Healthy eating is always a buzz topic. Every time you look at a women’s magazine there is an article about “How to Drop Fourteen Stone in a DAY!” and every time you go to Facebook or Instagram there is a MLM rep trying to sell you all manner of things to “DROP WEIGHT FAST!” with their stories of body weight lost, and how it all only costs “£3 a day, hun!”
I’ve never been a big “health geek” or anything like that. I’ve always been very much “everything in moderation” but I have a habit of overindulging sometimes – hence my “less than ideal” frame. I’ve always been “overweight”, except for pretty much before I hit puberty. I’ve always been pretty much a UK size 16, although recently I was up as far as a size 20. I fluttered between an 18 and a 20 when I was pregnant, which if you remember from my previous posts led to all kinds of “you’re fat, you’re failing” rhetoric from the hospital with which we originally registered. Thankfully the hospital where we had Eden cared more about actual diagnosis than some percieved risk and life was easier there.
But now here we are, nearly two years after having Eden and I’m still unhappy with my weight. Just like how I’m Learning to be a Curly Girl, I decided a month or so ago that it was time to STOP being unhappy with my weight, my body and my shape and DO SOMETHING about it! Because after all, I’m the only one who can.
Here’s some things I’ve been doing to make a difference.
1. That Has HOW MANY Calories?!
I get very much into the habit of “it’s just a take out” or “It’s just a whole bag of Starmix.” I feel like that’s where my downfalls are. I use an app called “My Fitness Pal”, which is a free app on iphone. It does have paid features, but I only use the free ones at the moment and I’m not sure I have any plan to upgrade my membership. Anyhow, it allows you to easily log your food and drinks through the day as well as giving you a calorie goal based on your personal weight loss goal. It also reminds you to log in each day, which keeps what you are eating in the forefront of your mind. It has an excellent exercise tracker and whilst I’m pretty sure it overexaggerates on calories burned sometimes, it’s good to have a ball park figure of what calories you “claim back” by exercising. I also like that it links up to the (not wholly accurate) iphone steps tracker, so you can see what your step count is like throughout the day. It also can pair up with fitbit and other such activity monitors, although I haven’t tried that because I don’t own one…
Logging food is great because sometimes I will log something BEFORE I eat it and then can see exactly how much damager it would do to my daily goal. Sometimes I go ahead and eat it anyway, but nine times out of ten I will substitute or decide on a smaller portion. You can also see your daily goals for fats, carbs, protein, vitamins and other things that make up a healthy diet.
(On a side note, if you want to add me in MyFitnessPal you can do so HERE)
I often allow a treat but with a substitution. So, where I would have normally had chips, I’ve substituted for Jacket potato or mash. Where I would have had several fizzy drinks, I’ve had one fizzy drink and the rest are water. Where I would have eaten a whole bag of sweets, I take a portion and put the rest back. Just enough to curb the craving! I’ve also changed my Starbucks order from latte or cappuccino to Americano with no milk.
One of the things I’ve really enjoyed substituting – even in my lattes on the occasion that I do have them – is coconut or almond milk instead of cow’s milk. Coconut milk has slightly more fat than cow’s milk but in terms of vitamins it does a whole lot better. It has more vitamin C, Vitamin E, vitamin B1, vitamin B3 and in terms of minerals it has more phosphorous, potassium, selenium, iron and magnesium than its dairy sibling. Coconut milk is also much lower in sodium than cow’s milk, which is a really good thing.
My favourite coconut milk is the Vita Coco milk, which is made from coconut cream and coconut water. It seems a little sweeter and much more full bodied than an average coconut milk. We go through quite a lot of it, so the bottle sizes are ideal for me and my coconut loving tummy. It’s not too badly priced either at £3 per litre.*
3. The Little Exercise That Could…
People say that diet is the main focus in losing weight and science shows the same, but exercise plays an important role too. I know I find it hard as someone with a full time job and a toddler to get in any real exercise. The gym would require childcare and I hate the gym anyway, so what’s to do? Well, firstly I walk. I try to walk as much as I can. Sometimes I walk when I could have taken the bus. I promised myself when I started trying to lose weight that I would walk up the stairs at least once a day, which I am still doing even though I now work on the seventh floor – sob! It’s hard, but it gets easier every day. I’m also looking for a good Zumba type youtube video, so let me know if you know of any. I’m sure Eden would love to complete some dance workouts with me!
4. Water, Water. You Gotta Drink Way More Water Than You Think…
I’m channelling Doc McStuffins on this one. Humans are made of about 60-70% water, so when we don’t drink enough we hold onto what we already have meaning we hold onto a whole bunch of water weight. When we drink enough, our body will happily pee out excess water, meaning that we lose the water weight – hooray! Drinking at least 2L of water a day also helps concentration levels, keeps tiredness at bay and keeps us bright eyes and bushy tailed. Oh, and it has no calories and no nasty sugars to mess with your teeth. Winner!
Water does get boring after a bit, so I often pop a herbal teabag or two or some fresh fruit in my water bottle just to jazz it up a little bit. I invested in a 1L water bottle with a straw from Typo.com, which I adore because it just sits beside me on my desk and I sip from it throughout the day. It comes everywhere with me when I’m out and about and clips onto the buggy too. Eden also loves to drink “juuuuuuice” (water) from my bottle as well. I’m about to get her the smaller version for herself!
I’m keeping it light at the moment, so those are the four things that I’m doing and trying to do well. I want to make a sustainable change, so it’s not just a “fad” or something I will get bored of after a couple of months. In the month that I’ve been doing this so far, I’ve lost 6lbs. It’s not amazing, but it’s a good start for me and I’m hoping to keep it coming. I’m also down to a solid size 16-18 rather than an 18-20, so we’re heading the right way.
In an ideal world, it’s not about losing weight, it’s about getting down to a state where I feel comfortable and where I fit the clothes that I want to fit. It would be nice to get down to a healthy BMI as healthcare professionals love to yap about BMI, but we all know that BMI is not a great measure of health. I’d rather be healthy and slightly overweight than a “healthy BMI” and be miserable and it be impossible to maintain. It also means we’re creating healthy habits for Eden as she grows and it means she is more likely to be a healthy weight as she grows.
I’m hoping to be down maybe 50lbs or so by the time we go to Florida in December. I’m calling it operation #dontbeaflumpforflorida. Wish me luck in my quest to be less Pooh, more Princess!
What are your weightloss tips and tricks?
*Disclaimer – We were sent this product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions remain our own and we recieved no financial incentive.