Healthy living

by Eszter Hargittai on June 21, 2020

This post is about health, weight management in particular. Friends have been asking me to write up my experiences so here it is. It is a personal story and offers no social analysis other than to acknowledge that living healthy is by far not the cheapest option out there, which is of course a problem.

A little over a year ago, my doctor told me that I was pre-diabetic. I had been steadily gaining weight for several years. I didn’t feel good in my body anymore, but wasn’t managing to do much about it. Knowing that my weight gain was having medical repercussions was the final push I needed to start making significant changes. I set out to lose 25* lbs (~11 kg) in three months and eventually lost 30 in four (for illustrative purposes, the books on the right equal that weight). I know many people struggle with similar issues and several friends have asked me to tell them how I did it so I decided to write up some details. I purposefully waited a year to do so as I only wanted to report back if I managed sustained change. I did. I started on June 21, 2019 and I’m 28 lbs below what I was then consistently hovering between that and 30 lbs down (such fluctuation or even a bit more is common).

As a caveat to this post, I want to say that this is not meant as weight-shaming or body-shaming. Everyone has their own story and their own health, this is mine.

Note that being pre-diabetic does not have to be related to weight. I have a friend who loses weight when she’s stressed and due to some life circumstances she’s been stressed for a long time. She’s very thin and it turns out she, too, was diagnosed as pre-diabetic around the same time I was. Again, this is just my story. I wanted to lose weight, but I also knew weight was not the only issue, it’s what I was taking into my body that needed to change.

I think it’s important to acknowledge that what I did was hard despite what many will try to tell you. It required willpower I never knew I had. Having done quite a bit of reading on the topic, I don’t believe that there is a magic bullet out there for this and it takes willpower plus time. But if you give yourself enough time and learn about what works, it should work.

Important note: if you do it right, you do not have to be hungry along the way. If you’re hungry, it’s not going to be sustainable long-term, and long-term is the right goal or you’ll just have to start all over again, which I don’t want to have to do.

Reduce carbs

The first thing I did was cut out major carbs. I stopped eating bread, baked goods, pasta, potatoes, and rice. I also stopped eating processed sugars, indeed, for the summer most processed foods. This was crazy difficult as I love bread and baked goods. And I mean LOVE. The good thing is that after several months, it wasn’t that difficult anymore. Do I still look longingly at certain bread products? Sure. But it’s no longer hard to pass them by. To this day, I eat almost none of the above although I have reintroduced some sugary things and definitely have chocolate regularly now (within reason, see more about portion control below). And I certainly eat processed foods again. I will also have the occasional pastry on special occasions so it’s not a forever good-bye to anything. Again, I will absolutely have a cake now and then if the occasion or location (hello awesome pastry shop in Budapest) calls for it. And I eat ice cream almost daily now. In small portions.

Subscribe to Noom

After a week of not eating carb-heavy foods (have I mentioned how hard that was?) I noticed that I had lost some weight, but I also noticed that I was plateauing. I didn’t want to be hungry so I was eating all sorts of veggies, fruits, nuts and dairly products left and right. In retrospect it’s obvious why this wasn’t going to work for weight loss (e.g., things like avocados have a ton of calories as do lots of nuts), but I hadn’t learned enough yet to know better. A friend recommended that I sign up for the Noom app. This was a game-changer. It’s not cheap, but it was absolutely worth it. I found the social component 98% useless so don’t be disappointed if that’s not doing anything for you. The key was the logging of weight, food AND the readings. The readings were super helpful. Every day you get some science-based material in tiny digestible chunks about why you do what you do, what approaches work, how to avoid foods that are unhelpful, how to avoid mindless snacking, etc. I paired this with other readings. I read some books and read lots of online articles. I’m not linking to any as other than Noom, nothing stood out per se. But I did do a lot of reading about health and foods.

Log everything you eat and drink

Noom has a very helpful food/drink logging tool. When you first sign up, it’ll ask you for your current weight and goal weight plus how quickly you want to proceed. Then it’ll give you your daily calorie allocation in order to meet your goal. For me this was 1,200 calories a day. Yeah, not a lot. But with enough knowledge and willpower, possible.

