I knew what hadn’t worked for me in the past; soup diets, protein shakes, Atkins were all non-runners. I knew this time round I would have to create a healthy eating plan I could stick to. I decided not to join weight watchers or slimming world but to design my own plan based on eating high nutrient, low calorie foods.
I downloaded the myFitness Pal app, inputed my weight loss goal (to lose 30 pounds in three months) and started to track what I ate. The app also records steps so it is easy to keep on top of daily goals. My aim was to keep under 1,200 calories daily to lose 2lbs a week.
So eight weeks later here I am, half way there. Half way to reaching my goal weight and down 15 pounds. Here are a couple of changes I made to my lifestyle these past eight weeks;
I started drinking organic green tea which replaced the 3 cups of regular tea I used to drink throughout the day. I am now obsessed with herbal teas, my favourite’s are Pukka Herbs organic teas particularly the clean matcha green, ginseng, mint and berry teas. Each cup has zero calories and other than curbing my appetite the health benefits of green tea include helping protect brain cells from free radical damage and it protects heart health.
I drink a morning tonic five days a week which consists of hot water, fresh lemon juice, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, a tablespoon of aloe vera juice, a teaspoon of organic honey and a couple of fresh mint leaves. The apple cider vinegar is an age old remedy for dozens of health issues but I find it works to curb my appetite in the mornings and helps my skin, same as the aloe vera. The lemon is an excellent source of vitamin c and aids to stimulate the liver, promoting detox and a clearer complexion. The honey and mint are added for taste but also honey is great for helping fight infections and mint has anti-inflammatory properties.
I have cut alcohol from my diet (almost). The realisation of how many calories are in a glass of wine soon made me give up my weekly glass (*ahem bottle) of wine. And surprisingly cutting out alcohol has been a lot easier than I would have anticipated two months ago. I still have the occasional glass if I’m out but limiting alcohol has made a huge difference to my health.
I have also pretty much eliminated the bad carbohydrates in my diet, that is the refined and processed carbs such as white bread, pasta, white rice and most cereals. I focused on increasing my intake of fruit and veg and cut down on dairy with the exception of organic low fat natural yoghurt as a snack.
I try to keep my meals as simple as possible, for lunch I love avocado and boiled eggs on chia bread with some green tea and water, or a spinach salad with some smoked salmon, beetroot, quinoa and cucumber. For dinner I generally eat whatever I make for the family but substitute potatoes, pasta or rice with salad or more veg. If I do get hungry for a snack in between meals I try to only eat fruit, a handful of organic nuts, mixed seeds or a low fat organic natural yoghurt.
About three weeks into my new diet I read about the practice of intermittent fasting, the idea being to eating nothing from 8pm each night, fast for 16-17 hours, skipping breakfast and only eating between 1pm and 8pm. I tried this for two weeks, only drinking my morning tonic for breakfast and eating lunch around 1pm. I found this speeded up my weight loss for those two weeks and although not eating after 8pm was difficult I found I didn’t get hungry before lunch. I now have breakfast maybe four days of the week and try to fast for 16 hours for the other three days.
So eight weeks later, down fifteen pounds I’m delighted with progress made so far but I am also cognisant that I’ve another fifteen pounds to go. I have reached a point of plateau now and I need to break through it. Next I need to focus more on exercise, the one element of my plan that I haven’t been able to devote a lot of time to.
So stage one complete, half way there, I’m determined to keep going and make this a long term lifestyle change.