Things I have learnt on my weight loss journey. Note: I am NOT a doctor, this is just what I have gone through in my weight loss experience. The world of weight loss can seem a little bit daunting, calories, sodium content, fatty acids, portion control, you have to eat this, and eat that, you can’t eat after 7pm or you’ll get fat, all these strange things you’ve heard about weight loss – It can get confusing to say the least! So, this is what I have learned and I hope these basic things might help other people on making changes to their diet and lifestyle.
1. Water, Water, Water!
Feeling sluggish and out of energy, just want to sleep all the time. I didn’t realise that it was due to not drinking enough water. As soon as I increased my intake, I felt so much better, my skin felt and looked better. Now, there are even apps to remind you of when you need to drink some water if you need a little more help getting your 8 glasses a day! Hot water and lemon – Yum! Herbal teas, juice are a good way of increasing your water intake, for people who get bored of the taste of water.
2. Cola/The Fizzy Stuff
I used to drink so much fizzy stuff everyday and not really think about it – I’d go through a 6 pack of cola at least! Now I drink tea, water and on the occasional outing fizzy drinks. I know kicking the sugar habit is really big step for people. I felt awful the first few days, lack of energy, irritable, and just not in a good mood. I just went cold turkey and got rid of it out of the house and in all honesty, I didn’t even miss it after a few days. In the UK, a 500ml bottle of Coca-Cola 210 calories, 53g of sugar! It does not seem worth it in all honesty. (http://www.coca-cola.co.uk/brands/coca-cola.html)
3. Vegetables & Fruit
Yes! They’re good for you and yummy! If you don’t like a fruit or vegetable then don’t eat it – Goji berries, don’t really like them (expensive here too), but shoved them down my throat because of the ‘superfood’ properties. Ick! – why did I just waste a bunch of calories on that! It’s just not worth it. I love mushrooms, spinach, purple broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, raspberries, cauliflower, strawberries, cherries, apples, bananas. Do I eat 100% healthy all the time? No, but I’ve found a good balance. Find the foods that YOU like to eat. You might actually find that you like more of them than you think.
The gym – the place of full length mirrors, shiny lights, scary meatheads, cardio bunnies, and all the in between. The gym can be a terrifying place for a lot of people, the scary looks and the machines that you have no idea what to do with and look like something out of Star Trek. I’ve seen so many people just jump on the treadmill/elliptical/*insert other machine name here* for hours at a time, looking miserable and tired! Now I’m not saying that this goes for all people, but find something that you like to do. Personally, I like Pilates and Strength Training, many might not. Kickboxing, badminton, tennis, football, dance class, karate, basketball, walking, jogging, hiking, yoga – the list is endless. If you find something that you love then it won’t feel like work!
5. Portion Control
This is a pretty big one. Before I used to ‘eye-ball’ my food. I’d grate some cheese and go ‘Uhh, that looks about 20g’. Nope, weighed it, it was 55g! This is one where people go wrong a lot of the time, myself included! ‘I’m eating my calories, and I’m not losing weight! Help!’ If you know exactly how many calories you’re eating then you have to weigh/measure out your food. Pre-packaged food can come in a big help here. I get a whole bag of nuts, and make them into little snack packs with the calories on them, it’s a time saver and better than grabbing a packet of crisps. (Sometimes though, I just want the crisps)
6. Not all fats are created equal
This might sound like a bit of a strange one. When people say diet, they seem to run away from fats and high calorie foods. I know I did the same, everything in my house was fat free/diet foods. Most of the time they’re full of sugar and other nasties to make up for the lack of fat. Nuts, a high calorie and fat item, but full of vitamins, minerals, fibre and protein! Fat are great for making you feel full and let’s face it, it tastes food. The fats found in nuts are said to be the heart healthy kind. Avocados, olive oil and nut butters are other high calorie/fat foods that are amazing for you, just make sure to portion them out otherwise you could manage to eat over 100g’s worth of nuts. (Trust me, I’ve done this) or 3 tbsp’s worth of olive oil. Another tip would be to go for raw/natural nuts, or dry roasted. Excess oil that the nuts have been cooked in and salt add unnecessary calories and sodium content. Again, if you don’t like nuts/have allergies, then don’t eat it!
7. Being Social
Social eating and going out seems to be a big obstacle when it comes to people who are making a lifestyle change. You are not going to ruin your progress in one day. You shouldn’t have to work this hard to shut yourself away from social gatherings and seeing friends and family (Which most of the time revolve around food based activities). Go for it, have fun and don’t worry!
These are just some of the more basic things I have learnt throughout my journey, and it has helped me to lose over 20lbs. I feel more energized, my skin looks great and isn’t dry/cracked/oily/blemishes/dull anywhere near as much as it used to be. I enjoy cooking and have actually become a pretty decent cook and it’s more satisfying to create your own meals and snacks, and I have found loads more foods that I like too. I hope that anyone who’s actually reading this has found this a little bit helpful, I would have loved for someone to give me a bit more advice when I started this journey and I don’t think that it would have been so hard for me. I’m also coming near the end of the Blogilates 12 Week Body Makeover and I can really see a difference and I feel awesome!
So, have a great day and kick butt!
I’d love to hear other people’s weight loss stories & advice! Leave me a comment below and let me know what you think!