Hi everyone! Since I shared my first post about this subject, a lot of people have been asking me to share more of how I did this, what I eat, tricks and secrets, etc., so here it is!
If you haven’t read my previous post, click here – https://anamartins.blog/2019/04/29/how-i-lost-30kg-66-pounds-in-6-months/ – I would say the real secrets are there!
But I will now tell you more about the practical stuff, but first, I want to make a few disclaimers:
- I am not a nutritionist, I don’t have any deep knowledge about nutrition. I’m a regular person who was very dedicated, did a lot of research, and tried a lot of things before finding what worked for me!
- If you are hoping to find here a secret that will miraculously help you lose weight without any effort, this is not the post for you.
- This post is not only about a diet, but it is also about a change in lifestyle, in mentality and general way of looking at life and health.
Now that I am done with the disclaimers I’m going to begin by expanding on that last one:
I am not going to lie, my physical appearance and wanting to look better was indeed a great starting point, but really (and I already mentioned this in my previous post) it was not the most crucial thing. I started having the will to make real lifestyle changes when I truly started caring about my health and “what” I am. Let me explain…
We are LITERALLY what we eat!! We all hear this right? We all know that what we eat influences our health…but do we really?
Think about it, a lot of people only really think about the impact that it has on their weight, or maybe even on their skin, but would they really care that much if that wasn’t a problem?
We often feel tired, depressed, lethargic, etc., and we always associate it to the fact that we work too much, our hectic lives and routines (not that it doesn’t have an influence, because of course, it has) and not to what we eat, and so we go and get ourselves some food supplements full of chemicals or fill ourselves with caffeinated drinks when we could be getting all we need from the foods we eat!
Nature has everything we need in it, so that is truly something to think about…
And before I tell you more about my diet, I also want to tell you that I truly believe that the changes in my body and appearance (and even in my mood and general wellbeing) weren’t only due to the foods I chose to eat.
In addition to changing my diet, I stopped taking the pill (ladies, if you don’t understand how negatively the pill affects your health, and even your weight, please do some research. I’m not getting into it in this post, maybe in a future one), I started meditating, doing daily affirmations, being more mindful and grateful, respecting myself more, created boundaries around negative people, focused on my personal growth, and the list goes on and on…
Something else I did (or in this case, stopped doing) was eating meat. Now, if you are a meat eater and are happy with that, this isn’t something you need to do as well. But I had to mention it as it also had a great impact on my health, improved my digestion and it “forced me” to create meals around healthier ingredients.
Ok, so let’s get into the diet and some helpful little tips:
1. Body type / Macros / Calorie intake
If you don’t follow Gauge Girl Training on YouTube, start now!
Link to the channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/gaugegirl82
She has some very insightful videos on the 3 body types (there are mesomorphs, endomorphs and ectomorphs) and how this specifically applies to fat loss goals. Knowing what body type you have (or what combination – some people can be more than one) will help you understand what kind of diet you should follow.
For example, I am an endomorph, which means I have a slower metabolism and gain weight really easily, but on the other hand, I can also lose weight very quickly. The challenge for me is to find the balance. In one of her videos she recommends the following diet (regarding Macros) to endomorphs:
Having a lower carb intake can reverse insulin resistance and allow you to lose weight.
It is also important to understand that at the end of the day (at least to me this applies) calorie intake DOES MATTER.
I always hear those super-fit girls saying how they don’t count calories and how the quality of the calories is what matters. This is true, the quality of the calories DOES matter, and A LOT, but controlling the calorie intake is just as crucial because in order to lose weight you have to burn more than you consume.
For me, the goal was to not go over 1200 kcal per day. If you are a man reading, this is probably too low for you, and even for some woman – again, it is important to find what works for you!
So, I never wanted to be the person that counts calories or weights their food, but I had to be!! Portion control is essential, and being aware of what I was consuming in terms of Macros (protein, fat and carbs) was even more.
If you don’t have this app on your phone, what are you waiting for? It saved my life!
This app helps you determine what your calorie intake should be considering your current weight and how much you want to lose and how quickly.
