I believe that everybody should spent some time to reshaping their body when needed, in order to stay healthy. That was exactly what I decided to do not a long time ago because my weight was dramatically increased just after I finished my internship. In fact, it keep increasing which has made me worried that sooner or later I would become really obese if I didn’t do something about it. I do not want to become like a typical Malaysian men who mostly become distended when they reach their mid 20′s or 30′s. I look over working men in Malaysia which are mostly in their mid 20′s or 30′s, most of them have bad body shapes and look unhealthy. I know that they are having a busy working life and probably have no time to take care of themselves, but it is just sad that they cannot do much about it and have to live as what looks like an unhealthy life. That’s when it strikes me that I have to do something about my weight and start dieting.
I was on diet for two months (not consecutively) and loosing around 12kg to get the normal body weight that I carry right now. I am gonna share how that I did that in this brief and simple article. And just to let you know, I am writing this article to perform a promise that I made for my friends. So, I hope this will help them and any other people out there which are trying to reduce their weight by following the simple steps that I did.
After I finished my industrial training / internship around two years ago, my weight increases so dramatically that it slightly kills my confidence. In case you are wondering, my weight when I finished my internship was around 67-68kg. There were about 11-12kg addition to my body weight which has caused me to have the BMI (Body Mass Index) of 25.5. The categorization of BMI is as the following:
For most men out there, the weight around 67-68kg is not really a problem as most of them are tall enough. Unfortunately for me, my height is only 163cm. And to have weight that is nearly 70, has caused me to be an overweight person. So, after a few months just after finish my internship, I decided to try dieting for a month which has successfully reduced 6kg of my weight. Then, while I was working just after I finish my study, I decided to diet for another one month which has also successfully reduced another 6kg of my weight.
A lot of people having difficulty in their dieting, and have failed to reduced their weight. There are some people that were successfully reduced their weight though, but they were taking an awfully long time. There were also some people that have successfully reduced their weight, but gain back their weight really fast. All of these fatcs making new people that want to start dieting feel demotivated. They thought that dieting will never going to work for them and even if they thought that it does, they believe that it will take a really long time to work and it is such a difficult thing to do. So by writing this article, I am hoping to change those perspectives and inspire whoever out there that are trying to reduce their weight and stay healthy.
Without wasting any more times, lets check out the following steps:
This step is very important. Doesn’t matter what is the thing that you are doing, you kinda need a reason on why you are doing it. If you do not have any reason, all seem pretty much useless right? So before you start dieting, ask yourself why do you want to start reducing your weight? Why do you want to go on diet? If you have the solid reason, then bravo! You are good to go.
The other part is the motivation. In order to inspire you, you need to find as many success stories that you can find. Learn from their stories on how they did it. I am sure that the more stories you read, the more you will believe that you can do like what they just did. To get you started, you can go to Kevin Zahri page.
For everything to work perfectly in this life, nothing is more important than having a plan. Most people that I met, FAILED to reduce their weight is because they DO NOT HAVE A PROPER PLAN. For example, there is a friend of mine that buying like two or three salad meals from supermarket because she want to start dieting. The thing is, how long that she will be able to eat that salad meals before they finish? 2 or 3 days perhaps? And just like I suspected, after 2 or 3 days, that salad meals have finish and she started eating back like usual. Did it works on her? What do you think?
So, obviously a plan is important. It doesn’t have to be a very sophisticated plan, but all I am saying is that you at least need have something to follow and you should able to answer some basic questions like these :
- What food that I am gonna take for my everyday lunch?
- If I am at work, what food that I am gonna eat?
- Where will I buy all the foods I need?
- How long the foods that I bought will sustain?
To answer these kind of questions, you must first know what foods that you are suppose to eat. And in order to know this,you firstly need to know about the calories that you need to take per day in order to achieve your desirable weight.
OK. So, when people talk about the calories in food, what do they mean?
“A calorie is a unit of measurement — but it doesn’t measure weight or length. A calorie is a unit of energy. When you hear something contains 100 calories, it’s a way of describing how much energy your body could get from eating or drinking it.”
That means, every food or drink that we consume has it’s own calories except the plain water (tap water) which has 0 calories.
Why we need calories?
You probably have figured this out by yourself but just in case, I am gonna tell this anyways. Calorie is a unit of energy. And for obvious reason, we need energy in order to be able to do our everyday works such as walking, running, working etc.
Calories and Body Weight Relation
Ok, so now you know what calories is and why do we need them, you then need to know what is the relation between calories and your body weight. This means, you need to know, how does the amount of calories intake you consume that will affect your body weight. Below, is the simple rule/explanation :
- If you eat more calories than you burn you will gain weight.
