Health 101: Cutting Out Refined Sugar and Complex Carbs

This is the thing. A little back story about me if you have already not read before on my blog. I have been overweight all my life but it was still quite alright like I wasn't that flabby, until I left school and physical education is no longer part of my life like it was during school days. I put on 10kg and it stayed on until I joined the working forces and I just got bigger and bigger. Then I got a wake up call when my father was hospitalized and then I realized that I wasn't doing myself any favour and this gradual weight gain wasn't what I want. Instead, I wanted it to stop.


It was hard, seriously, working out in the gym and I remembered that one time when I first stepped into a gym, I was so self conscious!! And I figured it would probably be my last but then, it wasn't. I went at least three times whenever I get the chance to come back to the office after my field work. Of course being obese for the longest time ever, the fats were stubborn like hell. They just wouldn't burn and I got so upset that I took to taking slimming pills which made me gain even more weight -_-


Long story short, I never gave up. What I gave up instead are so many good food and I never looked at sweet biscuits, fried stuffs and snacks in the same way again. Even when I gave in to my cravings, for example chocolate waffle, I don't eat the whole thing. I just eat half and keep the other half for the next day's consumption. I never felt healthier before, I never looked good in clothes with my new body and I never looked prettier thanks to the change in my face shape that looked much slimmer than before.


However, I guess you can say I got lazy. I did lose the weight I gained later but then I put them on again. One thing I am thankful for is that I still go to the gym regularly and walk after work as a regular exercise almost every day if the weather is good and if I don't have to go somewhere else after work. So fitness is not an issue for me though yes, I do have my lazy moments but now I just have to tell myself, there is NO EXCUSE and I just need to go and not think about it. So I just go lah, what to do. 


So next up! Now, I have to recall back what I did back then in 2006 that made me go through a dramatic transformation. I started losing weight almost end of 2005 but it was in full swing in 2006 that the changes could be seen. 


I am going to share with you my secrets plus other tips that I have picked up along the way which I am going to follow through again and hopefully, end once and for all this yo-yo weight gain. Say no more to another kilogram of weight gain!!


Stay away from refined sugar. I love chocolatey biscuits and unfortunately, these delish biscuits aren't doing any good to my body. I could easily wolf down four at one sitting. Scary, isn't it? The most you should have is just one and that is on a cheat day like after you have religiously worked out for a few days and that you are giving your body a rest. Then take note of the amount of jam you put on your bread. To you, it's just a spread but that spread itself can contain many calories which you don't actually need. 


Cut down on complex carbohydrates such as white rice. Don't have it every day and if you do have it, make it like only half a bowl. The thing about complex carbo is that it will break down into sugar and sugar makes you gain weight. It may take time getting used to such a small amount of rice but after a while, your body will just assume full capacity after eating that amount and anything more than that, you will full already. 


Ok, you know how after work you get so freaking hungry and you are not back home yet and you just feel like snacking on something. I feel that way especially since I also walk about twenty minutes to the mall to buy my daily groceries for the family. We have the tendency to grab any available snack, never mind if they are deep fried as it's just something you can eat on the go. Well, don't. Here's a trick. Drink cold water that you pack from work if you have pantry. What I did last time was that I will buy a reduced sugar soya milk in a medium sized carton. I will drink that until I reach home. That point of time, my mother wasn't a fan of cooking but at times there will be food. We will come to that soon.


Ah yes, dinner time.  You are famished and you just want to eat. Sometimes you are so famished after working hard in office that you unconsciously have a second helping. Eat and chew your food slowly. That way, you take time to digest and appreciate the food that you eat, rather than eating to fill your famished self. If possible, opt for light dinners on some days. My mum has lazy days when it comes to cooking. Well, don't fret if mum's not cooking. You can take this opportunity to prepare something light and healthy for yourself or you can just eat on wholemeal bread with just a sparing of peanut butter. I did that the last time. I can't totally avoid lunch if I was out with my colleagues so I would opt for a lighter dinner meal.


Eat your fruits and veggies. It seems like the simplest form of advice but trust me, it is SO  hard to follow. Back then, how I made sure I eat fruits is that instead of buying a deep fried stick of nuggets, I would buy cut fruits instead. It costs about the same but way healthier. During lunch, if I do eat rice, I will opt for little rice and asked for veggies. Now for lunch, my mum would prepare for me low fat cheese and avocado sandwich. It is healthier and I never buy food from hawker centres or the canteen like my colleagues do. 


Speaking of lunch, you can actually plan what you are going to eat the next day so you don't make last minute decision and most times, those decisions can't be any healthier as you don't have much time to think through. So think about what you want to eat the next day. I do that. Better yet, prepare some healthy lunch from home. No time for that either? Opt for soupy dishes and more veggies on your plate if you eat rice. No curry and no coconut milk gravy. Oh, and no fast food.


Hungry in between? Back then, I used to carry this long stem of digestive biscuits. As I did field work duties, I would get hunger pangs and I would just snack on them. I stopped for awhile when I realized they can be fattening but then now the recipe is better and they include more wholegrains. But exercise moderation. Eat two at most. Now I want to start back eating digestive biscuits rather than relying on chocolate biscuits  to curb my hunger pangs. Have them with cold plain water rather than sugared drinks.


Oh my, sugared drinks. Another possible reason for my current weight gain is how reliant I am on Milo. Already in the morning my mum prepares a mineral water bottle sized of hot tea for breakfast but I usually take the whole day to finish as I see it as my comfort food. I stopped drinking Milo for awhile until they decided to put this whole carton of Milo in the store room and the pantry has Milo every single day and will always be replenished whenever it runs out. You tell me, how am I going to say no? So what do I now as part of my weight loss strategy? Now I bring a canister and fill up with cold water from the pantry and drink it up in between and also for lunch. Need to curb my Milo addiction....again.




I talked about how lazy I had become when it comes to the gym in my earlier posts to the point of skipping it  and even if I managed to haul my butt to the gym, I didn't manage to do that much and every step was painful. But it was because I had a bad cough that made me breathless and lethargic. So now, to make up the laziness, I decided to be disciplined in my walking and not take the short cut of taking the train down one station. At one point, I did that quite a lot until I forced myself to start walking again for twenty minutes after work.


Oh, adding on to that, I have also increased the intensity of my workout at the gym and this is to combat the plateau effect in which I don't seem to lose any more weight. 


It's a bit too early to report on my progress but what I can say is that I think I am feeling fitter now. I am giving myself up to year end to see some progress. I don't want to put on any more weight. I still have that extra bulge in my tummy but ah, hopefully over time it will reduce. Next month is fasting month so I am hoping to lose even more weight. For now, I just want to get the momentum going by snacking less, eating more healthier stuffs (like yesterday when I ate my veggies) and up my fitness tempo.


Any more tips to share? Feel free to drop comments in my blog! 


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