Hi everybody, sorry I’ve been gone so long, last semester was a nightmare!
But anyways, I’ve seen a lot of young people, mostly girls, trying extreme diets (like the ABC diet or “ana boot camp” diet) in order to lose weight.
As someone who has struggled with eating disorders (and still does!) all the social media promoting eating disorders and these extreme diets, really concerns me, so I thought I’d write a short guide as a “healthy” alternative! I’m not a doctor or anything, I just have found the things that work through trial and error and my continuing issues with EDNOS so I hope you gain something from this 🙂
So here is How to Lose Weight:
1. Don’t do this to look good.
Weight loss should be about promoting your health! Yeah, you’ll look good, too, but make sure you’re doing this for your health! Sure, you could lose weight by eating a large fry and NOTHING else for the day, but that’s not healthy. And you will feel beyond awful. Commit yourself to eating healthy and (preferably) exercising.
Doing this just for you and your health makes it so much easier to commit to your new life!
2. Accept that this is a slow process.
Healthy weight loss is about 1-2 pounds per week. Most diet plans suggest that you have a 500-700 calorie deficit per day to achieve this. Therefore, if you burn 2000 calories a day, you should consume about 1500 calories.
This means that, no, you don’t have to work out. But that isn’t healthy. Also, I’ve found it absolutely miserable to be a total couch potato, burn 1200 calories a day, and only be able to eat 700 calories. Therefore, I would recommend you work out so you can eat something and feel like, you know, a non-miserable person.
Also, trust me, if you eat 500 calories of fries you will be much hungrier than if you ate like a 500 calorie spinach salad with fruit and cheese. Healthy foods promote LASTING energy, which will make you less hungry longer!
3. Accept that you will be hungry.
You shouldn’t be starving, but yes, at the end of the day, you should feel a mild grumble. There are ways to cope with this like drinking water, coffee, tea or other low/zero calorie drinks, chewing gum, and eating low calories foods like pickles and celery.
The smell of coffee has been suggested to reduce hunger, and sometimes strong flavored foods can make you less hungry (why I looooove pickles!)
One thing that is a huge issue in college (and I assume other circles, too) is stress eating/emotional eating.
So I have some tips to tell that you’re REALLY hungry.
- Drink a glass of water. Your body often confuses thirst and hunger. So drink a glass of water and ask yourself a few minutes later if you’re still hungry.
- Ask yourself if you would like an apple. No? You only want a hamburger or chocolate? You’re not really hungry, you’re just having a craving. If you do want an apple, go ahead!
4. Remember this is a LIFESTYLE change!
Here’s a secret: Crash diets work. Trust me, I used to do them, but they ARE SO UNHEALTHY AND THE RESULTS DON’T LAST. Immediately after you finish your “30-day only apples diet” or whatever and go back to eating normally you will gain it back.
Commit yourself to filling up on veggies and fruits with a sustainable diet! And don’t skimp on protein! Get it with lean meats and low-fat cheeses and yogurts. When cutting your calories, it is even MORE ESSENTIAL to fill up on healthy foods to make sure you get the nutrients you need!
Some of my favorites are skim milk, greek yogurt, spinach, string cheese, almonds, anything that has double nutrients like protein AND calcium or calcium AND fiber!
5. Don’t deprive yourself.
Don’t say that you will NEVER have chocolate again.
Know what that makes you want?
It is OKAY to have fries, chocolate, milkshakes, just make it every once in a while, and try to work out the morning you know you’re going out to a big dinner or something. And when you do get these things, get small fries not a large 🙂
And honestly, on your birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving, don’t bother, you’ll make yourself and everyone around you miserable.
And if you’re a sweet tooth like me, I recommend dark chocolate. I’m good with just a piece and it totally satisfies my chocolate craving! (Also, like antioxidants or something, I don’t really care, I just like chocolate.)
6. Exercise doesn’t have to be a big time/money commitment.
Basically, do what works for you. If you work out, you will lose weight and you will feel better and you will get toned!
One misconception I always see, if that cardio is the only kind of exercise that helps you lose weight. Not true, building muscle burns calories (albeit fewer), but also increases your metabolism so you burn more calories just by existing! Also, toned is better than just straight skinny 😉
And you don’t need a gym membership, but do what motivates you! Berkeley offers memberships for $10 a semester for our gym and group classes are fantab! But, you can find free work outs on Youtube or Popsugar! Or just mix and match your own.
You can sneak in work outs by parking your car farther away, walking to work/school, or taking the long way!
I know people that do things like 10 squats before sitting on the toilet, too 😛 I like to do three sets of 50 jumping jacks, 50 sit ups, and 10 push ups right when I wake up. Short work outs are easy to motivate yourself to do if you can’t imagine dragging yourself to the gym!
And, I love running, but I know I’m a weirdo. Honestly, though, so good for you. It tones your legs and abs, and is fantastic cardio. You can start with a mile and work your way up, so it doesn’t have to be absolutely miserable.
AND just so you know…you should be sore after doing a hard work out. That’s how you know it’s working!
That’s all I have for now 🙂
I might post more later, and maybe some essays on eating disorders and depression if you guys find yourselves interested!