I Quit Eating Rice for Six Months

My weight loss journey began in the summer of 2002. I’ve tried everything to lose weight, naturally.

From running, religiously going to the gym and ‘dieting,’ to buying all the weight loss products companies advertise so well, employing celebrities and making sure the ‘no approved therapeutic claim’ part gets fast-forwarded in radio and TV; and to be small enough to be noticed in print.

I bought them all.

For instance, Carb Trim was the most notorious.

Imagine being told you can eat all the rice you want, without ending up looking like a Baleen whale, as long as you take it before every meal.

Carb trim, and any other weight loss products you can find on the internet, don’t work.

We’re talking about long-term, sustainable and not-robbing-you-of-your-happiness type of ‘work.’

Finally, I’ve decided to stop eating rice at the start of 2015.

Shocking, surreal weight loss
While exercising helped me to keep the weight at bay, I was having a hard time losing any.

Because at the end of every gym or running session, I’m seen at this popular fast-food BBQ joint, asking for my 5th of God-knows-how-many-more-I-can-handle cup of unlimited rice.

The more I strain myself to exhaustion (because I wanted faster results), the more I wanted rice.

I was wasting money on gym membership and spending aimlessly on monthly bills that come along with it (e.g. taxi, protein shakes, etc.). All of this, for four years.

However, after giving up rice for six months, I lost 13 kilograms. The loosening shirts and jeans don’t lie.

More so, the slowly surfacing abs, biceps, triceps and all type of ‘ceps’ I’ve developed, unknowingly, during the years I’ve spent in the gym and in the running track.

The fats, like the glaciers of Antarctica, are melting.

This, without going to the gym, without killing myself from excessive running, without buying and forcing myself into taking horrid-tasting diet teas and drinks.

And most importantly, without depriving myself of the food I want, whenever I want.

Rice offers no real nutritional value
According to Wikipedia, a cup of long-grain, cooked white rice contains 205 calories, 44.51 grams of carbs and 0.44 grams of fat.

Which leads to a shocking realization: Rice is an extender.

Nothing wrong with rice being an extender.

What’s questionable is listening to the aggressive voices inside your head, denying this fact, so you can cling onto your excuses to not give up rice.

But this reaction is totally normal. After all, we’re a product of our environment, growing up in a household that consumes rice regularly.

But again, if there’s one glaring error with your current situation, it’s your knowing that you NOW have the chance to control this environment, and still choosing not to act.

It’s not going to be easy fighting the very life you’ve lived. But in order for you to become someone new, you must stop doing something old.

Routine and substitution is the key
Repeat after me: diets don’t work.

The only way to maintain something is to incorporate it in your daily life. For good.

You may have resisted eating something fattening for three weeks, but if you’re doing it, with the intent of making it as a short-term fix, aka as a diet, a relapse of chaotic proportion will be imminent.

A typical Filipino eats thrice a day.

Three times rice is served daily. That translates to consuming it 21 times weekly; 630 times monthly.

Let that sink in.

When you totally eliminate rice, you won’t be consuming it thrice daily, 21 times weekly and 630 times every month.

This time, your body will be mostly running on protein, fiber, quality carbs and other nutritious food, without storing much their ‘weight’ in your belly.

Without rice, you’ll know, for the first time, what a quality ‘full’ feels like.

The first three weeks will be treacherous. The best way to live through this purging is to sharpen your substitution skills.
I substituted bread, lots of it, during the first three days. While my body protested, it backed-down, as the bread, eventually, appeased its carb needs.

Yes, bread is a carb, but I don’t fancy taking it three times daily, as I would with rice.

Also, I tried vegetables and lots of fruits in the beginning, but they make me bloated and hyper-acidic, adding to the already uneasy experience of dealing with the rice craving.

The answer was by going hard on protein.

By going hard meant to eat double of the serving you’re used to having. Not only it’s satisfying, it also digests slowly, reinforcing your brain that you’re full for a longer period of time.

Two months into my rice abstinence, the cravings had diminished in strength. On my sixth, I’ve given away all my medium and large sized clothes and jeans.

I won’t be needing them anymore.