Following on from yesterday’s post about my body transformation this post is about the things that worked for me as I lost weight and changed my body. I am not a nutritionist or a personal trainer and I am in no way professionally qualified to offer any kind of advice to anyone (nor am I responsible for anything that happens to you because you followed my advice #justsaying). This is simply what worked for me.
Stop drinking alcohol
I am starting with my most controversial tip. While alcohol is fun, consuming it is not conducive to either weight loss or general health and well-being. It has zero nutritional value, lots of calories and some pretty nasty side effects. First it suppresses your appetite while you are drinking and stops you from eating something sensible at a sensible time. Then when that wears off you’re so hungry you’ll eat anything. And then the next day the hangover makes you crave fat and salt. I think at least half of my transformation can be credited to going teetotal.
Don’t drink your calories
I’m not on the absolutely no sugar ever bandwagon but sugary drinks like soda and fruit juice are just calories that you could be expending on actual food. Fruit juice may have some nutritional value but the amount of sugar you have to consume to get it, isn’t worth it. If you want fruit, eat it whole.
No artificial sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners fuck with your body’s entire inner logic. Your taste buds tell your body you’re about to get sugar so your body makes all the chemicals to process the sugar. And then the sugar doesn’t show up and your body is like WHERE THE FUCK IS THE SUGAR so it makes you crave more sugar and complex carbohydrates to fulfill that need and you end up in a cycle of misery.
Essentially just drink water and herbal tea
Your body needs water… lots of water. It might seem hard to drink water if you’re not used to it but the more water you drink the more water your body will crave and soon it will become second nature. If you enjoy hot drinks then herbal tea is a great way to get your fix. I am particularly partial to rooibos, a South African tea that is packed with antioxidants. I will admit that I still have one cup of coffee per day but if you can do without it… then do without it.
Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast
Hunger leads to eating crap so make sure you eat all your meals and at regular times. Breakfast is especially important for fueling your day. My go to winter breakfast is something I call “protein porridge”: 25g oats, half a mashed up banana, 20g peanut butter (the good shit that doesn’t have added sugar and salt), 150ml skimmed milk and a teaspoon of honey. Nuke in the microwave for 2 minutes, stir and then do another 30 seconds. The oats will fill you up, the banana is full of potassium, the milk gives you a hit of calcium and the peanut butter is packed with protein and healthy fats. Also it is DELICIOUS.
Plan, plan, plan
Good diet requires good planning. Decide what you are going to eat every day for the next week over the weekend and then go and buy the ingredients in one big shop. Prepare what you can in advance. You might have times where it is impossible not to deviate from your plan but if you eat what you were planning to 80% of the time you will make good food choices. If you’re going to eat out check out the menu in advance and if the restaurant has nutritional information so you’ll know what the best choices are.
Track your food
There are lots of free apps. Keep track of everything you eat. It is easy to eat mindlessly if you’re not keeping a record of what you’ve eaten, and when you’re writing it all down you’ll hold yourself accountable.
Until you’ve started getting good at measuring portions by eye (and you will), weigh stuff. It’s boring but it works. How much you eat and what you eat are the two things that you need to keep in balance.
Brown carbs and lean protein
I certainly have not given up on carbs throughout this but I did start thinking about the kind of carbs I was consuming. Go for brown rice, wholewheat pasta, wholewheat bread, sweet potatoes and quinoa and pair them up with lean proteins like chicken breasts, fish and 5% fat mince.
Healthy food has a reputation for being boring but it so isn’t. By using herbs, spices, chilis, a squeeze of lemon, a few toasted seeds, etc you can turn even the cleanest meal into something that truly satisfies,
And then pile up your plate with vegetables
You can eat pretty much as much veg as you want so absolutely pile up your plate with veg and let that be what fills you up. Nothing beats vegetables in terms of nutritional value and dietary fibre.
Prepare as much of your own food as you can from scratch and don’t eat shit that comes out of boxes, cans and jars
Processed food is full of chemicals. Chemicals are not good for you. Also processed food is full of hidden sugar and salt. Make your own pasta sauce/stir fry sauce/soup… then you know what is in it.
Don’t go into complete lockdown
As you eat more healthy food and in smaller portions your food desires will change but if you don’t allow yourself to eat any of the things you used enjoy then you will go mental. Moderation and quality are key though.I have always had a bit of a thing about having something sweet after dinner so I started buying really good quality dark chocolate and having two squares of it every night. It’s enough to satisfy the craving without driving me to over indulge. If you like ice cream buy really good quality ice cream and have one scoop.
Snacking is good. It stops you from becoming over-hungry and then over eating or reaching for the first thing you see. But when you snack eat things that provide nutritional value like nuts and seeds, carrot sticks and hummus or fresh fruit. Eating things like low fat crisps is pointless because they’re not giving your body anything.
Do you have any good tips to add?
Any questions about my tips?
Let me know in the comments