It’s What You Eat That Really Counts

It’s What You Eat That Really Counts


I have tried several strategies to lose weight. Who hasn’t? Like you, I’ve tried exercise, fad diets, and weight loss products. I lost and gained weight more frequently than I visited my hairdresser.

There were times when I dreaded breakfast, lunch, or dinner just because I had to eat the same things that tasted like fake leather sprinkled with a bit of hot pepper—the spice was to help the food go down. I lost a few kilos after 1 month, but naturally, I couldn’t stick with my new found diet and gave up my weight loss goals.

My cheat days (well before I learned how to count calories) became more frequent. They increased from once a week, to twice and finally, every day became a cheat day. Yay! I could eat Doritos, Lays, Kinder chocolate, Galaxy chocolate, pizzas, etc., as often as I wanted until the day I couldn’t get into my favorite trousers.

Unfortunately for me, I discovered this on the day we were getting ready to attend a party. The end result was that I had to wear a pair of trousers so tight that I didn’t attempt to eat more than 4 mouthfuls, and I turned down every invitation to get on the dance floor. In fact, I didn’t want to risk ripping my trousers in an attempt to try a cool dance move.

I switched to an exercise-only approach, but couldn’t stick to a routine for more than 2 weeks. First, because I really hate exercise. The heat, the fatigue, as well as the sweaty scalp and underarms were just some of the things that put me off.

Second, I had a non-valid excuse: no time. And if your excuse is also “no time” consider evidence from a research that was published by investigators from McMaster University. You don’t need to exercise for long hours in order to lose weight. A better way to do it is to exercise for 20 minutes every day.

But you need to step it up and engage in high-intensity workouts also known as high-intensity interval training (I hope to describe this in a later post).

By the end of week 2, I had lost about 2 Kg after intensive exercise, but this didn’t last. The biggest mistake that most of us make (either due to ignorance or negligence) is that we think when we exercise, we can eat whatever we want during the rest of the day.

Most people forget that if you eat more than you burn, your body is going to store the excess—something which you don’t want. That’s exactly what I was doing.

I permitted myself to snack on anything that I wanted and consoled myself that I would burn the calories during a workout. By the end of week 4, I had gained 1.5 Kg and became discouraged.

I switched to weight loss products. I can’t name them all, but my favorite was the Edmark® line of products. I loved their Ginseng Coffee, Red Yeast Coffee, and MRT Complex.

In fact, I grew so accustomed to taking those products that I forgot that Edmark® had a weight loss program that you had to follow in order to lose weight effectively (I shall describe this in a future post).

It wasn’t until I became more responsible for my eating habits that I actually started losing weight effectively. I ditched sugar from my diet, resolving to consume sugar-rich products only when I knew that I could afford it (calorie-wise).

I discovered MyFitnessPal and joined their online community to encourage me so that I could attain my weight loss goals. My goal was to lose 1 to 1.5 Kg per month. I wanted to set a realistic goal in order to achieve this. And yes, after 6 months, I lost 10 Kg.

In my following posts, I shall describe what I did exactly and how I intend to maintain this weight and achieve objective number 2: six packs…


Princila earned a Doctor of Medicine degree in 2006 and worked as a general practitioner for nearly two years before moving to Saudi Arabia. Her passion for writing took its toll, and she ended up switching careers to work in the medical publishing industry. She also has a passion for healthy food, which prompted her to take several online courses in nutrition and health offered by Wageningen University. Are you into research? You can connect with Princila on ResearchGate or LinkedIn. Visit our About page for details.

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