Losing weight and keeping it off while in medical school

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What people usually think of when it comes to losing weight in medical school is that it’s very easy because of the hustle and bustle in the everyday life of a medical student and the activity level involved.

On the contrary, medical school is a great avenue for bloating and bloating and more bloating.

As compensation for the burnout and stress in medical school, our lifestyle is basically sedentary and our eating habits are definitely not regulated

Daily schedules give no room for fitness and its fanciness.

Hence, loosing weight in medical school can be extremely difficult.

Losing weight in medical school
Photo from Victor Freitas on Pexels

Needless to say, we all have bodies in different shapes and forms. Some may lose weight faster and others may gain exponentially although on the same diet.

When I started my third year of medical school, my goal was to lose about 20kg so I move from my ’embarrassing’ 85kg/187.3lbs to an ‘hourglass‘ 60kg/132lbs (my form wasn’t too bad at a height of 174cm). I made sure to incorporate morning walks and workouts into my already worked up schedule.

Things looked good from the start, you know, getting workout paddies, waking up on time, and trying to eat clean. But, there’s that one time when you don’t stick to the schedule and you give up. After all, the number on the scale hasn’t moved yet.

SO I GAVE UP!

Fourth-year came, and this time, I was determined to get that bawdy going.

In my research, I got to know that 80% of weight loss is all about dieting and 20% is a supplement through working out.

For me, this was good news, to be honest, because it fits perfectly in my medical school schedule.

I started dieting. Precisely, INTERMITTENT FASTING. And that was an absolute lifesaver.

If you don’t know what Intermittent fasting (IF) is or how to go about it, check out soberalley.com for all the deets.

My schedule was a 16/8 one, thus, my eating window was from 10 am till 6 pm and fasting from 6 pm till 10 am the next day.

Definitely, looks like what you’ve been doing all this while without even realizing it right?

The gaggg is, my eating habits also changed.

How?

I started counting my calories

Any good fitness trainer will tell you this even before you start gyming, to cut down your calorie intake, and that is the truth. Although IF is designed so you can eat whatever you want in that eating window, it shouldn’t mean absolutely anything anyhow. That’s if you want to lose it fast.

Always make sure to have a side plate nearby to divide the food into two halves. Yes. Food looks good but we have to practice intuitively eating, only eating when you’re hungry and stopping when full. Once you’ve filled your stomach with that half-plate, you may want to keep the rest for the next day (it saves you some money too rt)

Another tool that I used throughout this journey was Myfitnesspal. I can’t talk about this enough.

Myfitnesspal is an app that tracks your calorie intake through daily inputs of the estimated portions you take.

First of all, I researched the calorie requirement for my age and how much I wanted to lose in the space of 2-3months. Next, calculate your calorie deficit.

Then, input your meals into the app on a daily basis. You’ll receive notifications to enter data in case you forget. It’s a tedious task but a step in the right direction

weight loss
lose weight
Loose weight

My meals were mainly homemade including adequate fibers, proteins and a slight reduction in carbs

Pineapples, were my go-to whenever I decided on fruits

Wednesdays were my Eat clean days. I’d munch on a raw salad with a slice of egg and Lemon Fanta for my first meal and later on, cook brown rice with spinach stew.

What did I break my fast with?

Plantain chipppsss! Everyone in my class knows me for that.

I chose plantain chips because it makes me very full, not gonna lie! I will be perfectly fine at 12 pm after consuming one pack of plantain chips. Very low in calories as well

My in-between snacks normally included 4 fingers of banana and some groundnuts. The perfect combination of delicious and extremely filling while low in calories too.

Now that we have diet in check, did I workout?

Nope! Working out was totally optional for me but my activity level was on a high.

I always say stress is one thing and being active is another. I was getting stressed and active at the same time.

Making sure to climb stairs most of the time, walking to class, going to the wards as often as I could, etc. I was stressing myself out to be active. If that makes sense.

We’ve covered the two main areas of the weight loss journey now.

Did I really loose the weight after 3 months?

Yes, I did. I officially started in September 2019 when school reopened for the next academic year till around November. I didn’t consume too much during the Christmas break and by the end of January, I was at 77.5kg.

Not the fast results I expected, but I saw so many changes in my body within these 3months. If not for COVID-19 and my African parents, I would still be on the weight loss journey. But now, I weigh a good 76kg while at home and on 3 square African food

medbyjam
Lose weight in medical school
Right out of third year
medbyjam
Lose weight in medical school
November 2019
lose weight medbyjam
June 2020

Some extra tips I’d share would be to

1. Have a positive mindset towards losing weight. At a point for me, losing weight was a do or die affair because I wanted to fit so badly in clothes I bought while on vacation a while ago (your girl decided to keep the new clothes for them to be out of season before we hit the skreets with it). That was how badly, I wanted it. Not too extreme but always have your WHY in check and it’s going to keep you moving

2. Put the scale away. I personally, never owned a scale to be checking for a daily reduction in size. It can discourage you on the weight loss journey. What made me realize this was working, was comments I got all the time from family and friends on how slimmer my hips had become (which made me happy) and how thin my face was which I didn’t even realize. Though a Lil rude, I was happy within. It was working!!

3. Drinks lots of water. I’m most assuredly not the best person to advise you on this but it is worth all the hype. Water does so many amazing things, including getting you full to the point where you don’t feel like eating. Hence, extremely helpful in losing weight fast.

4. Drink green tea. The perfect detox especially when starting your weight loss journey. I preferably like to sip on them at night to help me stay awake while burning the midnight candle.

5. Finally, set your goals right from the scratch. I sincerely didn’t think IF would work for losing weight. So I didn’t take enough pictures or put down measurements to track my progress. I should have done that right off the bat

I hope you’ve found some inspiration here to start your weight loss and fitness journey while in medical school. It is highly possible, you just need to give it a little more effort and you’ll sail through

19Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20.you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Thanks for reading. XoXo

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8 thoughts on “Losing weight and keeping it off while in medical school

  1. Adjoa Fosua

    Heyyyy dear
    I have to say I’m extremely proud of you for these results🔥🔥🔥. And your before and after pictures tell it all💚💚
    If there’s anything I’ve realised, it’s that losing weight requires long term changes to diet, lifestyle and exercise routines, especially in medshool to be honest
    And when you have an endomorph body type like I do, it’s quite easy to give up since the scales are literally not changing
    I moved from 80.95 to 79.90 recently and I think it’s a great start considering all the previous 3.5km runs and aerobics and diets I’ve been on for like 2 weeks
    It’s a great start for me and I’m definitely going to incorporate your instructions cos the bodyyyyyy🔥🔥

    1. Julia

      Aww, thank you very much. And yasss to the wins (seems small but very encouraging). The long term changes are what makes it even harder. Staying focused is key to getting results. Thanks for reading <3

  2. ohene🌚

    For some of us, just being in school is a weight losing activity 🤦🏾‍♀️🤦🏾‍♀️

    1. Julia

      Very true. Working around your weight can be difficult especially in med school. Thanks for reading. XoXo

  3. Ronald

    I love this one. Speaks volumes to me😂

    1. Julia

      😂Thanks for reading Ronald

  4. Michael

    Really enjoyed this.. Got to try the intermittent fast thing🔜

    1. Julia

      I’m so glad you enjoyed reading this post, Michael. Yes, of course, it’s amazing. Let me know when you notice some changes / see results 🙂

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