Keep track of your weight daily and get a good scale

I liked following my weight in lbs since the numbers decrease quicker than kg even though I’m obviously not losing any more weight. :) I found it helpful to have a scale that reported to the decimal point. I used to have one that reported only even decimal digits and I wanted more nuance. You do not want to obsess over daily fluctuations (it will sometimes go up, and sometimes it’ll just stall for days despite your continued efforts), but you do want to track it regularly. Noom has a nice chart for this, you enter your weight daily and you can see your progress over time.

Be active, but rigorous exercise is optional

Major exercise does not have to be part of your weight-loss regime. Yes, exercise is healthy. No, it is not necessary for weight management. Movement is, however. My preferred movement is walking. So I did a lot of walking. I walked daily and Noom kept track of this. It would then give extra calories to consume for the day, which I could take in increased consumption or just use toward meeting my weight loss goal quicker. It was a nice buffer to have. And again, while heavier exercise could be helpful, often it leads people to consume more thereby knocking out its benefits.

Use substitutes

Some of what you learn through Noom is that you want to be eating voluminous foods that are mostly large due to their water content (water fills you up, but includes zero calories). For example, grapes are good, raisins not so much. Substituting vegetables as sides is helpful. I started eating a lot of cauliflower, it’s a great substitute for sides like rice and if you’re lucky, your supermarket sells it in riced form. There are various noodle-substites that are excellent and are extremely low in calories such as Shirataki Noodles or the Better Than Noodles brand in the US. Kohlrabi is a great alternative to potatoes. I basically started cooking a ton of veggie dishes.

Focus on protein-rich foods

I didn’t give up meats, but basically kept to the occasional chicken breast or fish. Salmon and tuna are easy to include and are high in protein. Protein is essential for not feeling hungry. I had 2-3 eggs a day, but never more than two at once so I could benefit from it throughout the day. Dairy is also good for protein, but most cheeses are high in calories so you have to be careful there. Almond milk, especially the unsweetened version, is lower in calories than milk, but still has plenty of protein.

Avoid processed foods of all types during the first months, same goes for eating out

While I am now back to eating food out of a bag, last summer I did a lot of my cooking and avoided most processed foods. To be fair, this was not a rule and I definitely ate things that came pre-packaged, but I minimized it. Summer is a good time for cooking much of your own food since fresh fruits and veggies are easiest to come by during this season and at least for academics, it’s also when we have more time to do our own cooking. This also helps with staying away from restaurants (including take-out in Covid times). Although they may have healthy options, you never know how much oil they’re using when they prepare their foods (usually quite a bit) and what other additives they use that may mess with your calorie count. Certainly now I eat out again (well, I did before Covid), but I very much prioritized eating in during the weight-loss phase of my new regime (when invited to a friend’s place, I’d offer to make some food).

Control portions

You’ll get very good at reading the nutritional info box of every product to figure out how much you can have of each food (or for things not packaged, Noom will have the info). Never eat out of a box, always put your food on a plate or even just in a small bowl. Have it in front of you. Focus on it. And then stop when you’ve had what you’d portioned out. No going back for more unless you are logging that extra just like you logged the original portion.

Consider getting a food scale

This is not essential, but I found it helpful to be able to figure out serving sizes. Most calorie information on US products is by serving size, which is a certain amount of food (e.g., 1 oz) and I have no idea what that looks like in terms of number of food items to consume. In Europe, the reporting requirement or certainly practice seems to be 100g, which is equally unhelpful for portioning. The food scale then comes in handy. For what it’s worth, American packages will often say things like “approximately 12 pieces”, but when you put 12 pieces on the scale, they’re more than 1 oz so it’s definitely worth double-checking.

No screen-eating, no distracted eating

Whenever you eat, even if it’s just a small snack of six almonds and six baby carrots, do it with full focus. Don’t do it in front of your computer screen or while watching television or even reading a book. Sit down comfortably and enjoy the moment. Your daily calorie allocation will only let you eat so often so you might as well give it your full attention. One of the Noom readings mentioned that there is evidence that the more people are eating together, the more people consume. This doesn’t mean that you should stop eating with your family or give up on all social life, but it’s helpful to keep it in mind. I basically moved most of my social engagement to other types of activities like going on walks with friends instead of eating out together.

