Losing weight is one battle I fought hard to conquer and did win, but only for a short while. I’d lost the weight, used less energy, looked and felt fabulous. Until the weight started piling up and after a year or so, I was back to square one.
I was frustrated and swore to make a comeback. And this time, I fought dirty and took a few shortcuts. The result, I gained more weight and felt stupid. I skipped breakfast, religiously gulped down renowned meal replacement shakes and even attempted starvation. The only thing I didn’t have the guts for, was slimming pills. The side effects would have been detrimental.
Maintaining a healthy weight shouldn’t be complicated but a simple change in lifestyle which should be anything but boring. I took a hard look at what I could do better and able to swap without craving for something else. Eventually, I worked out what suited me and how best to maintain my ideal weight.
1. Have realistic expectations
It’s worth considering an ideal weight or size that would suit your body and bone structure. For me, a UK size 8 could make me look thin and I would hate to lose my curves. Therefore I’m happy to attain a size 12 or maybe 10 to ensure I look stunning in a pencil skirt or an African queen in that oleku attire. In other words, you don’t have to be skinny to feel womanly.
2. Carbs are not the enemy
Ditching the carbs might have worked for others, but it certainly didn’t for me. I stopped eating carbohydrates and was frequently constipated and tired. I had left out the good sources of fiber such as whole grain cereals, brown bread, white potatoes, and corn, etc, which are high in potassium, vitamin C and helps keep the digestive system running smoothly.
Hence, I reintroduced carbs into my diet but avoid eating any starchy carbs after 6pm because I usually woke up feeling bloated and heavy. Reason being, it takes the body much longer to process food ‘after hours’ and consequently increases weight gain in most problem areas e.g. the stomach and hip.
3. Have a good hearty breakfast
I hardly miss breakfast. When I resumed my workout, I was even more hungry especially after school runs so I changed my morning meal. I love porridge (Quaker oats) because it makes me feel fuller for longer. Also, lots of water and fruits tend to satisfy those peckish feelings. Other healthy options are 2 slices of boiled yam and egg sauce or potato omelet with grilled plantain.
4. Make moderate choices
I’m a self-confessed chocaholic so I swapped chocolates for bananas and other tasty fruits. However, I occasionally have a treat but it’s in moderation.
You still have to engage in some form of exercise which could be fun at the same time. Only 30 minutes of moderately strenuous exercise a day, five days a week, has significant benefits on mood, lifestyle, and health. Physical activities such as swimming, boxing, brisk walking, and jogging can help achieve this.
I jog 3 to 4 times a week because it burns more calories when compared to other activities. It increases stamina and reduces the risk of high blood pressure etc. Indoors, I use dumbbells to tone my arms and a cast iron plate to tighten my ‘abs’.