Tag Archive | real food

Why exercise is important in losing weight

Sometime ago, in June 2014, I already felt so huge, so heavy, and so unpretty (yes, my self esteem was low). I was 180 lbs  (roughly 82 kgs) for my 5 ft and 3 in frame and was feeling empty and heading nowhere. I wanted to lose weight and feel good about myself and buy clothes that I truly like. But how?

I was managing a huge team of about 200 employees that time, yes, and I enjoyed the feeling of instant gratification whenever my team and I made significant leaps in our performance. My friends and team mates were always there when I need someone to watch a movie with me or to eat unlimited garlic bread in Bigoli or to munch and dine on huge pandesals over hot chocolate and cheese spreads. I would stay long hours in the office and won’t leave unless my body is too tired for my brains to analyze performance data and layout strategies to bridge performance gaps and improve performance.

Obviously, I loved being in the office and managing people and managing performance. But my own personal life was put in a stall.

I realized that I have been working hard to improve the performance of my team but I have neglected myself. If I can analyze performance gaps, I should be able to analyze where I can start to improve my well-being. I reflected on my food habits.

Why do I eat?

  1. I eat when I’m hungry. This usually happens during lunch time and dinner time.
  2. I eat when I’m stressed. Stressors in the office and my personal life cause me to get out and de-stress. Food calms me down.
  3. I eat when I’m bored. When I’m at home and not doing anything, I go out and buy bread in the neighborhood bakery.
  4. I eat when I’m sad.  There is no better way to turn my sadness into joy but food.  haha. 🙂
  5. I eat when my friends invite me out. I don’t like saying no to my friends. I always think that people takes effort to invite someone out and it’s not very polite to say no. So I go out and eat
  6. I eat when I see new restaurants. I like the feeling of being able to try new dish from newly opened restaurants. I like the feeling of being an authority somehow of where good food is.
  7. I eat out to celebrate my team’s good performance. I would bring my team out to good restaurants to enjoy good food. It’s always fun talking with them over good food. I eat.
  8. I eat when my boss celebrates good performance. My boss usually treats us with food when good performance is reported and acknowledged. I don’t say no to good food.
  9. I eat when I go to movies. Who wants to go to movies without popcorn and soda?

See. I kept on eating. Yes. And out of the 9 reasons why I eat, hunger is only 1 of them. I was eating for enjoyment. I wasn’t eating right.  Yet I don’t want to stop eating.

I decided to enroll in a gym that same month. If I can’t stop eating, I decided that burning my fats is the best resolution to my ballooning weight.

132lbs

My pic taken 4 days ago.  I’m 132lbs here. My weight is now playing around 130-133 lbs. I’m back to exercising.

How exercise helped me eat right

A month after I started going to the gym, I noticed that I’m eating lesser portions of food than what I used to have. I also noticed that I don’t eat as often anymore.  Something changed.  My eating habits changed without me planning to. Wow!

  1. I was feeling good about myself.  I was feeling less stressed. In fact, I didn’t care about stress anymore.  I didn’t have to do stress eating.
  2. I was feeling happy all the time.  Each time I stepped on the scale and saw my weight decreased, I felt happy.   I became more determined to lose weight.  Exercise released my happy hormones.  Sadness eating was driven out.
  3. I started exercising at home too.  Now I had something to do at home.  Instead of munching cheese bread, donuts, and cheeseburgers, I donned my running shoes and walked, jogged, and ran around the neighborhood.  Sweat felt so good.  I didn’t have time to eat for boredom’s sake.
  4. I learned to say no to food outing. I saw improvements in my leg muscles. My legs were getting firm and started to show good shape. I didn’t want to interrupt the improvement I was seeing. I started to politely say no to friends who invite me to eat out.
  5. New restaurants became just a sight.  When new restaurants opened, I learned to appreciate the fact that it’s new and it offers something new.  But I learned to say no. 😉
  6. Good performance begets celebration.   When my team delivered good performance and I treated them with food.  I celebrated with them with a few bites. I wasn’t tempted to get full anymore.  I enjoyed few bites on the food that my boss would buy for us to celebrate too. The celebration is more important than the food.
  7. Movies but no popcorn.  When I watched movies, I would have my dinner first.  That way, I cut expenses from buying popcorn and soda, and cut my calorie intake too.
  8. Soda and bottles juices no more.   Exercise made me appreciate water more.  With zero calories, I indulged the refreshing taste of cold and hot water too.  I ditched soda and bottled juices. I stopped drinking calories.

