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How I Gained 13 Kilos, How I Plan To Lose it in Three Months

A short story of how I gained 13 kilos in one year after quitting cigarettes, and the plan to torch it all in three months.

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I’ve gained an average of 13 kilos since I quit smoking a little over a year ago.

And please, I have no intentions of scaring anyone from dropping tobacco. The benefits of quitting sugar and cigarettes far outweigh the little inconveniences you are bound to encounter, even though 13 kilos is anything but ‘little’.

This is me about a year ago, on my way to the body I’ve always wanted.

Quite the opposite. Not only have I gone up two sizes, I’ve stayed there for the longest time. Lovely belly fat has replaced my formerly impressive set of (almost) shredded abs, and it all fluctuates from meal to meal. I haven’t quite reached the love handle stage, but we are a few chocolates and gwinyas away from that too.

WHAT HAPPENED

I had my last cigarette on April 23rd, 2018.

To cut a long story short, it was harder than I hoped, but better than I feared. There were some pretty serious withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes I felt sick. Sometimes a little bit cranky. Or straight up mad.

But! After eight years of the habit, it was actually easier than the horrors I had anticipated with much dread. Some people reported insomnia in the early days.

RELATED: THE SKIN BENEFITS OT CUTTING SUGAR OFF YOUR TEA

I actually found that sleeping got easier as my chest cleared up.

Just a few days after quitting, everything basically improved. Your sense of smell clears up so impressively you can sniff chocolate through walls. So do your taste buds. The food smells and taste sooo good a few days in. Not to mention, you compensate by eating more to wean off the cravings at first, which doesn’t help matters.

RELATED: LOSING 5 KG IN ONE WEEK WITH THE CABBAGE SOUP DIET 

While it isn’t inevitable, weight gain after one quits smoking is expected. Not only are cigarettes appetite suppressants, they can also increase your metabolism. Everything returns to normal after quitting, which means you eat more while burning fewer calories.

See? Almost all roads lead to weight gain after quitting.

RELATED: AVOID THESE 5 FOODS TO ACHIEVE DEFINED ABS 

Fortunately, TIME Magazine reports that I’m likely to start shedding some of it off automatically a year later. While that’s exciting, however, I have a plan of mine to start torching the extra kilos. My goal is not only to return to my normal, healthy weight, but to achieve my ultimate body goals!

HOW I PLAN TO LOSE 13 KG IN THREE MONTHS

Losing weight has never been a problem before, but that’s because of the smoking habit, which influenced a chain of other habits that kept me on the lean side for the most part.

To be honest, I totally under estimated how challenging it would be to shed the gain on this side of life. That said, a year in, I’m absolutely excited to start with the journey towards the body of my dreams, which will start on the first of June!

In my next article on this subject, I intend to detail on exactly how I plan to do this. A lot of the tricks I’ve used before, and the results were incredible. I will, however, be introducing a new plan designed not only to help me lose weight, but to do so in the most sustainable way.

Keep an eye on QuenchSA.com!

 

 

Diet

Losing 5 KG In One Week With The Cabbage Soup Diet!

The Cabbage soup diet promises rapid weight loss of up to 4.5 kg, or more. Everything you need to know

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Cabbage Soup Diet South Africa

Around this time of the year, many people are hoping to torch the extra kilos gained during the previous festive season. Maybe you are one of them. I sure as hell am.

Most of us gobbled down a little bit more than what we should have, and that’s being nice about it because you know what went down in the kitchen. I for one am on a mission to drop the 5 kilos I picked up within three weeks of giving zeros in December.

I don’t regret anything, though (… at all! Are you kidding me? There were back to back cheat days, at all levels, for more than two weeks at some point). That said, the journey to claiming the snapback body has started.

And although I’m an unwavering advocate for healthier and more sustainable ways of losing weight and getting back in shape, many people are definitely looking into quicker ways of dropping a size or two ahead of a lush gateway in February, or a looming special event. Or maybe because you can’t fit into many of your fave outfit with as much ease anymore.

Whatever your reason is for hunting down the quickest route to the most weight loss method, you’re probably looking at various quick fix options that promise miracle results in a short space of time…

As if all the miracle weight loss teas and concoctions floating around social media aren’t enough enticement to lure the most unsuspecting, many people will be hearing more about the good ol’ crash diets.

These urgent, short term basis diets are taken with the aim of achieving rapid results. They aren’t recommended for the long haul due to the detrimental effects they can have on your body. Many also shun them because the water (which is mostly water to begin with) is likely to come right back, and some. This can lead to yo-yo dieting, which can open you up to some serious health risks down the line.

While these fad diets are always doing the rounds, they obviously resurface more prominently around the post-holiday season. For obvious reasons. The trick is often simple; limit your daily caloric intake by eating next to nothing for a fixed period of time to see mindblowing results. Fast!

