The Non-Diet

College life was not all fun and parties for me. Long hours were dedicated to classes, hospital duties and even more studying at home. I think I dealt with all the stress by eating and sleeping a lot.

Unfortunately, as exhausting studying can be, it doesn’t burn as much calories as I hoped it would.  I never had the time nor the energy to work out either so I just packed on the pounds and never lost any.

During my brief stay in Canada about a year after college, my then-boyfriend cheated on me, which eventually led to our breakup. No, this post will not be about that. The point of the story is, I thought that the best way to get back at him (and rebuild my shattered self-esteem) was to become as hot as I possibly can.

That "before" dress is deceptive. I look about ten pounds lighter in that dress.

Let it be said however, that I can’t ever stick to very strict dieting. I’ve already tried sticking to specific diets, and it works for a time, but after a while, I get bored and I go back to my old eating habits. I’m also terrible at math, so diets that involve calorie-counting aren’t very appealing to me either.

With a bit of research and my background in the medical profession, I came up with my own personalized eating discipline that just might be helpful to some of you who are allergic to the word “diet”.

1. Fiber
– Complex carbs take longer to digest, which helps you feel fuller for a longer period of time and stave off cravings. I also have this theory that because complex carbs are harder to digest, the body uses more energy. Ergo, you’re actually burning calories while you’re digesting.

Breakfast! 😀

2. Green tea
– Green tea has two helpful weight-loss substances: caffeine and L-carnitine. Caffeine boosts the metabolism and has a mild diuretic effect which is actually pretty good for your kidneys. L-carnitine, on the other hand, helps transport long chain fatty acids into cells and convert them into readily usable energy.

3. Substitution
– This is basically going for the healthier choice without compromising taste. Here are a few examples:

Mustard instead of mayonnaise. Spicy food (including mustard) kicks up metabolism. Plus, mustard pretty much has zero calories.
Water instead of soda. Sugar-free, fat-free and keeps you hydrated!
Brown instead of white. This means choosing whole grain option in breads, pastas, rice and even chips instead of the regular variety.
Baked/grilled/boiled instead of fried
Tomato or olive oil based pasta sauce instead of cream based

4. Water
– It’s no question that water is important for a lot of reasons. I want to stress on this though: When your body is deprived of water, it tends to go on self-preservation mode and retains as much water as it can. It’s like the body is saving up water because you’re not getting enough.

Drink enough water, and you’ll actually end up flushing out toxins, excess salt and all that bloating.

5. Junk food
– I kid you not. I do not believe in depriving myself of the good things in life, like chips and instant noodles and sweets. I refused to give them up altogether, so what I did was control my intake as much as I can.

Quick chocolate fix: Dark chocolate, or chocolates in bite-sized packaging

My personal faves: Meiji Black, After Eight Chocolate Mints, M&Ms Dark, Hershey's Special Dark

Junk food of choice:  multi-grain chips
Dip of choice: Salsa. Tomatoes are always good for you, salsa is spicy (which also boosts metabolism) and…well. Salsa’s just plain yummy.

Tostitos Multigrain chips and salsa in mild

Okay, honestly, this post is more of a review and a reminder for myself. I have so much going on in my life right now, and health and fitness has taken a back-seat when it used to be priority. I’m aware that I’m not exactly fat, but I’m not very physically fit either. I should be careful, lest I go back to my old college weight, and I really don’t want that to happen.

I’ve already signed up for a four-week promo with Fitness First. Together with the exercise that I’m bound to get at the gym, I plan on following this regimen that I came up with.

The new fitness regime begins tomorrow. Wish me luck!


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