I posted this photograph on Instagram the other evening. And it wasn’t just a selfie (I know I tend to take a few…). It was a realisation. I am still very insecure despite my weight loss and I will regularly ask Mark if I look okay. Of course I want him to find me attractive – I’m human. And I tend to fret a lot. And when I asked him last night he replied: “I just want you to be healthy. And you are.”
And it made me think – that’s really what this is about.
Weight loss has been a very empowering thing for me. I feel much more confident and in control of myself. And I do like looking in the mirror and feeling ‘okay’ (even if that’s not all the time) and I shock myself when I look back at photos of me a year ago (cheers Timehop).
A lot of people have asked me if I have followed a certain diet. And the answer is no – not really. For me it wasn’t about restriction, it was about education.
It took me a while, but I learnt that I was just not eating well at all. I was getting lots of good things, but they weren’t having the impact they should as I was getting lots of bad things too. And I was lying to myself.
Diets don’t tend to work fantastically well for me – I have tried so many and I just wanted weight loss NOW. But I never really learnt about what I put in my mouth. Ever. I just rushed through and then gave up. You could have dietary analysis in order to know your daily dietary intake and the nutritional value of the types of food that you typically consume. Or you try and get your head around it yourself, like I did.
Main food groups
There are main food groups that you should have in your diet. These include: fruits and vegetables, starchy foods, protein, dairy, and a small amount of sugar and fat. This doesn’t mean that you have to eat the same thing daily, it just means that you need to have the right amount of nutrients and vitamins from the different food groups.
When it comes to food and your health, portion control is one way to be healthy and keep extra calories away. This is important, especially when you tend to out at restaurants where portions can get way out of control. Always check serving sizes. You can split a dish with your friend, and make sure to avoid “supersizing” your meals. Check food labels for nutritional value as well. I also use smaller bowls, and make sure, where I can that, half of my plate is filled with veg.
Fresh fruits and vegetables
Fresh fruits and vegetables are good sources of minerals and vitamins. It is advisable to eat at least five portions of fruits and vegetables daily. Reaching five portions a day is not difficult if you know how to substitute. Instead of having a sweet snack, try snacking on an apple (this and peanut butter – savior). Slice a banana and add it to your cereals – overnight oats or porridge are awesome with ‘nana. Add some fresh strawberries to a serving of yogurt. Snack on cucumber and carrot sticks. If you add variety and can be creative when eating your fruits and vegetables, you are sure to reach your minimum of five servings daily. I do it easily now and I’m kind of ashamed that I never used to.
Proteins that you can get from meat is important for brain and muscle development – I’ve been getting into Joe Rogan’s podcasts recently and one of his guests was Dr. Rhonda Patrick (podcast for that here). This lady is amazing and she talks so much sense about health and diet and I love her. She can tell you all you need to know about food, but protein is massive. You can get your protein from fish, chicken, beef, and pork. However, remove the skin and don’t consume the visible fat, especially on certain cuts of pork. This reduces the amount of cholesterol and fat that you consume, which makes sense no?
The naughty stuff
Some foods are not included in the five main food groups that you should have for a well-balanced diet. These include ice cream, chocolates, fried foods, butter, potato chips, and WINE. Yes, okay, they aren’t good for you, but some of the best things in life never are. I have them mainly at the weekends. My only vice really is chocolate, sweet treats and a glass of something alcoholic at the weekend.
I never deprive myself of anything because life is here to enjoy but I am sensible about what I eat. If I know I’m having a naughty meal at night (I’m looking at you tonight’s pizza, popcorn and gin) then I’ll be good during the day. It’s not even hard. I have cut out oil and I use FryLight because food tastes better with it to be honest! I cook from scratch where I can as I know what I’m eating. And three words – Slimming World Chips.
These are some of the things that I’ve paid attention to. And I really want you to know that, if I can do it, you can do it.
If you start now, Imagine where you’ll be by Christmas? Today is as good as any other day.