In July of 2020 I would call myself skinny fat. At 5'6 I weighed roughly 155lbs (currently 130lbs). It was the first summer of the pandemic — so I’ll admit I wasn’t as active as I would have liked to be.
In 2020 I was living with my family but decided to move out in July. I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to afford doing so. This was a long time coming and I was mentally prepared for it — so when the pandemic hit I told myself I wouldn’t let that stop me from being independent. That might be overrated for many, but not for me.
After moving out, I felt like I could finally start new. New habits, new environment, new responsibilities, etc. I was ready for it!
So in no particular order, here are the 6 lifestyle habits that helped me lose 25lbs in 6 months.
Bike vs Drive
I chose to not own a car so I typically commute everywhere I need via bike. I average 50km on the weekdays and an additional 30km+ on the weekends when the weather is nice. Daily I commute for 40–45mins and burn 350–400 calories. Overtime this really adds up!
Calorically vs Nutritionally Dense Foods
When I go grocery shopping I typically look at things in a few different ways.
- Nutritionally Dense Foods (arugula, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, etc.)
- Calorically Dense Foods (potatoes, rice, beans, lentils, fruits, etc.)
- Fill your basket/cart with the colours of the rainbow
I always try and fill my cart with the colour of the rainbow. Lately I’ve felt great structuring my meals like so — small breakfast, nutritionally dense lunch & calorically dense dinner.
1–2 ‘Cheat/Take Out Meals’ Per Weekend
I look forward to this every week. Every, single week. What good is being disciplined during the week if you don’t find a way to reward yourself? Here are a few of my favourite cheat meals I’ve had lately. I haven’t had ‘take-out’ in a while, but plenty of goodies can be found at the grocery store!
- Home made vegan pizza (via simnettnutrition)
- Gardien Fish Fillets & Crab Cakes w/ Plumb Sauce
- Popcorn & Hot Chocolate
- PC Plant Based Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Rounds
The smaller the plate, the smaller the portion. The smaller the container, the smaller the portion. The smaller the soup thermos, the smaller the portion. Am I saying you should have small portions all the time? No. However, for me I’ve found it easier to eat less if my food container is medium sized and not family sized. Oh, and eating slowly also helps the smaller portions be more filling.
Fruit For Days
The one thing in my diet I never limit or portion are fresh fruits. I eat a ton of dates, bananas, berries, etc. Here me out. In my mind the more fruit I eat the more full I will feel. The more full I feel, the less likely I am to want to binge a tub of ice cream. Fresh fruit help me kick my sweet tooth cravings. Often my ‘desert’ for a meal will be an apple, orange or banana. Overall, I never say no to eating more fruit. For me — fresh fruit is never off limits.
Whole Food Plant Based
I’ve been vegan for 3+ years. I personally think a ‘vegan’ diet is different from a ‘whole food plant based’ diet. Let’s look at the definition of veganism.
Veganism is a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude — as far as is possible and practicable — all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose
Applying this to a diet, it says what you should not eat — not what you should eat. That’s why I eat a whole food plant based diet. Most of my meals look like a less artistic version of the below photo. Whole foods, no oil, minimal salt, home made sauces, etc. Are my ‘cheat-meals’ vegan? Absolutely. Are they whole-food-plant-based? In the example of a Gardien product — because it’s processed I would say no. But that’s okay for me right now.
I’m sure if I look at my diet the 80/20 rule probably applies. 80% whole-food-plant-based and 20% vegan junk food.
Comment which one of these six YOU could add into your life. I know some of these take sacrifice, but for me.. it just makes sense. I’ll talk to you in the next article!