I’m sick of reading about diets myself so pondered on whether to even write this post to be honest, but as so many of you asked me how I lost 6 kilos (a stone) on twitter and FB that I thought I would share what worked for me, and it’s actually the most anti-diet I’ve ever followed.
I never deprive myself, always feel full, happy and bursting with energy.
I have minimised my PMT (no easy feat post-kids and suffering from PCOS, the latter also making weight loss hard too).
Look I know I wasn’t overweight when I started this diet but my weight fluctuates and a lot and I’d put on 9 pounds over a summer of indulgence.
My tummy is still here, two years on from Alexander’s birth (my second C-section) and I constantly need to work hard to stay at a healthy weight.
I love being curvy, that’s me, I have boobs, a small waist and hips and I like my shape (as you should like yours, whatever it may be) but I wanted to tone up and lose the summer weight…
More than anything, when I embarked on weight loss, I wanted, after years of searching, to find a way of eating that helped keep my blood sugar stable, my PCOS symptoms at bay and to feel good. I wanted to look and feel at my best. Who doesn’t right?
I’d read so much, done vast research over the years trying everything from the New Atkins diet to 5:2, even going vegan for a short while and more, yet hadn’t found what really worked for me. I come from a family of health conscious foodies yet needed to tweak what I was eating to feel better in myself.
… I then read 2 books that had a PROFOUND effect on the way I now eat-
The 6 Diet by Elaine Wilson which is focused on diabetics and those prone to it (something I’m at risk of with PCOS and a family history) and Eat Pretty by Jolene Hart (thanks Hannah at Mums’ Days for buying me this for my birthday), a captivating read I literally gobbled up in one sitting all about the best foods to eat that work from the inside out!
And let me tell you, I eat decent sized-portions, am never hungry but the food I consume is fuel, it makes me feel on top of the world. Really. I don’t limit carbs either, something I was sure I had to…The difference being the carbs I eat are good, whole carbs that release endorphins in my brain and help me feel full when eaten with protein, vegetables and good fats-
And I’ve lost 6 kilos and weight the same as when I was 18. Good huh?!
To break it down, here is a list of what helped me and what I follow now:
1. Cut out wheat.
This actually happened in the early summer after reading Wheat Belly, it eradicated my son Oliver’s rashes that even a specialist couldn’t help with, and has made us all feel great.
A pointless grain, it’s worth reading up on wheat and binning it in my opinion.
There are so many wholesome alternatives and we use rice flour, oats, gluten free flours and haven’t missed it a dot. We eat lots of brown rice and pulses instead.
2. Bye bye sugar. This too happened a while back but over the summer we all slipped back, ate loads of the evil white stuff and felt suitably rubbish. We still eat fruit of course, use Stevia and love dark chocolate and honey, but in moderation.
3. Cut out Meat.
My husband, Peter is a pescatarian and has been for years so it’s actually made life easier for meal time. The boys still eat organic chicken, beef and lamb (organic is ideal as meat is pumped with hormones) but Peter and I only eat fish and seafood. I actually think this has made the biggest difference to how I feel. Meat would always make me feel heavy and bloated. Again I’ve not missed it.
(I will still share meat recipes from my Dad on Tasty Tuesdays so fear not meat-lovers)!
4. Stick to Goat’s and Sheep Dairy Products
Cow’s milk doesn’t agree with my youngest, Alexander so we don’t consume a lot of it anyway and even less so now. We stick to goat’s milk (more gentle on the tummy), goat’s and sheep cheese so feta and hallumi and all feel better for it.
4. Hello pulses
Beans, chickpeas, lentils make up a large part of our diet, along with fresh fish and lots of salad and vegetables. My Aunt’s fabulous lentil soup is a staple for the winter and my Mum makes a mean chickpea curry.
5. Good Fats
I’ve been banging on about good fats forever: olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil etc-you need fat to release vitamins from your vegetables so we drizzle our salads with olive oil and fresh lemon and cook and bake a lot with coconut oil. I actually like to eat a spoonful of coconut oil a day too and even use it in my skincare routine.
Essential for good health, look after your gut and it will literally look after you, and your health. We love Bioglan Biotic Balance ChocBalls for kids (and adults) and take daily (they’re so tasty too).
I also like to start my morning with freshly squeezed lemon in boiling water to alkalize the acid in my tummy, preparing it for breakfast. Other must-have’s are Apple Cider Vinegar on salads and/or in hot water for it’s many health benefits with some stating it can help regulate blood pressure, maintain a healthy weight and more.
My life is busy, as is yours and it can be hard to fit in a run or some yoga so I’ve stopped beating myself up about it and just trying to fit in even 10 minutes of yoga a few times a week and a couple of runs here and there. Once I get into the rhythm of regular exercise, I become addicted, it’s often starting up after a break that’s the hardest thing. I say just go for it!
8. This doesn’t feel like a diet and go ahead and have the odd treat if you fancy it!
This really doesn’t, yes I stay away from certain foods but I feel healthier than ever and never crave them. I follow this way of eating 90% of the time and for 10% I eat what I feel like. With so many tasty recipes like healthy apple crumble, I never feel like I’m missing out and that’s because I’m not!
This is what’s worked for me, you must just find what works for you. I’m not a doctor, I just wanting to share what’s made me feel and look well!
Literally in a couple of months of following the above, I lost weight, feel fitter, stopped having nightmares that I was suffering from at night (particularly around menstruation time) sleep better than ever and have so much more energy.
Have you found a way of eating that works for you?