Hey lovelies! Bit of a different post for you all today, nearly two years ago now I lost around 2 stone in weight and amazingly I’ve managed to keep most of it off! I was commenting on Ashley’s post (which you can read here) about starting a fitness journey and she asked if I had any posts she could read about how I did it, so I thought by writing this I may be able to help some of you if you’re looking to lose weight or get fit.
Because of how long this post was becoming I’m actually going to do it in two parts, ‘eating healthy’ and then ‘getting fit’ will be my next post so you won’t have to wait too long for it I promise!
Disclaimer – I know I was by no stretch of the imagination ‘fat’ but I was unhappy with the way I looked and wanted to do something about it. I hope that my advice may help some of you but if you are happy with the way you look then don’t force yourself to try to lose weight just to conform to societies crazy ideas of what is ‘beautiful’.
Changing Your Diet
The first thing most people do when trying to lose weight is change their diet, cut out all the foods they think they shouldn’t be eating and count calories! Counting calories can become a bit of a chore and I don’t recommend doing this for very long as it becomes monotonous and you’ll get sick of doing it!
However to begin with I used an app I’m sure you’ve all heard of called ‘My Fitness Pal’ as this allows you to log everything you have eaten within the day. I was shocked to see how many calories I was eating without even knowing it so I would recommend doing this, even for a few days to see how many calories you are actually consuming so you know how much you may need to cut down.
Aim for around 1500 calories a day
If you’re looking to lose weight and aren’t doing any exercise I would recommend aiming to eat around 1500 calories each day. If you go over this by a few calories don’t worry, a few extra won’t hurt you and once you have logged everything onto ‘My Fitness Pal’ for a few days you’ll know roughly how many calories are in different foods and you won’t have to keep logging it every day unless it is something you enjoy doing.
Make healthy swaps
Most people will take a sandwich to work for their lunch, along with crisps and a chocolate bar and maybe even some more bits thrown into their lunch box just in case they get hungry throughout the afternoon. You don’t realise how much the calories in all these add up and soon you’re eating at least half your recommended daily calorie intake at lunch time!
My advice would be to swap a sandwich for something like a ‘Sandwich thin’ which most brands and supermarkets sell in different varieties ‘white, brown, seeded’ etc. as these come in at around 100 calories per thin which is sometimes less calories than one slice of white bread!
Obviously this won’t fill you up on it’s own, swap your usual packet of Walkers for lower calorie crisps such as Quavers, French Fries or Walkers Baked, single packs of Snack a Jacks are also a good option.
Then fill your lunchbox with lots of fruit, and maybe even some veggie sticks if you like them. I would often take carrot sticks as I can’t stand cucumber or celery and then take an apple and a fruit salad of whatever we had in the house that particular day – melon, grapes, pineapple, kiwi or mango.
Other healthy swaps you could make are using skimmed milk or even semi-skimmed instead of whole milk, ensuring the yogurts you buy are ‘low fat’ and using margarine instead of butter! White bread is also full of calories and not actually that good for you so try swapping your usual loaf to a wholemeal loaf, it may not taste as nice but it’ll help you drop those pounds!
Don’t deny yourself anything!
I found that if I told myself I couldn’t have any chocolate, I would spend ALL DAY craving chocolate, so I came up with a great alternative for this! Whether your weakness is chocolate, sweets or crisps find a ‘snack size’ or ‘fun size’ version of whatever you love and let yourself have one a day at the time you would most likely get the craving.
For me I love a good chocolate bar or something sweet after my tea, so I buy a number of different chocolate bars which come in at around 100 calories and keep them in a treat box in the kitchen so that when I’m watching TV or writing a blog post in an evening I can still have a little something.
If it’s sweets you love you’ll find tiny packets of Skittles, Drumstick Squashies and Haribos, if it’s chocolate you’ll find mini Malteasers, Mars, Chocolate Buttons, Milky Ways etc. and other delightful things in the confectionery aisle of most supermarkets.
Use social media to search for recipe ideas
I’ve never joined a ‘Slimming World’ or ‘Weight Watchers’ class purely because of the cost, but these groups are huge on social media these days, especially Instagram, and people who follow their diets are often posting recipe ideas or meal pictures which you can take inspiration from!
I used to follow a lot of Slimming World members on Instagram just to get an idea of what I should be eating, I found out how to cook chips that you are allowed to eat on these types of diets and are actually nice (see here), and found loads of great ideas for simple recipes! The Slimming World website has loads of amazing recipes and you don’t have to be a paying member to view them!
My favourite recipe is ‘Overnight Oats’ which is simply porridge oats (40g) that you can mix with any flavour low fat yogurt (usually Muller light) and then you can add whatever fruit you like. I love doing this with the Orange flavour yogurts and then having a couple of satsumas and a banana after it to keep me going all morning!
Plan and prepare your meals
In my previous job I would work different hours everyday so planning meals was a necessity! I would make sure I planned what I was going to eat everyday before I went food shopping and then decide when I was going to prepare the meals as some evenings I wouldn’t get home until 10pm!
If you’re doing ‘Overnight Oats’ you can do a couple of days at a time and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to eat them so that if you are on an early morning shift, your breakfast is prepared and you can grab it on the way out the door and eat when you get to work if you’re running late.
If I was on a shift where I didn’t start until the afternoon I would spend some of my morning cooking healthy meals for the next few days dinner/tea such as pasta bolognese as this is such a simple dish but healthy and can be kept and reheated whenever you’re ready to eat it.
Ensuring you plan and prepare your meals is crucial for success with weight loss! If you get out of work late and you don’t have a clue what to have for tea it is so easy now to stop off at your local takeaway and pick up something to eat, having meals already cooked that you just have to reheat when you get home stops you being tempted to do this!
I don’t recommend the Weight Watcher ready meals for everyday as they aren’t the most filling in the world but they are great to keep a few in the freezer so that if you don’t have a meal planned you can have one of these instead of being tempted by a takeaway!
Plan a cheat day
As I said earlier if you deny yourself something you love unless you have amazing will power you are likely to fail! No matter what your favourite food/takeaway is I would suggest always planning a cheat day or even cheat meal where you can eat your favourite things and not feel guilty!
One cheat meal a week is what most people stick to, however if you’ve got great will power and want to do one every other week then do that, just choose what works for you and stick to it!
Don’t forget exercise = more calories
If you’re planning on incorporating exercise into your daily routine then please remember to up your calorie intake slightly! If you’re burning hundreds of calories and you aren’t eating enough you will find yourself feeling tired and sluggish all of the time!
You should still be eating healthy foods, just because you’ve done half hour on the cross trainer doesn’t mean you should reward yourself with a huge pizza! But after a workout you should be feeling more energised not tired because you’ve burnt off more calories than you’ve consumed all day.
If you’re not eating enough your body will just cling onto the fat stores you already have so you will be hindering yourself as you won’t lose any weight!
Results won’t come overnight
Please remember that you won’t see results overnight or even within a few weeks sometimes! Just stick to what you’re doing and it will pay off eventually! Also if you get on the scales and see you haven’t lost much weight don’t feel too disheartened, I didn’t see results on the scales for a while but you will be able to tell what you’re doing is working just by the way your clothes are fitting and simple things like that! So don’t rely on the number on the scales!!
This post seems so long so if you’re still here thank you for taking your time to read this!
I hope some of my tips help you, if you need any more advice please leave me a comment or send me a message on twitter I’m just ‘FairytalesJessx’
Until next time my lovelies,