I’m no expert when it comes to dieting. In fact, every time I tell myself I would start going on a diet, I end up not really doing it. (How can I? I love food too much.) But what helps me try to maintain a healthy weight, aside from playing ultimate, are these tips I found effective. It’s a collection of tips from my mom (who’s a nutritionist), articles I’ve read on the Internet and on magazines, from health buff friends who seem to know what they are doing, and from my own experience. I’ve tried and tested them all, and I think they really work (at least for me.) Hopefully, you’ll find them helpful as well.
‘The sympathetic division, also known as the “fight-or-flight system,” of the autonomic nervous system, allows people to deal with all kinds of stressful events. Emotions during these events might be anger, or fear, or even extreme joy or excitement. But not every organ or system will be stimulated by the activation of the sympathetic division. Digestion of food and excretion of waste are not necessary functions when dealing with stressful situations, so these systems tend to be shut down or inhibited. Food that was in the stomach sits there like a lump. Usually, the urge to go to the bathroom will be suppressed.’
This was taken from my Psychology book, Understanding Psychology, by Saundra K. Ciccarelli and Noland B. White.
It might seem a little weird starting the first tip with something like that, but what I basically want to say is everything starts in the mind.
You have to really want it, and by wanting it, you have to be really disciplined with yourself. When you know you’re content, just tell yourself that you’re full and your stomach has had enough. Don’t overindulge, at the same time never starve yourself. Starving yourself may only cause you to binge-eat later on, and doing so can slow down your metabolism. Eating small but frequent meals a day, so I’ve heard, increases metabolism which is what you want to happen.
Be disciplined, eat healthy, and stay healthy.
“Health is beauty and if you lose your health, you lose your beauty.” -Diane von Furstenberg
The Fat Burning food (which can be added to your favorite dishes!):
1. cinnamon – Consuming a quarter of a teaspoon everyday for six weeks significantly reduces blood glucose and ‘bad’ cholesterol. It also increases ability to metabolize sugar.
2. mustard – Increases fat burning by up to 20 percent.
3. horseradish (same family as wasabi) – Can help dissolve the fat inside cells. It also prevents getting hunger pangs later in the day.
4. grapefruit – Eating grapefruit daily as part of a 12-week weight-loss plan will help shed over 3 pounds.
5. beans – Packed with fiber, and helps make you feel full because they double the levels of the hormone cholecystokinin.
6. spinach – Smuggle appetite-suppressing proteins into the body, and help reduce hunger hormones in the body after a meal.
7. coconut milk – Although it is fatty, the fat it contains is essential for metabolism. After just one meal, it can increase metabolic rate by 5 percent.
8. turmeric – Helps burn fat and aids digestion by breaking down high-protein food.
9. vinegar – Helps control the rise in blood glucose and insulin levels after a meal, by slowing the rate at which the stomach empties.
10. pineapple – A source of enzyme bromelain, which breaks down protein and raises body’s metabolic rate.
11. black pepper – Piperine, the active chemical, puts your nervous system on high alert which boosts the body’s metabolic process.
12. tomatoes – Aids metabolic process and and helps the kidneys filter out large quantities of fatty deposits.
13. cayenne pepper – Heats up metabolism by up to 20 percent.
14. lemon zest – Pectin found in lemon peel is a great source of fiber that helps weight loss by turning into sticky gel when digested, preventing stomach from absorbing sugar too quickly. It can also eliminate the urge to snack for up to four hours.
15. celery – High in fiber, preventing the urge to eat between meals. Also contain calcium, which helps to bind waste fats and purge them from your body.
Source: Men’s Health Magazine (March 2011 issue)
This is where the discipline part really comes in.
Try to jog at least ten minutes a day. If mornings or afternoons are too hot for you, try jogging in the evening which is what I usually do. I actually think it’s the best part of the day because I feel more motivated, but it depends with different people. I also like jogging in the evening because when I plug in my earphones, and I start to run, and the moon is all big and bright, I get to ponder on life and how beautiful it is. It helps to release endorphins, which is responsible for making us feel happy and content.
If you have no time to jog everyday, try playing a sport once a week. All the running you’ll be doing in ultimate will burn enough calories, plus it will keep you in shape.
Also, if you can try—do 20 sit-ups a day. It’s not much, but I learned from fashion director, Raymond Villanueva, that it will still make a difference.
