My favorite activity when abroad is eating. I will Google my destination to find interesting restaurants days before my departure. The problem with a lot of traveling and eating is, while I always have time to start a workout regimen, I am never motivated enough to sustain it, due to my love of food and my frequent travels.
On my latest trip, however, it was inevitable that I would gain weight. I was out of the country almost the entire December last year, traveling to Cebu, Hawaii (American portions!) and Sydney. I indulged myself—whatever tickled my fancy.
It took a 7-lb weight gain in one month for me to realize that, now that I’m in my early 30s, my metabolism is not what it used to be. Those 7 lbs were more than I ever gained per month when I was pregnant!
There was no more going around it. It was time to undo what I had done to myself. I decided, first of all, to join a gym. Although I always said I hated gyms, everything else I wanted to do was quite expensive, and this gym gave me the best deal. I figured, if I really want this, I shouldn’t be picky or bratty about it.
Furthermore, I knew that even more important than working out every day, I had to take care of my nutrition. I ate a lot of extra calories I didn’t need, and because I was always eating the wrong food, I was always hungry soon after.
I heard about NUIU Life Cuisine last year and even tried it for a few days, but since I didn’t really exercise and only did it for four days (the minimum is five, but I cheated), I didn’t see any changes in weight, although I did feel lighter.
I decided to call the place again so I could combine my gym time with the proper food. I like to cook, so I decided to do it for 12 days to see what kind of food I could eat and, more importantly, what my portions should be.
NUIU Life Cuisine usually does a consultation first, but since I was a repeat customer, I just told them my goal was to lose 10 lbs (a little more than I had gained) and that I wanted to do it through a 1,200 calories-a-day diet, on top of my daily workouts.
They were a bit concerned that it would be too little to keep my energy up through the day, but I insisted, because my friend has pointed out that I actually don’t eat large amounts per meal, but I eat frequent small meals.
I’m a grazer. I will have this and that throughout the day and even if I’m not stuffed, I am probably capable of consuming a few thousand calories a day if I wanted to. So, even if I ate small portions, it was always the wrong kind of food.
I was hoping that the meals that NUIU Life Cuisine would send would be big enough to get me absolutely stuffed, but healthy enough to not make me gain any weight, even if I didn’t do intense workouts.
Everyone’s main concern with diet food, aside from whether it would really help you lose weight, is if it tastes good. I have tried diet food that really made me feel sorry for myself, so the one major thing that would really determine the success of this NUIU diet was if the food didn’t taste like the usual bland diet food.
I was really happy every time I opened my food containers every day. Not only do they give you portions that don’t look so small, they also manage to make healthy food taste like regular food, and sometimes even better and more creative than what you would come up with at home.
There were days I couldn’t even finish my food allotment, and it really made me wonder how all that food could be only 1,200 calories. I really was eating more than usual, but now I was eating balanced meals that were high in fiber, low in fat and with just enough carbs to keep me going.
In the almost two-week long NUIU life I had, I ate things like Chao Fan Rice with Chinese Chicken Tocino and an apple for breakfast; Dory en Papilotte with ginger, brown rice and grapes for lunch; and Chinese Barbecue with mantou bread for dinner, plus a morning Chinese salad snack and almond and lychee jelly for merienda. That’s only one day in the 12 days I ordered food from them.
There were Thai days, Vietnamese days, Italian days. I would always look forward to the meal plan for the next day, which they would text and deliver the night before.
Another convenience that this diet allows is that they won’t send food you don’t like. Before my diet, I told them that I couldn’t eat pineapple, watermelon and pork, and that I did not like vinegar. I found not a single trace of any in those 12 days.
Let’s talk cheating. I will not lie and say that I didn’t. In my line of work, there is always a lunch or dinner event I need to attend, plus my family loves to eat. I didn’t want to be that girl that brings baon to a restaurant, so I would skip that particular NUIU meal and just have moderate amounts of food wherever I was eating.
If you feel like you can’t follow the diet on weekends, you can also request them not to deliver to you then, and just continue the following Monday.
They calculate a weight loss of 1-2 lbs a week, which is a healthy rate.
After 12 days, I weighed myself and I had lost 4 lbs. Take note that I also exercise daily, sometimes intense, other times just cardio for 30 minutes, but I felt lighter already.
Another bonus is that you learn to eyeball your portions so you don’t end up pigging out when you go off your diet, And because I was eating so healthy, I started realizing how oily and salty certain foods actually were. It’s a great way to start off a healthy lifestyle!
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