Why? If you still remember the fact from your science class, “the energy can never disappear or be destroyed, they can only change form”. This is the same thing happening with foods that we ate them. Any calories that you consume and do not burn must be stored on your body. And, unfortunately, the primary storage mechanism for the excess calories you consume is fat, rather than muscle. And that is how you gain weight if you eat more calories that you burn per day.
- If you burn more calories than you eat you will lose weight.
- If you eat the same amount of calories that you burn your weight will not change.http://www.shapesense.com/nutrition/articles/calories-explained.aspx
Simple right? However, there is the minimum number of calories that you need to consume in order for your body to function properly. This means, eventhough you need to decrease your calories intake, you cannot decrease it too low. There are many implications of taking so little calories and one of those is it will decrease your metabolism and make you gain weight so fast after you finished your diet. So, eventhough eating so little calories can make you lose weight faster, it will also make you gain back your weight even much faster. That being said, you might want to know what exactly the right number of calories that you need to take per day in order to properly lose your weight. In order to do that, you could use many online applications on the internet to help you out. One of the best applications that you can use is on this link.
So, say for example, you get 1444 calories/day for your “Fat Loss” and 1805 calories/day for you “Maintenance”. That means, in order to lose your weight, you must eat 1444 calories/day or less. And if you wanna maintain your current weight, you must eat not more than 1805 calories/day.
How to read Calories?
The Calories is measured by the unit of cal or kcal.
- The small calorie or gram calorie (symbol: cal) is the approximate amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius at a pressure of one atmosphere.
- The large calorie, kilogram calorie, dietary calorie, nutritionist’s calorie, nutritional calorie, Calorie (capital C) or food calorie (symbol: Cal) is approximately the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree Celsius. The large calorie is thus equal to 1000 small calories or one kilocalorie(symbol: kcal).http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calorie
Where/How to find the Calories of the foods?
1) Food from supermarket
If you bought a product from the supermarket for example, you will often find a nutrition label on it’s packaging. And on this nutrition label is where the manufacturer put all the details about the ingredients of the food including it’s calories.
2) Regular food
For the regular food such as fish, chicken, rice etc, you can always find what their calories are by referring the internet. There are numerous websites that you can refer to, and I listed below some of the best calories checker that I often used:
- NHS - http://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Calorie-checker.aspx
- Calorie King - http://www.calorieking.com/foods/
3) Malaysian food
As I am Malaysian myself, I know how difficult it is to actually find the calories of Malaysian food as we got so many foods in Malaysia. Fortunately for us, they are some great people out there that have done most of the work for us in identifying most of our beloved malaysian food calories:
Now that you have all the knowledge on the food calories and most of the important things, it is time for you to start planning your dieting program. So, as we already know, each food contains it’s own calories. And you need to know each and every calories of the food that you take everyday in order to watch your calories intake.
Say that you suppose to take 1444 calories/day or less in order to lose weight. You should now figure out, what combination of foods that would sum up to the total of 1444 calories/day for you. The first simple step to do this is to break your daily meals into 4 big categories which is Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Supper. And the super duper simple thing that you can do is to divide the number of calories that you suppose to take per day over these 4 categories. So 1444/4 = 361 calories per meal.
As good as it sounds though, you cannot actually just assign this number straight away for each of your meal. This is because each meal has a slightly different purpose from the other. For example, you might want to eat more calories for your lunch because during the day, you have more works or activities that needed to be done and will require you to have more energy. Meanwhile, you do not want to eat much during your supper because you are about to sleep and you do not have much activities left to do anymore.
This being said, you might want to allocate more calories for you to eat during your day as compared to the calories for you to eat during the night. So, if I were to divide this 1444 calories into each meal, it will probably goes like this :
- Breakfast: 200 kcal
- Lunch: 500 kcal
- Dinner: 500 kcal
- Supper: 100 kcal
- Snacks in between meals: 144 kcal
Now that you already know how much calories that you need for each meal, it is time for you to plan what food that you gonna eat during each meal.
This is the most important step of all, because if you don’t do this one right, it is very easy for you to lose track in your dieting program and give up. And everything that you have already worked for will become useless. Then, you will start wondering why and why your dieting program has always fail and never work on you.
So, in this section I will try my best to help you planning and will give you some short advice/explanation regarding each meal.
Breakfast is a very important meal of the day. Sure, that we have heard many times people are saying this. But why actually this is very important to your diet? The fact stated that the higher your metabolism rate, the faster your body burns the calories. And according to the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center, eating breakfast can increase your resting metabolism by up to 10 percent. This concludes that breakfast could help you reducing your weight by increasing your body metabolism. But some new researches indicating that this is NOT true at all (read here: http://goo.gl/ZNSUIb).However, whether it is true or not, we can still relates in a logical way of why breakfast is so crucial. For me, eating breakfast can reduce my hunger throughout the day, and help me make better food choices at other meals (especially lunch where I usually tend to eat more). Thus, eventhough it might not helping increase your metabolism rate, it will definitely make you full throughout the day, and make you eat less during other meals.
