I once read somewhere that the best diet is the one you can stick to. It sounds simple and yet I’ve seen it many times where people go on these crazy month long diets where they hate every moment of it, only to pick up the weight they’ve lost soon after ending the diet.
Sometime last year, I noticed that I’d been putting on weight. Nothing drastic, but at one point, I’d gained ±3kgs in the space of a couple of months. I realised my metabolism wasn’t as fast as it used to be and so I tried a brief stint of intermittent fasting. It lasted no more than a few weeks because the hunger in the mornings was just too overwhelming that I couldn’t think about anything else other than food. At which point I realised, constantly watching the clock and constantly weighing myself is a little crazy.
Through the many hours of reading about intermittent fasting, I’ve also learned a fair amount about sugar, calories and exercise. A general rule of thumb is that weight loss is 75% what you eat and 25% exercise. And so, I’ve come up with a simple rule for myself.
I’ve loved sugar and sugary things all my life – and I know that to give up sugar completely would not work. I would end up hating my life. Not to mention I would also have to give up on all my food adventures, that would just be too sad. So I decided that if someone gave me something sweet, for free, then I could have them. Otherwise, I won’t. So each time I walk down that isle of chocolates and confectionaries, I would resist the temptation to buy something for myself.
I still order dessert when I am out for dinner with friends, and I still drink wine (but no soft drinks). With no other lifestyle changes (keeping exercise the same), I have managed to lose the weight I picked up last year, and some more. Because I get a fair amount of treats at work, I am in no way depriving myself of something I truly enjoy. Sticking to this rule doesn’t feel like a chore, and even when I cheat a little, it is easy to go back to it.
I find that I don’t crave sweets as much as I used to. I am eating more fruits (blueberries!!! and watermelons!!!!) and drinking more water – because let’s face it, ordering booze just because everyone else is doing it, is lame. I’d rather have some H2O from the tap thanks! :D