1. What are you eating?
2. What exercise are you doing?
But the eating question seems to be the one that interests people most.
Well, guess what ... there is no big secret to eating in order to lose weight! The funny thing is that I'm eating what most folk eat and most of what I have to say on the topic, you will have heard before.
It's about the choices you make about food and the way you cook it. If you want to lose weight of course there needs to be sacrifices and you need to be sensible about it.
My weakness is crisps, I love them in any shape or form and before I overhauled my diet I would be consuming 1-2 packs a day. Walkers Sensations Thai Sweet Chilli!!! I could wolf a party bag of those bad boys in one sitting! So at the start of this venture I eradicated crisps completely for the first few weeks. I think I actually got the shakes at one point. But once that initial craving for them had gone, I slowly reintroduced them into my diet and now only eat a packet of crisps once or twice a week and look at them as an occasional treat rather than a daily staple. I read an article recently that said "your body craves what you give it", and to a point, I agree. I don't crave crisps like I used to. In fact, I rarely even have them in my kitchen cupboards, whereas I used to never leave the supermarket without a multi-bag in the trolley.
I think self control is the major problem I faced before. I just didn't exert any over what I was putting in my mouth. That devilish little voice that would start talking to me when I was sat watching TV in the evening, usually because I was bored, "I fancy something nice!" It just had a louder voice than the voice of reason that now exerts control over my food choices these days.
At the end of the day you are the only one who can control what you eat, so if you are not willing to make sacrifices and listen to your own inner voice of reason then you are not going to reach weight loss goals. That bar of chocolate shouting at you from the vending machine... ignore it, it wants you to fail!
So, my typical day usually consists of:
Scrambled eggs, made with 2 eggs, a drop of milk and seasoning
2 small slices of brown bread (58 Kcals a slice) with olive oil spread
If I am in a rush then its a quick bowl of cereal, but I never leave the house without eating something.
Apple and a yoghurt, if I am really hungry I'll add in some granola or cereal
Big ass salad made with spinach, chicken, loads of veg and homemade dressing made with Apple Cider vinegar, olive oil, herbs and salt and Pepper
Pineapple and Strawberries
2 tangerines and an apple. Or some crackers and spread
Homemade Meatballs in tomato sauce with cous-cous and chargrilled veg
Coffee and amaretto biscuits
So you can see from the above that I am most definitely not starving myself and from eating the above I generally lose 1-3lbs a week depending on how much exercise I am doing.
And I have found the exercise to be so important. It means that I can have treats like crisps, a night out on the booze, the occasional take away or dine out without feeling guilty. A balance of eating well and exercise is what I have found to be the best fit for me. And because I am exercising so much, I know that my body needs the food to keep performing well, i tried the not eating much and exercising and my body just crashed on me, I didn't have the energy to exercise at my optimum level.
I always plan out what I am going to eat the next day the day/night before, otherwise I am chasing my tail and end up choosing something that I don't really want. But, if I am stuck then I'll go buy a salad or a low calorie sandwich and some fresh fruit.
2. WRITE IT DOWN
When I started out I kept a notebook and recorded everything I was eating, and I know you might think that seems like a lot of hassle, but it takes two seconds to write down what you eat throughout the day, I always had it in my handbag. It was a good way of getting a clear picture of what you are eating and it makes you more conscious of the choices you make whether counting calories or just trying to eat more healthily.
3. RECORD YOU MEASUREMENTS
At times my weight loss plateaued for a few weeks at a time and the scales wouldn't shift. It was so frustrating, especially when I had been busting a gut in the gym. I took my measurements at the start and then continued to do so on a monthly basis. It was a great motivator when the weight loss would stall, I would get the measuring tape out and would usually find that I had lost a few inches.
The measurements I take are:
I'm going to add in a page to the blog dedicated to food and recipes for those interested.