Every one of us that is losing weight has to look at the food we eat at some time or another. Whether it be as a meal plan, simply eating better and not undoing the hard work, removing sugar, carbs, protein, counting calories or having shakes or meals delivered.
Every one of us is experimenting with the food we eat to find the best solution for us, whether it be to be healthier or to lose weight, or for medical reasons such as high cholesterol or blood sugar.
My approach to begin with was a food diary, which helped me to open my eyes to when I was eating and what I was turning too when I didn't eat right. This helped me to realise I had to have three meals a day with two snacks. Otherwise I would end up at 3pm or 8pm searching the cupboards for that chocolate or cookie.
After doing the food diary for almost 4 months I thought I would give it a go by myself. It started well but it also happened around a time when, if I am honest, I just didn't have the energy, time or motivation to keep it up myself.
Then having enough of this I got into personal training. PT has changed my life. Not only do I enjoy exercising- who would have thought?? but it has put me back on track and now that I am noticing results and feeling good I feel I need to make better food choices to keep that work going.
Now this happened about a month ago, and going back to what I learnt from my food diary I have been trying to have three meals a day and two snacks. The problem is I would still crack and have that chocolate snack.
After looking over what I was eating again, I realised a) that it wasn't good enough, I need to be healthier and b) I was eating a lot of protein but not very much healthy carbs.
I realised that it could be that I wasn't eating enough of the right carbs that I was then cracking and going for the highly processed sugary carbs in chocolate or lollies.
So this is my diet revised:
Breakfast : Healthy Cereal (Heart tick approved, min fat and sugar) with Rice Milk.
Lunch: Usually leftovers or a ham and salad roll/sandwich.
Snacks: Fruit, muesli bars or cup a soups.
Drinks: Water, coffee
Treats: Very occasionally now I will let myself have a piece of chocolate. Simply because if I cut it out all together then I will simply crave it more. However it is only one or two pieces. And not every day like I used too!
Since making the changes I have been really surprised! I know I shouldn't be, but I am. I have stopped getting the cravings in the afternoon, and by having something savoury instead I am slowly training my body out of the "it's 3pm I need a sweet" mindset . Not only that but I don't even need as many snacks or as big a portions as what I used too.
I think this was something that was happening before, but because of my meal choices I wasn't giving my body the choice to eat or not. Now I am slowly getting into the frame of mind that I eat when I am hungry, not because I can, or because I am bored, or angry or upset or because it is just there in front of me.
So my goals for my diet include three steps:
Step 1: Get used to eating these meals and eventually replace unhealthy dinner meals with better choices. ( This is hard one, as I still eat with my family, who are not on a diet, but if I slowly introduce healthy versions I am hoping to convince them to eat healthier as well)
Step 2: Decrease the amount of sugar in my diet. This is not because I think I eat a lot of sugar, but once I am happy with my eating habits, and feel the need to go that step further and really cut out sugar. I know this will be hard as it is in so much foods! And will ultimately change how I think and prepare meals.
Step 3: This I think will happen hand in hand with Step 2, I would like to go as organic as possible and prepare as much as possible myself. At the moment this is pretty difficult as a) I don't have a lot of time and b) I need to learn how to cook/prepare the foods that I eat regularly.
The first one that I would like to change is bread. We have a bread machine at home, I just need to learn how to use it and start to make it a habit.
Yesterday was the first day that I not only wore tight clothing to training, so not my usual baggy t-shirt over the top to cover up my stomach, but I also managed to jog 800 meters, and I wasn't even too out of breath.
The t- shirt thing means that I am slowly becoming happy with how I look. The 800 metres means I am becoming fitter (sure 800 metres isn't much, but for someone who doesn't run AT ALL- that's a lot).
I do not want to ruin all that hard work by my food choices. Not when I have come so far!