Getting Back in Shape: Eat Healthy(er) Part 2

As promised here, I’m going to share some of my meals that I have on my healthy diet and what to do when I have cravings.

So, before we start, let me tell you one thing. The great thing about my diet is that I never have to get hungry. Here’s the low-down:

  • Breakfast
  • Snack
  • Lunch
  • Snack
  • Light meal (if I’m going to the gym)
  • Snack
  • Light meal (after the gym, if I’m hungry)

As you can see above, that’s my schedule for daily basis. It’s full, isn’t it? You’d think, “Really, snacking?” Oh yes. Depends on what you’re snacking on.

First and foremost, breakfast is very important. My nutritionist insisted that I should never forget to have breakfast every morning. It’s going to give me an energy to go through the morning and avoid excessive/unnecessary snacking or over-eat during lunch. I have to agree with her, obviously. So this is what I have usually.

Muesli/Granola with yogurt and fruits

Whatever fruits or nuts you want to add, go ahead chuck them in. Or buy the ones that have dried fruits in them already, and use yogurt instead of milk. Another alternative is two hard-boiled egg whites with a little salt and pepper to taste (no yolks, although I admit I cheated once in a while) with fruits or juice on the side. I have to admit, I’ve cheated with bread too. I mean, come on! I’m just human after all. :p

As for lunch, I always try to have red/brown rice, if not white rice is fine. But with colored rice, it feels a little more fulfilling, therefore I don’t get hungry as quick. If you’re not used to it, you can either add more water when cooking it or mix it with white rice. As for the protein, I usually have chicken or fish. Opt for steamed/baked/grilled, not fried. Pan-fried is still alright, but leave out the skin. Add some veggies and I’m set.

Substitute white rice with red/brown rice

If I want something soupy (clear ones), e.g. ‘sop iga sapi‘, I can still have it, with several exceptions. Opt for less fatty meat and I don’t drink the soup too much, unless it’s home-cooked (I don’t use MSG at home). Please, leave out ‘soto ayam/mie’, ‘soto betawi’, anything milk-based and evil fried rice. ‘Nasi padang‘ is a big fat no too. I know it sounds very limited, believe I had a hard time during the first couple of months. But it’s going to pay off.

The term light meal here is basically what I consume to give me extra energy before going to the gym and to replenish afterwards. My nutritionist suggested ‘tahu’, ‘tempe’, steamed fish or fruits. Nothing fancy and complicated. Sometimes when I feel a little indulgent, I’d just go to the nearest supermarket and get myself some salmon sashimi.

Now, the key to not getting hungry in my diet is to eat every few (3-4) hours. Aside from breakfast and lunch, I fill the rest with snack. Not Cheetos, chocolate or cakes, but with fruits.

The best snack option

Yes, eating fruits has all the wonderful benefits that we all know, yet sometimes decide to neglected it. FYI, I’m not an apple and orange person, so this gives me a reason to eat whatever fruit I want, that’s a relieve. I love papaya, avocado, watermelon grapes, golden kiwi, and so on. I munch on these every time I feel a little rumble during the day. I asked my nutritionist about granola bars. She said it’s OK once in a while, but it’s still processed in a way. Fruit is the way to go. Of course, I’d have to spend extra cash on buying them, but the result is so worth it.

As far as cravings go, I daydreamed a lot about pasta (aglio olio~). But, I would only need one reminder, evil fried rice. If I cheated with something so bad, I’m going to regret it, I know it. That 1% of body fat isn’t exactly a piece of cake to be baked. It really is a matter of the will, hard work and state of mind.

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In a way, I saved some money too because I ended up bringing my lunch from home. And I know that it’s not going to contain any MSG, too much salt and some other unknown ingredients. The result? With regular exercise, my body never felt so clean and rejuvenated. My metabolism works so much better. My face is brighter and glowing because of these fruits I kept munching.

Do I get a break? Yes, I give myself Saturday as a free, yet controlled day. Guess what? After the whole fried rice fiasco, I was even more conscious during my free day. I do not want to mess up the rest of the week just because of this one day. So, although I have a lot more options (and freedom), I tried to stay away from pasta/noodles and anything greasy.

Now, not all of us cook from home. For whatever reason, some just rarely do. Even when I try to bring my lunch from home everyday, there are days where I just want to eat, say Italian or Japanese. Of course, with these limitations, I have to be smart with my options. So, in the next article, I’m going to share some tips and tricks of what to choose whenever I’m eating in different restaurants.

To be continued… ;)