|Trying to lose some unwanted bulges?|
Image credit: Pixabay
When I was pregnant with my baby boy, I struggled with keeping my weight gain within the normal range. My pre-pregnancy weight was 130 Lbs. and my weight right before I gave birth was 168 Lbs. You can imagine that at 5'2" and 168 Lbs. heavy, I was practically waddling when I walked. I had thought that when I gave birth I would be around 10-15 Lbs. lighter but sadly, I was mistaken. When I went to see my Obstetrician for my check-up a week after giving birth, I found out that I had only shed 8 Lbs. of weight. That meant I was extremely heavy. It also meant if I didn't do anything to lose some weight, I might be stuck as a clearly obese woman. I didn't mind but it did mean I had to buy a whole new wardrobe.
Before being pregnant twice in 24 months ( I lost my first baby. Read here.), I was thin. My pre-pregnancy weight before my first pregnancy was about 110 Lbs. so, I would assume that most of you would say I was thin. I exercised regularly. Running around my neighborhood was my favorite type of exercise. When I moved here to Davao City, I walked the streets, carrying a map, in the heat, to remember places in downtown Davao City. I would even walk or run to the mall. I loved carrying groceries, even if they were heavy, thinking that the bags were like weights. I tried to be as active as possible and I also regulated my diet. Filipinos are rice eaters most especially those from Mindanao. A meal is not considered a meal if there is no rice. It was quite a shock for my partner's friends and family to see someone who didn't eat much rice. They actually complained about it. Well, to stay in shape sometimes food is the enemy and if you don't eat in well-balanced proportions you aren't going to stay in shape.
Before I proceed to the reasons why some people may not be losing weight even if they are putting the effort, I want to talk about self-esteem. Self-esteem is how you value yourself. It's the thoughts, opinions, and feelings we have about ourselves. Sometimes, we encounter people who may criticize us, discriminate, may even bully us. People judge. You can't do away with it. Usually, the first thing that people usually see is weight. Fat, obese, chubby, toothpick-thin- the list goes on. I've noticed a lot of people on social media associating weight with the cheeseburger. It's either "go get yourself a cheeseburger" or "quit chugging down those cheeseburgers". Really?( And to think my comfort food is the cheeseburger). I have to stress, if you are comfortable with your weight then that's great. There is nothing I or anyone can say to make you feel bad. That's how I view self-esteem. I had a boyfriend back when I was in college, and he made me feel so bad about my weight that I exercised so hard and dieted until I realized I was underweight at 89 Lbs. See how low self-esteem can hurt you? YOU exercise for yourself, YOU eat for yourself, YOU have the right to live the way that you want. Don't do things so others can perceive you in a specific way, do things for yourself. Love yourself.
Right now, I'm at 120 Lbs. Yes, I was able to lose 40 Lbs. of my postpartum weight. A bit heavy off the 110 Lbs. I was before pregnancy but, I'm comfortable at 120 Lbs. and I would like to stay this way. So, it's time for me to help you.
|Jogging is good cardio training.|
Image credit: Pixabay
5 Reasons Why You Aren't Losing Weight:
1. Not enough cardio/aerobic training.
To lose fat, you have to do more cardio/aerobic training than weight training. If you want more muscle or to tone your muscles, you do more weight training than cardio. Basically, you want to keep your heart rate up (optimum pulse rate for cardio is around 85-160/min depending on resting heart rate and age) for more than 20 minutes. That means you have to continually exercise for more than 20 minutes. Why for more than 20 minutes? Your body burns the carbohydrates for the first 20 minutes, then the fat after 20 minutes. The longer you exercise, the more fat you'll burn. If you are a beginner, I suggest moderate jogging or fast paced walking for 25 minutes. Maybe Zumba, if jogging or walking is boring for you. Then you can lengthen the time of your exercise and the speed/intensity of the cardio workout as you go on. Make sure you do not rest before the 20 minutes. People make the mistake of jogging then walking then jogging again. Remember, you have to keep your heart rate up for more than 20 minutes for optimal aerobic training. Once your heart rate goes down, you are back to square one.
2. Not eating a pre-workout or post-workout meal.
People believe in the misconception that NOT eating a pre-workout meal will allow them to burn more fat. You are mistaken. First of all, your body needs fuel to power through the workout. Second, you want to burn fat not eat away muscle. Thirdly, more muscle helps burn more calories at rest, increasing metabolism thus potentially fat, even at rest. So, if we want to keep our muscles, we need to eat a small meal or snack an hour before exercise so we don't lose muscle while working out.
Equally important is eating a healthy and well-balanced post-workout meal. I don't mean go on and eat anything you want because you just worked out and are extremely hungry, I mean eat a small meal which is rich in protein (to aid in muscle tissue repair and protein synthesis) and carbohydrates ( to replace muscle glycogen). This should be done 20-30 minutes after exercise.
Not drinking enough water will cause your body to retain it and hold on to it. Water retention causes a person to bloat and you may actually weigh 10 Lbs. more just from that. So drink more water so your body doesn't panic and retain it.
I know you are busy. You have either school, work, or you might be like me- a mother who has her hands full with a screaming and messy toddler. But, if you don't exercise often enough, you aren't going to get anywhere. If your goal is to lose weight, then you have to commit to it. Wake up early for an early morning jog, or head to the gym after work to exercise there. You can even jog at night. A lot of people do it. I know it's optimum to exercise in the morning when your metabolism is high but, if your schedule can not permit you to exercise in the morning, do find time to exercise at any time of the day when you aren't so caught up.
I have friends who are like this. They eat 1 big meal a day and don't eat for the rest of the day. They say "Oh, I'm on a diet". Makes me want to scratch my head in frustration. And the sad thing, they don't lose weight and end up complaining that they actually gained more weight. It's like water retention, your body will store food in the form of fat. So, instead of losing weight from that weird diet, a person actually gains weight and fat.
Eating small meals frequently will speed up your metabolism, will help your body not to store fat, and help you lose weight. Notice how the Filipinos are slim even though they eat a lot of rice? They eat small meals frequently. There's breakfast, then at around 9, there's morning snacktime (merienda). Then lunch, followed by afternoon snacktime (merienda again) at 3. Of course, dinner comes last but, sometimes even after dinner, they go ahead for a so-called midnight snack. See? Frequent small meals at almost 3-hour intervals. And Filipinos just love to eat.
Losing weight isn't easy and is never easy. You have to commit. Sometimes you may have to change your lifestyle; too often then not you have to sacrifice something. But, at the end when you do achieve the weight and shape that you want, you'll know it was all worth it.
Image credit: The Tired Mama-ph