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How to Stay in Shape Without Being on a Diet

Style Blogger Style with Nihan wearing an open back sweater

I’ve received a lot of questions from you guys about how I stay in shape – especially because you guys see me eating late night lava cakes topped with ice-cream, snacking all day long and getting high-calorie cocktails with my girlfriends, so I decided to write my tips for staying in shape while still enjoying the tasty things in life .

First of all, I’m not in my dream shape – yet. I used to be very skinny as a teen and during my college years, but after I started working 9-5 my eating habits changed. There were at least two boxes of free donuts in our office every morning and our cafeteria food consisted of mostly burgers and french fries. After a full day of eating crap, working hard, stressing out, and not having slept enough the night before – I usually opted for eating out again for dinner since I’d be too exhausted to cook. Now that I’ve been working from home for the past year and a half,  I’ve been eating healthier, but I’ve also turned into a night owl while trying to juggle several tasks and working into the late hours . This means late dinner and late snacks while trying to meet deadlines. But even though I still have some bad habits, I do some vital things that help me stay in shape, regardless of my busy life.

Follow my tips to stay in shape without being on a diet:

  1. I drink tons of water. I always have a water bottle with me. Whenever I drink coffee, tea or an alcoholic drink, I always have a water on the side. I get so many weird looks from strangers for always having two drinks in my hands, but who cares? While there are disadvantages to this habit like having to go to the restroom pretty often (could be problematic when I’m out with friends or driving for more than 1-2hrs), there’s a big advantage: it helps my body balance out the late night dinners and daily dessert sessions.
  1. I don’t eat donuts, cupcakes or cheap desserts. I have a sweet tooth and I eat either chocolate or some kind of dessert every day, but I find nothing makes me feel as bloated as eating donuts or cupcakes, so I recommend staying away from these two if you find yourself feeling bloated often. I’m selective about the desserts that I eat, and more chocolate based desserts like lava cakes or desserts made at reliable restaurants/bakeries are my go-to versus the pre-packaged donuts and desserts from grocery stores.
  1. I don’t drink much alcohol or soda. First of all, I’m not a big alcohol drinker, but I do occasionally drink when I’m out with my friends, having a nice dinner or traveling (sake is my favorite drink, and I indulge when I’m in Japan!). One thing I’m very careful about is that I NEVER drink beer because beer bellies are the worst! I also try not to drink soda after hearing about the horrible things it can do to your body. I’ll have a Diet Coke  from time to time since it’s my guilty pleasure. I also don’t drink much red wine because 1) As much as I love the taste, it’s usually pretty strong for me so I only drink it if I’m trying to fall asleep. I can never say no to rosé though! 2) It stains my teeth, and it could look harsh if I’m out. I prefer a tasty Moscow mule, watermelon mojito, or an apple martini with an olive on top, but I’m aware all of these drinks are super high in calories, so I drink only a couple per month. Champagne, Rose, Moscato and Pinot Grigio are my go-to drinks if I’m cooking and need a nice light drink that will look chic on the table.
  1. I try not to eat processed food like hot dogs, chicken wings or fast food in general. I can never say no to french fries or McDonalds chicken McNuggets though – so yes, sometimes it happens and it’s ok. I’m not a Victoria’s Secret model so I’m not going to limit myself to a crazy extent.
  1. I drink fat-free milk. While I’m still trying to figure out if I’m lactose intolerant or not, I find that my body digests fat-free milk much better than other milk types. Coffee shops rarely carry lactose-free or fat-free milk so if I’m getting coffee outside, I get whole milk since I don’t like the taste of almond or coconut milk.
  1. I do Pilates. I finally found my ideal exercise method, and I’m very passionate about it! I’ve never been a fitness junkie, I’ve never been flexible enough for yoga, I hate running, I don’t like gyms, and trust me I have an excuse for everything. Pilates is the first exercise that I have actually enjoyed and want to do every day. A couple of times a week I go to Club Pilates in Carlsbad which is very close to my house, and I find that going to a boutique studio with 12 people max and super fun + friendly teachers motivates me more. I’ve seen changes in my body since I started going there and I’m planning to be more consistent about it until I have to start wearing bikinis again. And hopefully, forever đŸ™‚ Stay tuned for more posts about my obsession with Pilates.

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