Today, I want to quickly share a couple thoughts on weight loss. Since June, I managed to lose 20lbs and got much fitter than ever. The first month was hard – I had to basically drag/convince/bribe myself into the gym every day and stick to my workout. Then everything starts to feel so natural: I go to the gym right after work without exerting much willpower or discipline. It becomes a habit. Long story short, here’re a few tips that I’d like to share:
- Find the workout time that works for you.
Mine is right after work. My work has been very busy recently and I usually feel exhausted when I step out of the office at 5pm everyday. It might be the worst to do any sort of intensive exercise because you’re so out of energy. But for me, workout help rejuvenate and recharge myself. It’s very relaxing and put some cushioning time between work and dinner time (or sometimes even more work at home). I was able to shift my attention completely away from work and deadlines, and instead focus on finishing my workout. I know a lot of people work out in the morning and there’re certainly lots of benefits for that. I sometimes do it over the weekend but I’m not a huge fan of it. If I run without eating much, I feel like I’m a car running without much fuel in it. Maybe in the future when I have kids and won’t have time right after work to work out, I might slowly adopt an early workout routine. It depends on the lifestyle as well.
2. I Multi-Task When I Work Out.
I used to listen to upbeat music for motivation. One time I forgot my headphone and had to run without music, I felt so much more drained than ever after the workout, although I didn’t do anything differently. It’s all in your mind.
Now I want to make better use of my time. I started listening to audiobook and listen to news. Two apps help me a ton: Overdrive and TuneIn radio. Overdrive allows you to download books and audiobooks from your local library’s digital selection and it’s all for free! I have finished at least 5 books by listening on Overdrive during my workout. TuneIn is another handy tools – it allows you subscribe and listen to podcasts. My favorites are Harvard Business Review, PBS newshour and The Economist. But there’re literally endless options.
3. 70% Diet & 30% Exercise.
This is the golden rule for weight loss. It’s always more about eating the right amount than excessive exercise. Think about it, a piece of pizza is about 300 calories. That equals to about 40 minutes running on treadmill (calories differ depending on your weight and intensity of course). Eating that pizza only takes TWO minutes. See the math here?
I’m not advocating any special diet. That’s not necessary. Just be more mindful of what you eat and make sure you’re taking in enough good nutrition every day. I grew up in China where our diet makes up of a good amount of vegetables, meat and carb (which is the rice). I started to eat less rice to reduce carb and more vegetables for fiber and Vitamins. At least one fruit a day. One egg or greek yogurt everyday for protein. Meat everyday too. My biggest change is my portion. Friends of mine are always astonished at how much I could eat. Standing at only 5 feet, I used to eat as much as my boyfriend does (who is about 135lbs and 6’1”). I “forced” myself to eat even when I wasn’t even hungry but I just can’t waste any food on my plate. The solution: be mindful about how you feel when you eat. Japanese advocate eating 80% full and I like that thinking a lot. Be really aware and attentive to whether you’re eating because of hungry or eating because you crave for something mentally. That also helps me to eat better and healthier: do I want to be filled up by a cup of hot chocolate, or do I prefer a balanced delicious home made meal? The latter probably makes more sense.
More to come specifically on eating right! Stay tuned!