My weight goes up 3-5 pounds every now and then depending on many factors – life changes like moving home, how stressed I am, injury or illness that prevents me from exercising or how well I sleep. But there are 3 things that for me are a sure thing when it comes to gaining weight.
This is not much of a problem if I’m at home, there is always something to do. But if I’m at work and for some reason I don’t have an immediate task at hand, the first thing I think about is food. I lie to myself and say that I’m going out for a 10 min walk, but that walk is usually to the supermarket. And I don’t even scan the isles, I go straight to the biscuits. Hello, Oreos! On a really bad week, I can do this 2-3 times and I always eat the whole pack. Come on, who eats only the recommended portion? A pack of Oreos is around 700 calories. 5 days of that and I’m up a pound. And you know what? Sometimes I eat 2 packs!
Solution: I requested a blender for the office and my wish was granted. So now when I’m bored and feeling peckish (especially in the afternoon), I make myself a smoothie or a protein shake. I have a carton of soy mylk in the fridge, I bring some fruit from home and I keep a jar with protein powder on my desk. Making the shake takes a few minutes of my time and sipping slowly will fill me up and give me something to do. If I really want to take a walk to the supermarket, I can convince myself to get some fruit instead of the Oreos. And now we’re also on a journey to save money, so this is also a motivation to stop shopping for sweets.
2. Training for long distance races
Hear me out: DO NOT sing up for a marathon as a way to lose weight. The hunger is real. Training for a half or full marathon burns a whole lot of calories. And most often than not, I eat more than the extra allowance from the long run. I’m a monster after any run longer than 10k. My body asks for food, carbs and fat in particular. And the brain struggles between knowing that the plate is just a little bit too full and wanting to give the body what it needs. And I want performance, not just finishing the race. So I end up making my belly big and happy.
Solution: Fill up with low calorie vegetables or shakes. A big salad will help me feel full compared to 2 slices of bread and they have similar amount of calories. I can still have the bread, but 1 slice and a big salad is much better than 4 slices and no salad. Protein shakes always make me feel full and a reasonable one is no more than 300 calories. Better to have a full glass of protein shake than just 2 biscuits.
3. Not having a goal
Once I reach a weight goal, I rarely set a new one. And I get comfortable, ignoring the fact that once you change your eating habits, the weight will change. Once I reach a weight, I won’t stay there forever unless I keep doing the same things.
Solution: I set goals indirectly related to weight. For example, eat healthy for a week or being able to do a headstand. Strength training and HIIT for me are big fat burners, so I always have to work on something.