So fast, in fact, that the only thing they seem to do faster is the number of before-and-after snaps being thrown in the ether for those swearing by them. Good ones, might I add. Ones that make you want to start, like, now! Like, scrolling down on your Instagram timeline to stumble on a Cardi B video in which she flaunts the enviable abs she was able to achieve merely months after giving birth to her first child.

And then she credits all of that to a tea… Then; ‘SHOP NOW.’

But back to the topic at hand. There are countless crash diets that promise rapid weight loss at your disposal in January. But while the long and short of it is they are mostly unhealthy, unsustainable and sometimes downright bogus, we thought it’d be worth taking a detailed look into the three most common ones. Bear in mind that you should keep to their recommended span and move on to a healthy lifestyle as a vehicle to weight loss afterwards.

Kicking things off with the cabbage soup diet, we break everything down about the diet and how it works:

THE CABBAGE SOUP DIET 

This is a short term weight loss diet that promises rapid weight loss of about 4.5 kg in a period of seven days. While the soup will be central throughout, it is to be consumed with fruits, vegetables and the introduction of lean meat in the advanced stages.

 

INGREDIENTS & RECIPE

  • Cabbage
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 green peppers
  • 2 cans of tomatoes
  • celery
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 package of mushrooms

THE DIET 

DAY ONE 

In addition to having the soup throughout the day, you are meant to eat only fruits on first day. With the exception of banana(banned until later on the diet), there’s no limit to the amount of fruit you can consume on the first day of the diet. Take the opportunity to focus on fruits that are also superfoods in order to maximise nutritional value for the least calories at impressive satiety. Our list of 10 Superfoods for faster weight loss and improved health should come handy. Stock up on those blueberries!

You are also advised to drink at least eight glasses of water for optimum results. There are no awards for guessing that you can’t indulge on soft drinks, alcoholic beverages and sweetened juice.

You can also have black coffee or tea with no sugar and, according to cabbagesoupdiet.com, unsweetened cranberry juice. Cranberry juice, in general, is pretty bomb for your health. As a side note, I’d suggest you look into limiting or cutting out refined sugar from your hot beverages altogether. If you are already looking to go down this path, this is a pretty good way to set things in motion.

RELATED: GIVING UP SUGAR – 5 SKIN BENEFITS TO EXPECT! 

DAY TWO 

First of all, Congratulations on surviving the first day! It takes a whole lot of willpower to resist all the yummy stuff.

But be warned, day two is generally where most people quit this diet. You aren’t going to quit, so here’s what you be having the whole day;

The cabbage soup with an unlimited amount of vegetables throughout the day, which means you never have to go hungry! The same rules from the first day still apply the same here. You are advised to keep your reach away from starchy beans, peas and corn. You can have a bigger ass potato for dinner, but you can’t add any salt. No fruits for you today.

DAY THREE

You’ve made it past the half way point now. It doesn’t necessarily get easier;  Possible side effects include lightheadedness, dizziness and exhaustion by now. This is when you are also likely to start seeing some results, which is enough motivation to drive you to the finish line.

You can have both fruits and vegetables on this day. I’d recommend you blend everything into a yummy smoothie to kick off your day fresh with a nutritional morning shake. No potatoes and no fruits. Three to four bowls of the soup. Drink plenty of water.

RELATED: SMOOTHIES FOR WEIGHT LOSS – 7 INGREDIENTS TO SHED THE KILOS 

DAY FOUR 

I did ask you to be patient about your bananas on day one, their time would come. Today, you are to drink at least four glasses of skim milk (or unsweetened almond milk) and gobble down on eight huge bananas. Banana is a superfood too, and makes for a delicious killer smoothie. Blend with the milk and add some ice blocks for better consistency.

DAY FIVE

Beef! Yes, that’s right. You can have up to 20 ounces of lean beef today, with tomatoes. Slice up six medium sized tomatoes and have them with beef over dinner. I, not being a fan of beef as it ranks too high on the list of carcinogenic foods (foods that have the potential of causing cancer), would rather go for skinless chicken or fish. Plus with the soup, you aren’t likely t0 endure any hunger pangs today.

DAY SIX 

Finally, it now does get better; Beef and vegetables are on the menu. That’s more protein for you! If you aren’t into beef, repeat the alternative recommended on day five (above). Have some leafy greens today, and the soup.

DAY SEVEN 

You are so close to the finish line that not even the repulsive smell of the cabbage soup will deter you from touching the finish line. The truth is, the soup will start annoying you somewhere during the diet, but we decided to only add this little inconvenient fact pretty late in the game for your own good.

