This is my personal weightloss journey. I am not a doctor, nor a nutritionist, all I have is my own experience to share with you guys. I achieved this weighloss using one method, but there are so many more out there if mine doesn’t suit you ! Also, all these tips worked for me, but that doesn’t mean that it will automatically work for you. We all have different bodies, metabolisms, conditions, morphologies, and so on. So i’ll share what worked for me, and if this info can help anyone, that’ll be awesome !
First things first, here’s how I gained 10 kg to begin with. I have never been very heavy, as a short person my body was never supposed to be really large. But, I’ve always had full hips and butt (which is a nightmare to find clothes that actually fit my figure, as if being hobbit-sized wasn’t enough), so I was never really lean either. Then I started the pill, and I guess I developed therefore a tendency to easily gain fat, but I still was stable and eating mostly “ok” (like teenager ok). It started to get a little more complicated when I met my actual boyfriend : we used to order pizzas and takeout foods multiple times a week. Sometimes, I even ordered food when I was alone too, I mean who doesn’t love to have a delicious pizza delivered at the door ?
So, a year passed, and I was so happy that I didn’t notice that my body was changing. I’m not afraid to say it : happiness made me fat ! One day, I saw a picture of myself, and suddenly I was fat. I almost had the feeling that it wasn’t me on the picture, or that I was wearing some kind of skin disguise. But when I bought a weighing scale, the verdict was clear : I had gained 10 kg.
It took me 3 months to loose that weight, but please keep in mind that it’s easier to loose weight when you gained it fast.
Here’s my before and after, including the picture that started it all :
To be fair, and to put things into perspective : I wasn’t THAT fat, some people may even say that I wasn’t fat at all. Even if my IMC was technically on the overweight side, it wasn’t the end of the world. But this was the heaviest I’ve ever been, and that was kind of a shock to me. It was especially hard to accept that fact after growing in a family where I was often reminded that I was “the fat one”, even without being actually fat. Even if it wasn’t intentional, I was pretty much raised to think that I was always too heavy, it’s actually a miracle that I never developed any eating disorders.
After seeing that picture, that’s when I decided that I was going to completely change my lifestyle, and right on the spot !
The first mistake I made was trying to change it all at once : going to the gym, eating super healthy and clean, doing hardcore fitness programs.
Spoilers : I failed miserably.
So what’s the secret to loose weight ?
First, don’t start everything all at one, because I can tell you that you’re going to stop it all in two weeks as I did. Start with the element that you feel more comfortable changing. You have to get used to your new lifestyle, because yes, it’s a lifestyle and not a diet. If for you weightloss is a temporary diet while you wait to go back to your old habits, then that’s how it’s going to be : temporary. You’ll lose weight temporarily, and then you’ll gain it again, sometimes even more. You have to change your lifestyle for life to never go back.
Now, start changing one thing at a time. If you prefer to start working out without changing your diet, do that. If you hate working out : just change your diet ! I actually started with changing my way of eating. During the first half, I didn’t even do any kind of training, I started working out after. When you’re ready, start adding the other to the equation : this is the secret to MAINTAIN your new lifestyle on a long period. Because the only way to succeed at maintaining weightloss is to change the habits that made you gain weight in the first place.
Next, you have to know that there is only one secret to actually loose weight :
you have to be in a caloric deficit.
It’s that simple ! Whatever you do, if you work out everyday, or never put a foot in a gym, as long as you spend more calories than you eat, you will automatically lose weight, it’s math.
How to be in a caloric deficit ?
To be in a caloric deficit, I’m afraid you’re going to have to do some math.
First, I calculated the total of calories that my body needs to function during a day. You can find lots of daily caloric needs calculators to find your own number, here is one of them, but feel free to search one that works for you !
Then, to activate the weight loss, take your caloric maintain number and remove 200 to 300 calories. For example, if you spend 2000 calories a day, to be in a caloric deficit you’d need to eat 1800 to 1700 calories a day.
Also don’t worry, if you happen to eat 1900 one day or more. 1700 a day just means that you have to eat 11 900 calories a week, but you can basically distribute them as you please during the week. I also added some cheat meals more or less once a week (they were included in my weekly caloric needs), where I would eat pizza, or a burger, or something like that. Don’t be too strict on yourself, if one day you crave that fluffy muffing just go for it, I know I did ! You have to go at your own pace. The only thing I would recommend is to count how much the muffin was, just so you’re fully aware of how much you ate.
How much calories are in my food ?
This is kind of the painful part, because calculating how much calories you need means that you have to weight every ingredient of your food. I know this will never work for some people, but I got used to it pretty quickly and I found it very practical. If you can manage to do this, it’s going to be really “easy” to loose weight, because you KNOW you’re in a caloric deficit.
So, to calculate my food calories, I used a scanning app such as My Fitness Pal, or Yazio (this one is in french). Everyday, I scanned my ingredients, or searched for them on the app (you can’t scan a zucchini obviously), and I decided how much of each food I should have.
Once I knew I was going to have 130 calories of cooked rice in my dish for example, I had to weight the cooked rice on the scale. 130 calories are 100 grams (~3/8 cup) of cooked rice, so I put rice on my plate until the scale showed 100. Repeat for every other ingredient.