Without making plans on what diet I would take, exercise helped me follow good eating habits, albeit naturally.  It started with me not feeling as hungry as before.  Then it became a choice not to be hungry.   I ate fruits, vegetables, fish, chicken, meat, and beef. I ditched the milk too, instead, I drank water and coffee.  I exercised and ate a lot while eating unprocessed food and saying no to rice.

I lost 52 lbs in 12 months.  I dropped my weight from 180 lbs to 128 lbs. And I’m loving it.

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Why eating real food is better than exercising when shedding unwanted weight

It all boils down to burning calories, the amount of energy present in food. Our body can only do two things to calories. Either it burns it or store it. Not so fortunately for us, calories that are not burned are stored in our body’s storage system called fat.

To lose weight, we only need to use up more calories than what our body stores. If you intake more calories than what your body burns, you will gain weight. This is the plain, high-level formula of keeping your weight at the level you desire.

Exercise can speed up burning the calories, however, when you eat more than what you burn, you still end up growing bigger. The secret is to healthy weight loss is in eating real food with low calories and with the right nutrition.

The power of eating real food.  Unprocessed food, untainted with processed sugars, salt, and other chemicals — these are real food. Real food are filling, high in nutrition, but low in calorie. You eat a ton but for a small amount of calorie. That’s a total bargain.

Let’s take for example my favorite fruit, mango.  Ripe mango in its unprocessed form contains 26 calories only per 40g. Compare that with dried mangoes you can buy in the market which has 160 calories per 40 g. Drying the mangoes and processing it with food-grade chemicals increased the calories 6 times. Whoa! That’s a ton of calories in there, yet 40g of will not fill you. Plus the high concentration of sugar triggers craving for more food. More food, more calories, more calories that you need to burn.

You can eat 2 cups of fresh ripe mango which is about 200g and you consume only 130calories, 30 calories lesser than what you consume in a 40g dried mango. You enjoy a filling meal without the fear of taking in too much calories.

The right amount of calorie.  Your body needs the right amount of calorie to keep itself functioning optimally.  The amount of calorie that your body burns to support itself is called the basal metabolic rate. The right amount of calorie must be supplied and burned in order for the body to function properly and keep itself healthy. Therefore, you must not take less calories than what your body burns to function properly.

The crackers and water diet. Some dieters believe that eating only 1 pack of 3-pc crackers in substution of one or more of their meals will help them lose weight. What they didn’t realize is that 3 pieces (90g) of this crackers already contain 120 calories. This is 120 calories of food that will not make them feel full. In just a few hours, they will already starve and in need of more food. This would typically cause them to binge and eat more than what they need during their next meal.

Contrast that with the boiled sweet potato diet. You can eat 133g of boiled sweet potato for the same calorie value of 120. You eat more for less calories and you get good fiber and more nutrients. That’s a crazy calorie bargain.

Processed food increases the calorie value of real food 3x on average and decreases its fiber content plus, the nutritional content is typically replaced with synthetic nutrients. You have to eat more of these in-order to fill full and consequently, you shoot up your calorie intake more than what your body can burn.

It pays to eat real food.  You can eat more, feel full, take in just enough calories for you to keep healthy.

Determine your calorie needs. It is important to understand your calorie needs. There are a lot of calorie calculators available in the internet.  This one is what helped me cut down 52lbs in the 11 months of my healthy weight loss journey. From 180 lbs in June 2014, I reached 128 lbs in May 2015:  http://www.calculator.net/calorie-calculator.html

In general. Exercise burns calories. But to make your healthy weight loss efficient, you have to eat food that makes you full, nutritious, and with low calorie. Eating real food surely helped me with my healthy weight loss journey. It will help you too.

