Long time no post! I have been battling with consistency after my tumultuous 2022, I really do hope to sort this out and so the first step is actually getting started – so here I am. So as the title alludes – I have lost and kept off 20kg! I was 95.6kg when I began a new weight loss regimen in November 2022 and as at today I’m 75.4kg – which has been my weight since May 2023 – so I’ve maintained my new size for about 6 months after 7 grueling months of weight loss. How did I do it? Let’s get into it!
Honestly I have been trying and failing at losing weight since the pandemic in 2020. I joined online groups, did home workouts etc, it just wasn’t budging. I did all sorts of diets too – keto was by far the worst one – so much cheese ughhhh.
Fast forward to when I was at a Night Shift one day in October 2022 and I just checked my weight in one of the consultation rooms – when I read 95.6kg I was shocked. I had never weight more than 90kg before and all of a sudden I was nearing 100kg? I got home and told my husband that something had to happen that I couldn’t go on like this. I think my reasoning was that I didn’t “look” overweight – I didn’t have a tummy that hung over my skirt, I could still wear fitted clothes – last last with a waist trainer – so it wasn’t an appearance thing – it was just not a good weight to carry for my health’s sake.
So the first thing I did was look for a community. Luckily for me Qilo Health was doing a free accountability program over telegram so I joined in. We had to share our starting weight, what we ate that day and what exercise we did (with proof). They gave us a number of steps to cover per day and provided regular reminders not to give up on ourselves. I was a runner up for the competition so I won a spot in one of their 12-week closely guided accountability programs. This was where I learnt so much about dieting in a way that I didn’t have to completely overhaul my diet but I could still achieve my aim of weight loss. I learnt about emotional eating, about how to plate my food, how to time my meals, mindful eating – like it was a whole lot so to try to whittle down 12 weeks of daily learning into one blogpost isn’t really feasible lol. I’d definitely recommend signing up to Qilohealth’s programs via their Instagram @qilohealth
But my main points were:
1) Eating slowly – I try to eat a meal over 20-30 mins regardless of the small size. Finish the food in your mouth completely before gathering the next spoonful. Slowing down gives your brain time to register that you’re eating so you don’t get hungry too quickly afterwards.
2) Portions: I drastically reduced my food portions. Like I used to eat 4 serving spoons of jollof rice and chicken – changed that to one serving spoon of jollof, plenty salad, and chicken (Salad with minimal dressing).
Did that with all my usual meals; eg beans, swallow, spaghetti etc. So I still eat the same foods just cut the carbs by 3/4 and replaced with veggies – salad, steamed veg, fresh spinach etc
3) Water: I drank a minimum of 2 litres of water a day. No juice, no fizzy drinks, no alcohol – only water everyday. My coach used to say “don’t drink your calories!”
4) Timing: I didn’t actively participate in intermittent fasting because I ate breakfast whenever I was hungry – but I didn’t eat after 7pm as much as I could control it. So far I was at home, kitchen closed for me at 7pm. Only if I had like night shifts that I’d have to have a few fruits to stay alert over the night but on average that wasn’t very regular.
5) Letting go of the need to feel full: changing my perspective towards what the goal of eating was – it’s to provide my body with fuel – not to leave the table feeling full. This was hard but I got there eventually – being able to tell yourself “you have eaten” when you get that peckish feeling is the way to cut down on snacking in between meals – and this is a huge key to weight loss. At first it was so hard so I would just down 500mls of water to give myself the full feeling after food, but eventually I let go of needing to feel it and it really helped.
I hope the meals give a good idea of how I changed my diet – because to be frankly honest the changes in what and how I ate was the major thing. Yes I have also been consistent with my gym attendance of 4 workouts a week – I started with a 12 week weight loss program on the PureGym app that came with my subscription but I moved over to a strength training routine which helped me when my weight loss plateaued. I also joined a 35 day walking challenge in July 2023 and covered a minimum of 18,000 steps a day – roughly 15km covered per day and that also burnt a couple kilograms.
If you’re just starting now; I’d recommend building up strength and consistency using free resources first like www.Chloeting.com – her routines were my starting point before I got into the gym and to be honest it helps having an idea of why you’re doing each routine which is something she does – all for free!
Ready for some before and after shots?
Maintaining has been easy because I have made eating in smaller balanced portions, going to the gym and going on long walks part of my routine. Like as long as it’s not raining I will do the 1 hour walk to and then 1 hour from my office once a week, 20 mins walk to and then from the gym 4 times a week and any other commute I can do. If it’s less than 1.5 hours walk to get somewhere – I will opt to leave earlier and walk the distance. While walking I can be working, listening to music or podcasts, studying – so it’s not lost time.
My lifestyle has changed so now I just do these things without making a conscious effort – it’s just what I do, so if I miss a workout when I’m ill for example – I would feel like something is off and once I’m even slightly better I’d get back in the gym. It makes me feel alert and more invigorated as I work out before I go to work.
So that’s the story in a nutshell! Feel free to comment below if you have any questions or want me to clarify anything, I truly hope this has helped someone else!
Lots of love,
Dr. ETP xo