You can see the results at this point and should have lost a considerable amount of visible weight. Today, you can have brown rice and veggies. Three to four cups of brown rice is recommended by cabbagesoupdiet.com, and between three to four servings of the soup.

And just like that, you are done! A couple sizes down and feeling much lighter.

Remember, this diet is meant to be short term. You are seriously advised to resume eating properly after the seven days, which should only serve as a springboard for a long term healthy eating plan for more sustainable weight loss and overall improved health.

Ever tried this diet? Get chatting with us in the comments section below and leave your pearls of wisdom.

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Diet

Giving Up Sugar In Your Tea: The Skin Benefits To Expect

There’s no sugarcoating it, the white stuff is bad for you. That’s the tea. Quit and here’s everything your skin will be thanking you for.

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The idea of tea with no sugar had always been incredibly weird to me, as much as it is for many.

The reality turned out to be even less appealing, of course, the first morning I attempted ditching refined sugar in all my hot beverages. Switching to a teaspoon of honey and some lemon was especially awful at first.

Having plunged from 5 teaspoons of sugar (I know, right!?) on 10 cups of tea a day to that, the whole mildly sweet and sour taste threw me off. Then there were green teas. Ja, no.

‘Sugar ages your skin “faster than a lifetime of lying in the sun”‘

Like millions of people, I loved nothing more than kicking off my mornings with a creamy cup of super sweet tea. The five teaspoons did the trick, a cigarette and some Wendy Williams ‘Hot Topics’ segment on YouTube to kick off my day with that punch of good shade.

But, to summarise a plot twist that led to a series of positive lifestyle changes; I quit cigarettes, cold turkey.

SUGAR CRAVINGS

Two things happened after I quit smoking; my taste buds cleared and everything tasted so much better, and I developed a superhuman smell that helped me to sniff sugar through walls, basically. Although I knew better than giving in to the primordial urges, I also knew better than messing with the most sensitive days of my cigarette detox.

MORE: AVOID THESE 5 FOODS TO ACHIEVE DEFINED ABS

For a while, I gave in and started bingeing as I needed a lot of activity around my mouth to wean me off from the threat of a relapse. Less than a month in, I had gained over 5 kilos, my skin had broken out and I was bloated.

As much as I hated those first sugar-free days, I can only thank myself now for sticking it out! The health benefits start as soon as you stop. Here’s why your skin will thank you

BETTER SKIN 

Slow Down Aging 

Excluding refined sugar from your hot beverages, cereals, snacks and meals can slow down the ageing process quite significantly.

Many people who give up sugar report an improvement on the texture and tone of their skin, typically with diminished blemishes. I started noticing a glow to my skin just days after ditching the white stuff, and many people would follow with the positive feedback around two weeks later.

RELATED: 5 THINGS TO EXPECT WHEN YOU GO VEGAN 

The benefits of doing away with sugar include fewer wrinkles in the long run, and better-looking skin now.

Why? Because sugar ages your skin “faster than a lifetime of lying in the sun”, according to Dr Patricia Farris via DailyMail, where she also describes sugar as “the new nicotine.”

The accelerated ageing occurs when our bodies break down glucose from sugar and refined carbohydrates. On the contrary, quitting sugar renders collagen and elastin more supple and resilient.

Reduce Acne 

Acne and breakouts are directly caused by a hormonal imbalance or surge. Food that is high in sugar causes this hormonal reaction in the body. The body absorbs the sugar rapidly, which leads to the release of insulin for regulation of that sugar.

Insulin will most likely inform the body to store access sugar as fat; this is the reason reducing sugar consumption is essential for torching weight. In general, the activation of insulin gets the body in the mood to store fat.

As far as skin is concerned, though, glycemic foods and sugar activate hormones that stimulate the production of oil, which in turn proliferates skin cells that block and clog pores.

Along with medications, a low glycemic index diet is now recommended by many dermatologists as an effective treatment for acne.

Controlling Psoriasis

Psoriasis refers to a chronic skin disease that shows up through red, scaly and often itchy blotches of skin, according to www.skinsmatter.com. It can affect the scalp, elbows and knees. In extreme cases, it can affect the whole body. While both non-life threatening and incurable, the condition can be treated with a low sugar or ‘anti-fungal diet’.

Wanna replace that first cup of coffee or tea with sugar with something just as yummy, but with fewer health risks? Take a look at 7 Smoothie Ingredients for Weight Loss

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Diet

Going Vegan? 5 Things To Expect!

If you are thinking about ditching meat and other animal-based foods and products for a plant-based diet, these are the radical changes you should anticipate

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The number of people who are going vegan is growing, and the ease of transitioning to one is scaling along with this trend.

And as far as establishments are concerned, vegan options are being availed more readily. You can grab a raw vegan cheesecake at many cafes and restaurants in major cities now.