Stay healthy.  🙂

How my twin lost 9 lbs in 30 days

Jen is definitely on track.  After 30-days through her healthy weight loss journey, she has already shed off 9 lbs of unwanted weight. From 205 lbs in March 9, 2015, she is now 196 lbs.

may2014

This is my twin in May 2014.  She was 190 lbs.  10 months later, she packed in 15 lbs more and grew to be 205 lbs.

3 months through my enrollment in the gym, Jen was convinced to enroll in the same gym I go to.  She had a strong start and she was definitely having fun.  However, she got caught up with her work as a manager in a BPO company and she was not able to consistently do her gym sessions.  Finally in January 2015, she dropped the gym and went on with her daily life.

Just 1 month ago, Jen and I met at Go Salads, a green salad bar in Eastwood. While enjoying each of our serving of green jeepney smoothie made up of lettuce, pineapple, and some almonds, our catch up detoured to a conversation about my weight loss.  She told me that she was completely inspired by my transformation from an obese class 1  to a healthy 134 lbs woman. She listened to my story.

That same day, I gave her a short session on understanding calories of the food she eats.  I also encouraged her to start a healthy weight loss journey with me which includes eating real food only and drinking only water at least 2 L per day.I told her that if she would follow through the tips I am giving her, she would definitely lose 8 – 10 lbs in 30 days.

Jen started to change her grocery list and started to buy real food.  She used to be a big fan of processed food such as hotdogs, bacon, and spam.  But since then, she has said yes only to real food. She would send me photos of her breakfast, her lunch, and her dinner.  She would enjoy her vegetable and eat her fruits,  steamed chicken, fish, and beef and snack on controlled portions of nuts and banana.

jenslunch

Jen’s steamed cauliflower and carrot dinner.

She would also drink coffee with 10 g of Anchor unsalted butter in the morning during her breakfast. This coffee concoction suppresses her cravings to eat more food and makes her feel full a little longer until her lunch time 5 hours later.  She enjoys eating sweet potato too.

jen,

This is my twin, from 205 lbs in March 9, 2015 to 196 lbs 30 days later.

Jen’s healthy weight loss journey doesn’t stop with eating the right kind of food. She also takes time walking for at least 30 minutes 3x a week.  Either she would go out with her music and walk or she enjoys her walk pushing her niece’s stroller.

walk

Jen with her niece, Katnese, enjoying her afternoon walk. 

“Twin, now that I’ve started this healthy weight loss journey.  There is no turning back.” Jen declared with her eyes beaming with determination.

She is definitely on a roll. And she is loving it.   😀

3 Food I always eat to lose weight

Over the course of 9.5 months, I lost about 46 lbs.  From 180 lbs in June 2014, I am now down to 134 lbs.

04082015

This is my photo today, taken at the office.

me

This was me sometime in March 2014.

Weight loss or weight gain is governed by the calories we take in.  Calories is the measurement of the energy that our body needs to function.  Calories that are not burnt are stored as fat. Thus if we take more calorie than what our body needs, we gain weight.  The opposite of course is true, thus it is important to eat food with low calorie content.

Walking, jogging, running, going to the gym, and eating real food helped me in my journey. Exercise burns calories faster than when I am sedentary.  I didn’t starve myself. I just kept on eating real food.

Here is a list of 3 of my favorite food that helped me with my healthy weight loss journey.

1.  Sweet Potato.   This high fiber, low calorie root crop is packed with nutrients.  It is an excellent source of Vitamin C, B6, manganese, potassium, B1, and B12. A regular spud contains about 400% of my Vitamin A needs for the day.  Vitamin A is an excellent antioxidant and is good in the prevention of different types of cancer.  This excellent staple has 90 calories only for every 100 g.

2.  Chinese Cabbage.   This green leafy vegetable is called pechay in the Philippines.   1 cup of sauteed pechay has 50 calories only.   This vegetable is also labeled as negative calorie food as it takes our body more calories to burn pechay than the calorie that pechay has.  This vegetable is also a good source of calcium, phosphorous, potassium, and Vitamin A.

chick

My lunch today, fried chicken with vinegar dip and pechay greens. 

