Week Six completed and the training continues… I managed a 42.99 miles (damn that last 0.01 of a mile) last week 🙂
How did I get here? How did I lose weight and keep it off? It’s usually the first thing I’m asked now when I meet up with people I haven’t seen in a long while. Thankfully there are a large number of people who also didn’t get to see Fat-me, but I definitely way fitter (literally) than I was even for those!
I hate to say – determination, eating less and exercising more. None of this startlingly new or unconventional. No magic tricks or overnight fixes. A mind adjustment I suppose was the main thing… I had to be in this for the long haul… treat this as a lifestyle choice rather than a diet.
So what made my mind up to commit? The reasons many, but ultimately a determination to be fitter, healthier and happier in my own skin! So mind made up I decide to set some goals. 1. Picked my weight to aim for, losing 2 pounds a week. 2. Booked in for a running event an told everyone about it. 3. Rethought my grocery shopping and planned meals!
A bought a book which I’ll happily recommend “The Calorie, Carb and Fat Bible” and duly started weighing and measuring food, religiously counting calories and keeping a food diary. As a family the impact this had on all our diets was immediate, we cooked more, ate takeaway less, ate everything in the fridge/cupboards, made use of left overs and allowed ourselves weekend treats (Friday night is steak night in our house). As a consequence our weekly shopping suddenly got cheaper too!
Food tasted better, once we got over the shock of the size of portions we should actually be eating and we got used to feeling hungry for a little while until we got into a routine. There are still days we all fall off the waggon so to speak, and that’s OK because we eat better now and that’s the norm not the other way around.
What does our weekly meal plan look like?
- A good breakfast – porridge, or egg/beans on toast, scrambled egg with salmon, bacon & pancakes, cereal and toast, bagel and cheese
- A light lunch – soup, or a sandwich – crisps are a very occasional treat
- A good dinner , not too late – whatever meat we like, great vegetables or salad – just being portion aware.
- Low cal Snacks mid morning ad mid afternoon (usually fruit, even a biscuit with a cuppa is allowed as long as I don’t eat 3)
- Chocolate is a weekend treat!
We basically eat/drink what ever we want, we just have to be aware how much we are having. Sometimes some diet foods are full of rubbish really, loaded up with salt and sweeteners; sometimes better to have a little of the real thing than a lot of diet.
Clearly a chinese takeaway or pizza with loads of salt was going to make the weight jump overnight, but if portions were small that would drop off again over a couple of days as long as we weren’t eating like that every night!
Other tips –
1. don’t skip meals,
2. use a smaller plate,
3. Have protein in your breakfast if you can, helps you feel full longer (Bacon, salmon, eggs, beans),
4. Soup keeps you feeling full longer (try weight watchers or home-made keeping low on the salt).
5. The wider the choice of food the more you’ll eat so avoid buffets or if you must (and same with takeaways), put what you want on your plate and walk away from the food, don’t keep it all open next to you – you’ll always end up taking more.
6. Low fat dairy with a meal helps you excrete more fat. (yoghurt, cottage cheese)
7. Exercise carries on burning fat even while you sleep – so no matter how little you do, regular exercise building up when you’re able is good
8. Keep moving to lose weight (Park furthest away when you shop so you have to walk further, stand up when you talk on the phone, always use the stairs that kind of thing).
9. Yes the boring stuff count your calories, weigh and measure everything.
10. Don’t beat yourself up if you fall off the waggon and have a blow out, sometimes that’s good, keeps your body guessing, have a think about why you might have eaten too much and try to take the temptations out of reach next time. If you up your calories approximately once every four days (treat yourself) your body doesn’t go into starvation (fat packing) mode
11. It is important to have treats! Just don’t over do them!
Foods I particularly like and swaps that help me – spinach instead of lettuce, anything with red peppers high in water content and vitamin c, chilli spice with as much as i can , pineapple, blueberries strawbs. If you love chocolate go for Dark. If wine – go for red, stay away from mixers. If on driving duty, go for a diet drink or mineral/soda water rather than fruit drinks. Swap bread with weight watchers (half cals per slice). Sauces, try to stay away or work out which work best for you. A dash of olive oil and normal vinegar is better than balsamic. If you like a curry, go for a tandoori with salad rather than something with sauce, rice, poppadums etc. Ice lollie rather than ice cream, tea rather than coffee (or go espresso). If you want chinese (the worst offender of all) at least have boiled rice!
I love food and can happily obsess about what we’re going to eat for one hour to the next. One major skill now is that I can throw together ingredients without recipes and come up with decent, tasty food, that’s cheap and healthy to eat.
If you are starting on this journey (and it is a journey not just an end game), enjoy trying new things and don’t get upset at a few trip ups – keep going. We’re now at the point where even my teenager would rather go buy a pasty (with meat and veg) than a McDs because the McDs costs more and doesn’t fill him up!
For those training and running: remembering to eat so you have energy is very important too….anything with oats, salted peanuts after a run (helps with muscle cramps and adds protein for rebuilding), chocolate milk drinks rather than expensive energy drinks, bananas, honey and jelly babies, are all helping me along.
Thank you everyone for your continued support it is so very much appreciated. I am now halfway to my target fund-raising. If you can help please support me http://www.kidneyresearchukevents.org/DawnRoberts.