The power of small tweaks or How I lost 15 kilos in a year

I am a big fan of small steps – those tiny things that you can always find a way to do and which combined softly get you where you want to be. This is the approach I follow in respect of everything: weight loss included. I will not talk about some magic pills or about extensive fitness routine or about counting calories. In this post I will share the small tweaks I made to my daily routine which allowed me to get to the end result – minus 15 kilos in a year (went down from 75 kg to 60 kg). Thus, what did I do?

  1. First of all, like with any process, what works best is the 4D’s coined by Brian Tracy: Desire, Decision, Determination, Discipline. I wanted to lose weight. I decided I am going to do it. I was determined to do it last year, so I made some steps towards that goal. And finally, I was disciplined to go through with my plan. The same approach literally works for everything and discipline here is the key.
  2. We started eating dinner around 6 in the evening. That’s our last meal of the day. Very rarely I have something small after that, like a yoghurt or a cup of tea with a small cookie. Rarely. (to note, I go to sleep around 11 in the evening)
  3. I drink a lot. The recommended 2 l a day is pretty much a minimum. At first it was difficult, yet once you are on it, it just goes. I start my day with a glass of water, for every cup of coffee (two-three a day) I drink a glass of water, and in general I rarely go more than 40 minutes without drinking a glass of water.
  4. I cut the size of my portion by something like 15-20%. It’s not that much, but as I already said – it is about small tweaks! In the end, going from 75 to 60 kilos is also just minus 20%…
  5. Every single day I exercise. LOL. Just kidding. Somewhat. Actually, I rigorously do only one particular exercise every single day, sometimes twice. I do the plank. That is the only exercise for which I cannot find any excuse not to do it. I mean, seriously, it takes 60-90 seconds (cannot do it longer yet), which you can always find, however busy you might be.
  6. Early in the year I bought myself a very expensive firming body cream. According to the instructions you had to intensively massage it in after the shower and that’s what I was doing for something like 3 or 4 weeks while that jar lasted. Afterwards it became a habit – now I use just a pretty average body cream but keep the routine of an intensive massage of the “problem” zones. Takes 5 minutes top but the result is pretty visible.
  7. Those who know me long enough, know that I was always crazy about ice-cream. I could eat the whole 1 l pack in one go. Was it because my taste changed or was it because I asked myself a question: “do I really like it that much?”, but the bottom line is – I don’t eat it that much anymore. In general, I try to be conscious with whatever I do (just in life in general) and it applies to what I eat. I am not counting calories, I am not being crazy about “I never eat any sugar”, no! I am just being more mindful about what I truly want and what my body truly wants.
  8. I like variety in my diet. Meaning: we almost never eat the same two days in a row. If today it is chicken with broccoli and mashed potatoes, tomorrow it is going to be fish with rice and fine vegetables. And yes, there are always vegetables with dinner. I usually start with them when I decide on what we are going to eat. Thus, something meat-ish or fish-ish, vegetables and a side: rice, pasta, buckwheat, noodles, potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes,… Balance and variety.
  9. From time to time I do a fasting day. If I am in Riga then it will be on kefir, if in Belgium – then on oatmeal or apples. I tried to instil some sort of regularity to it, but that didn’t work, so I just listen to myself once again. When I feel like “I guess I have eaten too much”, the next day I just make a fasting day.
  10. Instead of a chair I always sit on a gym ball and wiggle a bit from time to time. Actually I don’t even have a chair anymore. My “chair” is a gym ball. That means that  at a dining table or while working on my laptop I always do additional exercises.

Those small tweaks introduced at the beginning of the previous year and rigorously applied throughout resulted in me gradually losing 15 kilos and going from German size 44 to 38 (and actually I guess I might fit 36 for some models). It might not work for everyone, as it is also about hormones and some other factors. However, I truly believe that discipline allows even small adjustments, even tiny tweaks to bring results. Just find yours and discipline yourself!

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