3.  Chicken.  This white meat is good source of protein.  Protein is important in building and repairing muscles.  Chicken is also a good source of Vitamin B6, Phosphorus and Copper, Thiamin, Niacin and Vitamin B12.  My favorite fried chicken part is the thigh and it has 158 calories only.  Definitely a calorie bargain for such a tasteful meat.

These 3 food type definitely helped me with my healthy weight loss journey.

Just keep on eating. 🙂

 

Vegetables and fish: Perfect harmony

Lunch was awesome again today.  I had fried horse mackerel with vinegar and chilly dip paired with a serving of sauteed Chinese cabbage.

mackerellunch

This crunchy green leafy vegetable has loads of phyto-nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant content.  1 cup of this high fiber and very filling vegetable which is about 100g has 13 calories only.  It’s perfect for individuals who want to eat a lot but do not want to gain weight.  This is also perfect for those who are into their healthy weight loss journey such as myself.  This vegetable is also considered as negative calorie food, which when eaten would practically add zero calories in the body but increases calorie burn, thus helps in shedding off unwanted weight.

Fried mackerel, one of my favorite dishes, has good amount of potassium, dietary fiber, and protein.   It has good amount of vitamin A, D, E, B1, B2, B6, B12, Folate, and panthothenic acid. It is perfect for muscle strengthening.  Plus, it only has about 215 calories per 100 g of fried horse mackerel.

From 180 lbs in June 2014, the type of food I eat helped me lose 46 lbs thus far.  I now weigh 134 lbs.  By April 21, 2015, my weight will go down further to 132 lbs.  For my 5ft and 3in frame, my target is to maintain a weight range of 121lbs t0 125 lbs. I should be able to hit my target by May 2015.

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Me back in February 2015 at the gym.

As long as I continue with my walk and run,  exercise at the gym, and keep myself from eating junk food and eat only real food, I am certain that I will meet my target on time.

Just keep on eating.  🙂

How I lost 4 kgs in 5 weeks

Yes. I did it again.  I lost 4 kgs in 5 weeks.   I was 65 kgs back in February 17, 2015.  I am now down to 61.2 kgs.

I have now shed off a total of 46 lbs, almost 21 kgs already since I started my healthy weight loss journey. From 180 lbs in June 2014, I am now down to 134.64 lbs.

running

 

Here I am during my after-work one hour walk and run.

I didn’t think I could lose weight this fast as I only lost a little over 1 kg the month before that. Thanks to the new breakfast technique my boss and friend taught me a week after I joined our Exciting team.  The healthy weight loss is pretty amazing.

So how did I lose 4 kgs in 5 weeks?

1.  My breakfast technique.  I love coffee.  The bittersweet flavor of black coffee keeps me awake and active all day.  Plus, coffee is an excellent source of antioxidant too.  Haha. Coffee is in fact a superfood!

I drink coffee in the morning usually. It’s no secret. However, about 3 weeks ago, I started to add a teaspoon of Cadia Virgin Coconut Oil in my cup of coffee.   It tastes and smell good.  And the good fat from the virgin coconut oil makes me feel full for a longer time and I get less craving for food than when I used to pair my coffee with bread.  Now, I usually eat boiled sweet potato or I eat fruits such as banana and apple for breakfast together with my coffee-vco concoction.  Good fat plus antioxidant plus vitamins and minerals and fiber from fruits and root crops. What a combination!

2)  My lunch.  I usually eat my lunch 5 hours after my breakfast.  I would typically have fish or chicken and some vegetables.  Today, I had fried fish and chinese cabbage. The other day, I had milkfish and monggo.  I dip my fish, chicken, and beef in vinegar a lot too. Vinegar makes the body metabolism really fast and it has zero calories. 😀   If I have time to cook in the morning, I would typically cook boiled sweet potato for lunch and I spread it with 10 g of Anchor unsalted butter.  As long as I have my daily dose of protein from fish, chicken, or beef, and I have my daily dose of vegetables and carbohydrates from unprocessed food, I am all good.

