My food and I…BC and AC


I remember those years before I had my first baby! I see some of those pictures and I gaze in awe. Those must have been the days when my mum would jokingly say I made skirts out of half a yard of fabric! I had my first baby and once she was six weeks old, I was back on the beat doing my exercises to get back to my BC (before child) status. My Yoruba aunt-in-law could not understand this and my utter lack of disregard for the plates of amala et al she attempted to serve up for my eating pleasure. I was determined to get back to my BC status and the earlier that happened the better. This worked pretty well in this instance and before long, I was exactly how I wanted to be.
 
Then came along baby number 2…and suddenly, it wasn’t so easy to get back to my pre-pregnancy state. I managed it at the end of the day though…but it was with tightly gritted teeth, loads of sweat and oodles of perseverance. I realized at this time that my days of eating like a horse and burning it all off were gone. Oh, I used to be able to wolf down calories that even the fast food joints would shudder at, and not show a bit of spare flesh. What happened to that fantastic metabolic rate? It up and died on me because, it now appeared that even when I smelt food, I added weight ! 😀 Honestly…I could almost swear!
 
Then came baby number 3 and my metabolism finally gave up. Every food I ate was duly converted to calories and stored in embarrassing areas of my body like my lower belly and my hips. I’m one of those lucky ones that their arms and wrists don’t really ‘swell’ up whenever they add weight…but consider that I was unlucky in every other way as I added weight in every other place 😀 Again, I worked at it, even harder this time and I was motivated by the fact that I’d been bought a couple of clothes to wear post pregnancy, and so they provided sufficient motivation to get with the crunches and sit-ups. And finally, the clothes fit!
 
In between, I tried some magic berry pills that were supposed to speed up your metabolism so fast it made your head spin! Mark you, I’m a doctor so I wasn’t looking for anything that had any side effects that could affect my health. Nope, I wanted to do it naturally, but hey, if a pill helps, why not?! Yes? Well, I can tell you for a fact that my head spun, not from how fast my metabolism was converting fat to muscle but by how I could have ever considered there was an easier way…than sweating and grunting through it!
 
Did it get better afterwards? Nope, it became a constant battle to get the weight off and make it stay that way. I have this friend who wolves down everything in sight and yet, nothing happens. But not me! I finally made my peace with this new me…Ketch AC (After Children :D) a couple of years ago and realized that this is my new reality…I add weight when I smell food 😀 So I can either stay down and whine about it or get up and do something about it.
 
And do something about it, I did. I committed to exercising at least five days every week or walking at least 5000 steps every day. I committed to reducing my portions and eating right. I made friends with beans, vegetables and fruits. Now, for some reason I never liked fruits. I could go for months (I think it would be absolutely embarrassing to say I could go for perhaps a year) without tasting (yes tasting…not even eating) a single fruit and then on some other occasions, I would get the craving for oranges and sit down with a knife in front of a basket of oranges and finish it off! I had to find a way of incorporating fruits into my diet. And that’s when I really discovered smoothies. Now my life is not complete without my brew on a daily basis. I have even gone days on smoothies only…the weight just peeled off and I assure you that even the most recalcitrant tummy would go flatter (depending on how much work has to be done, of course) on a diet of smoothies!
 
I’m not and never have been a huge fan of fad diets. I think they place a lot of restrictions on you which make them impracticable and thus easily abandoned. So, for all of you who have written in asking for how to lose all that belly fat and perhaps if there’s a magic pill, here’s my answer. It is hard work…plain and simple.
 
First focus on portion control. Start by reducing the size of your plate. If you eat with a bowl, go for a plate. If you eat with a flat plate with a circumference that could hold the globe 🙂 go for a smaller one etc. Then make sure that you focus on eating healthier foods. Half the plate should be filled with veggies, a quarter with protein and a quarter with carbs. Focus on complex carbs like brown rice, potatoes, yams, oats etc. Your palm is actually a good measure of how much you should eat and before you pelt me with rotten tomatoes for saying this, I’ve actually got very small palms so I’m suffering through this too 🙂
 
Then, exercise. This could be in the gym or through your regular activities. If you are a stay-at-home mum, dancing while doing your house chores, may not be what you have in mind when you look at a full house of chores, but it could start you on your fitness journey. And if you have a house help, don’t send her to do everything, get up and do some stuff yourself. Taking a walk in the evening when everyone is back, is also helpful. Going to the gym is a great way to start your day. In the office, move around some more…to the printer, to the bank, to the restaurant for lunch. Don’t call for everything.
 
And then, try and reduce your stress level…I can almost hear your ‘yeah, right! How do I do that?’ Well, stress is a normal part of life and in fact is needed to give you the regular push to get and go every morning. Find out your sources of stress and figure out solutions to them. For those you can’t find solutions for, let them go. No problem has ever been solved by stressing out over them. During stressful times, we are more likely to make wrong food choices. You may feel too lethargic to go anywhere and want to grab a quick food fix on your desk…where you’ve been sitting all day!
 
So that’s it…in as simple and plain a way as I could put it. These are the ABCs of losing weight…and we all keep working at it. I still have 1kg of my summer holiday weight left to lose before I continue my regimen from where I left off (Did I really misbehave that much during the holidays? SMH)
 
So, join me and let’s keep each other honest!
 
