Living Healthy

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Now, I’m not a nutritionist and so I won’t tell you what you have to do to live a healthier life, no, I’m going to tell you how I live a healthier life, how I keep myself fit, what I eat and all the things, which seemed to help me getting more into shape.

Two times in my life I gained a lot of weight and, of course, wanted to get rid of those extra pounds again.

  1. I lived in Austin, Texas, and gained around 20 pounds because I ate the wrong food and didn’t exercise. I ate at fast-food places all the time (too much fat), I ate a loooot of sweets (too much sugar) and I ate too much in general. After arriving back home, my doctor told me that my blood-test results are horrible and that I needed to change my eating habits. The positive thing was that I didn’t have to do a lot to lose the 20 pounds again. Once in Germany, I didn’t go to fast-food places anymore (we only had McDonalds and Burger King back then!), I didn’t eat too much sweets, I just ate healthier and the pounds kept rolling.
  2. My first 40-hour-a-week internship at an office. I worked six months as an intern, meaning it was my first time sitting in an office nine hours a day. I didn’t exercise, I ate too much. Every noon I’d just eat a lot of cheese and ham with bread. I didn’t leave the office. Coming home from work (at around 18:00), I made myself a huge bowl of noodles with pesto. I drove to work by train. That was my habit for about six months, until someone in the company looked at me and said “Did you gain weight?”. I knew I needed to change my habits.

The “office-incidence” made me change my life to the way I’m living it right now. Back then I knew I’m going to work in an office at one point in my life and I didn’t want to gain so much again. This point of my life is now – I’m working in an office and I keep my weight.

So, below you’ll find the things I did/do to lose weight and keep in shape.

  • I walk or ride my bike
    Instead of taking the bus or train to work and instead of taking the bus or train downtown or anywhere I need to go, I ride my bike. It was difficult in the beginning, I was totally out of shape, but after a while I could actually breath normal whilst riding my bike.

    No matter how cold or hot it is, I’ll ride my bike. When it’s raining though, I tend to either walk or take the train. I just dislike arriving at work all wet (although I do have raining clothes, but you still get wet), so, yeah.

    When I walk, I see so much things I never noticed before; nice little streets, lovely houses, cute cafรจs or shops, the birds and the bees ๐Ÿ™‚ . So, walking really has some benefits.

  • I eat more veggies and fruits
    I try to eat five a day.

    A lot of days I’ll eat a yummy muesli breakfast and cut a lot of fruits into that. After that breakfast I’m full for a long time.

    At work, I have a big bowl of fruit sitting right infront of me. So instead of eating sweets as a snack I’ll grab a banana and some grapes for example, cut them up and add yogurt.

    I try to eat vegetables or a big salad to my dinner. I buy fresh vegetables most of the time and cut them up, but when I’m lazy, I’ll just buy a frozen pack of veggies.

    A great, fast and easy dinner I love: cooking rice, cutting up carrots, peppers and broccoli, let them cook in a pan and then mix the rice with the vegetables. Sometimes I’ll buy some turkey meat to go with it. Very yummy, easy and fast to make!

  • I try to not eat too late
    That’s just something that makes me feel better. Other people might eat late at night, around 21:00, and be skinny as hell. I just remember that eating the noodles and pesto at around 19:00 and 20:00 wasn’t too good for me.

    I just feel better the next morning NOT having such a huge belly because of all the food I ate the night before. Again, that’s just my personal preference. When I get home from work late I’ll eat accordingly late. Sometimes I go to dinner, which is mostly later as well.

    In general I just try to not eat too late and especially no crap, like sweets or a Big Mac or chips.

  • I exercise
    I’m a member of a gym. I joined in May 2013. The gym has a strenght circuit, so if I’m not too much in the mood or only have limited time I’ll do that, it only takes around 30 minutes. I went from this belly to this belly in three months ๐Ÿ™‚

    Building up muscles is not the only thing that keeps you in shape and makes you lose weight though, you need to train the conditioning as well.

    So I asked a friend ((he was a gym coach once)) to take me jogging twice a week. I have a bad knee and always said “I can’t jog, I have a bad knee, it’s not good for the knee…” BUT I started very slow (jog one minute, walk one minute… and this thirty minutes long) and I have to tell you, I didn’t have (still don’t) any problems with my knee(s).

