Monday, 11 August 2014

So You Want To Lose Weight At Uni - How I Lost 17 pounds!

University can be the most exciting time of your life with the thrill of new experiences, new friends, living away from home and the freedom to make your own choices etc. But weight gain is a very commonplace issue that comes with adjusting to the change and new environment. Many students use food as a coping mechanism to deal with the new stresses they are under. In the United Sates, the weight gain in the first year of uni is often referred to as the "Freshman 15" (as in 15 pounds). I was a victim of this, gaining weight in my first two years of college due to poor diet habits and lack of exercise.

However, over the last academic year (2013/2014) I managed to lose 17 pounds. My starting weight was 78kg (171 lb) and I currently weigh 70kg (154 lb), a healthier weight for my height. I've had a lot of people asking about the "secret" to my weight loss, so I decided to share my weight loss story - what I did to get the weight off while in university.

First off, there is no "secret" - just plain old exercise + diet. The key thing I learnt over the whole process is that weight loss is truly 80% diet and 20 % exercise. Over the period I lost weight, I focused mainly on my diet and tried my best to workout as much as I could.


#1 - Stop OBSESSING over weight loss
I've had many tries at this weight loss thing and each time I failed. Why? Because my mind was too preoccupied with trying to lose weight, that I gave up each time when I didn't see quick results. This time around, my focus was on trying to be healthier. I rearranged my mindset and forgot about the weighing scale. I got more involved with societies at uni, so that took up a lot of my attention and I focused on eating a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner.

#2 - Portion Control
This has to be the most important. I cannot stress this enough but portion sizes has a very big role to play in weight loss. To help me in reducing my portions, I would use a smaller plate, drink water before my meal to help me eat less. And over time, I reduced my portion sizes drastically.

#3 - Watch your grocery shopping
I lived away from home while in university, so I bought my own groceries. When shopping I made sure I would buy more fruits and veggies and I avoided buying junk foods that would always be readily available when I lived at home. This helped me because if the junk food wasn't in my kitchen, then I wouldn't give myself the opportunity to eat it. Once in awhile I would indulge myself in a little junk food, especially when my housemates would bake hehe. Like I said earlier, the key thing is to watch your portions!

I started drinking a lot more water. I made sure I drank at least 2 litres a day. Although it meant more trips to the toilet, it kept me fuller for longer and I also saw improvements in my skin - double win!

#5 - Exercise
This wasn't a huge factor in losing the weight, it was mostly my diet. My goal was to go to the gym at least three times a week, there were some busy weeks when I made it to the gym only once in the week. During study week and exam periods, when all my focus was on the books, I did home workouts instead of going to the gym. For example, I would do 10 min workout routines during my study breaks.

Weight loss takes time and in my case it was a very gradual process. I hope this helps someone, especially as it's back-to-school season, and motivates them for the next school year!


  1. WOW! I want to follow every single step you wrote :) xx

  2. CONGRATULATIONS LOVEY! SO PROUD OF YOU :D I'D SAY IT'S EVEN HARDER AT UNI! YOU DID SO WELL AND YOU LOOK FANTASTIC... girl look at that body, I work-out !! loved the last photo

    Jennos Health.

    1. LOL. Aww, thank you hunzo, you're so sweet <3

  3. wow...i will bookmark this just incase.
    thanks or sharing

  4. This is really encouraging to read! I will be sure to keep this in mind! You looked beautiful before and after!