When you’re a foodie, it is often hard to control your food intake. I’ve always had a special connection with food and I was actually crazy enough that I once filmed a McDonald’s challenge that required me to eat 10 Happy Meals.
In 2018, as soon as I started studying at The American University of Beirut, I stopped taking care of my body and all I did was eat fast and unhealthy food every day and in big amounts. By the end of 2019, none of my pants fit anymore, and it was kind of a wakeup call. I checked my BMI and it was unhealthy, and after this moment, all I could think of was my health.
I used to love my body and my shape never bothered me much because all shapes and sizes are beautiful and unique, but I was concerned about my health. So, I decided that starting January 1, 2020, my lifestyle was going to change and my BMI would return to normal and I would reach my ideal weight. And my friends, trust me, this was not one of those “new year, new me” kind of goals. I was actually super dedicated and I was able to reach my ideal weight after 6 months without even being bothered with what I was doing. I enjoyed every bit of it, and the reason I enjoyed it was because it did not feel like my eating options were limited at all. Before I share with you what I did, keep in mind that I am not a dietician or a specialist, I am just sharing my experience with you to motivate and guide you.
What I basically did was I tried a new eating system, which is known as intermittent fasting. This system requires you to fast for sixteen hours and allows you to eat for eight hours a day; the method is called the 16/8 method. In this method, you have to skip either breakfast or dinner, depends on you preference. I was never a breakfast person, so accordingly, I chose my eating window to be from 1-9 p.m. During fasting hours, you are allowed to drink water and 0 calorie drinks such as coffee and tea. I used to either have American coffee or earl grey tea every morning without any sweetener. Then, when your eating window starts, you can have 2 meals along with snacks.
However, I didn’t just eat randomly. I tracked my calories intake through an application called MyFitnessPal by Under Armour. This app is a calorie calculator. All you have to do is input everything you eat during the day and you shouldn’t cross the calorie limit the app suggests. They calculate your calories intake according to your weight, height, and how much weight you plan on losing per week.
Keep in mind that you should focus on eating healthy, but you can always have your favorite dessert with a moderate portion that allows you to stay within your calories limit. Whenever I craved something, I had it. But, for example, instead of eating a whole bar of chocolate, I ate half of it or even less. In the beginning, it will seem hard but after you get used to and see the results, you will enjoy it so much and will want to continue. It will get easier with time.
I started this system along with working out at the gym, but unfortunately, due to COVID-19, I couldn’t go to the gym anymore. I tried working out at home but I wasn’t motivated to do it much especially because I did not have any workout equipment. I used to watch some home workout videos on YouTube but not too often.
After six months of dedication, I managed to lose around 30 pounds and ever since, I can’t be happier with myself. My goal now is to maintain that weight and I plan on starting to workout at home until the situation is back to normal and I can go back to the gym. Our body is our responsibility and we have to make sure we are on the right track. I am and I always will be a foodie, but the difference now is that I learned how to control myself. I hope this article gave you the motivation you needed. If you have any questions feel free to DM me on my Instagram.
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Lynn Mneimneh is a lifestyle blogger/vlogger on instagram majoring in Marketing and Entrepreneurship at The American University of Beirut.