BY BUNMI AHMED
I started my journey 27/06/2012 when I looked at my stomach one morning and felt real shame. This also steamed from the fact that a few days before I had been to see my doctor with regards to my high blood pressure which had been managed by medication for about 4 years. On that day I decided enough was enough and I went online looking for solutions. I wanted to take back my health!
There was no quick fix, I had to change my attitude towards food and exercise and I did this by carrying out a lot of research on Google and YouTube! By understanding the amount of calories my body needed to consume to function properly and lose weight at the same time I was able to discover the types of foods to eat and those to stay away from! I began to eat to fuel my body and not just because food was available.
DECIDE AND COMMIT
I had decided I wanted to get healthy and look better so I looked for a workout routine that would suit me. I came across Shaun T's 'Insanity'. It seemed tough but I was convinced and purchased it straight away. It came with a diet plan which I followed for about 2 weeks. The weight wasn't falling off as I hoped so I decided to continue research about nutrition. You will note I did not give up, I had decided and committed to something and I was going to see it through! You will already note, it wasn't so much the workout that helps in shedding weight it is more about nutrition as you will see if you continue to read.
I was convinced that I could achieve great results without having to prepare 6 small meals a day as it was actually making me feel more hungry than satisfied! Then I discovered Intermittent Fasting ( IF) WHAT fasting your asking? YES unfortunately I can't credit the first person whom I had discovered this lifestyle from as I can not remember his username on YouTube. However if you have heard of the Hodge Twins you will know that they used to preach 6 meals a day until they themselves discovered IF and they now swear by it. Check their channel out ( fasting twins).
What is IF?
I will only give a quick definition but you can click on this LINK to my blog for more info:
It is a lifestyle NOT a diet, that is one thing you need to understand first. I follow the lean gains form of intermittent fasting which is where I fast for a number of hours during the day and have a specific eating window with which I eat all my daily calories. I started with 20 hours fasted and a 4 hour eating window. Now I fast between 18/19 hours a day with a 5/6 hour eating window. During your fasted state you are only allowed to drink water.
The idea behind this is that your body spends more time burning fat than constantly digesting food therefore aiding weight loss. A lot of you are saying what about breakfast?! PLEASE read the link above so you can understand more! Brad Pilon who is the creator of Eat Stop EAT another form of intermittent fasting did a lot of research and concludes that it is not compulsory to eat breakfast first thing in the morning and it is a 'gimmick' which the food industry has got us all to buy into over the past few years, after all they can't sell fasting to us can they? Breakfast means breaking a fast whether in the morning afternoon or evening. Do read that post as I explain about some of the studies that has been carried out on this subject matter. Personally IF has worked wonders for me I credit it for a lot of the results I have achieved. IF is not for everyone but it is worth a try!
What do I eat during my feeding window?
Over the past year I have experimented a lot, I even went 30 days eating as a Vegan! It was great, I lost weight and I had great bursts of energy. Of course I went back to eating meat lol.
I found a lot of ways to eat the foods I used to enjoy prior to my journey, I made home made turkey burgers using lean turkey mince, I even found some healthy cupcake recipes which I enjoyed during Christmas!
I incorporated a lot of vegetables and fruits to my diet and stuck to white meat (breast/minced), nuts (mainly Almonds), whole grains like whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta etc, and LOTS of WATER!!
I am now a Pescetarian which means I only eat meat from the sea! There is nothing wrong with poultry, it's just a personal choice. I'm enjoying being a Pescetarian I love seafood so you really can't go wrong with that, it's opened me up to a wider range of fruits and veg, beans, lentils and things like Quinoa which is great alternative to rice.
I do have a treat meal once a month to balance it all out, let's face it you can't eat clean 100% of the time! I would say this helped me stay on track! Just make sure your cheat meal is not on your rest day!!
I've done insanity twice now, well first time I stopped at day 40 as I went to Vegas and upon my return I joined the gym. I went to the gym twice a day doing some cardio and weights in the morning and spin class in the evening!
I'm still looking to join a gym here in Nigeria as I am a firm believer in lifting weights! Heavy ones at that, this will help to ton the body! No it won't make you look like a male body builder ladies! Weights are what helps to bring out your natural curves.
I started insanity over end of May and will complete in a couple of weeks, this workout isn't for the faint hearted and if your not yet quite athletic then research and look at other workouts, beach body's charLENE Clean is a good one, or beach body's T25Focus.
If you have any questions please leave your comments below!
I hope this post inspired you.
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Cheers to a beautiful weekend!!!
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" 2TIMOTHY 1:7