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I love burgers…but I hate what they do to me.

Sooooo delicious…those juicy grilled beef patties…crisp lettuce and sweet tomatoes, and, if I’m lucky, some browned grilled onions, all on a toasted bun…mmmmmmmmmm

…but they’re not really fun for your body, especially when you enjoy unhealthy foods like I do.

Lately, my body has been super-grateful for the good things I’ve been putting into it over the past year, and has rewarded me with a sizable weight loss (and a sizable cash-out from a “Biggest Loser” bet my friends and I had…$cha-ching~$).

My goal to start moving down to a healthier weight actually started almost 2 years ago when I worked in Korea for a summer. I remember on the the last day of work, my friend Rich and I (who were both on diets at the time…as our American weights were considered overweight over there) went to Kraze Burger at the COEX mall to satisfy our cravings by splitting a small burger between the two of us. And interestingly enough, it was filling enough when we ate it slowly.

Which then made me think about how much I consumed in the States…

…yeah…I was kind of gross.

If left to my own devices, I could probably kill two burgers in one sitting with fries, but it took Korea to let me realize that my body, while it could physically contain all three burgers, only wanted and needed 1/2 of one.

Plus, when I ate slower and with more purpose, food actually tasted better. By no means am I “skinny” yet, but I am definitely the lightest I have ever been and the fittest I have ever felt.

If you’re on a mission to lose weight, I have 10 tips:

  1. Don’t starve. Biggest mistake I’ve ever made, and the worst way to lose weight and the best way to gain it all back (and more) with vengeance.
  2. Work out at least 3 times a week. Cardio (treadmill-ing) is the fastest way to slim down and tone up your entire body. I try to get in about 2-3 miles per workout, following it up with 15 minutes of  weights and pilates/yoga.
  3. When you eat, eat half of what you usually would, but take twice as long to eat it. It’s a lot harder than it sounds. A LOT harder. But in order to get that kick-start for your weight loss, this is the best way to do it without compromising your meal schedule/tastebuds/metabolism. When you eat, chew your food really slowly. It’s better for your digestion and you’ll find that your food tastes a whole lot better.
  4. Pack your breakfast and lunch. Saves money and calorie-intakes (I try to shoot for about 250-300 calories per meal). Try to limit your sodium intake, too.
  5. Drink lots and lots of water (and if you can, with lemon). And try to get at least 7 hours of sleep. Your body flushes everything out and when you sleep, your body and metabolism gets a chance to recover and burn off fat without you having to do anything!
  6. Don’t stress. I’m totally the teapot calling the kettle black, but I’ve found that the days I stress out the most, even when I eat right and work out, those are the days I don’t lose anything (and sometimes I gain). Stress killlllls your weight loss.
  7. If you can’t make it to the gym, do one of the 10-30 minute workouts on I am a big fan of the Bikini Body Makeover sets.
  8. Carry around a healthy snack with you, or keep a bowl of something at your desk at all times. I like roasted peanuts (non-salted). Yummy and super low in carbs and fats, and when I pop in a handful every half hour, I don’t get hungry between meals.
  9. Take the stairs. Being conventionally lazy, I hate having to do this, but taking the stairs tones up the legs, gives you a small cardio work out (depending on the length of the flights), and makes you feel better about yourself when you get ‘er done.
  10. Pick one meal out of the entire week for you to “cheat.” I like saving my Saturday nights for this cheat meal. I eat a non-diet meal (like a burger with fries) : it lets me satisfy any cravings, gives me something to look forward to, and motivates me to work it off at the gym afterwards. Plus, by the time I get to the meal, I end up leaving some of it behind anyway (because I get fuller faster).

Now that my food no longer owns me, even the concept of dieting stresses me out a whole lot less.

I am the Burger Queen.

A Cartoon Stuck in a Real Girl’s Body

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July 2010