The photo of me on the left is Christmas Day 2018 and the photo of me on the right is 20 weeks on and 20lbs lighter in weight. I am still very much the same chick as I was then; but I do feel healthier, happier and I have a lot more energy. If I am truly honest I hadn’t notice the weight gain – hubby and I love our food and still do but I was not loving exercise. After battling through my first 7lbs of weight loss, lifestyle changes have become much easier and habits have definitely changed. It takes about three weeks to really change a habit, and that is with daily management to change a cycle – you have to have the right mindset and want to change to be able to focus on doing so.
The photo of me on the left was my first realisation that something had to change, and then it took about 3-4 weeks to kick start my new changes as it’s simply unrealistic to think it will happen overnight – I have lost a pound a week over 20 weeks, but not been every week! Some weeks I have gained and some I have lost, but consistency has paid off and I’m on the right road now to finish the end game – which I am more than determined to achieve.
START WITH THE FIRST 7LBS
After my first seven (tough) weeks, I wrote about the key steps I had to change to get this weight loss going – so if you’ve not had a chance to take a look at that post, then please do. I talk through getting a support team, which I am still very reliant on today to keep me motivated. Staying hydrated, which plays a huge factor in weight loss, slip a couple of days behind on this and I certainly now notice it – I also think this has improved the condition of both my hair and skin too. I also mention about increasing your protein and I feel this has played a huge part in my total weight loss and is one of the biggest changes I have made.
PROTEIN – WHY INCREASE IT?
I wake up at 5.30am most mornings and head to bed by 10.30pm latest – so I personally live a 17 hour day every day. That requires a lot of energy and I found prior to changing my habits, I was constantly hungry. I would eat a snack like a croissant with my mid-morning coffee and that would not keep me full till lunchtime. Or I would try to be ‘healthy’ and eat an apple, and after about ten minutes I would be looking for food again.
It was explained to me by my Personal Trainer Jo, to imagine my daily energy as a fire; if I have carbs as my snacks it would get the flames high for a while but the fire will not stay burning all day, and if I eat protein then the flames are not high but my fire will burn all day nicely – and I visualise this some times to help me make the right decisions, especially when that croissant is tempting me!!
By making sure I eat regularly throughout the day and keeping my light meals and snacks protein high – I have not felt hungry. And now when I do feel hungry it’s because I have not drank enough – see the body is actually very clever in telling you what you need, I just wasn’t listening. In tune with my own needs and my own routine has been key to the success of my weight loss.
HOW I ADD PROTEIN DAILY
The question I am now being asked daily and why I decided to write this blogpost on it. It seems when people notice my weight loss they haven’t really asked what exercise I am doing (but I am and that’s been an important factor too!). I get asked what am I eating. My initial response to this is “I eat whatever I like – BUT…” and they are; I keep to my calories assigned to me for that day, plus I make sure I eat healthily with much consideration for the protein I am taking in.
So here are some examples of what I include in my daily diet – not everyday, as it’s good to mix things up!
As a snack – Now when I eat an apple I cut it into slices and spread on peanut butter – 20g max with a medium size apple. What’s really important when selecting your peanut butter (smooth or crunchy) is that it’s made from 100% nuts. Strangely even the premium brands add more oil and sugar and you don’t need this. I highly recommend this Tesco’s own brand version.
Peanut butter is good for you – but a maximum 20g per day is sufficient.
Either as a snack or part of a light meal – Eggs are full of protein and I used to have one hard boiled egg as a mid-morning snack, but quite often felt hungry soon after. I was encouraged to eat two hard boiled eggs as the calories combined where the equivalent to my snack calorie allocation, and it’s worked. I now don’t feel hungry. Top Tip: Put clingfilm around your hard boiled egg and crack it within that, it keeps it all tidy plus it allows me to carry eggs in my bag should I be out and about, helping me with having my snacks on me and not reliant on trying to find any on the go.
I often also have two eggs scrambled on toast as a lunch option if I don’t fancy a sandwich or salad.
As a snack – This is such an easy one to take to the office! I never buy (or make) a large tub of houmous – buy them in the correct portion size, then you cannot be tempted to over eat. Delicious with carrots or my other favourite is sugar snap peas.
As part of your lunch – whether you choose to have a sandwich or have it as toast with something on, make your bread protein rich. I can highly recommend these bagels as an option.
As a snack or part of your lunch – we all at times want a treat and I am very much a savoury person and can easily consume crisp after crisp after crisp. I have swapped my Walkers for these and they are keeping me very happy. I do not have this every day, I actually have a small bag of popcorn with my office lunch. But as a treat at the weekends, this is very much my go to! Top Tip: do not eat straight out the bag (you’ll end up eating the whole lot!) weigh out a 90 calorie portion in a small bowl and put the bag away. This way you have your treat and you do not over eat.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF
If like me weight loss is essential – my biggest tip is to be kind to yourself. Now that doesn’t mean feel free to eat what you like on any given day, because if you let habits slip then consistency and change will not happen. But if you get through the day meeting your goals congratulate yourself. Tell others you have done it (I’m always saying to my hubby…. I’ve managed to not consume XYZ today – and he praises me too). If you do have a bad day, put it behind you and stop talking about it, get on with your new fresh day and make that a better more successful day.
I treat myself once a week – it’s my treat and it’s the only treat I give myself. Trying to be perfect won’t get you far, but being fair to yourself will.
It’s now 4th February 2020 and it’s one year on since I started my weight loss journey. I lost 2 ½ stone in nine months and for the remaining months in 2019 I maintained it by sticking to my daily habits that I had changed as part of my weight loss journey.