Have either one of the two: a diet buddy or a vacuum cleaner. (Or you can try to have both.)
A diet buddy is someone you can go on a diet with, so that you can help each other out and inspire one another to eat less, lose weight, and stay healthy.
A vacuum cleaner is someone you can bring around when you eat. He or she is the type of person who will breathe in all the food you guys both see. For example:
You: Ugh. I’m so full.
Vacuum Cleaner: I’ll eat that!
You: Hey, Krispy K—
Vacuum Cleaner: It’s gone now!
Never hesitate taking-out food.
Before, I used to feel guilty about having to take-out food from restaurants when I couldn’t finish them. I’d really force everything down my throat so that I wouldn’t have to bring home any left-overs. And then suddenly, it made sense to me that taking-out wasn’t so bad. Besides, I have a number of vacuum cleaners at home who wouldn’t mind sucking in all the food as usual.
These days, every time I feel content with what I ate, I don’t hesitate to take-out any left-overs so as long as I know it won’t be left rotten at home. And it also sometimes serves to fulfill my small, frequent meals a day.
Don’t ever deprive yourself of eating good food.
There’s nothing wrong with eating sweets like chocolates, or ice cream, or really delicious cakes. Depriving yourself of these might cause you to go crazy and suddenly eat non-stop. (That’s what happened to me before.) But if you eat it little by little and with control, the chances of going crazy and craving for them will be less. I also think this is better than having cheat days where you can indulge in anything and everything for just one day.
If you’re gonna go on a crash diet, don’t do it days prior to the date you’re aiming (like a beach trip with friends). Give it at least a week or two.
The hard part about this is that you’re gonna need lots of discipline. You need to limit your food intake big time. When I went on a crash diet a few years ago, I did it two weeks before a trip to Boracay. In the two weeks, I only ate oatmeal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I called this the Oatmeal Diet. I coupled it with jogging 10 to 15 minutes a day, which I gradually increased to 30 minutes, and then to an hour. I also did about 100 crunches a day, which I gradually increased as well. I think I lost about six or seven pounds that time. (If you attempt to do this, take note that this isn’t a very healthy option.)
What I liked about oatmeal was how flexible it could be. When it got bland, I could add fruits (like strawberries), and it’s still healthy! Of course, it wasn’t meat or veggies. So occasionally, I’d eat a little chicken or broccoli, just so I got my nutrients still. If you can’t live on oatmeal alone, you can still eat other food like white meat, etc. Just try to get rid of the rice, and stay away from other carbs (unless it’s wheat bread or brown rice). Like I said, it’s hard. But it gets worth it.
Drink a glass (or two) of water before every meal.It helps you feel fuller, so when it’s meal time you eat less. Load up on fiber and tea as well. It’s really effective in flushing out the toxins.
Keep a food diary with you at all times.
It can be just a small notebook you can put in your purse, so that you can list down all the food you ate for the day. It doesn’t prevent you from getting hungry, but at least you have an idea of how much you’ve eaten.
A good (and maybe even better) alternative would be to download MyFitnessPal. It’s an app where you can log in your food intake daily, and it lets you know how much calories you’ve consumed.
Have a reason for why you want to lose weight.
And not just because you want to look and feel good about yourself, because that’s a given. Of course, that was my number one reason when I wanted to lose weight before. But another reason I wanted to shed the extra pounds was because I wanted to be a faster runner and a more agile disc player. I was gifted with the skill of running fast (I got it from my dad who was a swimmer and a track and field player back when he was in high school), but I couldn’t maximize it because of my weight. That was also my problem when I used to play softball. Stealing bases was my expertise, until I started gaining weight and I lost the top position in the yearbook statistics. So I really tried my best—I jogged every night, I ate healthier, I exercised regularly, etc. I really did everything I could to achieve my best shape and now, I feel lighter whenever I run and jump around the field. It’s a really assuring feeling.
2009 vs. 2011
125 lbs. vs. 98 lbs.
So those are ten really useful tips I still try to do everyday. Keyword: try. Of course, it can be subjective and it might not always work on everyone. But so as long as you eat healthy majority of the time, and you exercise enough to burn the extra calories—you’ll be able to get rid of the pudgy feeling and feel more comfortable in your own skin.
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Tips On How to Lose Weight