Unfortunately, the time has passed when “but it is Christmas!” could be used as a valid excuse for stuffing five pigs in blankets and half a tin of Quality Street in your face and we are now entering those dire months where everyone is on a ‘juice cleanse’ or ‘detoxing’. Please just drink your beetroot and kale smoothies and be sad, I don’t want to hear it, you’ll be stuffing a McChicken Sandwich meal in your face by Friday.
Still, for everyone who has been gluttonous over the festive period and has now discovered that there is a little less room in your jeans for movement, breathing, etc… I have a few words of potentially helpful advice. This is not a link to some life-changing diet that will see you shed five stone in a week but instead a few tips that I have picked up from living a life with a scarily small amount of self-control, a massive sweet tooth and a deep hatred for not enjoying my meals.
- Watch the hidden calories in your drinks! – It is pretty obvious that if you are tucking in to an Oreo milkshake or a Mocha Frappe you will be wasting (matter of opinion, I know) nearly half of your daily calorie allowance on a beverage. But shockingly, a flute of champagne has nearly 100 calories, a medium latte in Costa has 128 calories, and a grande Starbucks apple juice has 250 calories (what?! I thought fruit was healthy!). It isn’t just the milky, sugary drinks to be aware of, so where possible stick to low-cal drinks like low-sugar cordials or black tea (heck a tea with milk won’t kill you). In an ideal world, water is best.2. Keep an eye on your nutrition – lowering your calorie intake does not mean cutting out on important vitamins and minerals. You need to stay healthy, so make sure you are still getting what you need to survive! It is even suggested that Vitamin D and Omega-3 Fatty Acids could aid fat loss. Just another reason to make sure you are getting your recommended daily fix! If, like me, you are a bit of a salad-phobe and the sight of veg makes you tremble (more of a wobble right now, let’s be honest), try hiding fruit and veg in your diet to ensure you still get the good bits you need! Some tricks I like to try to keep vitamins and minerals in my life, are to hide vegetables in my mash potato, drink 100% fruit smoothies and blend bananas with skimmed milk and ice to make yummy (and healthier) milkshakes!3. Do not start a fad diet – why, why, why?? You may see the pounds drop off quickly but guess what, in a few weeks/months, probably when you realise you cannot live on a diet of blended cabbage leaves; they will pile back on. Find something that works for you on a more long-term basis and isn’t so strict that you can’t leave the house or live a normal life! 4. Do not base your success on what the scales say – this is so easy to do, especially when you set weight-loss related goals! What is more important however, is the way you feel in your body. Maybe set a goal related to how you feel, rather than how much you weigh. I tend to weigh myself at the start of my weight loss journey (as I normally step back from the scales aghast, ‘do Terry’s Chocolate Oranges really make you gain weight?’ Shock horror!) this then gives me a push to be more conscious of what I am putting into my body; but I won’t make a point of regularly weighing myself. You will find that your weight will go up and down all the time, there will also be times where you just maintain a weight, which if you are in the habit of religiously monitoring, will be extremely frustrating.5. Download ‘My Fitness Pal’ – this fantastic app is an easy way to keep a diary of your calorie intake and even better, you can see what calories you burn when you exercise, meaning you can earn yourself treats (hello KitKat Chunky!). The treats you deserve once you’ve worked out are easily calculated in the app, in a non-biased way. So comments that may have once entered my brain previously such as ‘I have run for 10 minutes, I deserve a pack of Custard Creams’ or ‘I climbed one flight of stairs, get me to Kripsy Kremes’ are immediately proven to be untrue. There’s a huge amount of saved meals and food choices on there so you don’t have to fiddle around with packaging to search for nutritional information, similarly if you eat out most large food establishments have their meals loaded on there. A perk I personally love, is the fact that you can set your goal and the app works out your calorie intake for the day, taking all the guess work out of weight loss. The daily reminder to load your food and exercise for the day is enough for me to stay on target and it’s free, so get downloading!
If you listen to my advice or not, just remember to stay healthy and to enjoy life! Do not spend your time on earth calorie counting, stepping on and off scales and moaning about your ‘super-food’ salad; it simply is too short!