Menu for breakfast : Oat or Low Fat Cereal + Whole/Skimmed Milk + a piece of fruit (if u still hungry)
Lunch is probably the time where most of us find its hard to control our eating desire. Mostly, because we often influenced by our friends or colleges. But trust me, if you eat your breakfast right, you would not feel so hungry during this time, and will be able to control yourself no matter what other people are eating. Sure that it will be hard at first, but over time you will be able to control yourself. The only problem is when your friends are inviting you to eat outside at the place where it is actually hard or impossible to find something that is healthy and low in calories to eat. You don’t want to so say no to your friends because they might be thinking that you are being rude. So one way to handle this is by finding the best and healthiest food that you can find wherever they are taking you to.Say for example that you all going to KFC. You can take 1 mash potato and 2/3 bread to eat. The total calories is only around 500 kcal which is quite low compared to any chicken/burger meal. And if your routine with your friends is to go to “warung” for your lunch and having “nasi campur”, keep going there! But this time, instead of filling your plate with full of rice, you can change this habit by taking a lot of vegetables in exchange. And for your main course, you can take any steam/grilled fish. It is better if you can find salmon but i doubt any “warung” will serve that. But whatever food you take, please remember to avoid any fried food such as fried chicken, fried fish, etc if that is possible. And remember to eat more vegetables! If you eat like this and avoid eating rice and fried food, the total calories that you gonna eat will probably be around 500-600 kcal only, which is good enough!I know that it is very hard for you to not eating rice for your lunch because I was having the exact same trouble as well at first. What you could do is that, instead of avoiding rice straight away, you can gradually decrease the portion of rice in your meal. For example, maybe today you can start by only eating half of your usual portion of rice, and in the next few days you could perhaps start by only eating quarter of it. And perhaps after 1 or two weeks you can finally start not eating it at all!
Menu for lunch: Steam/Grilled fish + Vegetables + any fruits except banana
So, after a tiring day at work/college, you arrived at your home and wanted to have your dinner. For me last time, I did not feel really hungry at night after classes or work. So, instead of having a big meal, I only eat oat/cereal/whole grain bread + salads + low fat cheese. However, it might be a different case for you. And it is totally ok. If you feel hungrier and cannot eat like what I did, you can try having the same menu like you had for your lunch. But make sure it is around the calories that you have planned before!
Menu for dinner: Steam/Grilled fish + Vegetables + any fruit except banana
Supper time is different for everyone, because some people do sleep early and some do not. But it is suggested that you sleep early at night, because the later you sleep, the hungrier you get and you will tend to end up eating more foods! Whatever it is, you should stick to your diet and since you are about to sleep already, you will not require much energy anymore. So at this time, you can eat any low fat biscuit for example or any fruit except banana. When I was in my diet before, I just eat 2/3 jacobs crackers. And if I am still hungry, I will eat around 3 to 5 grapes with cold water.
Menu for supper: 2-3 whole-wheat crackers and/or 3-5 grapes + cold water
- SNACKS BETWEEN MEALS
There will be times where you find yourself hungry in between the meals. This is where you could use any calories left from your last meal in addition to the calories that you have allocated for your snack time. Foods that you should be choosing is the type of food that should help you burning the fat of your body if you can such as nuts, whole-wheat crackers, whole-grain cereals/bread, cereal bar and many more.
- Go to Cold Storage to buy your supplies
It is no doubt that Cold Storage is perhaps the best store to buy all your food supplies for your diet (at least as far as I know). You can find a lot of healthy foods over there and it is very convenient for you to reach the store. There are a lot of them and you can find it in the popular places such as Suria KLCC, Berjaya Times Square, Alamanda, and many more. (see here for more loactions).
- Separate the time for your diet
As you have noticed, I did my diet for two months, but not consecutively. Why? Because I do not want to stress out my self. So for me I was on diet for one month, see how well it went. Rest for few months and then start dieting again. Believe me, after one month of your diet, your body will already used to eat less, so even if you are not dieting, you still able to control the portion of the foods you eat naturally
- Eat grapes or apple if you are hungry
I choose grape and apple as my snacks when I hungry because they are easy to eat and can make me full longer. Some people said that grape have a lot of sugar and high in calories, and this is definitely not true. Fruit is a fruit, and much much better than any junk food out there. Indeed, a piece of grape is only around 3 calories. See here. Normally, 5 grapes (only 3×5 = 15 calories) and glass of cold water is already enough to make me full.
- Keep yourself busy
The busier you get, the easier for you to forget about food and less time for eating. But do not become too busy until you forget to eat your main meals (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Supper).
