From cutting carbs, to fad diets, to intermittent fasting.
I moved to the United States for college in August 2018 and explored the depths of my belly and ate as much as I pleased. I remember eating a whole box of cereal as breakfast on Mondays and grabbing cookies right after.
I returned to Nigeria for summer 2019 and that was when it hit me! I had unwittingly surpassed the "freshman 15" and had gained 20 pounds since I began college. I was beyond disappointed in myself and became determined to loose all that weight.
The first thing I did was find a way to increase my movement without spending long hours with gym equipment I could barely use. I decided to work on my dancing skills because I have always loved dancing. I signed up for my gym which has a dance studio and after about fifteen minutes of cardio, I would spend hours dancing.
I did a tremendous amount of research on how to loose weight "fast" because I just wanted to get rid of all the weight I gained as quickly as I could.
From the general Google search to YouTube videos about ginger tea and juice diets, I became frustrated. I landed on a site that talked about intermittent fasting, so I decided to look into it.
For anyone who doesn't know, intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern in which you fast for a certain number of hours in the day and eat for the remaining time. The 16/8 method is one of the most common IF patterns. This means you fast for 16 hours of the day and have an eating window for the remaining 8 hours.
I adopted the 20/4 method, so I ate from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. each day and fasted from 8 p.m. till 4 p.m. the next day. It was hectic at first and there were days I felt very faint, but I did not give up. I downloaded an app called "Life" which helped to keep track of my fasting hours and show me what processes are occurring in my body and at what time.
After further research, I learned about counting calories and the science behind calories. healthline.com has all the info you want about how counting calories works and why it was very effective.
calories in < calories out = weight loss
calories in > calories out = weight gain
I downloaded the "My Plate" app and logged every meal I ate throughout the day. I used my Fitbit to track my exercise and how many calories I burned each day. With these two, I was able to ensure I was in caloric deficit every day and therefore, loosing weight everyday!
If you wish to count your calories, I would recommend doing research on how this affects you personally and if possible, consult a nutritionist.
I decided to eat 1200 calories each day and loose 2500 through exercise. This kept me in a daily calorie deficit of about 1,300 calories. Of course there were days I ate more and days I did not exercise.
I know not everyone loves math so I'll break this down. 3500 calories = 1 pound = 0.45kg. So I was basically loosing about 2.5 pounds (roughly 1kg) every week!
After about a month, I decided to switch to the 16/8 IF method, which I still observe. My eating window begins at 12 p.m. and I consume no more than 1200-1500 calories between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. then I fast till 12 p.m. the next day. My body has completely adjusted to this pattern and I hardly ever feel hungry before 12 p.m.
By October 2019, I had successfully lost 33lbs (about 15kg)!
It is now May 2020 and I have maintained this weight loss.
A lot more came with this weight loss journey. It definitely was not as easy as it seems. I'll go into detail about all the emotions, mood swings and temptations that were hurdles on this journey and how I overcame them, in another blog post.
Thanks for reading WrittenbyIsi
Bible verse takeaway: "Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established" -Proverbs 16:3