How to lose weight and keep it off
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Over the last few months of last year, I had not been feeling my old self. I was unhappy and couldn’t put a finger on why that was. I mean I had so many things to be happy about but just didn’t feel the joy and excitement I used to feel. And it was noticeable to the people around me.
I decided to make a change. I needed it badly. I wanted to feel my old self again but I didn’t know how to get there.
One of my friends recommended listening to positive podcasts so I did with the hope that it would bring my sparkle back. It was a good start. I felt overwhelmed and frustrated at work most of the time and listening to positive people on my way in seemed to help me manage that better.
One day, I looked in the mirror and saw how much damage the constant stress and poor nutrition has done to my body. And it wasn’t due to the lack of knowledge about what’s good for me! Somewhere along the line I simply stopped prioritising myself. I put my work first and crumbled under the pressure, the negativity around me. I started stress eating and put on 25kg in one year alone! I was constantly ill, my energy levels were low, my skin was grey and I was losing a lot of hair.
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I smiled but I didn’t feel happy. I wanted to be healthy again. I wanted to be the athlete I used to be but I lacked energy to get started. My back problems were preventing me from going to the gym or at least that was what I told myself.
Anyone can relate to this?
I had tried counting calories and measuring all my food and I had some success with it but it was not sustainable. I mean with a busy schedule, weighing everything you eat is not always possible. And I didn’t want to be doing it for the rest of my life. Plus, even with the help of MyfitnessPal (which, by the way, is a great app), I found it hard to provide my body with all the macro and micro nutrients it needs. My energy levels have slightly increased but the stress at work got to me and I counting calories was only causing me more stress and that had a negative impact on me. My immune system was compromised. My whole body was compromised. I needed help.
I knew an old friend of mine had been a part of a programme which helped her not only lose weight but also look after herself better so I contacted her and joined the programme. I was sceptical about it to begin with but I had nothing to lose. I am really glad I did.
I started making simple changes, one at a time and the results outgrew my expectations!
How to lead a healthy life? How to lose weight and keep it off?
1. Eat breakfast. Everyday.
Being a busy working mum, I rarely had time for breakfast. Even though I knew how important it was to start your day right, I simply didn’t have time to eat anything at home. I know, I know.. things like porridge are fast to make and consume… but I struggled to do even that! I would make myself breakfast but then leave it on the table because I would run out of time to eat it. Getting up earlier didn’t work either as my daughter has some sort of sensor I bet, and she always wakes up when I’m up.
To break the bad habits, I introduced Complete Shakes by Juice Plus+ which are plant based and full of nutrients to kick start my day the right way. They were much easier to drink on the way to work or at my desk. Finally I found something I could manage! Having breakfast meant also that I wasn’t starving by lunchtime and this meant I started making better food choices during my lunch break. I started naturally craving more vegetables and fruits. I didn’t have to restrain or stop myself from eating rubbish food. I simply stopped craving it. I don’t work well with restrictive diets. Restricting things only makes me want it more! With the programme I was not restricted! I simply stopped craving the “bad” stuff.
2. Have a clear plan set, a realistic goal.
It can be very overwhelming to start a health improvement journey, especially if you’d tried and failed before. This is why it’s important to know not only where you want to go, but more importantly, break it down into small, achievable goals. At the start I wanted to lose 25kg that I’d gained in 2017 but that number really scared me and I didn’t trully believe I could get there.
So I started small. If I focused on the final number alone, I would get frustrated because I like to see results and fast. But this is a journey. Much like driving in the fog. You know where you want to go, but you don’t see the whole of the way. But you can keep on going as long as you focus on what’s in front of you instead of worrying about what’s in the fog. I focused on the simple things and the results came quicker than I expected.
3. Eat slowly and often
One of the hardest things to do when you’re a busy working parent is to eat slowly. I mean, there is always so much to do! how can you just sit there and munch!… but we should. Digestive process starts in the mouth. The enzymes in our saliva help break down some starches, neutralise certain acids and help with hydration.
We feel more satisfied when we savour the flavours and textures, which helps us feel better and allows time for our body to register what we eat. It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to produce hormones that inform our brain that we are full. Most of our meals don’t even last that long these days! So when eating fast, we tend to consume more than what we need.