Water and coffee/tea

What about drinks? I mostly just had water although did drink some almond or soy milk. Drinking lots of water is helpful generally since it fills you up. Since I don’t like either beer or wine, that was not a sacrifice for me. Alcoholic drinks often have a lot of calories so not liking them helps, although for me this wasn’t a change in my diet since it’s not something that was ever part of my diet in the first place. Eventually I trained myself to like coffee without sugar and that became a nice alternative to water. Tea without any sweeteners is another obvious option. A note on sweeteners. I have always hated them so switching to them was not the way for me. My readings suggest they are not a helpful substitute if weight loss is a goal as they make you crave things that are not heplful for weight management so I’d say stay away from diet drinks as well. If you cannot/don’t want to cut out alcohol, you just need to plan for it to be part of your daily calorie intake.

The 12-hour fast

I don’t recall the science behind it, but it can be helpful to give your body 12 hours of rest from food intake. This sounds way more challenging than it is in reality. If you stop eating around 7pm and then have breakfast at 7am, you’ve met the goal. And you should stop eating around 7 or 8pm anyway as evening eating is not good for weight management in general.

Get enough sleep

Getting 7-8 hours of sleep is generally important for health, but with the 12-hour fast approach, it’s also helpful as those are hours when you are not awake to eat or to crave to eat. :-) Various readings I did suggested that getting enough sleep is important for the body to process our food intake so it’s specifically helpful for weight management.

Those are my tips. This is what worked for me. Obviously bodies are different and the same may not work for you although overall I would think this is a good approach. It’s a lot to digest and implement especially depending on your starting point. Noom really helped. A lot. (No, I have no financial incentive to keep mentioning it.) For me, the hardest moments were in the evenings. I realized that I just love snacking in the evening. Eventually I figured out that I needed to leave some calories for the evening and went with things like high volume popcorn (no butter!) to meet my cravings. Or I used that good old willpower I keep mentioning.

If you have questions about the above or something related to all this that I didn’t cover, please feel free to ask. And if you have your own tips, please share.

[*] The weight goal I had set was related to a weight I knew I had had years earlier, although not in a long time. It was also something within the “normal” range for BMI. I should mention that I find BMI numbers very iffy (as do others). I could lose an additional 30 (!) lbs and still be considered within normal range, which I don’t believe would be healthy in my case (i.e., way too thin).



DCA 06.21.20 at 6:29 pm

Thanks–everyone’s mix is different so it is good to have lots of suggestions, and “this seems to work for me” is much more credible than “this will work for you”. For me, one good move was to buy some surplus plates originally made for AmTrak (railroad dining): smaller than the usual size, and so a good nudge on portion control.


oldster 06.21.20 at 6:40 pm

I’m really glad that worked for you! Sounds very demanding.

Any follow-ups on the insulin-tolerance and blood-sugar regulation?


Eszter Hargittai 06.21.20 at 7:05 pm

DCA, good point! Yes, working with smaller plates is helpful. Also, one of the reasons to eat big foods is that they fill up a plate quicker. So having a salad with fresh mushrooms is going to look very big even though much of it is just water.

Oldster, thanks for asking. The blood work was much better six months later and am not in dangerous territory now. I do need to keep paying attention to what I eat though so as I mentioned, it’s not just about weight management, it’s about what I take in. This is partly why I don’t see myself going back to bread/baked goods much and I’m okay with that, I mostly see them as empty calories now, more enemy than anything desirable. That framing helps. :-)


reason 06.21.20 at 7:43 pm

At one stage I decided I should lise some weight, although I’m a light build. All I did essentially was refuce starchy foods and start eating lits of vrgetables. I already exercised a lot so that was not an issue for me. I lost about 7 kilos in a year and then it plateaued at anout the weight I was in uni. Carrots were my secret weapon. Fill you up but don’t make you fat.


Eszter Hargittai 06.21.20 at 7:57 pm

That’s great, reason! It’s individual. I like carrots, but they don’t really fill me up. Raw cauliflower, however, fills me up very quickly. And it’s crunchy, which I realized was something I missed from certain snacks, so a great substitute even in that sense.


ki wa 06.21.20 at 9:03 pm

As you said about everybody being different.
When I lost weight in recently passed years what I think was key for me (besides ctivating my inner masochist) was to change eating times. Specifically eating dinner later so I did not get, what for historical reasons I call, an Attack of the Midnight Munchies.
Cutting out late night snacks made a huge difference to me that coupled with a scale I checked frequently got me most of the way to where I am (lost approx. 40lbs).


