First off I need to tell you all that I have no qualifications in this area. These are just some of the things I’ve done that have helped me to lose (nearly) 10 kilos. I’m still 5 kilos off being considered obese, according to my BMI. And at this stage, I’m concentrating on getting to the point that I am “just overweight”, but for now I’m happy with what I’ve achieved.
People have been asking me for tips and there’s no easy solutions. Everyone’s body and challenges are different. Everyone has varying aims and needs. I can’t tell you what will work for you, I can only tell you what’s worked for me.
Here’s a few weight loss tips that have helped me:
1) Cut out as much sugar from your diet as you can. This may be simply not putting sugar in your tea and coffee, limiting your juice intake or not putting jam on your toast. Sugar in big quantities is not good for me. Cutting sugar out altogether is also not good for my soul. Now I am very conscious of when I eat sugar. It’s a treat I savour.
2) Always eat breakfast. Skipping meals is just plain silly. I have a small breakfast and then follow-up with a bigger morning tea. When I was pregnant I got gestational diabetes and after months of tracking my blood sugar levels, I discovered my sugar levels would spike after breakfast and then settle down. So with this in mind, I have a cup of tea with skim milk and a piece of toast with almond butter for breakfast or an egg on toast or sometimes a small bowl of muesli (with most of the fruit picked out) with plain yoghurt, frozen blueberries and cinnamon.
3) Eat your biggest meal at lunch. This is when I eat most of my carbs. If I’m hankering for a big bowl of pasta or a crusty roll, I eat it at lunchtime. I also try and do it on the days I know I’m going to do a big walk or go skating. The carbs help with fuelling exercise. And for me, the exercise is about getting fitter, working my heart and getting blood pumping. There’s no use exercising if you’re going to be hungry, weak and tired.
4) Snack on nuts, vegetables and fruit. And drink lots of water. By snacking on healthy stuff, it’ll stop you getting really hungry and stuffing a whole packet of salt and vinegar chips in your gob.
5) Keep some extra dark chocolate in the fridge for treats. I have one square a night. It’s my indulgence. Of course, if I’ve also indulged in a bottle of wine and some chips it’s not that high and mighty. But most nights, it’s my special treat.
6) Have your dinner early and then do not eat after 7pm. Unless, I’m going out for dinner or having people over, I try my hardest not to eat after 7pm. I make sure my dinners have protein and vegetables, with limited carbs. They are lean and flavoursome and fill me up without stuffing me full like a bloated whale. Fresh and fabulous.
7) Do not eat diet foods. I’m of the belief that you are better off eating a smaller amount of the full fat version, rather than tricking yourself into more of the diet stuff. Diet foods are generally high in sugar and weird-ass chemicals. Don’t do it to your body. And seriously, if you think you’re making a healthy choice by drinking a sugar-free fizzy drink, then you’re wrong. Have a water with fresh lemon (and maybe a squeeze of honey) in it instead.
8) Everything in moderation. And here’s where I contradict myself. If you must have a fizzy drink, have one. Not one everyday, just one. Enjoy it. Pick quality over quantity. I’ve been known to have a delicious french pastry for lunch and loved every mouthful of it or chips and gravy for dinner. It happens. If you can, then plan for it. Savour it, devour it. Life is not about going without, it’s about joy and if that chocolate cake will bring you joy, then eat it.
9) Move more. Find something you love doing and keep doing it. For me, it’s skating. The wind in my hair, the speed and the joy it brings me, is the best. I also love walking and add extra walks before school pick-up or after school drop-off. I jump on my elliptical trainer regularly and relish the quiet time I get watching the birds fly around in the trees or the sun setting. And then the kids come and fight over who will get a turn after I’m done and then it’s not so fun anymore. But whatever you choose to do, do something. Even if it’s just squats and sit-ups while watching telly. Everything helps make you stronger.
10) Cut out the boozing. This is one I struggle with and I have no intention of stopping drinking altogether. I’m just more aware of how it impacts on my health. When I drink too much, I eat too much. I have crappy sleeps and then feel sluggish, so don’t want to move as much and then just want to eat comfort food because I feel crappy about myself. Viscous cycle. I make sure I have booze-free days/weeks now. These days help with my overall mental health, but I also notice it on the scales.
11) Be kind to yourself. If you have a day or a week where you are over watching what you eat and throw caution to the wind, that is OK. It’s not a race, it’s about making long lasting life changes. It’s not a fight against time, it’s a fight against unhealthy choices. It’s about health, not fat. It’s about strength and endurance and feeling amazing.
12) JFDI. This stands for Just Fucking Do It. Stop making excuses. Your health is one thing you can, to a certain extent, control. It’s not rocket science. Eat healthy foods. Move more. Get good sleep. Learn to say no. Stress less. Be kind. Search for happiness. Be a better you.
If I can do it, you certainly can do it. It’s still early days for me, but I’m feeling so much better already. Onward and upward.
Have a fab week,