: : Weight Loss + Eating Healthily : :

I’ve been hanging out at the Lowyat.net Health and Fitness forum lately. So, just to make my life easier, I’m pasting one of the articles I wrote about the diet that I’m doing atm.

So far, the kgs drop since 14 Feb 2009 has been 8 kg in the past 2 months. That included the time I lost 2 kg in the week I was ill as well as the 2 kg that I gain my trip back to Miri. Please excuse the red color, it came together from the site as that colour. >.<

Also, hopefully Dad will be reading this. 🙂  The original post is found here.

I tried to write a post about nutrition and realised it is probably too big a scope so I’m just going to write about some concepts of eating healthily.

Note that this is a generic post for weight loss and not for maintenance mode i.e. maintaining your target weight and definitely not for athletes/body builders who may need a different diet altogether as they use up more energy. Also, the tips below may not be so applicable to people who are ill or not feeling well : you may have to check with your doctor, nutritionist or do your own research.

How much to eat?
I tend to follow information from the MyPyramid.gov and Harvard Healthy Eating Pyramid as well as various food websites but I do a lot of cross-referencing as well. It’s mostly the same but I tend to just use the plate as a gauge as it is easier to go by. I seldom go by the serving size recommended as being an Asian, I would tend to eat a lot less than the Americans do (and I have seen them eat. It’s scary, even with healthy food). That’s why I use a plate to gauge the portions as well as my fist. As long as I have eaten enough to have the energy to carry out my daily activities, it means I’ve eaten enough.

I divide up the plate into 4 sections (into quarters). One quarter is grains (rice, multi-grain, pasta, etc.), another quarter is meat, last 2 quarters are for veggies.

The other thing I do is use my hand to agak-agak/gauge portion control. Here is a link about using the hand.

And I make sure the size of the place is not too big. Too big = too much food.

When it comes to snacks, I usually don’t take more than one fist of fruits / veggie or 3 slices of biscuits (low salt high fibre).

I try to make sure that I eat enough to have a steady weight loss of 1 kg per week but once I switch to maintenance mode, I will review my diet again (not to eat more fat or meat but maybe more proteins / complex carbo from veggies to slow down the weight loss).

Food Planning
It takes practice. The first week that I started dieting was bad and everything was so red and boring. It’s now been 7 weeks so it’s getting easier.

I goto websites and look at pretty pictures of food that make me hungry. I see the recipe and start planning whether it’s easy or not. If it’s going to be tedious, then I do it over the weekend. If not, then I do it after dinner, preparing my breakfast and lunch.

Some sites that I go to :

Sometimes, I just google somethign that I want to try and make. Say like tomato sauce as I can’t take the ones with salt in them. The Google Search yielded a lot of blogs with recipes so I picked one out to try it.

One thing about websites is that it’s not easy to decide whether what they say is correct or not. You’ll just have to do some comparison and hopefully they all don’t go and link to the same website or same text. If the text is writtenly differently but the information is essentially the same, it’s usually ok but then again, there is always the possibility of that one problem case.

I also browse through cooking books at the bookstore and buy something that is relatively easy to do. I’m toying with the idea of going to baking classes just to learn how to make some of the more complex pastries like puff pastry etc. Just for the heck of it. Doubt if I can learn it properly through youtube.

I talk to colleagues and friends about food preparation and recipes to share. I exchange emails with family and we really get into the habit of food preparation.

Shopping
This is fun. I spend usually about 2-3 hours just waiting through the supermarkets looking at labels and food and remembering where to get stuff. Also, because of my high blood pressure, I can’t eat salt in food so I also occassionaly look for stuff in Organic Shops but even they have stuff with MSG and too much salt inside so I do have to read labels a lot. Wet markets are also a good sauce but some stuff, I still prefer to get it from supermarkets because it’s surprisingly fresher.

The problem with Malaysian food manufacturers is that they seldom put the Sodium Content on their labels as it’s currently an option. However, if you check out the World Heart Federation and click South-East Asia, you’ll notice that there are a lot of deaths due to heart diseases (remember to add 3 more zeros at the end and you’ll end up with millions). Makes one wonder whether the govt is really taking community health in the long run but admittedly, it is extremely hard to give up soy sauce. After getting diagnosed, I’m off the opinion that the govt doesn’t have a long-term strategy that meshes food manufacturing with the health problems currently faced by the community. But there’s not much of an avenue to properly voice it up and it’s not easy to find the time to do the information gathering.

At the moment, I buy a lot of vegetables and fruits and coming up with different ways of preparation. I don’t feel the need to go to the extreme of boiling and steaming yet although some of my food preparation are like that. It just depends on my mood and whether there is something I would like to eat. I can’t eat fast food anymore or goto restaurants as often so I am slowly experimenting with different recipes to see if I can make something.

Your Health
Depending on what kind of health problems you have and where you want to end up, this will greatly determine your food selection. It’s hard to advise more than that but I would suggest to search some sites and see what they say.

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