Things I’ve Learned About Dieting
Just over a month ago I decided enough was enough with being incredibly unhealthy. Getting a weigh in for my gym induction was a massive eye opener, and I couldn’t believe someone as genuinely vain as me had let themselves go so much. Not only did I decide to diet and exercise, I also completely gave up alcohol (have done just over a month so far without murdering anyone – yay). Being completely honest I LOVE drinking, so I was expecting this part of my new healthy living to be the hardest. When it came to it – I actually found dieting to be the hardest part. There are a few little things I have learned along the way, so hopefully they will help anyone else who is just starting their healthy living journey.
You can’t cheat
I know, I know, it’s terrible right? So I have learned by using My Fitness Pal that you can’t cheat on your diet and still actually lose weight. Life is so unfair isn’t it? Even that one little sweet adds up in the grand scheme of things, and the less you track of your daily calories the worse you will feel when you jump on the scales. It sounds cliche but if you are going to cheat the only person you are cheating is yourself. Remember to be strict about what calories you are eating and stop using excuses.
Alcohol counts for a LOT of calories
Guys, I can’t stress this enough after putting the ‘lot’ in capital letters – you really do not realise how many calories you are drinking. There are 496 calories on average in a bottle of prosecco. Two of those on a night out and that’s 2/3 of your calories intake for the day. You really don’t realise how much those couple of glasses of wine per evening can add up. Cocktails are also a serious offender when it comes to hidden calories. There are loads of low fat options like gin and slimline tonic, but even then drinking alcohol puts you in a seriously unproductive pattern when it comes to being healthy. We’ve all woken up hungover and eaten the world right? No one is saying you need to completely give up, but you might be surprised at the effects if you do give it a try. Once you give up completely you stop the pattern of wanting a drink as a ‘treat’ and honestly – you really do not fancy having one. When you do decide that you are going to have a treat and have a glass of prosecco you will find that because you haven’t drunk alcohol for a while you really will drink less.
You can’t just cut out a food group
“No carbs before Marbs” has been drummed into us since the very early days of TOWIE. Yes, cutting out carbs will make you lose weight – but only in the short term. You simply cannot cut out a food group entirely to maintain a sustainable diet. Your body relies on the different food groups to perform different tasks so even though you might lose weight, cutting out a food group entirely can give you symptoms like bad skin and tiredness. Again, this is where I like to use My Fitness Pal as it tells you the percentages of each food group you have already had and need to have to remain on target.
You actually have to exert yourself during exercise
I know right, this is total BS as well isn’t it? So it turns out you can’t just walk at a slow pace on the treadmill for ten minutes a couple of times a week and still lose weight. Actually exerting yourself is the only way you are going to manage to burn off enough calories to allow you to actually eat anything during the day. Obviously this is horrifically bad news but the good news is once you have been at it a couple of weeks your body will totally toughen up and you won’t feel like crying in the middle of every gym session.
You need to put more thought into food
Becoming vegetarian has made me have to put a lot more thought into food – but dieting as well has made it like a military operation. Prior planning is your friend while dieting. If you prepare yourself lovely nutritious meals the day before, or you are least have an idea of what you are going to make, then you will be less tempted to get fast food or food that is quick to cook and incredibly bad for you. If you are really busy during the week why not set aside some time one weekend day to complete your meal prep for the week? Remember you can freeze literally more or less anything so even if you need to make ten or fifteen meals to se you through the next week or so you can always make them last.
It’s ok to fall off the wagon
Do you know what my biggest diet fail is? It isn’t the evenings, it isn’t a savagely addictive craving for chocolate, and it isn’t hangovers – it’s being ill. Yes unfortunately when I am unwell although I still crave things like soup (seriously show me someone who doesn’t love soup when they have the sniffles), I also crave things like huge amounts of mashed potato, pie and anything else that is generally terrible for you in large quantities. A couple of weeks back I had a cold which inevitably went to my sinuses. For the first couple of days I tried my hardest to not comfort myself with food mainly because I wasn’t feeling up to exercise. After the first couple of days I stopped being so strict with myself and had a couple of days tucked up with my fluffy blanket eating pure crap. No, you can’t do this all the time, but if you fall off of the wagon now and again the worst thing you can do is give up entirely. Just get back on the health kick the next day you are feeling up to it. Trust me a couple of larger servings of mash isn’t going to hurt if you are feeling in need of some comfort food.