#Disclaimer ~ All views are my own, this is written using my own experiences and is based on my own opinion. I am not medically trained nor am I in any way a trained dietitian. I understand that this topic is a sensitive one to many people which is why I will not specify my weight by numbers nor will I put a number for my clothes size. Everyone’s body shape and size varies and what may seem tiny to someone might be large to others. My intention here is not to offend in anyway so please take it lightly and hopefully you find it useful in some way.
Right with that out of the way, the time has come. We are currently stuck in those final limbo days in between the post Christmas Day overindulgence and the ‘New Year New Me’ day that is January 1st. We are all pondering, shall we just eat everything that’s left in the cupboards before New Year then it’s out of the way? We can start a fresh. How many times have you heard yourself say “that’s it I’m going on a diet in the New Year”?! It’s said like some sort of punishment to yourself for being naughty. When really the word ‘diet’ is actually rather generic and stands for a way in which we chose to eat. Such as a ‘healthy diet’, a ‘vegan diet’ a ‘vegetarian diet’ and so on and perhaps shouldn’t be always be used to solely describe weight loss. So maybe, just maybe this year we could all be a little less hard on ourselves. Why not go into the New Year embracing who we are in general but also being open to the odd improvement and a few tweaks. Perhaps making drastic decisions to make drastic changes just isn’t the way forward, as these ideas are most often made on impulse, are extreme and so are then equally difficult to sustain long term.
Using myself as an example, I have generally stayed around the same size and weight my entire life only really fluctuating through pregnancy and holiday seasons and then it evens back out again gradually. I believe this to be down to two things~ balance and consistency. As boring and as simple as this may sound it’s true. There is no way I could of spent 30+ years on a ‘weight loss diet’ continually as I am such a foody, I enjoy cooking healthy meals for my family, I love the taste of healthy food and just like most people every occasion is celebrated around food. Of course I have days where I feel heavy or not completely satisfied with my ‘problem area’ but on the whole I’m in a place mentally where I am generally happy. This being said I believe that the only way to really live life not constantly jumping on the next diet bandwagon or trying out the next weight loss fad is to simply just stop! Your diet should be your way of life, should fit your lifestyle, it’s there to be enjoyed not be a torturous way of life, difficult to sustain, a nightmare to fit into your lifestyle and something you really don’t enjoy. I can’t imagine anyone in their final moments of life declaring they wished they districted their calorie intake more. Everyone is different but what works for me? Well for me, keeping at a steady weight and keeping in good general health, I have put down to a couple of points.
1). Vitamins Supplements
Many will argue that if you are eating a varied enough diet, rich in vitamins and minerals then supplements are not necessary. I’m also aware that when your body has consumed all the vitamins and minerals it needs for the day it will simply dispose of them naturally, so with that in mind I see no harm in taking a multi vitamin, an iron tablet and a cod liver oil tablet each morning. Unless you are going crazy and popping ridiculous amounts daily which would be dangerous, then they will only support your already healthy diet. If you are somebody who is vegetarian or vegan then supplements such as B12, vitamin D and iron would be somewhat beneficial due to the elimination of certain food groups. I take my vitamins every morning at breakfast along with my contraceptive pill so I don’t forget to take any of them.
2). Eating At the same times everyday
When I mentioned being consistent it’s because I believe the secret to maintaining a steady weight is to get yourself into a good pattern of eating at the same times each day. After doing this for decades I now only feel hungry at those times of the day. For me breakfast is always on awakening to kick start my metabolism and sits between 6am and 7am. Lunch is always between 12pm and 1pm and dinner between 5pm and 6pm. I am that set into a routine that I can pretty much tell what time of the day it is when I begin to feel peckish! In my opinion, say eating breakfast at 11am your body is for sure in starvation mode, then lunch if any would be around what 3/4pm? then the next day your up and eating breakfast at 7pm and so on, your metabolism would be all over the place! Burning one minute then going into fat storing mode for days, again to me this just wouldn’t work. A good routine of regular 3/4 meals a day at the same times of the day, consistently is what has help me keep on track.
