How I'm a Foodie but Maintain my Weight (after losing 25kg!)
Just in case you’re in doubt, I’d start by establishing my love for food and my sweet tooth. Writing this alone makes me lick my lips thinking of a cheesy meaty lasagna with a vanilla milkshake.
But today, I’m going to share the flip side of my love for food. This food lover is also a mini fitness freak and healthy eating junkie and advocate.
In 2016, I decided to change my lifestyle and go on a life changing journey. I lost about 25kg /5- 6 dress sizes in the process and I’ve managed to keep it off two years down.
I ditched junk food, carbs, oil and sugary drinks for about 4 months and matched it with intense workout. I had a goal in mind and I was focused to achieve it. I also had an amazing support system of women and we embarked on the journey together. Once the pounds started falling off, I was amazed by the transformation so I was determined to keep at it.
When I got to my target weight, I felt like a new person. You see, I had never been slim before - so yes, I had finally achieved a huge feat. Then the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ started rolling in. In true Nigerian fashion, some people made negative comments but I was unbothered!
Then came the hardest part of the journey, Maintaining your goal weight.
My key to loving food and not gaining crazy weight is on the face of it, very simple: Balance and Discipline. Balance is knowing I can have my smoothies all day and the following day indulge in a tiramisu. Balance and a ton of discipline has kept me going as sometimes it is necessary to say no to your cravings.
It sounds easy but maintaining your goal weight is a task and a half. What do I do?
First, I give myself a target weight range and I tend to either be at the lower or higher end.
Next, I pay for my indulgences by working out. So when I travel for instance, I eat all my junk food but I ensure I move about by walking a lot!. I typically wake up, take a 5k jog or walk, eat the fattest IHOP breakfast then ensure all my tourist activities are done walking! By the end of the day I would have clocked over 16km. I don’t then feel bad for all I eat. Next day, I rinse and repeat!
Even when I’m not travelling, I try to work out 5 times a week with a mix of jogging, walking and cardio. Sometimes, I also engage in workout challenges with friends and colleagues.
Let’s not also forget that I’ve drastically altered what I eat daily. My former diet was packed with copious mounts of food and junk! Eating in small and healthy portions is super important - don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Small portions help you pace yourself over a period of time. During my weight loss journey, I learnt how to use measuring cups and it has been a life saver - buy them! I learnt the importance of portion control and so my typical work lunch could be 1 cup of jollof rice, veggies and protein.
Some days when I get bored of food or I feel I’ve over eaten over a couple of days I switch to a no or low carb diet. Occasionally I go on a fruit detox.
You probably don’t want to hear this bit, but I’ll say it anyway. I have learnt to have fun with and dare I say even enjoy salads! The more colorful it is the more enticing to eat.
Finally, keep a food diary. Honestly, you’d be amazed at how much we eat and drink unknowingly. But also, study your body. What works for me might not work for you.
Most importantly people, do what makes you happy and love your body!
I don’t think I’d ever stop loving food. But I’m glad I’ve got to the point where I can control my approach to food, in a way that makes me happy about my weight and my health.
Do you struggle with balancing your love for food with your weight? Or have you fully mastered this - please share your tips!