I’ve always gone through ebbs and flows with my body—and I’m sure that’s true for most humans (men included). I’ve tried every crash diet and trendy workout craze, only to come to the same conclusion every time: It’s not for me. When it came down to it, I hated working out, and I loathed restricting myself even more. I love food. I began to accept that my penchant for soup dumplings is a huge part of me—and subsequently my happiness. I wasn’t willing to give that up just to shed a couple pounds. Though many times my “this is me” attitude allowed for unhealthy lifestyle choices. I knew I had to make a change, but I refused to let said change ruin my life.
It seems serendipitous, but the more I allowed my brain to give up its lifelong quest for the perfect body—as if there’s even such a thing—the more I started noticing inches gone from my waistline.
Seriously, this is not a drill. Why? Because rather than spend two hellish weeks on whatever regime I had read about that month, I began making very, very small adjustments. Such changes never interfere with afternoons spent on the couch and Chinese food delivery orders (perhaps my two favourite things).
And they work: I lost a significant amount of weight in three months. The best part? I didn’t even realise it was happening until one day, my favourite tweed trousers slipped right off my newly lean figure. (Don’t worry, I’ve since had them tailored and wear them more often than I’d like to admit.)
This is the secret to losing weight without giving up… anything.
It’s certainly easier in New York than many other places, but there’s no doubt that you walk less than you could. A long stroll feels meditative—like a much-needed conversation with yourself. Listen to your favourite playlist, call your mother, and get where you need to go (albeit slightly slower) while burning calories. Miles go by in just minutes, and you’ve blithely worked off lunch by the time you get home. You’ll have more time to think and less time to clock at the gym (if you’re into that sort of thing). Just remember to wear comfortable shoes and stock Compeed Anti-Blister Stick (£5) in your bag just in case.
Like I said, I can eat. And rather than abolishing all the foods I love, I alter just one of my daily meals to a healthier option. Usually it’s lunch, only because the thought of burrito remnants in my keyboard makes me feel sad. But whatever works for you! It’s mostly mental, in that if you’re always allowed to eat your favourite dishes, you’ll never feel like you have to binge on them. Never binging equals less eating and an overall healthier relationship with food. So much so that sometimes I even choose to go green and leafy for both lunch and dinner—I’ve started to crave it.
Hear me out. When we’re unhappy with our bodies, we tend to hide them as much as possible—even from ourselves. Spending time with yourself sans clothing is the easiest way to get to know your curves and maintain balance. If I undress for bed one day and notice a few unwelcome changes, I can make a note to go to yoga the next day or get something fresh and healthy for dinner. Not to mention that it allows you to observe positive developments as well! Walking everywhere has helped my legs tone up, which I first recognised as I was climbing into bed. Had I been wearing sweatpants, I wouldn’t have fallen asleep with a smile on my face.
This one seems counterintuitive, but it works. I used to trash my leftovers because I thought that would save me from overeating (most restaurants supply a heftier portion than recommended). However, if you save your doggy bag, you’ve just supplied yourself with a free meal for the next day. That way, both meals stay in line with the proper serving size and you can spend your money on important things like Charlotte Tilbury’s new Matte Revolution Lipstick in Between the Sheets (£24).
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Weighing yourself can drive you crazy. Our intake of food and drink make it so that our bodies fluctuate throughout the day. If you weigh yourself in the morning, it may read something different than at night. So why do it? It’s difficult to gauge what that number really means anyway. Muscle weighs more than fat, after all. It’ll make you feel bad if the number is higher than you expected it to be—and feeling bad is a waste of your time. Leave the scales to your yearly check-ups, and you’ll live a far more blissful, body-loving life.
Looking for more lazy girl–approved wellness tricks? Peep this five-step guide to faking a detox.