Woman loses 30 kg via eating lean meat

By Nhu Ngoc   October 15, 2023 | 03:32 pm PT
Nguyen Cao My Tam, 19, eats lean meat only, skips on fat, and works out for two hours a day at the gym to lose weight.

The young woman admits that she has always loved snacks, especially sweets, ever since she was a child.

Weighing 82 kg in grade 9, she was isolated by her friends for being overweight. She also lost her confidence. She couldn’t muster enough discipline and determination when she tried to diet or exercise. Her lingering hunger always won out and she would break her health routines. She then tried to simply stop eating sugar, but only suffered fatigue and anxiety as a result.

In the past, Tam was unable to control her weight due to her sweet tooth. Photo courtesy of Tam

In the past, Tam was unable to control her weight due to her sweet tooth. Photo courtesy of Tam

As some of her weight-related health problems became increasingly alarming, Tam decided to follow her family’s advice.

She started her weight loss journey by removing fats from her meals, especially pork fat. She only eats vegetables or lean meat for dinner, and tries to limit her salt intake as much as possible. Vegetables and fruit make up for 50% of her portions and meat accounts for 30%, while carbohydrates and healthy fats account for the remaining 20%.

She sometimes replaces her meals with smaller snacks like sweet potatoes, corn, or cereal.

According to Dr. Nguyen Duy Thinh from the Hanoi University of Science and Technology’s Institute of Food Technology and Biotechnology, pork fat is a food source rich in vitamin B, vitamin D and other minerals that help the body absorb calcium.

"However, pork fat contains a high amount of saturated fatty acids," Thinh said. "So, eating a lot of it is not good for our health."

People with cardiovascular and blood pressure problems, strokes, diabetes, obesity, and hyperlipidemia should avoid it, the doctor said.

As her regimen proved its efficiency, Tam became more determined and even stricter with her diet. She then formed a habit of eating more vegetables and fruits to take in more fiber, while avoiding high sugar fruits such as longan, jackfruit, and mango, which she has kept until now.

She gradually realized that following a diet does not mean removing all fat intake.

"I turned to nuts, olive oil, or sesame oil as my fat-sources," she said.

This aligns with what nutritionist Claudia Carberry at the Arkansas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics advises people.

Lean meat is also a good source of protein, according to Carberry. She said that 100 grams of lean meat contain 29 grams of protein. Therefore, it is able to provide the body with enough energy and a feeling of contentedness, both of which make it easier to stick to a weight loss diet.

"However, you should not completely remove fat from your meals," Carberry says.

Fats should account for 20-25% of an average adult’s daily nutrition intake, she added. Thus, if you want to avoid pork fat, you should use other fat sources in daily meals including rice oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, or soybean oil, to guarantee your body takes in a healthy amount of fat.

Tam now eats oats, sweet potatoes, or fruits when she’s hungry in between meals. She also blends lime, cucumber, and watermelon into a healthy beverage every day. She drinks the juice, or snacks on other fresh fruit juices, throughout the day instead of consuming soft drinks and other high sugar products.

Nguyen Cao My Tam, 19, after losing weight. Photo courtesy of Tam

Nguyen Cao My Tam, 19, after losing weight. Photo courtesy of Tam

She allows herself a "cheat day" once a week, on which she eats anything she wants.

"It helps me relieve my stress whenever I think about diets," Tam said.

The cheat day method has been recommended far and wide by medical authorities. Things you eat throughout your cheat day and the frequency of a cheat day can totally depend on your preferences. But the majority of practitioners choose to "cheat" once a week.

Still, you should not completely lose control of the calories you take into your body on a cheat day either, or your weight may begin to fluctuate or rise again, according to Healthline.

In addition, Tam spends two to three hours a day at the gym daily, combined with another 30 minutes in the morning doing cardio exercises. She also walks three times a week, an hour at a time. She sometimes rides her bicycle with her friends to add variety to her exercise routines.

She now weighs only 51-52kg.

Tam realized after several attempts that compulsively obsessing about both the problem and solution was not helping her.

"Checking my weight on a daily basis made me feel obsessed and discouraged if I failed to reach my ideal weight," she said.

So, she now weighs herself and takes notes of any changes only once a week.

She also maintains a diet full of all necessary nutrient groups, sleeps well, and drinks enough water to maintain a healthy balance while losing weight.

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