Don’t panic ! If you feel overwhelmed about the numbers and having to weight your food : starting a healthy diet, walking more, drinking lots of water, cutting the sugary drinks, and eating whole foods might be enough for you ! in the end, you just have to find out what works for you, and listen to your body. Do you feel hungry, or do you just want to eat a whole pack of cookies because they’re delicious? Are you snacking because you lack energy or because you’re bored? Learn to make the difference. Also, drink some water before starting to snack : your body often sends hungry signals to let you know that you’re actually dehydrated !
Careful : being in an extreme deficit can sabotage your weightloss !
I have to warn you because this happens to some people. If you decide that you want to be in a caloric deficit to loose weight, but you also decide that you’re going to starve yourself to get to that goal by cutting more than ~300 calories from your caloric needs to loose it faster, you’re going to have a bad time.
First, it’s obviously really bad for your health. But, and this is where I get your attention : it’s going to affect your weight loss. So yes, at the beginning you’re going to loose really fast. The problem is that then, your body is going to go on “starvation mode”. This means that anything that you’re going to eat next (especially sugary foods), is going to be stocked as fat by your body. This is where you’ll meet a plateau where weightloss is going to become almost impossible for you, your body will be stocking all it can. To loose more in that state, you’ll have to either eat even less (and probably end up dying from starvation, so please don’t), OR : you’ll have to reefed your body, eating enough until it understands that it doesn’t need to store fat for later. This means that you’re of course going to regain weight, but it will also heal your broken metabolism, and then you’ll be able to start a healthy weight loss.
The best option is of course, to never find yourself in this situation and eat enough, even to loose weight.
So, what about eating healthy and working out ?
Eating clean and healthy isn’t technically required to loose weight if you’re counting how much you eat. But here are some reasons why it’s required for a healthy weightloss :
- If you eat clean, you can eat more and feel more satisfied : a big bowl of veggies will always fill up you more than two fries. If you don’t feel full after lunch, even if you had enough calories it’ll be harder to work or study efficiently during the rest of the day.
- You will lose weight, but if you wish to specifically loose fat and not muscle, you’ll have to watch watch you eat : you need protein ! You’ll loose muscle mass if you don’t get enough protein.
- Maintaining your muscle mass will make weightloss easier, because the more muscle you have, the more calories you need to burn a day. Muscles need to be fed, so your metabolism will be faster if you keep them.
- If you loose muscle because you don’t eat your protein, you’ll lose weight but you’re eventually going to have a “skinny fat” or floppy silhouette. You’ll feel healthier and fitter with a toned physique, and defined muscles can be very aesthetic 😉
- If you work out, you get to eat more through the day because you’ll be spending calories (and more food makes me happy).
- If you eat clean and work out, you’re going to be overall healthier and get to live longer, yay !
How to loose weight without loosing muscle ?
To avoid muscle loss as much as possible only with nutrition, you need to eat your protein. Protein foods help your muscles to not just melt away leaving more space for fat ! You can find protein in many foods, and for every kind of diet : the obvious ones are meat, eggs, dairy, but there’s also protein in lentils, chick peas, beans, chia seeds, tofu … and the list goes on.
If you find it too hard to find protein foods to add to your diet don’t worry : you can also get some lean protein or food supplements to be sure to get enough ! You can make sweet protein smoothies, or even use protein flakes in soups, sauces… get creative !
Here’s a macronutrient calculator to know how much protein you need to loose weight while maintaining your muscle mass : Macros calculator.
Personally I LOVE using Foodspring supplements (I swear I’m not sponsored, I genuinely love them). I tried many protein shakes, and theirs is my favorite. I highly recommend their protein bars too, they almost feel like eating junkfood, it’s pretty impressive.
What did I eat during weightloss :
I needed to eat a certain number of calories a day to loose weight in a healthy way. This number worked for me because it has been calculated according to my height, weight, and age of the moment, which were 157 cm tall, 62 kg, and 24 years old. You’ll need to calculate your own number (see the How to be in a caloric deficit section) to elaborate your own menu and find out how much of all these foods you need to eat.
Here’s a typical example of what I ate in a day during my weightloss :
- Meal replacement protein shake (vanilla shape shake ) + skimmed milk = high proteins, carbs, healthy fats, essential aminos and vitamins.
- rice = source of carbs
- chicken breast or tofu = source of protein
- 1 diced zucchini (cooked with some skimmed chicken stock cube for flavor) = source of vitamins & fiber
- 1 tsp chia seeds = source of protein & fiber
- some olive oil to cook = source of healthy fats
- some almonds + a nonfat plain yogurt = protein, healthy fats, fiber
- or : a protein smoothie made with vanilla lean protein + half a frozen banana + some milk + any flavor (cinnamon, cacao powder, vanilla extract, nutmeg…)
- half an avocado
- kidney beans cooked in tomato sauce
And that’s pretty much it !
But remember, if numbers are not your forte, screw ‘em.
The most important thing is to eat your protein, look out for refined sugars, eat more veggies than carbs (rice, pasta, potatoes…), drink lots of water to fight water retention, go to the farmer’s market and buy whole ingredients, enjoy cooking new recipes and look for ideas. Exert yourself physically, even if it only means that you start to use the stairs instead of the escalator. Start to move around, go for a walk, use your bike instead of the bus. Don’t make any excuses to move less !
It’s definitely a hard and looong process, but if you want you definitely can. Don’t let anyone bring you down and be the boss of your own journey, you’ll ultimately realize that feeling healthier and fitter helps with keeping a positive state of mind 🙂
Feel free to ask anything in the comments !