    I personally like jogging more than Nordic walking because I don’t get bored as easily. So when the weather is nice I’ll go for nice relaxing runs around the forest.

  • I hardly eat at fast-food places
    The good thing is: Germany doesn’t have a lot of fast-food places.
    There’s McDonalds, Burger King, and uh-oh – I think I saw a brand new KFC last week! We also have Subway, but I personally don’t see that as the typical fast-food place. I haven’t been to McDonalds in ages! First of all, it’s not that cheap anymore and when I eat a menu (I always get six Chicken McNuggets, one cheesburger, fries and a coke), I’m hungry shortly after again.

    Subway I like! I’ll get a sandwich there every now and again. I always get the turkey sub on wheat bread. All the veggies on it of course. It’s sooo yummy and I don’t have a guilty conscience whilst eating it.

    Anyways, eating at fast-food places also costs quite a bit, especially if you do it regularly.

  • I watch what I buy
    My shopping list always contains:

    • vegetables
    • fruits
    • low/normal fat and low sugar nature yogurt (the fruit yogurt has too much sugar and I’m not even sure if it has real fruit)
    • wheat bread
    • low/normal fat milk

    Low fat and -sugar products taste very good… most of the time. You don’t taste a difference.
    I never buy soda – only for special occasions. Most of the times, I buy high quality bread and wholemeal products and I only buy products without food additives, which isn’t that easy at all. But you can find them if you look.

The things I posted help me to lose weight. I tried dieting (long time ago), but the yoyo-effect always hit me bad. If you have some tips on how you keep your weight, live a healthy life, please share!

  • If I pig out
    Of course there are days where I’m in the mood for fast-food or something not so healthy. I then also try to get the more healthy version though.

    Pizza: I don’t get one with salami (the most fatty sausage), I’ll get one with veggies.
    Running-Sushi: I eat the normal sushi and not a lot of the deep-fried foods.

    Things like that…

  • 3 thoughts on “Living Healthy”

    1. Well, first off, building up muscles helps keeping your metabolic rate high, even at rest, and that keeps you from gaining weight. The best training routine is always combine endurance and strength training, strength for what I’ve mentioned above and because of stabilizing your core. That helps against back pain. Endurance, to keep your heart rate low, improve your oxygen uptake (this helps body cells to renew itself, it keeps them healthy and they work better), improve blood flow overall, and to avoid sedentary diseases, like diabetes and hypertension).

      Because of my job i tend to work out hard 4 to 5 times a week. I used to have a healthier diet, but I’m working on getting back on track. I’m always eating a lot of different fruits, but I indulge a lot with sweets, for instance.

      The reason why you might have gotten fat after eating pasta late was that when you eat sugars (carbohydrates), and your body doesn’t use them to produce energy (as if you for instance would have biked to work), then the body stores them as fat until they’re needed.

      Great article! I like specially that you stated clearly that this is what you do and by no means a guide to lose weight. Kudos!

    2. I don’t get much of a chance to walk or ride my bike places (due to living in a suburban area where everything is far away), but I do get quite a bit of physical activity in regularly.

      I eat a lot of veggies and fruits, but I also have a habit of indulging in sweets and fast food ๐Ÿ™ I’ve been trying to cut back on the fast food, at least.

      This is a great list! I think I’m going to try to add more fruits to my breakfast, and see if I can bike more in the summer, at least ๐Ÿ™‚

    3. This is a great article, Tracy! Thanks so much for writing it. I struggle with my weight (I don’t usually write about it though; embarrassed, I guess!) so I like hearing about what works for other people. Most times they just say “no fast food and soda = weight loss” but I already don’t eat at fast food places or drink soda more than about 1x per month so… then what? That’s what I like about this article – you gave examples of your experience and what worked for you.

      I think my problem is that I have a really bad sweet tooth. I’m good about buying whole grain breads (with no high-fructose corn syrup! that stuff is EVERYWHERE here, ugh) but I could definitely cut down on sugar and add more veggies.

      You have a lot of great suggestions here. ๐Ÿ™‚

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