3).  My dinner.  Dinner time is the lightest meal for the day.  I typically would have a piece of Empanada Iloco, a serving of chopsuey, and a piece of cavendish banana.  At times it would be pinakbet and fish.  And sometimes I would have fried chicken from the local carenderia and some vegetables.  Today I had fresh lumpia, a piece of apple, and a small piece of fried chicken without batter. As long as I have my protein and vegetables I am good.

I snack in between meals too.  I would have a small square of dark chocolate at 72% to 82% cocoa which has about 60 calories.  I would also snack with fruits such as apples, pears, and cavendish banana.  And I drink at least 2.5 L of water each day.   Ha ha.  Water is filling, flushes away body toxins really fast, and it has zero calories.

mango apple

My mango-apple smoothie without sugar and without milk satisfies my sweet tooth. Just plain mango, apple, and some crushed ice. 

Of course, I exercise too.  Although I’m busy with my work in business development, I always give myself at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. It could be walking, core exercise, leg exercise, or circuit training in the gym. Exercise makes the body work faster too.  The more our body works faster, the more it burns calories.  Haha. It’s an effective way to make our bodies work for ourselves. 😀

This healthy weight loss journey is pretty amazing. Just keep on eating. No starving.

I am loving this.

I officially lost 43 lbs in 9 months

It’s official. I just had my 9th official weigh in at the gym today.  I lost a total of 43 lbs in 9 months! Yes, I am now down to 136.80 lbs.  Even my bust has gone down to 38 in coming from 44.75 in back in June 2014. Lol.

measuremetn

This is my official report.  I lost almost 20 kg of unwanted weight in my 9 months of membership in Curves.

Back in June 2014, my 5 ft 3 in frame peaked at 180 lbs.  At obese class 1, I always had allergic rhinitis attack every morning.  I had nightly acid re-flux. It was always difficult sleeping, what with the acid racing to my throat while lying down.  I also  snored really loud and I even wake up in the middle of my sleep only because I hear myself snore. Whoa!  It was time to make a change.

cuveseast

This was me on my first visit in the gym. I just had my site tour and finished my gym consultation. I was excited to start a new journey.

Now that I follow a healthy lifestyle, gone are the daily allergic rhinitis attacks.  Gone are the heartburn.  Gone are the silly snores that used to wake me up in the middle of the night. 😀

I feel lighter now. I feel nimbler. And I feel stronger too.

curves

This is me this afternoon after my workout.  I took a pose with the gym coach Cha and Zumba Zin coach Liezel.

Yes, there are a lot of products out there that promise to cut your weight loss journey really really short. But it’s not sustainable.  I took the healthy living route. And on average I lost 5 lbs of unwanted weight every month.  And I didn’t experience the weight gain rebound.  🙂

I am glad I stepped foot at Curves Eastwood back in June 2014.  That decision to start a 3x a week 30-minute total body workout sessions in the training circuit totally changed my life.   The gym coaches are always encouraging.  They always have a ready smile on their faces too.   There is never a dull moment each time I visit the gym for my workout.

I used to eat practically all kinds of processed food my sweet tooth and salty taste can munch on.  Chippy and Tortillos were my favorite snacks. Cheese and all kinds of cheese were my favorite bread pair. Ham, hotdog, bacon, maling, spam, beef loaf, corned beef, sausages, canned tuna, — these used to be part of my meals.  I used to stack a pitcher of iced tea in my refrigerator too every time and I don’t finish a meal without iced tea. I thought iced tea makes the body metabolism fast. It turned out that I was just drinking calories.  Lol.

curvesstreng

Me, together with  Zumba Zin coach Liezel and the owner of Curves Eastwood,  Ms. Jackie Peredo.

I am always grateful with that conversation I had with coach Cindy in the gym.  She totally explained to me in a matter of 15-min chitchat how calories work. Haha.

The workout sessions didn’t just help me tone my muscles. It also helped me with my decision to totally overhaul my eating habits.   That conversation caused me to become a major advocate of eating real food only.  And real food together with at least 2.5 L of water a day truly cleansed and detoxified my body.

Curves Eastwood is always going to be a part of me.  It’s already — Family. 🙂