Exercise help burning calories in your body thus helping you reduce your weight. It don’t need to be a heavy exercise and you don’t even have to go to the gym! Just a simple exercise like jogging will do.
- Change Your Habit
There are several good habits that you should follow. For example:
- Always take bath before you eat, not after
- Taking a stair instead of lift to go to your office
- Walking to your office instead of taking a bus
- Eating slowly
- Stop Eating/Drinking Processed Food, Junk Food, Soft Drink
If you are really serious in losing your weight, you need to train yourself to stop eating processed food, junk food, Soft Drink. These type of foods and drink are known to contain lot and lot of sugar.
- Drink A lot of Plain Water
Drinking a lot of water during the day can help you feel full for a longer time. Thus, helping you in controlling your calories intake. And please don’t order/drink any water that contains lot of sugar like “teh tarik” etc. Choose to drink plain water whenever you have your meal whether you are eating at home or outside.
- Cheat Day
What is Cheat Day? It is a day in a week which you choose to eat the food that you normally don’t eat during you diet. This means on this day, you can eat whatever food that want. But, it doesn’t mean that you can spend the whole day just eating!”It’s important that you understand that despite the name of the term, you shouldn’t spend an entire day once a week eating whatever you please. Instead, you should designate one day (usually the weekend, when you’re more likely to be out and about) during which you will cheat on your diet one time. This can include the main course of a meal or the addition of a dessert–but probably shouldn’t include both, unless the dessert is a healthy one. That means if pizza, hamburgers, bread, cake, cookies, ice cream or anything else has been banned from your diet, you can have one of them at one meal or snack time on the same day each week.” - http://goo.gl/dUiGec
Usually on this day, I will eat rice with fried chicken :D
- GET TO KNOW THE SCIENTIFIC FACTS OF LOSING & GAINING WEIGHT
Whatever thing you are doing in this life, you must know exactly what you are doing. What I mean is that, you have to know the reason behind every action that you make. In the case of dieting, you must know why you are eating/avoiding certain food or why you are doing/not doing certain thing during your dieting program. It is important so that you are able to see how effective the thing that you were doing.It is also important so that other people cannot judge you and tell you that you are wrong!I know I know, if we wanna do something, we shouldn’t bother about what other people think. But admit it, your friends will always be there and keep judging you no matter what. They will start questioning this and that until at certain time you are no longer confident about what you are doing and start giving up.So, this is why I am suggesting you to research carefully about your dieting so that you could feel confident that the thing you are doing will bring success to you!
- I dont eat rice, but why weight still stay the same?
There are many people out there thinking that the solution to reduce their weight is simply by NOT eating rice. Well, not eating rice will not going to do anything for you if you still eating a lot of other things excessively. As you may have realized, the key point in dieting is the calories. It suggested that you avoiding rice during your dieting period because rice itself contains so much sugar and thus making it a very high in calories! A plate of white rice alone is estimated to be around 650++ calories. That is not yet including other food that you gonna eat along with it such as chicken, egg, chicken etc. Thus, by avoiding the rice, you could allocate more calories in eating other foods that is healthy and could help burn your body fat.
- Isnt drinking cold water make us fat? and why did I drink it during my diet?
No. Drinking cold water will not make you fat. At least, not directly. Water contains 0 calories, and regardless of whether the water is hot or cold, it’s calories remain the same. So logically, it is not possible that drinking water (or cold water in this case) will make you fat. However, drinking cold water as a habit in a long run, will slows down your metabolism:
“The constant use of cold foods will cause the body system to slow down, the metabolism will not be as effective and we can start to see food stasis, constipation and swelling of the body where there is an accumulation of fluids under the skin, or something we call dampness.” - http://goo.gl/X0puIBut, by just drinking one or two glass of cold water a day, will not effect your metabolism. It is only when you drink it too often and in excessive amount will make it affect your body. And the reason why I drink it is because cold water helps me feel full longer and make me feel really relief so it will make foods around me look undesirable. Thus, helping me with my diet!
- Why I can eat any fruit except banana?
You must have noticed that I mentioned over and over again that you could eat “any fruit except banana”. Im not saying that you could not eat it at all. And this is in fact is the same situation with rice. Medium sized banana contains so much calories which is around 100 calories. So, if you gonna eat banana as your snacks for example, it will take up so much calories that you have allocated for your day.
So, this is as far as I can share with you at this moment. However if you have some doubts or questions, feel free to ask me and I am more than happy to help you. I hope you will find this guide beneficial to you and is able to help you achieving the same result like I got
DISCLAIMER: This article is written based on my own experience and the resources I found on the internet. So, if there are some things/facts that you think are wrong, please feel free to correct me and share with others so that we can learn together.