I’ve finally returned to the gym after a couple weeks of illness and a whole load of self pity. Make no mistake, this return wasn’t easy and I had to really push myself to get back into my fitness journey. I probably could have started back last week but I had lost all my motivation. What I found hard during my sickness was sticking to my rules surrounding healthy eating. This isn’t the first time I’ve struggled with managing my diet.
My fitness journey is brand new, but my weight loss journey stretches back over the last three years. What I eat is a big part of my life and like many I find it hard trying to balance a healthy exercise routine with healthy meals.
In the past I’ve personally been on nearly every fad diet imaginable from meal replacement shakes, liquid diets, chicken and rice diets, counting my macros, no carbs all the way through to weight loss groups. Whilst researching and participating in these diets the main point I took away was it’s all about personalisation and consistency. None of the above worked for me because I couldn’t stay consistent with them or sustain them.
The reason these diets work for people is that they drastically reduce their calorie intake over a period of time. If I ate nothing but rice and fish for three weeks I’m going to lose a whole heap of weight but I’d be hungry, unsatisfied and it wouldn’t be realistic for me to maintain that in my lifestyle. You wouldn’t get the necessary vitamins and nutrients to maintain a healthy body either.
The key to healthy eating is a well balanced, healthy diet which allows you the freedom to eat varied meals but also keeps food interesting and keeps you well nourished.
I’ve begun eating porridge every day with some banana cut up in it for breakfast. Lunch I have a mixed salad with either egg, ham or some form of protein with nuts and a light olive oil dressing.
One thing to remember is that fats are an essential part of a healthy diet. Fats and oils gained from nuts, protein or some carbs are essential to keep your body going. It’s excess fats which you want to stay away from, especially trans fats or saturated fat which are found in most junk foods.
For dinner, I eat very varied meals throughout the week. Spaghetti Bolognaise, Fish ‘n’ Chips (home-made with lots of greens), Steak, home made curries or stir fry’s. There are a whole lot of options and that keeps me interested and enjoying my food.
In between meals I’m free to eat as much fruit as a I want and most days I’ll have a low fat yoghurt as well.
When it comes to weight, whether you’re losing, gaining or maintaining it all comes down to the number of calories you eat. More calories = more weight and so forth but you’d be surprised how many healthy calories you can eat per day! You can use a macro calculator online which can help you understand what your body needs to meet your goals, here’s a link.
These calculators break down foods into protein, carbohydrates and fats. All of which are essential to a healthy diet. The calculator will explain how many calories you can eat per day and what percentage of those calories should be protein, carbs or fats. You can then track your daily calorie intake through apps such as My Fitness Pal. If you don’t want to use an app, then just write down what you’re eating everyday, keeping track can really help.
For me I can eat nearly 2500 calories a day and still lose 1-2 pounds a week.
Whatever you choose, make sure you’re having a healthy balanced diet with lots of fruit and veg (low calories and full of vitamins, minerals and fibre). Most importantly, enjoy it. Otherwise you won’t manage to stay consistent and it’s all about sustainability and consistency.
Friday, 8th February 2019