In my New Years resolution post I mentioned that one of my goals was to be healthier, lose weight and drink more water. I know, how original! However I am pleased to announce it has gone really well and in a month I have lost 1 stone, 9 pounds (10kg for any American readers). I made a drastic change to my eating habits and started moving more and I am really pleased that I am making progress! (For anyone worrying, I know that seems like a crazy/worrying amount to lose in four weeks but I believe it is relative to my size and I am eating plenty of food and not crash dieting. It’s going to be a long process and I know my weight loss will slow down considerably very soon.)
I thought I would share with you all the changes I have made to my lifestyle that has led me to lose weight. In fact I want to share with you my weightloss secret. Daily we see various diets claiming to be the next best thing or the quickest fix but the real secret is there is no secret. In my mind losing weight or feeling healthier is simple. Eat healthy food, drink more water and move a bit more. Don’t get me wrong, this can be daunting and just the idea can leave you exhausted, reaching for a cup of tea and biscuits. But if you are considering starting a healthier lifestyle, know you can do it, in your own time and at your own pace.
Before I began this healthier lifestyle I used to eat very badly. I loved bread, in fact I still love bread. To me there was nothing more satisfying than a sandwich or bread with dinner. I also used to love mayonnaise and cheese which everyone knows isn’t the healthiest of options. When I was bored I would eat and my snacks were excessive pretty much verging on another meal. I also used to eat fast food and go to restaurants a lot (I’m worried KFC and McDonald’s will go out of business now I am being healthy).
So I decided to really try and make a drastic change to my diet for one month to see how I got on. I essentially have no carbohydrates after my cereal at breakfast. At first it was difficult but now I have easily adjusted and am used to eating other foods. I have included some examples of what I typically eat for dinner now.
As I have removed carbohydrates from my diet, I pile up my plate with loads of veg and meat to ensure I am still eating enough. On the left is a stir fry including chicken, courgette, broccoli and mushrooms and I ate pretty much the entire pan. To avoid using oil, I add a little water into the pan to ensure the chicken doesn’t stick and the veg can cook. I finished this off with garlic and soy sauce. On the left is a rare steak (cooked in coconut oil), courgetti and red cabbage. I try to avoid oil most of the time but went for coconut oil as I think it is the healthiest oil choice you can make.
Oddly enough, my friends and family have asked me if I struggle the most at work but I actually find it the easiest place to remain determined. It was a sad day when I had to tell my colleagues in the office that I was no longer going to be having McDonald’s breakfast Fridays but other than that I get through work with ease. I prepare a salad in the morning every day with loads of different fresh fruit and veg piled on top of baby spinach and iceberg lettuce! If I am organised enough, I also add some meat in that I prepared the night before. To the left is a sweet chilli chicken salad that I had the other day.
I also wanted to share a product I found that can be a really good replacement if I am craving carbohydrates. I stumbled upon Barenaked Noodles the other day in Sainsbury’s and decided to try it as it boasts having only eight calories per 100g. For £2 a pack it is a little more expensive than your regular equivalent but there is enough for two meals. If someone had served me these noodles without telling me they were different I don’t think I would have noticed. The texture and taste is very similar to normal noodles and served with a sauce they are a great substitute to try. If you are trying to lose weight, give these a go!
In the past I did very little exercise so I have set myself the target of doing 10,000 steps a day. On the Health App on my iPhone I looked through what I used to do and realised I didn’t walk very much. I thought beginning with 10,000 steps a day would be a good way of easing myself back into exercise but I know I will need to step it up in the near future if I want to continue to lose weight and get in better shape. Some days when it is cold, windy and raining it can be hard to motivate myself to get up and go for a walk but I have forced myself to go. I think my dog is loving all the extra walks he has been getting!
I have been drinking more water but still have room to improve. I make myself drink at least a litre at work but its the evenings and weekends where I tail off. I love Diet Coke and still drink it a lot. I know it isn’t healthy but for now I consider it to be a treat for myself as I push forward with food and exercise. I know eventually if I truly want to be healthy I will need to drastically cut down but for now I’m letting it slip.
Whilst I have made good progress with my diet I don’t want anyone to feel pressure to follow a similar process. All of our bodies are different and we all have different lifestyles. My job requires me to sit at a desk all day so I feel like this diet suits my day to day life however someone in a far more active job would need more energy. I also want to make it clear that carbohydrates aren’t bad for you. Whilst I have cut the majority of mine out I will eventually re-introduce them and when I do I will try to choose the healthiest ones possible. We all know chips aren’t good for you but by all means grab a jacket potato or have sweet potato mash!
If any of you have any tips or advice I would love to hear them! If you are trying to be healthy, good luck! It is going to be a long road but I’m positive I will get there!