1. What is a healthy weight for me? How do I know if I’m at a healthy weight?
A “healthy weight” has a wide range and is different for every person. Your height, bone structure, gender, body composition (fat vs. muscle percentage), water retention etc. all have an effect on your current weight.
If you want to get a better idea of your body, you can also calculate your body fat percentage. Certain scales claim to measure it (only an estimated number though), some physicians office offers the option, and certain gyms might do it for their members. You can also get a body fat caliper or measuring tape to estimate your body fat % here (I do it by tape measurement on this website).
2. I want to lose fat/weight, but how do I start?
-Start by setting a realistic, measurable, time-bound goal. Ask yourself, “What do I want to achieve?” It may be losing a certain numbers of pounds/kgs, losing a certain amount of inches, or being able to run a certain miles within a certain time. Having realistic, measurable, time-bound goal helps you keep your eyes on the prize.
- Clean up your diet. You cannot out-exercise a bad diet. Eat more veggie, lean protein, fruits, whole grain, and limit junk/processed food.
- Get active! Find out what exercise you like the most. If you’re not sure, try everything! Running, jogging, walking, swimming, jumping rope, yoga, kickboxing, pilate, all kinds of sport… the possibility is endless.
3. What is a “clean” diet?
I guess the definition of “clean” is slightly different from person to person. I personally think eating clean is eating as much natural, unprocessed food as possible. Natural food includes fruits, veggies, whole grain, seeds and nuts, etc. Processed food such as sausage, bacon, white bread, high fructose corn syrup…
4. Do you count calories?
Yes. To lose fat, there must be a calorie deficit (well, at least many articles and research suggest so). So at the beginning of my fat-loss journey, I kept a food journal and literally write down everything I eat. If I couldn’t see the label or didn’t know the ingredients/nutrition facts, I usually do not eat it.
But now that I’ve reached a point where I’m more or less satisfied with my body, I’m not as obsessed anymore. I still sort of estimate how much I’m eating just to keep myself on track.
I would say counting calories is NOT as important as KNOWING WHAT YOU’RE EATING. Read the labels, this is SO IMPORTANT. How many calories a certain food has is not nearly as important as how many essential nutrients the food has.
5. How often do you exercise, and what do you do?
When I’m all healthy, 6-7 times a week, on average about 1 hour per day.
I love running, so I run outside if my knees are up for it. I got runners’ knee and they usually hurt if I start running, so I try not to run as much. I do insanity, yoga, jumping rope, pop pilates, bodyrock, and I go on the elliptical when my knees don’t allow me to do anything else.
6. How do you stay motivated?
I PLAN, PLAN, AND PLAN. I try to plan my workouts ahead of time, plan my diet at the beginning of the week right before I go grocery shopping, and I prepare the food ahead of time when I’m going to eat at school or work.
When everything’s already planned for, I am more motivated to stay on track and go with the plan.
I also continue to remind myself of my goals.
And… I mean, you probably already know it, but TUMBLR HELPS!
9. How often do you have cheat meals/days?
Truth is, I don’t “cheat.” This is a life style change, and I truly want to live a healthy, active life style for life. I enjoy traveling and love eating, so it’s impossible for me to stay away from everything that’s not exactly healthy. Ice cream, for an example.
I just eat less-healthy food in moderation. I try to eat no more than 1-2 servings of the less-healthy food choices. If I accidentally lose self-control and ate more than I should, I just try to exercise a bit more or eat a little bit less for the rest of the day. Or sometimes I eat less the next day to compensate. Eating and working out are enjoyable, and I try to enjoy it as much as possible without damaging my health :)