- Most of us would like to lose weight but find it difficult to diet
- Using 3 simple strategies to eat more nutritiously, we can create a caloric deficit and lose weight
- A long term habit building approach compared to crash dieting
As Singapore grew and developed, Singaporeans have also become more educated and started understanding the importance of leading a healthy and active lifestyle. We understand the dangers and risks of being sendantry and having a poor diet. But with Singapore being the food paradise that it is, eating healthily and nutritiously can be confusing and difficult for the average Singaporean.
Rather than just having a list of foods to eat and stick to forever, it is much more rewarding for you to understand some basic concepts of nutritious eating so that you can make your own well-informed choices when choosing or preparing your daily meals. Having understanding of what makes a better choice can also help you be more consistent in cases where you are out of your usual schedule.
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A BALANCED APPROACH
While eating chicken breast and brocolli every day for the rest of our lives can definitely give us a lean body as well as provide us with adequate nutrition, that is definitely not an ideal thought for the most of us. It probably wouldn’t be sustainable as well. Furthermore, not all of us are looking to get chiseled abs. Some of us just want to live more healthily, lose some weight and look better. With this in mind, let’s not think in extremes and try to focus on finding a sustainable way to eat well.
First and foremost, in order to lose weight, we all have to obey this rule:
Calories In (Your food intake) < Calories Out (Your Energy Expenditure)
We have to create a Caloric Deficit by ensuring out caloric expenditure is over our caloric intake. Don’t worry, this isn’t a guide to tell you to count calories and be ultra strict with meal planning and macronutritient. But we are here to look at simple, progressive and sustainable ways to eat. This helps build healthy habits that can create a caloric deficit and in turn, allow us to lose weight and achieve our goals.
*Unless you’re trying to losing weight for a competition or event where time is of the essence, a long term and progressive approach to weight loss is much more sustainable than a crash diet.
THREE PRACTICAL STEPS TO CREATING A CALORIC DEFICIT
- Understanding Yourself
- Know what are “Healthier” options
- Search for and start making the change
- Understanding Yourself
In order to make a change, the first step is to understand your current situation. This allows us to properly plan ahead and make the necessary adjustments needed to start creating a bigger change in the future. One simple and effective way to do this is to take a week to document your daily eating habits, from breakfast, lunch to dinner (and any snacks in between). I regularly ask my newer trainees to photograph their meals so that we can see what might be some of the causes of their weight gain. It might be too many meals, too much unhealthy options, too many snacks or so on.
2. Knowing the “Healthier” Options
A simple way to look at how to judge food options can be to firstly look at
- Where is the food from?
- How is it cooked?
- What is it cooked with?
- How big is the portion?
Ask yourself the above questions whenever you’re picking out your food items or meals and you are more likely to pick something that is lower in calories and more conducive for your weight loss goals. The following flow chart is a good way to do so:
When you end up mostly at the left side of the flow chart consistently, you will be picking the best options for your weight loss and health goals!
3. Start Making Change
Now that you’re armed with the knowledge and guide to make better informed choices, it is time for the hard part..to make a change! Start by:
- Recognising which areas of your eating habits and choices can be improved on and note down how you can do so!
- Start planning how you can slowly incorporate these habits into your routine. (For eg. Starting by eating healthily every lunch versus every single meal immediately!)
- Follow the flow chart to ensure you make better choices!
- Over time you’ll be able to understand your body better and know a good estimation of how much and what type of food will suit your needs and wants better.
To go a level further, you can start to buy and prepare your own food to have full control over what you eat and how it’s prepared. You can also start on a fitness program, to help you burn more calories and build a stronger metabolism to increase your caloric expenditure!
There’s no easy way to change a life time of poor eating habits. But we can simplify things to make it easier for you to start incorporating them into your lifestyle! Start slow and slowly make improvements week by week and you’ll reap great rewards in your health and waist in the future. Don’t worry if you fail at times along the way, just get yourself back into the routine again then next meal.
Take that first step and start today! Let’s all keep on trying to get stronger tomorrow.