Here’s to a healthier you!
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21 Responses to My food and I…BC and AC

  1. osobaomotundeolubunmi says:

    i love this

    Like

  2. DeOlu says:

    🙂 this is an interesting piece…although it’s not likely i would experience BC or AC…but i would be sure to refer this blog to my aunties and of course my wife (when the time comes). Cheers.

    Like

  3. oluchi says:

    ​⌣»̶·̵̭̌·̵̭̌✽̤̈̊Ŧђɑ̤̥̈̊п̥̥̲̣̣̣kƨ̣̣̣̇̇̇̇✽̤̈̊·̵̭̌·̵̭̌«̶⌣ for your article,
    Seriously I need help, personally its like am addicted to tea and bread, its difficult to quit, I don’t realy like swallows I can go months without it. I’ve been thinking, if I should quit tea what will I be eating? I love Fruits and veggies but they make me go hungry afterwards, I will start looking for tea to fill up. For the exercise part, I am realy lazy but I will try to start maybe the evening walk, pls advice me!
    God bless you.
    Oluchi.

    Like

    • Hello Oluchi, bread is filled with empty calories. But you are well on your way to leaving it alone…by realising it is a problem. Start by reducing the frequency of taking it. Then try wheat bread and then try pita bread…the flat bread used for sharwarma. You can get it in the Lebanese supermarkets or ask your favourite Sharwarma chef where you can get it. For fruits, perhaps you could try eating bananas…they have a high satiety value and will leave you feeling full for a long while. And try not to eat your food or fruits too quickly. Take your time to chew thoroughly…this takes time and you will find that you will get full before you finish your normal portion. Then sometimes when you think you’re hungry, try drinking water. You could just be thirsty. All the best

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  4. Sunny says:

    Before Men and After Men? Hahahahaha… Is there really an “after men” stage (chuckling)? And hmmmm, there you go again, dear Dr Ketch, blaming the smell of food for the weight gain? Can’t stop laughing… Weight loss is actually a lot of hard work. One other pretty good habit to add to the list is avoidance of late meals. Dinner should never be later than 7pm! It really helps…. A cup of water afterwards whenever the “fake” hunger pangs come calling would do!

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    • Hmmm! Sunny, don’t give me a bad name oh! I said before marriage and after marriage, for men! Let’s see how many of you will escape telling us about those small and big potbellies….yeah, yeah, I know, not you (mchew! show off!)

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  5. Sunny says:

    Hehehehehe! Can’t wait for the BM and AM for men…. You know I have a potbelly (Chai!)…

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  6. catherine says:

    Hi doc, nice piece. This piece came in timely cos I was almost freaking out. Pls I have a question, my son is 3months old nw and I’ve really added weight and he is my 2nd child. I’m currently on family plannin injection and I eat more than I usually eat, I try not 2look @d mirror cos I’m usually heart broken wenever I do. My once flat tummy is refusin 2come down. Am I been paranoid? Shld I tie my tummy? If I do wld it help @all? Pple keep tellin me 2 tie it and some say I shld take agbo bt I’m sceptical abt takin agbo especially cos I don’t want anytin 2harm my baby. Also can I do exercise since I’m breastfeedin and wat kind? Again, is it proper 2start dietin, although I don’t think its wise 2reduce my food portions nw cos as it were I’m always hungry. *covering ma face* I know its an epistle, pls reply. Thanks doc

    Like

    • Sweetheart I kept laughing as I read your post 😀 You can exercise while breastfeeding and yes, you do need to reduce your portions 🙂 Start your exercise gradually and build on it. 30 minutes brisk walk everyday is a good place to start. Then, do reduce those portions. Use a smaller plate and then fill half of it with veggies, a quarter with proteins and a quarter with carbohydrates. You can have this three times a day and then 2 snacks in between also made of healthy fruits or nuts etc. All the best as you get to it.

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  7. Igbokwe Ebele says:

    Hello Dr.Ketch,I ve been watching iu on African Magic,pls I would want to get an appointment to meeting u(it is all about weight loss)I desperatly needs to loose weight!pls help.

    Like

  8. charity says:

    Love your article.losing weight has been a major problem for me.I use to weigh 90kgs before I started havind kids but after four kids,I’ve landed on 130kgs(OMG).I really need to go back to ma orginal weight.I don’t have a houes help so I do ma chores all on ma own.don’t really eat much but I have sweet tooth.love cakes,chocolate to name a few.HELP!

    Like

    • Hello Charity, Weight loss is first all about self control and delayed gratification. You have to really focus on this journey…because it is a journey and not a destination. There are 3 things that should form part of your early toolkit. You can add on other things as you move along. First, reduce your portion size. Reduce the size of the plate you normally eat with and ensure that you fill half of it with veggies, a quarter with protein and a quarter with carbs. Then, exercise. At least 30 minutes of exercise, be it walking, dancing or using the treadmill,on at least 5 days of every week, is helpful. Finally reduce your stress level as this contributes to deposition of fat around the tummy.

      As you do your chores, add some fun to it…dance, jump up and do and get a work out in addition. And please lay off the candies and stuff. An occasional indulgence is okay, but on a regular basis, apart from making you add weight, it increases your risk of a a number of chronic diseases.

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