It also helps you to control your Macros, to set goals and it even cheers you up when you have achieved them! it’s amazing 🙂
And yes, in order to be accurate, I do weight everything that I eat. You can search for meals, but I mostly eat at home and cook my own food, so I prefer to list all the ingredients and how much I’m consuming for each one.
Summarising, my diet consisted of 1200 kcal max per day, of which 40% protein (animal – fish in my case – or veggie), 30% fat (healthy fats only – again, animal or veggie) and 30% carbs (mostly from fruit and vegies – no pasta, rice, chips or sugar!!).
Obviously, it is very difficult to get the perfect balance of your Macros every day, but the important is to be as close to the goal as possible.
3. The quality of your calories matter
Eat more veggies!! Eat more fruit!! Be smart about your calories. Not only calories are different and act differently in your body, but you can also eat more whilst still consuming fewer calories.
100kcal of fresh fruit is not the same as 100kcal of Nutella! Do not fall into the mistake of thinking that if you still only consume 1200kcal in one day but all of them are cakes you’ll be fine…
Healthy fresh whole foods like fruits and veggies fill you up more because they contain more fibre, and improve your health, reduce inflammation in your body and helps with isoline resistance, water retention, etc. Whilst unhealthy, sugary and processed foods might make you feel good at the moment but you will feel hungry again 5 minutes later, plus they deteriorate your health in every way possible.
4. The importance of fibre
The reason why it is important to consume more fruits and veggies is not only due to the fact that they are low in calories or that they contain vitamins. Whole foods contain fibre, that when consumed in a meal it helps you feel fuller for longer and improves sugar blood levels.
Also, if you are an endomorph like me, it is likely that you are somewhat insulin resistant, which means that consuming carbs can lead to peaks of insulin in your body and contribute to weight gain. Eating more fibre helps prevent these peaks as your body treats each meal as a whole and will process food differently.
So, a trick for those days when you can’t resist that pizza (which should not be frequently if you want this to work) is to have a bunch of veggies on it. You will be consuming more calories (so look out for this) but your body probably won’t need to create as much insulin to control blood sugar.
5. Lemon water, green tea and drinking water
I’m not going to get into this much as we all heard of the benefits of all of these.
Drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning restarts your metabolism for the day, it cleans toxins and reduces inflammation.
Green tea helps to speed up your metabolism, I drink one cup of green tea about an hour after every meal.
We all know the importance of drinking lots of water, it cleans your system, it reduces water retention, and it just improves your health in general – drinking a minimum of 8 glasses a day (not including the tea) is crucial!
Yes, I go to the loo every 5 minutes, but it is worth it 🙂
6. Look out for sodium
Try and avoid salty foods and consuming too much sodium. Of course, sodium is important so don’t go too crazy on avoiding it, but a healthy balance is important to avoid water retention.
You don’t have to sign up for the gym to move your body and be healthier. If you can and want to, it will definitely be beneficial, but if you hate the idea of it, find new ways to move your body that you will enjoy.
For me, walking is the best way, give that Fitbit some use and walk everywhere. Unless you are going somewhere super far, walk, don’t drive, take the stairs, no lift! Enjoy the sun outside, go out for a walk in nature, enjoy yourself while you move your body and keep that heart pumping.
Only by the end of the 6 months, I started running (when I felt healthy and strong enough to do so, I let my body tell me when it was ready) and only recently I joined a gym. For most of the 6 months, I only walked. My goal was 10000 steps per day.
Your diet will always be the most impactful thing to your weight loss goals but moving not only helps you achieve your goals faster, but it also helps improve your health and makes your metabolism faster. In the end, this contributes not only to short terms weight loss goals but mostly long term.
So, this my experience and these are my tips, I hope it helps you somehow 🙂
Again, please keep in mind that I am not a nutritionist if you are struggling to find something that works for you please seek a professional.
If you are a nutritionist reading this, and you don’t agree with something on this post, please comment politely and share your knowledge!
Also, I just want to let you know that I have created a guided meditation for weight loss & overall health, check it out here: https://anamartins.blog/product/guided-meditation-for-weight-loss-overall-health-30-minutes/
Thanks for reading!
Other posts you might like to read:
How I lost 30 Kg (66 pounds) in 6 months
5 things I have learned from Meditation
Mindfulness Practices: How to be more mindful and why?