By guest author Chris Spann“How do I eat healthy and lose weight?”
This question is probably the first one that comes to mind when we think about being healthy or changing our diet. If you’ve been following the Healthy Eating on a Budget Challenge then you probably noticed that we haven’t really talked about weight loss. Today I want to present to you a real life success story who agreed to share his weight loss tips and tricks with you.
Chris lost over 100 lbs by following a healthy and simple nutrition plan. Let’s see how he did it.
2011 was the year I decided to change my life.
At the start of the year I wasn’t in the best place: I was obese, I was unhappy, I smoked, I didn’t sleep much… I was a mess, basically.
I realized in March that I needed to do something if I wanted to avoid a life of misery at best and an early grave at worst, and thanks to Anastasiya I’m going to share my story with you.
In this first post, I’m going to talk about my diet, and I hope to encourage anyone reading this that wants to lose some weight to go for it!
I lost over a hundred pounds last year, and I have kept it off for three months now.
The secret to losing 7 stone in six months
“It just surprises me the things I can do now. The other day I ran across a supermarket car park for a trolley without even thinking about it, whereas before just going up a set of stairs would have made me breathless.”
What’s my secret? Well, there isn’t one. I’ve just eaten the right stuff for a prolonged period of time – it’s that simple. Yes, there are diets out there that claim to burn ten pounds of fat in a week, but quite often these work by seriously denying your body the things it needs – so as soon as you start eating normally again, the weight returns.
What I did was cut down and simplify my diet. I cut out nearly all dairy (apart from a small amount of cheese in order to load my body up with calcium), banished sweets, cakes and crisps, and made an effort to eat as much fresh fruit, veg and lean meat as possible – and let me tell you, it worked.
In my first week on the diet I lost 5lbs, and I continued to lose quickly – in fact, I lost all 100 pounds (104lbs as of this morning) in around six months. Now, this wasn’t all just diet, I grant you: I also did a huge amount of exercise (which I’m going to talk about next time), but eating this way really changed my life.
In fact, I don’t really like calling what I did a diet: It’s more of a life change. I genuinely look forward to my jacket potato and salad every lunch time, and I’ve also learned to cook a whole host of great meals that are not only tasty but also completely guilt free – no special snacks or supplements here.
If you’re interested, a standard day looks like this:
Fruit – Apples and a Banana, or some grapes. Even sugary fruit is better than fried sausages and bacon, and most cereals are absolutely overloaded with sugars and chemicals.
Jacket Potato with baked beans or a salad, and a fat-free yoghurt. Muller make fantastic fat-free yoghurts that taste great, the cherry, chocolate and vanilla one is to die for!
Chicken/Fish and veg with pasta, rice, cous cous or similar – many people would point at the carbs in this meal and say they’re a bad choice, but your body does need carbs in order to operate, and getting them in rice or pasta is preferable to something heavier.
Rye Crackers with processed cheese triangles, more fruit or carrot sticks with a little sweet chilli sauce.
The great thing about eating this way is that if you do occasionally fancy a little something naughty, it won’t hurt your efforts too much. A takeaway or sly piece of cake every now and then won’t completely foil your plans, so if you feel like it, you can.
How to manage temptations
Temptation, however, is the problem that foils many people before they start – but here’s what I did. Every time I fancied something that I knew wasn’t allowed, I’d simply think to myself “well, too bad – I’m not allowed.” There was no thinking “well, I could…” or anything of the sort, I just told myself that I couldn’t have it because I simply wasn’t allowed.
I wish there were some magical, easy way to turn off the cravings, but unfortunately there just isn’t. What I would say, however, is that if you do decide to (for example) have a piece of cake, make sure you have a decent amount and enjoy it. If you have a little bit, you’re more likely to have a little bit more, then a little bit more, and then a little bit more again – just cut yourself a good piece, sit down and enjoy – and don’t feel guilty about it!
Of course, you may well find that sometimes temptation gets too much a little too often, and you might find those numbers pointing the other way.
If this does happen, don’t despair, just consider how far you have come so far, and consider how inconsequential that gain will be once you reach the end of your journey. You’ll never say to anyone “Yeah it went fine, but one week I nearly ruined the whole thing when I put on half a pound” – so by all means, remember how bad putting on feels, but don’t let it ruin your life!
Next time, I’m going to discuss the exercise regime I took up during my diet. I’m quite lazy at heart, so any of you who fear the gym – don’t worry, I’ll go easy!
Chris Spann is a life assurance blogger.