This post has been frequently requested, however, I’ve been undecided about whether to do it or not. This is because I am by no means a nutritionist or a health expert; this is a lifestyle that I have chosen to take up which works for me and may not work for everyone.
The reason I decided to change my diet was the embarrassingly vain reason that my face looked chubby in selfies. I noticed that I had put on weight all over, especially on my arms (which were big enough already) and my stomach. My clothes had started to become tight, I was unhappy with the way I looked and I was horrified at the idea of having to buy bigger clothes.
My weight loss journey started at the beginning of November 2015 and my motivation was my pending Christmas holiday to Barbados. It always makes it easier when you’ve got a goal to work towards. I was 10 stones to begin with and lost half a stone in the month before flying out.
My current stable weight as of September 2016 (10 months later) is 8.7 stones which is a stone and a half less than when I started.
I have lost this weight by changing my diet, I haven’t added exercise into my new lifestyle. This is because I have a chronic condition called Myalgic Encephalopathy (M.E), which is the reason for my chronic fatigue, lethargy and constant body pain (you wouldn’t have guessed that right?) It is difficult for me to exercise as my body takes much longer to recover from physical exertion than the average person.
My beach body as of September 16′
The number one reason why I personally started to put on weight was my portion sizes. When trying to lose weight, portion control is essential. I was eating mostly the right foods, but too much of them. I started by buying a small plate (the one pictured below) to help me to monitor my food portions.
I find it easier to eat healthily Monday – Friday due to my work and study routine and on weekends, I allow myself some treats. However, if I have a cheat meal in the week, I have a healthy meal on one weekend day to balance it out.
I don’t starve myself of anything and I eat unhealthy foods still, just in moderation; having a ‘cheat meal’ as opposed to a ‘cheat day’.
I tend not to eat carbohydrates (bread, pasta, potatoes, etc) in the week. While not completely cutting them out of my diet, I’ve found that they do bloat me, therefore, I’ve replaced them with ‘good’ carbohydrates. These include sweet potato, brown pasta and whole wheat bread, etc, which are more nutritious. However, I’ve minimised my carbohydrate intake within my diet as a whole.
I’ve also cut out condiments like ketchup, mayonnaise and salad dressings, due to their high sugar and fat content. It really isn’t worth it once you realise how fattening they are.
I like to eat three meals a day to keep my metabolism moving at a steady rate. Missing out on meals doesn’t help you to lose weight, it could actually make you gain weight. This is because your metabolism slows down and your more likely to overeat later on in the day. Fasting (the scientific name for having long breaks in-between meals) also sets off processes within the body which causes fat to be stored around the stomach area.
I drink a minimum of two litres of water a day to flush out any toxins, keep my skin clear and to keep me full for longer. I use the ‘Camelbak’ bottle (pictured below) to measure how much water I’m drinking as it has markers in millilitres, up to a litre, written on it.
I’ve also cut out juices and soft drinks which have minimal, if any, nutritional value.
The question I get asked the most in relation to weight loss is, ‘what do you eat?’ Here I show you some examples of what I will eat in a day. (If you want me to do a separate post on meal ideas, let me know).
I eat one and a half weetabix with unsweetened almond milk and a side of fruit (preferably berries) daily. I tend to switch up which kind of fruit I eat so that I don’t get bored.
* Berries are super foods, which are extremely nutritious, low in calories and help you to stay full for longer.
*Weetabix are low in fat and sugar and are a great source of fibre.
*Almond milk is low in fat but is high in energy, vitamins, proteins and fibre.
For lunch I like to eat a two egg omelette with lots of vegetables, a bean salad and cucumber sticks on the side.
*Eggs are low in calories, a good source of protein and rich in vitamins and minerals.
*Vegetables are low in fat and calories and are important sources of many nutrients.
*Cucumber keeps you hydrated and helps to flush out toxins.
*Beans are filling, low in fat, high in antioxidants, fibre, protein, vitamins and iron.
I like to eat a variety of different meals at dinner to stop me from becoming bored with the same meal. A few of these options are…
Grilled chicken breast, steamed vegetables and baked sweet potato fries.
Chicken fajita salad
Cottage cheese with fresh chives and salad (with or without a baked sweet potato)
* Chicken breast is low in calories, a good source of protein and a metabolism booster.
*Steaming vegetables retains their vitamins and minerals as well as, preserving their fibre, colour and flavour.
*Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins, contain iron, support a healthy immune system and do not cause blood sugar spikes as their natural sugars are released slowly into the bloodstream, ensuring a balanced and regular source of energy.
If I get hungry between any meals, I will eat 1-2 pieces of fruit to curb my hunger, depending on how hungry I am.
I hope this post was helpful to you guys. These are my tips and tricks that have worked in helping me to lose weight and being able to maintain it. It has become a lifestyle. As I said above, what works for me, may not work for you. However, I hope in reading this post, I can provide you with some inspiration or motivation to lose weight, make your lifestyle healthier, or better – both!
What are your tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle?