How Do You Cope Without Carbs?

One of the most frequently asked questions I get about my weight loss from friends and family is; how do you cope without carbs? Carbohydrates are a big part of most people’s diet and are generally loved by all, myself included. Back at the beginning of 2016, I set myself a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight but wasn’t sure if I would stick to it or if it would ever work. I didn’t like my size but at the same time I was lazy and knew it would take a lot of effort to lose weight. After a few days I decided to take it seriously and try my hardest to lose a few pounds.

So I stopped eating carbs, cheese, mayo and all the other things that brought me happiness and soon enough I started seeing results. However, there are a few things that I would like to say about my approach to losing weight. Firstly, I know that my diet was extreme and would not work for everyone. I was working at my placement company at the time so I sat at a desk all day, exerting very little physical energy so I did not need as much food for fuel as other people might. I don’t think I would necessarily recommend my diet to anyone; food and exercise is personal and it’s all about finding out what is healthy and works for you.

But in regards to coping without carbs, my answer is simple. I still eat a lot. But I just changed what I was eating. Instead of filling up on bread, chips and pasta, I started piling my plate up with vegetables and meat. I’m not saying carbohydrates are bad for you, they’re not at all, they help give the body the fuel it needs to get through the day. But for me, I was overeating and my greed caused me to gain a shed ton of weight over the years.

For Breakfast I usually have a smoothie but have recently been having granola with yogurt and fruit. For lunch and dinner, I will usually have cooked meals if I am at home, with some type of meat and a mountain of vegetables. But I have taken extra steps to make sure I am being as healthy as possible; I generally avoid processed foods, salad dressings, chocolate, sweets and cheese just because my main focus at the moment is losing weight and toning up. But this isn’t to say I won’t reintroduce these again at a later date.

Sure I miss chocolate and cheese, bread and pasta but I have learnt to give myself treats every so often instead. I eat Barenaked noodles frequently instead of pasta which I find work just as well in stir-frys or spaghetti bolognaise as regular pasta and noodles. I also try and opt for leaner mince, steak with as little fat as possible and cut off the fat on my bacon. I find these little steps help along the way.

I’m not really sure how to end this post or what my final point is. I guess I wanted to show that there are many ways to lose weight and it will be different for everyone. I know some friends and family who have had great results on Slimming World and others who love Lean in 15’s meal plans. It’s all about finding what works for you and ensuring you are making the right decisions to lose weight healthily.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you have any good tips to share?

If you liked this post you may also like One Year, Five Stone or My Typical Workout.

4 Things I Have Learnt On My Placement Year

A conventional nine to five job might not be for me
My placement has been my first experience of a traditional nine to five job office job and whilst I have enjoyed my job and got on well with my team I don’t know if it is what I aspire for in the future. Knowing my placement is only for a limited time has been helpful on days when I feel unmotivated as I know I will be going back to university soon. However, the prospect of graduating and having a mundane office job where I sit at a desk all day staring at a screen fills me with dread. I still don’t have an answer when people ask me what I want to do with my life but I’m learning that I shouldn’t be in such a rush to figure it out. I have plenty of time to explore different avenues, make mistakes and learn along the way!

I want a job that incorporates creativity
I decided to begin blogging as my job didn’t have enough creative elements. Whilst I build websites with my team in numerous different languages there are guidelines we must stick to and our content management system has limitations with what it can achieve in terms of design. Blogging has allowed me to write content on different topics and I have been lucky enough to borrow a camera from my manager, learning more about photography. Trying new projects in my spare time has shown me I would love a job that incorporates creative elements. I would love to learn more about design with Photoshop and other programmes and continue to improve my photography.

I want to go travelling
I look forward to exploring different career paths in the future and hope to one day find a job that I love. But before I enter the world of work for good I’ve decided I would like to go travelling for a year or maybe more. I have been in education my whole life so I think embracing the freedom that comes with lack of structure or restricted holiday times will be exciting.

Every person I have spoken to has told me to go for it either saying they had the best time of their lives or they have always regretted not going. Realistically I don’t think I will ever get a better moment in my life to be able to go travelling. When I graduate I will have little responsibility holding me back. I haven’t made any concrete plans so far but I think Australia and New Zealand are on the cards with some stops around South East Asia as well. I would also love to explore some of America as I loved New York when I visited. For some reason the thought of having an apartment in Brooklyn and getting the subway into New York City each day sounds incredible!

A positive attitude is imperative
I have worked with a range of people over placement year from all walks of life who are motivated by different things. One of the biggest lessons I have learnt is how valuable a positive attitude can be. In every job there will be frustrating aspects whether it be mundane admin jobs or software not working correctly but it is how you react to these situations that matters most.

In my second year of university I frequently focused on the bad aspects of my course allowing it to overshadow the parts I enjoyed and I definitely think my productivity and efficiency was affected. Being exposed to negative attitudes on placement year was a bit of a wakeup call for me. Moaning about something not working isn’t going to fix it. Arguing with people who cannot change the situation won’t lead to a different outcome.  I have become more aware of how my attitude can affect others and affect the motivation of my colleagues. Whilst some have called me naive and told me my positivity will fade over time, I hope I continue to take a more positive and efficient approach in my final year of university and into my career.

If you liked this post you may also like What The Interview From Hell Taught Me or Employee Of A Month!

What Do I Want To Do With My Life?

I recently watched the Fresh Meat finale and it made me think about university, my degree and what I want to do with my life once I graduate. The finale was infused with the humour that has graced all four seasons but also encapsulated the bitter sweet moment of the character’s finishing university and starting new chapters in their lives. This got me thinking about my own experiences with university and oddly made me dread the day all the exams, dissertations and coursework is all said and done and we move out for the last time. I haven’t always loved university but it is sad to think my final year of university may be the last time I spend time with certain friends I have made along the way.

Instead of looking at graduating as a step into uncertain times without security, I’m trying to see it as a time of potential where I will have different opportunities to try new and exciting things. I am planning to go travelling for a year once I finish university and have been using my placement year as a chance to save money. I haven’t fully decided where I want to go but I think it will be the perfect time to see new countries and cultures before coming home and deciding what career path I focus on. Part of me really fancies the idea of moving to New York for a year. There is something about having an apartment in Brooklyn and being able to get the subway into the city that really appeals to me.

Unexpectedly, my placement year has caused a major shift in what motivates me. I used to be very motivated by money thinking financial freedom would automatically make me happier. Whilst I think having money can give you more access to certain experiences and activities, my placement year has shown me it is not the be all and end all.  I have realised a job I enjoy that offers new challenges and experiences has a lot more value than I first anticipated. Every job will have elements that won’t be thrilling but I hope to find a job that has the right balance.

I’m learning it is okay to not know exactly what I want to do with my life and have my career path set out and decided. I think there is a lot of pressure put on young people these days to make decisions about the rest of their lives before they’ve even got a chance to try different things. The year to come will involve a lot of planning for travelling once all of university is said and done but for now I will finish my placement year and focus on my degree and worry about my future later.

If you liked this post you may also like Employee Of A Month or What The Interview From Hell Taught Me.

Millennials: Self-Entitled or A New Wave Of Talent?

In an interview I was asked what frustrates me. After thinking for a while I responded with ‘self-entitlement and lack of initiative or work ethic’. Once my interview was over, I thought about what I said and began to think whether this attitude was something particularly associated with my generation; millennials.

It is no secret that the youth do not always get presented well in the press, with a strong focus on low education engagement, teenage pregnancies and crime. However it is questionable as to how much this has transferred into society’s attitudes. There seems to be the suggestion amongst some generations that the youth do not have to work as hard today implying education is easier and there are more opportunities now than ever before.

On the other hand, it could be argued that there is more competition today with individuals having to go above and beyond to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Whilst some individuals may show little faith in the younger generations, numerous companies recognise the importance of securing new talent offering apprenticeships, graduate schemes and training for those trying to break into the work force.

In my experience I have come across a wide range of people. Some are extremely self-motivated, striving to push themselves and achieve their goals, putting effort into all elements of their work. Others appear to be the opposite, trying to find someone or something to blame their lack of initiative or effort on.

I believe within any generation you will find those who are self-motivated and those who do not have the same drive. In the future, companies will need to continue to look into how they can motivate staff to achieve the best results however there does seem to have been a shift. This shift leans towards self-motivation, where individuals need to prove themselves or risk being replaced by younger, keener talent looking for an opportunity to shine. Ultimately millennials should be seen as an opportunity, offering the potential for new talent to help a company move forward and achieve their objectives.

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