Moreover, efforts by brands like Woolies to cater for – and promote – a range of plant-based alternatives is a tell-tale sign of the shifting cultural landscape.

I happen to be acquainted with a few people who’ve now opted to completely exclude animal products from their diets, and a few others are at least toying around with the idea of reducing their consumption significantly.

As former meat eaters, their experiences couldn’t be more fascinating.

There’s the social aspect of it; the persistent social stigma attached to veganism. After the switch, I’ve been told, you soon find that navigating and negotiating your way around social settings that involve dining is not as smooth as before.

If you are considering the switch, you will benefit from the following list of 10 Things To Expect when you Become Vegan.

Before we delve into your new looming realities and the adjustments to be anticipated, let’s first define what veganism actually is.

VEGANISM DEFINED

The Vegan Society describes veganism asa way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.” 

As you can glean from this definition, veganism is a philosophy that rejects the (ill-) treatment of animals as commodities.

Vegans do not eat any kind of meat, dairy products and eggs.  Some vegans do it for ethical reasons, others out of concern for the environment, and still, others are motivated by the health benefits associated with the dietary lifestyle.

Now that we’ve cleared the air, here’s what awaits you on the greener pastures!

SOCIAL STIGMA

A timely glimpse of the existing stigma surrounding veganism found a platform on the Real Housewives of Johannesburg, where Mercy encountered various social humps as she navigated life as an instrumental black vegan. The girls weren’t really being sports about it, to put it mildly.

In one case, she had to get rid of scrummy vegan meals she’d ordered after almost none of the ladies showed up to her vegan themed intimate shindig. The health and wellness advocate, who has shared her journey to weight loss through a plant-based lifestyle, often found herself being a subject of much teasing from the girls.

And while a lot of it was garnished with the typical dose of heightened television drama, attitudes towards vegans are generally negative.

A recent study indicates that those who opt for ‘clean eating’, in general, stand to lose a few points on the likeability scale.

“People get on the defensive the second you tell them you are vegan”, a vegan friend told me as he detailed his own experiences as a black vegan.

RELATED: AVOID THE 5 FOODS TO ACHIEVED DEFINED ABS 

After two years leading a plant-based life, he has clocked in the hours as both a proud vegan and as somewhat of an expert on the social awkwardness that greets those who eschew meat.

“People’s reactions are always so interesting. They look at you like, ‘Okay…’, you are judging me. Snob.'”

Expect that your departure from the hegemonic hooks of meat eating will come with a lot of coming out, and explaining, and defending, and being ridiculed, and sometimes, being avoided.

THE WAY YOU COOK WILL CHANGE

Besides foregoing all animal-based foods, products and derivatives in your kitchen, the way you prepare food will have to change. Most new vegans often find that the absence of meat, dairy and eggs means they have to get extra creative with how they prepare food. You’ve got raw veggies, fruits and nuts to keep your meals appetising and vibrant.

As such, steaming all the veggies won’t cut it anymore. They are now the dish. Think about it.

YOU WILL CRAVE CERTAIN THINGS 

The first 30 transitional days of going vegan (or going anything, really), will be the most challenging. After that things get easier and easier as your taste buds adjust to your new eating habits and your general lifestyle has transformed to promote consistency.

RELATED: 10 SUPERFOODS FOR WEIGHT LOSS AND IMPROVED HEALTH

But, as with all drastic lifestyle changes, you will fantasise and crave certain things from time to time, and it’s okay. Vegan diets are highly restrictive, which makes them challenging to sustain, especially at first.

YOUR SKIN WILL POP 

Amongst the many benefits of whole foods is the effect it can have on your skin. Many vegans report remarkably improved skin complexion, tone and texture within days of taking up the diet.

That’s unsurprising.

The exclusion of processed foods, dairy and red meats render vegan diets high in fibre and low in saturated fats than the average diet. This, according to Greatist.com, makes way for an enhanced function of insulin and glucagon production, which control your sugar metabolism. The imbalance of insulin can lead to clogged pores, which causes acne.

RELATED: SMOOTHIES FOR WEIGHT LOSS – 7 BEST INGREDIENTS 

YOUR ENERGY LEVELS WILL SHOOT UP

There’s word on the vegan streets, amongst vegans, that your levels sky rocket in the beginning. This surge, according to a vegan friend I consulted with for subjective feedback on this, is quite exciting. “You feel like taking on the world”, he said. According to research, however, there isn’t a direct link to sustained levels of energy and veganism.

According to Elite Daily, a vegan diet doesnt automatically make you healthier. Yes, the fruits and vegetables are more nutritious and low in saturated fats, but quantities, combinations and quality still matter.

 

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