Food I eat when my obesity is getting out of control
I was chubby as a child, fat as a teen, and now, not the fittest as an adult. I always had benchmarks for myself though, to not exceed a certain weight — the no-no zone of obesity. That’s when my thighs start touching.
I first realised I needed to start watching my weight when I compared photos of myself merely a year ago, and couldn’t recognise myself in the mirror. I’ve put on 12kg more at the age of 20, and was standing at 1.7m weighing 82kg. I would then take short dieting stints to shed kilograms off the weighing scale. Though I’ve been inconsistent, I would say these foods have worked pretty well.
Definitely not the atas kind. I actually learned this trick from my mother, and as unfounded as her beliefs go, she likes to cut out rice portions and only eat meat for several meals. When I first asked, she only said, “减肥 (jian fei)” or losing weight, in Mandarin with no justifications or explanation whatsoever.
I like to buy chicken rice with breast meat from a store near my place, and ask the uncle to reduce the rice and pile on more meat to fill my belly. My grandfather loves the fried chicken skin from this place, I appreciate the breast meat. Perfect.
Google taught me that chicken breast helps boost our bodies’ release of hunger-suppressing hormones. If you’re looking for a quick fix, 7-Eleven’s Unseasoned Chicken Breast comes in a relatively huge portion and is value for money too at $2.70.
I hate vegetables, that’s why I hate salads. But when the thighs start touching, it’s too late. You gotta do what you got to do to lose them pounds.
My grandmother kept pestering me to eat my vegetables because it was good for me. Turns out, she was right. It doesn’t mean I can’t hate it though. Google taught me that vegetables are high-volume yet low-calorie foods. This means that it fills you up and takes up very few calories.
Here’s a breakdown of an intensive and painful but effective salad:
- A handful of washed lettuce
- Five to six slices of cheap tomatoes
- Two spoonfuls of unseasoned, thawed corn
- Two microwaved sausages snipped into a few pieces
- No dressings (not even extra virgin olive oil)
Was it tasty? Hardly. Was I full after a bowl of it? Very.
Varying this in different styles across a few days was nearly traumatising but in dire times and circumstances, I’ve lost close to 8kg in a week for it. Keep in mind that I’m broke but passionate—so if you’re feeling a tad more fancy, you could settle for The Salad Stop’s Earth Bowl, which offers an overall upgrade across all ingredients for a salad.
Not with sugar, not flavoured, nor carbonated, or any of that jazz. Cold, plain water. My ex-girlfriend used to drink water all the time, and she claims that it helped her lose weight. I would then retort that she was being ridiculous. Turns out that she’s not that wrong, even if she had no clue why.
I later found out that iced cold water does have its merits. For one, our bodies work to heat it up, burning calories. Ten glasses of water in a day could burn a hundred calories—I’ll personally take whatever I can get. I even drank around fifteen tumblers worth of water once, which more or less amounted to seven litres.
More importantly for me, I use it to curb my hunger pangs. Whenever I felt like snacking on a bag of chips, I turn to my handy tumbler filled with iced water. After multiple gulps, you’ll simply be too bloated with no space for snacks that add pounds.
When I first tried to work out in my 20s, I realised that a shake with a scoop’s worth of protein filled my stomach immensely, almost as much as a meal does over dinner. It also meant that the calorie intake caps at 200 calories rather than an average meal that starts from 500 calories.
What’s good about protein shakes is that I could vary across different flavours, such as hojicha, dark chocolate, and tiramisu.
Is this the healthy way out to shed pounds? Maybe not. Are we a health magazine? Also no. Do it at your own risk, but I sure hope it works for you as much as it did for me.
If water ain’t for you, and you’re simply jaded after days of chugging water, something that worked for me was berries. Just berries, not other fruits.
I only picked this up slightly early in my twenties when I started working because berries don’t come cheap and can sell from minimally two to three dollars. I realised that my relatively wealthier cousins have always turned to berries as an option instead of unhealthy snacks, and they look fine. So monkey see, monkey do—but this was a success story.
I’m no nutritionist, but most berries are mostly water and take up fewer calories. They’re also relatively tasty so I enjoyed biting into each small one. This basically meant that as much as you can, use them as a substitute for unhealthy snacks if you can’t curb cravings. My personal favourites are blueberries and strawberries — I’ll always get them from NTUC FairPrice, the cheapest I can find.
Fight obesity by finding the food the works for you
Do I believe that whatever I’ve mentioned is the healthiest way to shed pounds? No. I don’t think it’s sustainable either. We’ve all heard about incorporating proper exercise regimes and sticking to consistent, feasible diets but it might not be the easiest for most of us to be that disciplined.
This worked for me and I hope it will continue to. I’m not promising the universality of it though, but fingers crossed for you and me both.