Omega Centauri 06.21.20 at 9:17 pm

For me the motivation was fatty liver, my test results were really high. I had seen a nutritionist, and changed my diet, more veggies less carbs mainly. It helps that I go to a church that believes in fasting, for both health and spiritual reasons. Did a three day water only fast. Once you’ve done that going a day or two or longer without food isn’t too hard anymore. So I know I can always lose a few pounds if I need to. Down maybe twenty five. My liver numbers went from 4x normal, to 2x, to normal in the space of a few months.

I do try to exercise, although having to give up the gym hurts. I still try to wake up early enough to go and climb 63 floors of stairs before breakfast. But thats only 500 or 600 feet of human powered elevation gain, not the 2000-3000 daily I did during my athlete days, so I know that I am not burning enough calories to keep the weight down without taking care about intake.


Pete Mack 06.21.20 at 9:52 pm

Soda water is helpful. Mix it with juice and the juice still tastes great, but has 1/2 (or 1/3!) the calories. Regular water works for cider but not for OJ.


Bostoniangirl 06.21.20 at 10:03 pm

I gained about 4 or 5 pounds during COVID, because I was afraid to go outside at all when nobody was wearing masks.

But this is what worked for me before, and what I’m working on again. It’s also low starchy carbs. For me, not exercising= weight gain.

An overnight fast helps. I prefer a minimum of 13 hours. I’m trying to do 14 and occasionally pull off 16 when I don’t feel like breakfast. I find it easier to have a snack around 10 or so, and then 2 700-80o calorie meals rather than 3 smaller 9nes.
Walk for 45-60 minutes in the morning. Do some intervals alternating with speed walking as well. Then do the J and J 7 minute workout. It’s HIIT ish, builds a little muscle, and I find that kind of exercise actually suppresses appetite.
I read some n=2 study where Japanese researchers walked righ5 after meals and lost weight. There is also research that diabetics who walk 10 minutes after each meal control their weight better than people who Walk 30 minutes at once. I have a theory that blood sugar swings are responsible for mindless snacking. So I also try to walk 10 minutes after lunch. It helps with digestion too. Then 20-30 minutes after dinner and absolutely no snacking after that walk.

Mini-avocado is great for me, because it fills me up and it provides portion control.

Same thing with smoothies.

Peanut butter, cocoa, frozen banana, yogurt, milk and steel cut oats with a bit of chia.
Or substitute almond butter and frozen berries for the cocoa.

I think that adds up to 600 calories, but I don’t snack at all if I eat that.


Ebenezer Scrooge 06.21.20 at 11:06 pm

There’s one easy way to lose weight–but it’s expensive. Just move to Japan for three months. My wife and I both lost 25 pounds without even trying very hard. All we had to do was eat like everybody else, while taking it easy on the beer. I felt perpetually hungry for a few months, but got used to it.


Matt 06.22.20 at 3:35 am

Around Christmas time I’d gotten up to about 91.5kg, and wasn’t happy with that, as my clothes were not fitting well and I has having more trouble doing the activities I like and didn’t look as good as I wanted. So, I joined a gym again and tried to cut out snacks. (My goal was to lose about 10kg, without drinking less and without doing any special diet except eating fewer snacks and the like.) Of course, gyms closed in march, so I switched to doing this workout (or, I must say, a slightly modified and easier version, but still about 4/5 of it: It works very well – easy to do at home with essentially no equipment and not long. But, for me at least, it’s hard. (When I started, despite having been going to the gym, I could only do 2/3 of it in the time. Now I can do most of it. I don’t look anything like as good as the person modeling it, though.) I don’t the that thing every day, but do try to do it at least a few times a week, and I walk a lot or do kayaking a fair amount when I’m not doing it.

I also find that what works well for me is to eat good breakfast, a small lunch, just enough so that I don’t feel hungry, and then a good dinner. I often have a small snack (a bit of chocolate or some dates or something) with tea in the later evening. If I do that, and don’t snack, it doesn’t matter too much what I eat, as I don’t usually gorge. Not eating out much at all lately helped, too, as it made it easier to eat a small lunch. I’ve been lucky to not have to cut down on beer or wine, though no doubt that would help some too. This is a basic plan I have followed in the past, and always lets me lose weight. It’s not hard to stick to, but if I do get off of it, I gain weight back. Since I like doing it, it’s not a problem. With this, I lost about 8.5kg since the new year, but want to lose 1-1.5 more. We’ll see.


