Limit your sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) intake
Drink more water
There's a famous phrase used very often for those who are trying to lose weight, "Don't drink your calories". Do you know how much calories are there in your bubble tea? Not only bubble tea, carbonated drinks, hot chocolate, coffee with chocolate chips, cold foam, and whipped cream, all these drinks could reach calories up to 250 kcal. Furthermore, they don't even make you feel full for a long time. A proper meal would contain the same amount of calories and guess what? It will certainly make you feel full longer than the SSB.
Opt for nutrient-dense food, not calorie-dense food
It's recommended for every adult to consume at least 8 glasses of water everyday to stay hydrated. 8 glasses of water is equivalent to 2L of water. Despite the fact that many would think this is impossible to practice, you should know that 8 glasses of water could also come from the soup you cook your vegetable with or your almond milk you eat your cereal with. Now, does that make it looks a lot easier to achieve? One of the benefits that correlates with losing weight is to drink 250mL (1 glass) water 30 minutes before you eat. This is because it's easy for your mind to be mistaken that you're hungry when in fact, you're only thirsty!
Fulfill 2 intakes of fruits and 3 intakes of vegetables daily
The meaning for nutrient dense food is food that contains high source of vitamins and minerals, and also low in saturated fats, trans fats and added sugar. Sounds familiar? Yes! You can get your supply of nutrient dense food from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, nuts, and legumes. Calorie-dense food in the other hand are food with high calories but very low in nutrients such as fried food, processed food, alcohols, and sugar-sweetened beverages. Also, your food preparation method is important as well. Always choose to boil, bake, or steam your food instead of frying or deep-frying as your cooking method could contribute to addition of calories.
How many vegetables and fruits you should eat to fulfill the recommended intakes? As for vegetables, 1 cup of raw vegetables or 1/2 cup of cooked vegetables is equivalent to 1 intake of vegetables. I would suggest for you to eat 2 intakes of vegetables for lunch and 1 intake for dinner. As for fruits, you can eat 1 intake of fruit each for lunch and dinner. You can refer to the picture below to know how much is 1 intake of fruit, with reference from Nutrition Division, MOH Malaysia.
BONUS: Increase your physical activity daily, reach that 10K steps!
Increasing your daily physical activity will help to improve your body metabolism. The most practical way to ensure that you're not living a sedentary life is to walk 10,000 steps daily. These days, most smartphones are equipped with steps tracker so it's easy for us to track our steps count especially if our smartphone is always with us. Some also might want to invest into smartwatch so that we don't have to carry our phone all the time and still get our steps recorded accurately. You can achieve this 10K steps without going to any gymnasium or park. Park your car a little further from your house, take a public transportation to work, go window shopping at the mall, or simply walk on the treadmill at home.
To sum up, it's not easy to practice reducing your calories if you're trying to lose weight. However, it's not impossible! Remember, the key is consistency. If you find it hard to do it on your own, no worries! Let us do the calculation and plan the meals that contain just the right amount of calories for you. Trust the process and you'll love the results.