Saturday, November 06, 2010

Simple Tips to Healthier Life - Eating

After successfully bringing my weight down (see previous post), I realise that there are simple steps in our daily life that you can make to lead a healthier life. Let me share some tips I have learnt about eating.

Summary of the tips:
- Eat a full breakfast
- Cut your carbohydrate intake by at least 1/2 for dinner.
- Eat more meals and stop eating when you are not hungry.
- Avoid fried and sweet items.

I love eating. It was one of the hardest habit to change for me initially. I told Desmond (my personal trainer) I can do all the exercise and endure all the tekan (punishment), but I cannot give up eating those yummy food. Its just too tempting and hard. But after some research on the net, its is very doable. Just need to take the first step.

The simple steps revolve around the Chinese saying, "早餐吃得饱, 午餐吃得好, 晚餐吃得少". Its similar to the saying "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper". The other principal is not to stave yourself as it does more harm than good. Let me elaborate.

Your body need a certain calories intake everyday in order to maintain your body weight. There are many calories calculators online which can calculate the calories you need to consume to maintain your weight. I did the lazy way out and bought a Tanita weighting machine that can tell me that. The idea is to consume about 500 calories less every day in order to shred fats and weight. If you try to drop it drastically and stave yourself, your body might go into what they call "starvation mode" . So instead of burning fats, your body now burns lean tissue and muscle. You may lose weight but you are not losing fat. Also, muscles help to burn fats as you go through your dailies activities so having more muscle means burning more fats. As you build more muscles via strength training, burning fats become easier.

So given that you have to consume a certain amount of calories everyday, the whole idea is to eat big in the morning and eat little at night. It makes lots of sense as your body need the energy in the day more than at night when you are sleeping. So you try to fill up your calories quota when the sun is up and eat less when the sun is down. Eating breakfast is very important. Let me say it again, eating breakfast is very important. I have been without breakfast for years, preferring to eat an early lunch instead. Now I can't start my day without eating anything in the morning. Food in the morning wakes your brain up and give your body the energy to start the day.

Another pointer is to eat more meals and "do not eat till you are full, but eat till you are not hungry". Plan healthy snacks in between meals. Try to look for healthy alternatives so that you do not need to face drastic changes to your diet. If you have craving for something yummy yet unhealthy, eat them in moderation. Do not think just because you have a craving means you have to eat more of it and upsize it. I learn to give in to my cravings but I make sure I only have a small portion of it just to satisfy my craving . 

For many of you, dinner might be the heaviest meal of your day because you entertain your clients, or have gatherings, or have company and wedding dinners to attend. The simplest way is to cut your carbohydrate intake by at least 1/2 for dinner. If you can do without any carbohydrate after 6pm, even better. This is because your body usually do not use up all the energy from your carbohydrate intake and most of it stores as fat when you sleep.

Lastly, avoid fried food and sweet stuff if possible and take more vegetables and fruits.

Now you might ask, so how do I know the calories in the food I eat everyday? There are websites that you can register for free and input what you eat on a daily basis and it calculates and track your calories intake for you. I use to use My Plate @live.strong.com but am now too lazy to do it. However, I strongly encourage you to do it at least for 2 weeks. The first week to track calories of your usual diet and the second week when you do changes to your diet. Then you know if you are on the right track.

Happy fat and weight shredding.

3 comments:

  1. Cool. I trying to lose weight too! The speed that I am gaining back weight is scary. I was once 90+kg and after some strict exercise + diet, I went all the way down to 65kg...

    Now my stocks are raising and I am at 83kg....TIME TO GET FIT!!

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  2. Wow 90+kg to 65kg is power. You done it before, you can do it again. Yeah its hard work shredding weight but so easy to put back. I'm trying to maintain now.

    Let's all work together to get Fit!

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  3. It's extremely hard work, coupled with the fact that I was much younger and with exercise fanatic friends that pull me along to jog up and down mount faber, cycle around the island, kayaking, etc etc.

    Now, a bit difficult......will try!!

    ReplyDelete