Alan White 06.22.20 at 4:17 am

Retirement has reinforced how important exercise is to my weight. Since I retired I walk at least 5 miles every day, do weights and sit-ups and push-ups, and have lost 20 pounds, now very close to what I think is my ideal weight.

That said, I have had experience with weight in another way–by a co-dependent relationship with someone. She started by being overweight and trying low-cal and then vegetarian cooking to lose weight, which she did. But then she continued to lose more, and then more, all the while producing the largest weight gain of my life. I didn’t really appreciate what was happening–it was all so gradual–until she was 69 lbs while I was 232. We (insert years of almost unimaginable conflict) finally sought help, which was successful in saving our lives, but it also unearthed issues which finally ended our relationship. Weight-loss and weight-gain can in some lead to control issues that can become distorted and life-threatening–and in surprising ways, having had many, many suicidal thoughts from being seemingly hopelessly embedded in co-dependency that I couldn’t even understand at the time. I actually used to laugh at the thought that people can be co-dependent in something as seemingly simple as the matter of eating. I don’t laugh at that anymore.

I don’t mean to be a “downer” here–but my anecdatum experience is that eating disorders–for both parties in co-dependency–can be triggered in ways that at first seem innocuous, but can gradually lead to deadliness. If I’ve learned anything from my life, I’ve learned that.


David J. Littleboy 06.22.20 at 6:02 am

Nah. Living in Japan doesn’t work. Chawanmushi, dashimaki tamago, soba, and the sugar in the sake and you’re dead in the water…

Somewhat seriously, the problem in Japan is that it’s all white rice. We do genmai at home and don’t eat out. Lockdown was just enough different that my weight started sneaking up. I’ve taken to juggling for half an hour in the morning before breakfast in a corner of the local park, although rainy season is squelching that temporarily. If the rain lets up, I may even get my behind-the-back club throws presentable.


Matt 06.22.20 at 7:09 am

I might add, it seems to me that the trick to lots of these things is to find some sort of disciplinary device or scheme that works for you. For some people, that might be just pure will power, but for most (including me) it’s not. I think that, for most people, limiting or cutting out certain foods, when it helps them, it helps them as a disciplinary device more than because of the quality of the foods itself. For me, it helps if I eat at fairly set times, or if I can’t do that, set myself up so that snacking between meals isn’t easy. And, if I set myself up to eat reasonable amounts. (Bringing my lunch to work, rather than eating too much from a restaurant, was a big help at one point.) Trying to exercise at similar times is another disciplinary device in this way. Different things will work for different people. In some cases it’s just “do what everyone else here does” like for Ebenezer in 10. The trick (and it’s not necessarily an easy one!) is to find the devices that work for you.


anon 06.22.20 at 1:59 pm

I’m a man, which makes weight loss easier. But I went through a similar process last summer (not as lofty a goal-I lost about 10 lbs). I had two tricks:

1) I ate less (in particular, I ate less carbs).
2) I exercised more.

It worked for me.

In particular: I remembered that when I exercise, I am in ‘pain’ (or if you prefer, discomfort). If I’m riding a bike, and the hill is very steep, that is ‘painful.’ But I keep doing it.
I said to myself: the ‘pain’ of wanting to eat a candybar at 11:00 in the morning (or eating hamburger and fries for lunch) is less than the pain of riding up that hill, so you know you can take it-don’t eat that bad food! And I didn’t.



Tm 06.22.20 at 3:06 pm

May I ask what your daily calorie intake was during your diet, and what it is now? How did you figure out what is the right amount for you?


divelly 06.22.20 at 6:37 pm

I lost 30# in a year by doing 3 things:
1.No pastries.
2. No seconds.
3.No between meal snacks.
Slow but sure.


Eszter Hargittai 06.22.20 at 9:22 pm

Thanks for sharing all these different experiences! Clearly what works for one may not work for another. (I am so glad that rigorous exercise was not necessary, because as much as I love walking and hiking, the things you are listing above are not things I want to incorporate. As anon said, the pain of passing up on that croissant is less for me.) And I guess we’re built differently because smaller meals and snacks is important for me so snacking had to fit.

