculate how many calories you really burn each day. The answers will come. It’s simple science. Not magic. But losing weight can be magical, as I have found out!