How I lost 115 lb (52.2kg) Weight loss update!

Hello everyone, happy hump day! We've made it halfway through the week, my beloved weekend is in sight again haha. Well today I had been thinking of doing a photo post of Ikeukuro or perhaps a museum in Ueno but ended up deciding to tackle this update to my weight loss journey.

The one thing I get asked most often about is my weight loss - how I did it, how I'm doing now, my tips and info etc. So I thought because I have lost a bit more recently, and I've learned so much more food science and healthy weight loss methods while I worked as a professional weight loss counselor that I should make a new master post! I'll try to follow the style of my 90lb post with updated/new info plus a section on weight maintenance which could very well have it's own post (and probably will in the future). I plan to expand my weight loss and health information a lot soon, so I'll touch on that at the end as well :)

Before and after, need to update (since I'm 120 now) but still accurate
My intro from the original post: "I had been chubby since I started getting closer to puberty, by the time I got my period I was noticeably overweight. I had a short spell of starvation weight-loss, but once I started eating normally again I gained all back, plus more. I continued to gain more and more weight until I reached 235 lbs. One day I woke up and it was like epiphany, a veil was lifted off my face. I was sick of being the token fat chick, and I was going to be thin. The desire to change coursed through my veins."

Now that I have worked as a weight loss counselor I can tell you how important this "epiphany" moment is. The final act, thought, or words that make you feel like you must change your health. Generally there is some strong emotional pain that goes along with this, but I have found that this moment must come from within you. If you decide to lose weight because a loved one made a terrible comment on you in public, that kind of "epiphany" doesn't last because it's stemming from their desire for you to lose weight, and your connection to it is gone quickly enough.

But once you have the real motivation to lose weight and follow through all the way to maintenance you will achieve the goal.

I will now go over the phases of my weight loss and what I did during each. I will try to focus on healthy eating habits which will result in weight loss but are important for everyone who wants good health and digestive system.

At around 180 lb
Phase 1 - Cutting back
During the beginning of my weight loss I didn't cut out entirely unhealthy foods like box mac n cheese, fast food, chips etc. I just ate less than I usually did. I did however cut out soda pop, a lot of people have problems giving up soda but I have to stress that's essential. You should cut out soda and alcohol immediately when you begin your weight loss journey.

During this phase I also began working out, I had never worked out previously! I began by walking on the treadmill mixed with a few minutes on the elliptical, as I got stronger I did less on the treadmill and more on the elliptical. Then I added in the 30 Day Shred as variety (and for muscle building). I was doing about an hour of exercise everyday. I would say most of my weight loss happened in this first phase - 50 lb in 2 months then it dropped off as I had my first travel to Japan and didn't try to lose.

Phase 2 - Cutting out and experimenting
After coming back from Japan I spent a few months not getting back into it, but when I did I re-started the exercise regimen I outlined earlier. I began cutting out all junk foods and eating more whole foods like whole grain bread, fish, fruit, nuts etc. During this long phase I wasn't exactly sure what I should be doing to help me get past stubborn platues and I certainly hit a lot. There were times when I ate far too little, or exercised too streniously which lead me only to be stuck more.

At around 160 lb

Phase 3 - Learning food science and gut health
Late 2012 I began working fulltime in the adult world (I don't recommend it) and my first job was as a weight loss counselor. I came to this job with my passion for weight loss and personal experience, and the great thing was during this time I learned so much! About the different food groups, bacteria, nutrients, hydration, digestive health, timing, glycemic index and more. I really understood how foods effect your health and why. I really didn't lose while I was a counselor, because the hours were tough and I ate at a higher caloric level for weight loss, but after I quit this year and put what I know into practice I went from 145 to 120 lb resulting in my new total loss 114 lb!

At about 120 lb
My important weight loss tips
1. Hydration
I think most people are very dehydrated but don't know it. This is something I didn't know during my early weight loss that I wish I had! You must drink at least 80oz (2.4L) of water everyday (and no more than 120oz). Please cut out soda, alcohol, sports drinks, and 0 calorie drinks. Limit your caffienated tea and coffee to 2 cups per day.

2. Eat a variety
Make sure to eat from all the food groups, eat the full rainbow of fruits and vegetable. Aim for 4 cups of veggies and 1 cup of fruits per day. As for proteins avoid pig meats, eat more fish, tofu, an lentils for variety. Dairy should be 1-2% fat at 1/2 a cup per day, avoid skim and non-fat dairy products. Eat natural healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, sesame oil, olives etc. Starch should be whole such as oats, sweet potato, quinoa, wild rice, barley, farrow, and jicama. Cut out white potato, rice, pasta, bread, crackers etc.

A breakfast porridge made with quinoa
3. Timings and ratios
The glycemic index refers to foods effect on our blood sugar, which then relates to if/how we metabolize food. A healthy diet aims to keep blood sugar low and stable so it's important not only to look at what we eat but when and how much. Always have breakfast with 45 mins of waking, eat every 3-5 hours and stop eating at 19:00. Make vegetables the bulk of your meals, with a protein serving to keep you full.

4. Exercise is not essential
One thing I stressed before which I have learned better about is the importance of exercise, or less importance. You do not have to exercise to lose weight, that's not to say it won't help, you just don't have to. Exercise will help decrease stress and increase your metabolism which are both good things. Try and be active everyday, but don't get mad at yourself for not logging an hour at the gym.

5. Be healthy!
Make sure to consult your doctor or clinic dietitian before starting a weight loss regimen. Talk to them about a healthy body fat percentage (which is much more accurate and important than BMI) and calories to consume for weightloss. Don't go below 1200kcal. Add supplements such as an Omega3 and probiotics. And make sure to keep your goals realistic for your mental health.

So I still follow a healthy diet as I have described, I just aim for a bit higher calories than the weight loss phase so I can maintain my weight. I have treats now and then, and always save some calories for chocolate haha.

I'm going to be launching a series on health and weight loss very very soon, I am in the prep stage right now. My goal with this is to spread more useful and accurate health information for women, esp young women and girls. There's so much out there that is harmful, and I hope to counteract that as well as be a resource that people can relate to. I will be addressing a lot of the topics mentioned in this post in detail as well as other things I didn't get to. I hope it will be well received!

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