So eating slower helps us eat less, which is great if we’re trying to lose or maintain weight. Smaller but more frequent meals not only prevent overeating in the evening but also help avoid problems with digestions and keep our energy levels stable throughout the day.
I’ve included Complete Shakes by Juice Plus+ in my morning routine and no longer skip breakfast. My body is nourished which then helps me make better choices at lunchtime and in the evening.
4. Eat a variety of vegetables with every meal.
But I eat vegetables! I thought. I mean, I did. Just not enough. We all know how important it is to eat veggies and fruit but do we honestly eat enough variety? Every. Single. day?
I realised that despite my best intentions I was not always able to fit a wide variety of veggies into my daily meals and even though I included them, there was simply not enough of them. I was really trying hard and stressing over it to make sure my 4 year-old gets all the vitamins she needs.
They are plant based, gluten free, no GMO, artificial sweeteners or colourants. I would never be able to get my daughter to eat over 25 different fruits, vegetables and berries daily and with this variety included in the capsules for me and chewable version for my daughter, I was no longer stressing over it.
Don’t get me wrong, I still aim to include a range of different colourful veggies, I simply don’t stress and sweat over it as I used to, knowing that we get all the vitamins from the capsules.
5. Stop drinking calories.
One of the biggest obstacles in weight loss is the sugary drinks intake. I didn’t use to like drinking plain water and I felt I needed something more to keep me going. I use to drink coffee by the litres but of course I didn’t like it bitter so I would add sugar or sweetener every time. But this is a big one. Flavoured water, energy drinks, sodas, coffee, they all contain a lot of empty calories which we overlook. If, like me you struggle to cut back on the sodas or don’t enjoy plain water yet, why not reach for green or herbal tea, kambucha (made from fermented tea and live cultures, which is good for your gut) or make your own sugar-free flavour infused water!
6. Get enough sleep
Simple as it is, we tend to underestimate the importance of sleep in our life. We all know that our bodies need to rest to be able to function normally, but sleep has also dramatic impact on your weight management. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation leads to imbalance of “hunger hormones” leptin and ghrelin. These two hormones are responsible for our appetite and how satisfied we are after eating. So people who don’t get enough rest struggle with managing and maintaining weight more than people who sleep enough, even when they follow the same diet.
Lack of sleep leads to stress and that makes it more difficult to control your appetite and make healthy food choices. That’s why we often hear about people stress eating, and I definitely experienced this myself too. Additionally, when we are sleep deprived our energy levels are lower and so is our
willingness to spend time preparing our food, so we tend to turn to less healthy food options like take aways or ready meals, which, let’s face it, are how we got to the unhealthy lifestyle in the first place. So start looking after your body by giving it the rest it needs.
7. Fit it with your life, not the other way round
One of number one reasons that people struggle with weightloss is that diets are only temporary, some of them are really difficult to follow and take up a lot of time in meal preparation. We are busy people after all. I have done calorie counting and weighing my food and I felt like a slave to meal prep. I was constantly hungry but restrained my eating to fit the diet. I was miserable. My self-confidence was low already and denying myself things I like only made me feel worse. So don’t let the diet control your life. Make a lifestyle change rather than look for a temporary fix.
My journey has began. I’ve made a lot of progress and I will continue to do so because I know these steps work. If you need more motivation or support on your health journey, join my free Facebook group Roar! Healthy Motivation, community of people who want to live their best lives and unleash their inner ROAR!
Recap: How to start living a healthy life? How to Lose weight and keep it off?
1. Eat Breakfast. Everyday.
2. Clear plan, realistic goal..
3. Eat slowly and often
4. Eat a variety of vegetables and fruits with every meal.
5. Stop drinking calories.
6. Get enough sleep.
7. Fit it with your life.
I’m so excited about my own journey so far and I hope that me sharing with you how I started will inspire you so that you too can lose weight and keep it off and just live a happy and healthy life. I’m not making any medical claims or promising the world. The products I discussed, I’ve used in conjunction with the programme which covers other changes to my lifestyle. If you would like to join or learn more about the programme I’ve followed, drop me a message or join my Free Facebook group.
Remember that you are the most important person you need to look after, In order to be able to look after others. Put yourself at the top of your to-do list every day and everything else will fall into place.
I’m a working mum, a chocolate lover and a stubborn wife who is finding ways to live a more fulfilling life.