We have all been there - and lots of us still are - on the journey to losing weight.
From years of experimenting different diet, supplements, exercises, and physical activities, here are the tips I learned that helped me lose weight without the yo-yo effect.
1) Allow yourself to eat anything
Do not ban yourself from your diet. It will want you to crave them more. I have personally experienced eating disorder after 4 months' of eating only what is in the following list: chicken breast, sweet potato/potato/rice, veges, and nuts.
It did make me lose weight FAST. I could almost feel the fat burning from the body as I sat hungry after eating the same meal for the 4th month in a row. And this is a critical side-effect reported by many other non-athletes in Korea where the trend of taking "Body Profile", or photo shoot of their body showing off their muscles & leaner shape.
After my own "Body Profile", I started eating "normal" again, slowly incorporating food outside the short list described above. And then quickly my abnormal eating patterns escalated - I was eating high calorie foods one after another at quantities that I could not consume even before going on the terrible form of diet. Slowly, my clothes would not fit me, I become miserable, buy food to comfort me, eat like crazy, gain more weight...it was a viscous cycle. It took me a year to have a friendly relationship with food again.
The first thing I did was not to restrict myself of any type of food. I was feeling guilty doing so because I was afraid it will make me gain even more weight. But I wanted to break out of the cycle and reprogrammed myself that I am allowed to eat anything. And slowly, the frequency of me over-eating and having that urge to push foods down my throat became less and less. By the time I was not over-eating anymore, I realised that I was actually eating less high calorie foods by accepting the fact that I can eat anything. I had regained control over what I eat based on what I want to eat. Gradually, I lost weight without necessarily keeping track of what I eat.
2) Stop eating when you want one last bite
You will feel lighter and with right food choices you could become leaner without necessarily putting a lot of strain and effort.
3) Eat protein at every meal
Choose protein with as low fat as possible. Having protein at every meal may not only help you stay full for longer, but it is crucial for building and recovering your body muscles.
4) Eat more fiber
Foods containing lots of fibre can help keep you feeling full, and fibre is found in food from plants such as fruit, vegetables, oats and brown rice.
5) Eat meals at regular times
It is beneficial to have as high metabolic rate as possible as it would help burn more calories when we are at rest. Eating meals at regular times could help maintain your metabolic rate even while you are losing weight.
I personally found that having meals at regular times prevents me from over-eating at the next meal. This is caused when I have a long gap between two meals. (Yes, I tried the intermittent diet and did not stick to it for long because of this pattern of over-eating after fasting for 16 hours)
6) Drink at least 2L of water per day
You could be mistaken that you are hungry when you are actually thirsty. Keep a bottle or jar of water near you all the time to remind you to drink throughout the day. Remember that you are already dehydrated when you are feeling thirsty.
7) Sleep 7-9 hours
From my experience, I tend to overeat & have cravings for high-calorie sweets when I am lack of sleep. Most people would feel fully refreshed after 7 to 9 hours. Sleep is important for your body to recover, so make sure you get plenty of sleep every day.
What is the point of losing weight using extreme methods and being sick & miserable afterwards? The whole reason we are losing weight should be to be happier & healthier.
I hope you could all succeed in your weight-loss journeys to have the most fit body by using a wholesome approach!