A couple of days ago the Dietbet I was a part of finished - I wrote about it in THIS post, when it was the mid point of it. I managed to end up as a winner! I was supposed to lose 4% of my body weight during November, which for me is 3kg (6.6lbs) - but I lost 4kg (8.8lbs) in total! Which I think is amazing!
I wouldn`t`ve loved it if I lost more because I think that losing a lot of weight quickly is not healthy for you. And also, it seems that those who shed off a lot of weight in a short period of time end up gaining it all back quickly too. And I don`t want that, I want to stay between the healthy weight range.
So I thought I`d share with you what I did to achieve what I`ve achieved. This is going to be a long post, so bear with me!
Here are some points about my diet plan (that has now become my lifestyle!):
1) Every morning I woke up at 8:30 am and went to sleep between 9 and 12 pm. Having a sleep schedule and the right amount of sleep every night helps your overall well-being, but also helps lose the fat from your belly.
2) After waking up I drank a glass of water and made myself a big cup of tea that I`d drink before breakfast. It is very good for our bodies to drink water/tea right after waking up as we get very dehydrated during the night. I drank between 1.5 and 2.5 liters of water each day. It is important to stay hydrated, but don`t overdo it. Nothing is healthy in large quantities.
3) One of the things that I think contributed the most is intermittent fasting. It has been scientifically proven that it is extremely healthy (some basic articles HERE and HERE). I did the 8-16 one: for 8 hours of the day I ate, and then fasted for the rest of the day. I split the day this way:
- Breakfast: 10AM - egg sandwich, or scrambled eggs, or porridge, with the addition of vegetables on the side
- Lunch: 1 PM - a piece of meat or fish with a lot of veggies on the side
- Snack: 4 PM - usually a fruit snack - a couple of tangerines or oranges, as I`m obsessed with them at the moment!
- Dinner: 6 PM - a light vegetable soup made from cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, ... but I ate a lot of it as I can`t fall asleep if I feel hungry!
4) I calculated how much calories my body needs per day (I just found a couple different calculators online, calculated and used the middle result) and decided to eat 500 calories less. So I ate around 1500 calories each day, and I used this GREAT app called MyNetDiary to track the calories I ate each day. I intend to slowly go back to around 1800 once I`ve lost a couple more kilos.
The amount of daily calorie intake is obviously different for everyone, but make sure you don`t eat less than 1200 calories every day as your metabolism will then slow down and besides it being very unhealthy and making you lose weight slower, it will be hard to get it up again.
5) I also cut out all sugar. Well, with the exception of 2 or 3 teaspoons of honey I ate one day when I was really crazily craving something sweet! I cut out sugar at the beginning of the summer when I found out I have hyperinsulinemia (I wrote about that in THIS post ), but I did still use fructose and honey from time to time.
I guess I`m lucky because I love vegetable as much as I love sweet foods such as cakes and cookies. It would probably be harder for someone to not eat sugary foods and eat vegetables with every meal if they hated the taste of them. But I think that even if you hate them, if you try them 5-10 times, you`ll grow to love them too! And you`ll love how they make you feel filled but light at the same time (unlike cake...).
The first 20-ish days when I first stopped eating sugar during the summer were the worst when it comes to cravings! But after the first month rolled off, I realized I didn`t feel the need for it anymore. So just do your best to get trough those first few weeks and then it`ll be easier!
6) An important thing I learned was making the better choice. Sometimes I wanted to eat a piece of toast with a little bit of mayonnaise on it. But I learned to suppress that urge and instead of using mayo I`d eat butter. Both have a lot of calories, but butter is much more healthy for you (it raises the GOOD cholesterol and is higher in Omega-3 fatty acids which are very important for our brain). I`d also accompany the toast with at least a few bites of some vegetable, it`s not only carbohydrates going into my stomach.
I think I should mention that I did next to no exercise. My energy levels have been extremely low for the past few months due to anemia - I`ve been trying out different iron supplements and only a week ago fount the one that doesn`t affect me badly (all others gave me really bad stomach cramps).
I did go for a longer walk 2-3 times a week and did my 10-min morning stretching exercise almost every day.
Now I am going to tell you the good and the bad sides of being a part of a dietbet. I think I`ll first go with the bad ones, so that the post ends up on a positive note ;)
BAD SIDES OF JOINING A DIET BET:
- The STRESS of not knowing if you`ll use money or not. I was very stressed the first couple of days until I started losing weight, as I didn`t know whether I`ll manage it or not. As soon as I started losing I relaxed, but still made sure to follow my plan.
- The possibility of losing money. If you are really tight with money, then it`s better not to invest it in a dietbet as there is always the possibility that you won`t get it back.
GOOD SIDES OF JOINING A DIET BET:
- It will keep you on track. Honestly, If I wasn`t about to lose money if I didn`t stick to my diet plan and lost the weight, I`d have given in to temptations and cravings.
- If you fulfill your goal, you get earn money! Even if it`s as little as 5 dollars, it`s still additional money!
- The community is very positive and empowering! Of course, it depends on the people - I joined a dietbet hosted by Jordan from JordanShrinks on youtube (here) and I was amazed by how kind and inspiring all the people are! It really helped keep my faith up.
I myself don`t think I`ll be joining another dietbet. At least not any time soon.
It`s just because I don`t know If I`ll be able to lose more 3-4kg (6-9lbs) in a matter of month again. And besides, I think that I do not want to lose that much weight- I am happy with the way I look and feel now (my bmi is 25 so I could lose a bit more, but then I think - a lot of my weight consists of muscles, and I really do not want to lose muscles). We`ll see how it goes.
Anyway, this is all that came to my mind, If you have some additional questions feel free to leave them in the comments below, I`d be happy to answer them :)
- Lena xx