3). I don’t snack in between meals
Many officials advise snacking in between meals but think of this another way for a moment. There is evidence to also support that by not snacking in between meals, by eating a heartier portion at each sitting and by actually allowing your body to go without ‘grazing’ for a few hours throughout the day can actually prevent you from gaining weight. I am not one who supports ‘fasting’ depriving your body is ridiculous, but I can see how by not constantly picking in between meals (even if a healthy choice) can give your body chance to burn off each meal first before welcoming another. Just eat a more sufficient meal each time and you may find you are able to go a couple of hours without feeling hungry.
4). I eat supper
I eat supper because I don’t snack in between meals. I don’t like to go to bed on a heavy stomach but I don’t like to go to bed hungry either. As I eat my dinner quite early I feel by the time 8pm comes round I am definitely feeling a bit peckish so I will have some toast or some cereal or a few biscuits. Not only does this up my calorie intake to my recommended amount but I believe it keeps my metabolism burning while I sleep. I have always gone against the big rule of ‘never eat past 7pm’ and it’s never really effected me negatively so long as my overall intake of calories, fat, carbohydrates and protein has been average throughout the day.
5). Make the right choices
Again this isn’t about going on a diet this is about making it a lifestyle, to select the best food you can to support a strong, healthy, working body. Choosing the wholemeal option over the white, adding a piece of fruit or two to your breakfast, bulking up your lunch with a side salad, filling your dinner plate with plenty of colour, seasonal veggies and a good portion of lean protein and carbs. Allow yourself a treat in the evening in front of the TV for all your healthy selections throughout the day. For me that’s usually toast and marmite or a few chocolate digestives, moderation is key and eventually will become second nature to you.
Have a good balance. If you are making the right choices throughout the day and keeping consistent with your regular meal times and keeping moderately active you are pretty much cracking the whole balance thing. But what do you do when you have a big night out full of food and alcohol and pudding over load? Just start the following day in a healthy way all over again but make slightly lighter choices to even out the over indulgence. This is where people think “well she/he is eating cake how does she/he stay so slim?” and the reason here is she/he doesn’t do it all the time and they probably just take it a bit more steady on the treat front the following day~ it’s all about finding the balance that suit you.
Everyone has heard this over again so I’m not going to preach too much about how beneficial it is keeping yourself hydrated. I start every single morning with a pint of water or diluted squash, mainly to take my vitamins but also I like to think of my system being flushed through of all the static toxins and nasties from while I lay sleeping and it automatically alerts me to the morning. Keep yourself topped up throughout the day by always leaving a pint glass filled up on the side if you are at home or if you are out and about take a reusable bottle with you to sip from. Often we can confuse thirst for hunger, so if you aren’t staying hydrated throughout the day you may feel hungry when really you just need a drink. Not to mention the energy drinking water gives you! Who needs these sugar, caffeine and calorie loaded energy drinks?! Just down a pint of water the health benefits are much greater and it’s much more natural.
8). Keep yourself active
I have never been into exercising I’ve never enjoyed it. I was always the least sporty in school, came last place in everything and would rather be seen sporting a cute pair of shoes rather than a pair of trainers. I’m not lazy by any sense of the word, I mean I have 3 children to run round for all day long and I walk to and from the school runs multiple times a day. But even I really want to keep up the work out routines I recently started and mainly for the overall general health benefits other than just keeping weight steady. Simply getting your steps in daily and using what you have to hand. You need to pop upstairs run up and down a few times first, fancy a brew? do some jump squats while you wait for the kettle to boil. Pop on a YouTube video of an exercise routine it’s free and accessible immediately. There are plenty of easy ways to get plenty of activity into our days that don’t include going to the gym or pounding the pavements in the freezing cold.
Hope you find even just one point useful in some way to you if you are in need of a fresh look at the whole ‘diet’ whohaa. And if you are completely happy with the way you are and have no desire to change yourself in anyway then go you! Keep on being your fabulous self and continue to sprinkle that positive body image around to everyone else who might need it. Shall we all try going into 2019 with a different approach and a different mindset? One of positive vibes, being kinder to ourselves and not being too hard on our appearance. At the end of the day, life is short and our diet should really only be a small percentage of what we concentrate on daily and if we stick to that, we will have a bigger percentage of time spare for actually living our best life!
Happy New Year!! I hope everyone has the most wonderful time and thank you so much for taking the time to read my last post of 2018 ✨