So... the past couple of weeks have been an up and down in terms of my nutrition for so many different reasons. I have been 'on it' and then at times, 'so off the rails'! I am very much an emotional eater and with the issues going on with the lockdown and also personal aspects - i have bounced up and down with my eating habits - snacking being the worst of all LOL.
But it is that time of the year now - everyone is 'enjoying' their food for the month and probably already thinking about the 'New Year, New Me' and everyone is already putting into place what changes they will make in 2021 after they have CONSUMED THE EARTH in calories 😃
This post is aimed to share my thoughts and experiences on 'diets'!!! Happy for feedback and comments... 😊
That four-letter word; D-I-E-T! That part of our lives that people often refer to as restriction, good and bad foods… but ultimately which one do you follow. Over the years I have heard and read about a number of different ‘diets’ that are out there on the market that people swear by which gets them the desired affects that they want to see. However, it is often a ‘quick fix’ effect when they achieve it; people are left wondering why it hasn’t stayed off when they allow themselves to eat more ‘normally’. Now before I go on I will say this – I am not and do not try to make out that I am an expert on this field. This post is basically making you aware of what I used to go by before I gained some essential knowledge and education which cleared up most myths and things that people seem to still abide by when they want to go on a ‘diet’.
So, what have I done over the past?? Well I was one of these people years ago that would eat what I wanted when I wanted but had the mind-set of ‘well I work out enough so will burn it off’. I was never confident in my body and wore baggy clothes (that’s another story).
I’m a snacker and will eat when bored. So one year when I broke up for the summer holidays I decided to try out one of the many diets out there to see if I could control my snacking. I decided to try out the ‘SlimFast’ diet. Well… that just didn’t work for me. I ache normally after training but I did a class on the first Monday morning and ached until the Saturday. So much so that I absolutely devoured a 12” pizza, including the crust (which I never normally eat). My body became that starved of energy that I just continued to ache after my classes and REALLY needed those calories. So, safe to say – that didn’t work!
A short while later, I decided to try ‘Slimming World’. Some of my work colleagues were doing it and had some great results. With this one I didn’t really have the affects that SlimFast gave me in terms of aching so much more after training. I actually found myself snacking more on the foods that I was able to. However, I didn’t really see much of a result and found myself becoming bored and lacking in time to prepare the meals on an evening. Moving on…
These two attempts were quite a while ago, as in pre-2011. I tried to just take responsibility for myself but I just couldn’t maintain the will power of reducing the amount of snacking I was doing. My diet consisted of cereal for breakfast (cocopops, special k etc), snacks of apples or Soreen banana loaf, lunch could have been sandwiches with processed ham slices, cucumber and mayonnaise. Afternoon snacks before training of anything like a chocolate bar or sweets. Evening meal was often something like a chicken breast with chips and a tin of beans. I was weighing about 75kg and made the choice to invest in me and attend a 10-week PT and nutrition programme with the Warehouse Gym.
This included 3 sessions of PT at the gym and then following a nutrition regime. The regime wasn’t a set diet of 3 meals and 2 snacks a day. It was a list of options that I could make up with what I liked. It took time to set up and get used to but because I had that level of accountability towards the people in charge of the programme at the gym. This method helped me understand food a little more and what I needed to eat throughout the day. Having that accountability made me stick to things and the further I went through the programme, the easier it became to stick to and as a result I managed to lose 10kg.
I managed to stick to this regime and maintain my weight as a few more years went on. However, I later got back into snacking and wanting to lose a bit more weight again. I had a love for sweet potato and my ex started following a person on Instagram (Michael Morelli) who developed the ‘Sweet Potato Diet’ which involved carb cycling. Once again it took a bit of planning but I was really successful with this and found that my energy and my general feelings were very good. I love sweet potato so making this my main source of carbohydrate was absolutely no problem. I did tweak it a little but still had the desired effects.
I then struggled a little. The New Year came (2018) and I started to struggle with things. I was trying my best to stick to my diet that I had found so successful for me but other things were going on in my life that had me all over the place and I just wasn’t in the same frame of mind. Things moved forward and I started to be able to keep myself motivated and consistent with things. still up and down, good days and bad days, strict dieting and binging… but with everything else going on it was understandable.
Since then my knowledge and education has changed and I have been reading about different ‘diets’ but with thanks to certain influencers on social media, all of the different methods out there ultimately lead to one thing… CALORIE DEFICIT!!!
Its that simple. All of the different methods around – carb cycling, intermittent fasting, keto, paleo and low-fat… they all create this calorie deficit. It’s a very simple equation of energy balance. You eat more than you burn, you are going to gain weight. You eat less than you burn, you are going to lose weight. You eat the same amount that you burn, you will stay the same. Now does that mean ‘eat whatever you want’… well if you stay within your calorie limit then go for it. However, the understanding you need is will you get all of the nutrients you need from that food or will it fill you up or leave you hungry later making you snack more and going over your calorie limit??
In terms of how you create this deficit is how you best feel surrounding what you eat and when. Therefore, if you don’t mind skipping breakfast then intermittent fasting is good for you. If you want to follow a keto based diet then follow a keto based diet. I have come to learn that everyone has their own way of feeling comfortable and confident with their diet. Some will love the SlimFast or Slimming World programmes because it does get them results and if they are eating a balanced diet then that’s what works for them.
I suppose this blog has given you my insight as to how certain diet plans affected me. They may have the same affect on you or they may be totally different because we lead different lifestyles. Ultimately I would always recommend a balanced diet and if you want to lose weight it is a calorie deficit that you need to create. The method in which you use to do this is honestly down to personal preference and if you have the will power and motivation to do this then you don’t need to be paying through the roof for diet plans offering specific results. This process does take time but at the end of the day it is something that will allow you to make the changes for a lifelong behaviour change rather than a quick fix that will be able to be sustained for a short period of time and then you end up binging again and pile the weight back on.
If you want me to talk more about this then please leave me a comment. I have probably gone off on many tangents here because I just let my mind flow and my fingers type away. But let me know if you did gain anything from this as it would help me out loads. 😃
Thanks for reading