So here is roughly what I have learnt about eating from my weight loss journey. I have also included roughly what I am eating at the moment.
I felt like after reading some other blogs, that a lot of the eating plans that they are on are too complicated, or they are taking short cuts. Not that I am perfect, this week I have had cookies and chocolate! But the thing is, I know they are bad for me. What I worry about reading some of the other eating plans is that the people that are creating them/following them do not realise this might be sabotaging them.
So back to all the things I have learnt.
Do NOT eat white bread. Even though it is delicious, it is way full of sugar. Lucky for me I prefer wholemeal with seeds anyways. But there are days when I love a freshly baked loaf of white bread to go with my soup.
Yoghurt. Everyone thinks this is great. Me, I have never been such a fan. The thing is you have to be pretty particular about what brands you use and keep an eye out for the hidden fats and sugars. That and your portion sizes. It's very easy to eat more yoghurt than you mean to. This is where I find buying it in the small tubs is a lot easier than trying to measure it out myself.
Added sugars, salts. Adding any sugar or salt is a bad thing. Not necessarily the worst thing, because chances are the majority of sugar and salt that you consume is already in the food you eat. Bread, sauces, cakes, pastries etc. As a rule of thumb I do not add any salt or sugar to my food. I hear chef's and good cooks saying I am nuts, but hey it tastes just as good. This of course does not apply to sweets. Yet.
Lite. No fat. No sugar. All these labels you see on foods, and anyone on a diet immediately goes and grabs thinking that the product has done the hard work for them. Personally I have read far too many articles on how many additional ingredients there are in those foods and who knows what they can/will do to you. I would much rather have a small portion with proper ingredients that I understand then try to work out which preservative means what and how that is going to affect my body.
Sauces. This is a big one. I love my sauces, mayonnaise, butter, easy to add curry sauce, spaghetti sauce etc. I am in the phase at the moment where I am trying to reduce the number of store bought sauces and trying to learn how to create my own. It's hard going, but slowly it is happening. The reason is for the same as I have said above, all those additions: sugar, salt, preservatives etc
Fruit. I love fruit in summer. I struggle to eat fruit in winter. That does not mean I should substitute juice or a pill for it. It does mean I try to make myself eat one piece of fruit in winter, and I eat more in summer. I also try to make sure I do not eat too much fruit, as it does have natural sugar as well and I feel it is better to err on the side of caution.
Drinks. At the moment I am not drinking alcohol. So right now I drink coffee (no sugar), water and tonic water and lemon/lime when I need a change. That is not say that sometimes I crack and have a hot chocolate/milo or a soda. But I try to avoid it as much as possible and use it as a treat.
Fast foods. Lollies and all those yummy things. I eat lollies, I eat chocolate and occasionally I eat fast food. Not that I am supposed to. I actually don't buy cookies, pastries or sweets that often. So right now I am trying to make my own sweets, with ingredients that I know and trust to substitute the store bought ones. It's had mixed results. My chocolate craving is the worst. I have found though that chocolate almonds seem to be a good alternative to just eating a block of chocolate. I find that I savour it more and don't just mindlessly eat until it's all gone.
SO back to what I do eat. Now I have said that I shouldn't eat all of the above, but I do. I just try to eat it in moderation and slowly move away from it to a more organic and healthy way of eating.
Morning: two pieces of toast with two boiled eggs and a coffee.
No butter, salt, pepper. Nada. Just as it is. This used to turn me off, but now I am used to it. I love protein as it actually fills me up, for me eating cereal or fruit for breakfast means I am still hungry twenty minutes later. I usually boil up the eggs at the beginning of the week to save time during the week.
Morning snack: Fruit.
Lunch: Left overs, or chicken and salad.
No dressings. I always make sure I eat about a cup of salad/vegetables for lunch.
Afternoon snack: Sometimes a yoghurt, sometimes a packet of soup, chocolate, cookie or just another cuppa.
I am searching for a good alternative right now for an afternoon snack as this is when I crack the most.
Dinner: Whatever I feel like. I always include vegetables with my dinner and am usually pretty good. Probably as this is the one meal that I have the most time to prepare and cook things properly, as opposed to using a microwave at work.
I don't snack after dinner. I used to, actually quite a bit in my uni days, but I have gradually cut back until I rarely have dessert. Only if I go out for example.
Drinks: So water all day, usually about 2 litres and lately tonic water and lemon with dinner.
And that's it. Not hard, not extra pills, vitamins,extra's etc. Eventually I want to be able to say that I cook and prepare most things myself. I doubt I will ever be able to cook all my bread and pasta etc but things like sauces and treats I would like to do it myself. Everything else I would like to keep as close to it's organic form as possible.
The reasoning behind my thinking is that I want to have something sustainable and healthy. Not something I am going to struggle for the rest of my life to stick to, or to not know what's in it and find out it's secretly killing me. Extreme I know. But hey you never know. I have also planned it to fit in with my work schedule, preparing extras at dinner for the lunch the next day, baking and boiling the eggs the weekend before etc I know that this might not work for everyone as they have a different routine, or might not like cooking etc.
So tell me about your plan/diet. Is it hard? simple? Does it make you think about how you're getting your daily requirements? Nutrients? Does it make you feel satisified, healthy? How does it fit in with your work/social life?