I’ve always been a person who has enjoyed exercising. I played soccer all throughout my childhood, among other sports. But when I graduated from high school and went to college, I (inevitably) gained the freshman 15.
Even though I was still exercising almost daily, doing Zumba, insanity, exercising at the gym, I never could chip off those extra pounds I gained once I got into college. The thing was that when I would exercise excessively, I would feel extra hungry, so I would eat more and more. Work out more and more and just keep eating more and more.
That’s why I never got rid of the weight.
When I lived in Italy for a semester, I started losing the weight because I was walking every day and everywhere. My stomach took some time to adjust to the food, but the food was healthier and not processed. (Also, I was definitely a penny pincher and spent less money on food and more money on travels.)
But when I got back to Texas, I was a little smaller and I felt great.
I figured that I should start working out again to keep my body in good shape, but when I started working out intensely, I started eating more yet again. And the weight just came back.
That’s when I realized that working out was only making me gain weight, and that if I only ate healthy and didn’t exercise, my weight would stay off. And it did!
When I moved to Guatemala is when I really noticed my lifestyle changes and the effect it was having on my body. Here are some things I did, and still do, to keep a healthy weight.
Drink a lot of water.
I’m sure you always hear or read this in any article or video about “How to lose weight.” But it’s so true. I drink a glass of water every morning when I wake up. I drink water throughout my day at school (along with my two cups of coffee hehe), and I drink only water for lunch and dinner.
Eat a big breakfast, a big lunch and a tiny dinner.
Edwin and I make eggs and beans every day for breakfast. Sometimes paired with some fruit and bread.
Sometimes I make this delicious overnight oats breakfast from the Tone It Up nutrition plan with their protein power. So delicious and filling! And I’ll mix it in with a smoothie- my personal favorite at the moment is frozen bananas with apple, almonds and almond milk, mixed all together with my ninja.
For lunch we go big. Chicken with rice, potatoes or vegetables, pasta, a big sandwich, a meal from the comedor down the street, and we always pair our lunch with tortillas. The tortillas from Guatemala are like no other tortilla you’ve ever tried in your life! Their always hot and ready straight from the comal 🙂
Because we always eat a big lunch, when it’s time for dinner we are barely hungry. If we are hungry, we normally eat soup or crackers with ham and cheese. Sometimes only pan dulce with coffee or milk. Something very small and simple.
Again, as you’ve probably already heard before, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You should always eat breakfast and eat less as the day goes on. Going to sleep on a full stomach only stores your calories and doesn’t help you with weight loss.
Stay away from processed foods.
If it’s easy to prepare, it’s probably not the best item for you.
Since I’ve been here, I haven’t had any snacks or junk food lying around my house. At first, this was the hardest transition for me. When I feel hungry, I always went for the easiest thing to fill me up, like chips or cookies. Without having those things in the house, I am forced to cook something.
Taking those things out of your house could help you to stay away from them at desperate times. Especially if you’re on a diet or really trying to lose some weight.
Don’t go out to eat too often.
This one was also very difficult for me to adjust to. Going out to eat is like an addiction. I understand, it’s hard to get away from. Maybe you can’t help going out to eat, but you can try to moderate it.
Restaurants always serve huge meals and it’s not always easy to stop eating what’s in front of you. When you cook your own meals at home, you know exactly what you’re putting into your body.
Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.
- Find a fruit you love. Every time you go grocery shopping, buy that fruit and eat it before your meals. If you eat fruit before your meals, you’ll feel more full and won’t overeat. My favorite is pineapple and Edwin’s favorite is banana. What’s your favorite fruit? We try to include a vegetable with every meal. Carrots, cucumbers and broccoli are our favorite options. What’s your favorite vegetable?
These five things are things I’ve done to simple shed off the unnecessary weight I had gained during my college years. These things I did without exercising.
But man, I AM WEAK. Now that I feel I’m at a good weight, I can focus on gaining muscle with exercising.
Exercising is super important and this month I began working out again at least the first 15-30 minutes of my day. It gives me a lot of energy, and I’m excited to be able to pick up my husband’s heavy briefcase without grunting! (haha it’s literally so heavy!)
So if you’re like me and know that changing an entire lifestyle would be too difficult, start with one thing at a time. First, begin by eating healthier—make your diet a lifestyle change. Secondly, begin with exercising to gain muscle, stay fit and feel better.
So here we gooooo, onto a healthy lifestyle!