WE’RE constantly bombarded with health and fitness information — eat this not that; stop eating that thing you thought was healthy; include more of this and that in your diet — so much so that the fitness journey can get overwhelming, especially when we don’t see results or when we get sick anyway, even after doing everything experts say.
Sometimes the experts are the people we know though — those we can relate to more, who are in our specific situation, facing our specific challenges. Here are some health and fitness tips and tricks that have worked for them.
Ted, 42, went from 256 pounds to 180:
Walk everywhere. There’s a reason the Japanese are thin, even though rice is a big part of their diet. People will tell you to cut out rice and other staples in your diet, but I found that just adding walking helped me. The Japanese walk everywhere instead of driving. I adopted this lifestyle, and the pounds not only dropped off, I gained muscle as well.
Kasey, 25, went from 155 to 131 pounds:
Protein. That’s the secret. I focused on increasing my protein and fibre intake, and didn’t have to cut back a lot on the foods I liked. So I included more beans, chia seeds, oats, nuts, chicken, sardines, tuna, bananas, and eggs, and I just went about my life as usual. I still felt full, but I wasn’t full of carbs or fat.
Charmaine, 40, went from 160 to 145 pounds:
Drop the soda habit, it’s not that hard. I hate fruit juice so I didn’t even have any beverage to replace soda with at first, so I had switched to sparkling water. What I found happening is that after a while, the craving for soda stopped — in fact, when I did drink soda, it made me sick. Nowadays I drink plain water or flavoured water, and when I want some fizz, I do sparkling water. I would have lost more if I was as vigilant about sugar, but I will get there.
Zara, 23, went from 140 to 120 pounds:
There’s no use punishing yourself over food and what you crave. I found that when I ignored my cravings my mental health suffered. So I compromised. When I had a sweet craving I’d just eat a piece of what I was craving and dump the rest, instead of punishing myself. So I’d have a whole apple pie in my fridge, for example, but I wouldn’t eat the whole thing for weeks. When the cravings got bad, I’d just have a few nibbles, and then I’d feel better.
Julia, 41, went from 160 to 140 pounds:
Coffee. Not only is it a diuretic, but it will fill you up for a couple hours. So what I do is eat dinner earlier, say around 5:00 or 6:00 pm, and when I’m feeling peckish in the night, I make a cup of decaf, and that fills my belly, without the calories. It also works during the daytime for those mid-afternoon or mid-morning cravings.