Tm – I note in the post that I was going on 1,200 calories a day. This was to get me down 25 lbs in three months (I met that goal). I don’t know how much I have now as I don’t log anymore. I got to be good at knowing the calorie count of a lot of foods so I will usually have a 100 calorie snack a few times a day in addition to meals that are mainly made up of veggies and eggs. I do have something sweet regularly though. But I don’t count all this up anymore. I have a very good sense for what will move me up the scale even if a little bit and then I tweak just a bit to get back down. It works, thankfully.


LFC 06.23.20 at 4:06 am

I have never needed to worry about losing weight (for whatever metabolic or other reason) but I watched the YouTube video Matt linked @11. Good to know about that, but to state the obvious, in approaching it one has to factor in one’s age and existing exercise habits (how often, how vigorous, what sort, etc.) I’d say I’m in good shape for my age (I’m older than Matt) but I think I would have to work up to that gradually, getting through it once (not thrice) to begin with. (A non-gradual approach might be, in my case, an efficient means of committing suicide, but if I wanted to do that there are probably easier ways. ;))


William Meyer 06.23.20 at 4:12 am

There was a story in the New York Times something like 10 years ago that looked at a database maintained by one of the National Health Institutes. The database was about the eating/exercise habits of people who had lost 10% or more of their bodyweight and kept it off for 2+ years. Their conclusions: these people who had successfully lowered their long term body weight virtually all did the following: ate relatively bland food, ate more or less the same thing every day (very easy to maintain portion control that way), kept a food journal, exercised for an hour a day, and measured and weighed their food as necessary to keep an accurate idea of calorie counts. Having lost over 100 pounds and kept it off for 8 years, that is pretty much my own program as well.


John Quiggin 06.23.20 at 7:09 am

I rely almost entirely on exercise, and eat what I like. But I can see why the experts don’t recommend this.

I aim to burn 4000 kj (about 1000 calories) a day in addition to base metabolism, which implies about 100 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise. That’s logistically easy enough for someone with flexible working hours and no kids at home, but not otherwise. And it takes a long while to get to the point where you really enjoy it.


Bostoniangirl 06.23.20 at 1:24 pm

Re: Noom. I can’t speak to its quality, but a blogger I read said he was able to get Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA to pay for it. They subsidize gyms, so he figured he would try. It turned out to be tricky to find the coverage, because it was under “annual exam”. I think that’s because everything preventive falls under annual exam for billing purposes.


DCA 06.23.20 at 4:14 pm

I’ll add: frequent weighing may or may not help going down, but it is (for me) vital if I’m not to fall up the slippery slope of “I’ll just do this occasionally….sometimes…often….”.


Charlie W 06.24.20 at 1:14 pm

This is a great post. Would differ on one point, the one to do with exercise. Increasingly, I see exercise described as a medication with a dose-response relationship, and in that relationship, more is always better. Until, I guess, you get to an overtraining situation (but imagine that is really the territory of competition athletes). And running can affect joints. And I suppose there are non-medical consequences like just not having enough time for anything else.

Exercise does a whole host of good things. It slowly changes body composition, or resists the effects of ageing on body composition. This in turn profoundly affects metabolism, blood lipids, and the ability to process blood sugars. Also, over time, your anaerobic threshold rises and in a sense gets wider, meaning that during exercise you have more space in which to back off when you start to feel out of breath, and hence avoid collapsing in a heap. (This is very good for morale.) Exercise is generally good mentally. Really, it is very hard to overdo things here, unless as I say it’s taking time away from other worthwhile pursuits.


EB 06.24.20 at 9:58 pm

Some people don’t have to cut out carbs, just eliminate the ones that are flavored with sugar or fats (potato with gravy, muffins made with a lot of sweetener, pasta with a rich sauce, etc). Many people don’t know, for example, that the calories in ice cream come primarily from the butterfat, not the flavorings or sugar.

Weight loss can also be done on the cheap just by having much smaller servings of everything except (as you noted) the foods that are bulky with water or fiber.


novakant 06.25.20 at 9:33 am

Once I cut out most carbohydrates for a few weeks to loose weight quickly and it worked, but I don’t think it’s necessary or desirable in the long run. (Also, it resulted in a really bad case of ‘keto breath’…). Carbohydrates don’t cause weight gain if you control portion size and added fat.

What helped me was cutting out refined sugar, reducing fruit sugar (no juice or smoothies) as well as controlling serving size and staying away from processed and prepared food as much as possible. Combined with exercise, I manage to stay just within my recommended weight, but it’s not always easy, especially during long periods of intense work.

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