Managing Healthy Weight Loss: How I lost 8kgs in 8 weeks
Updated: Jun 16, 2020
In August last year I started a new job. I was feeling fit and healthy. But before I knew it the pressure of work had begun to take its toll. A few months had past and I had lost motivation and began to put on weight. At first I hadn't noticed, but soon started to see in photos that I was getting bigger, which was affecting my self-confidence.
Then I had a bit of a wake up call. In December, during a health assessment, I was told that my BMI indicated that I was overweight and I had 22% body fat. At this point I was the heaviest I had ever been at 84kg. So, I decided it was time to make a change to rekindle my love for triathlon and start to feel good about myself again.
Weight loss can seem like this complex thing that only a few can master by understanding the science behind how we lose weight. But you don't need to be an expert, nor do you need any magic diet pills and you certainly don't need to count every single calorie you eat to successfully lose and maintain a healthy weight. By simply making a few small changes and following some key principles you can start your journey to feeling healthier and better about yourself.
By following these principle below I manage to lose 8kgs in just 8 weeks, and so can you!
Don't skip breakfast
I know it might sound counterintuitive for my first principle on weight loss to be 'eat more food', but this point is so important - especially in the long run!
Losing weight is about consistency, and more specifically consistently making healthy eating decisions. By skipping breakfast, or any meal for that matter, you are only making it more difficult for yourself in the future to make good decisions when it comes to eating.
When you wake up your blood sugar levels are usually low, which means your brain and muscles aren't working at their best. Breakfast is key to replenishing your blood sugar levels, as well as giving your body all the important nutrients and vitamins your body needs! If you skip breakfast you are effectively running on empty, so your energy levels will be low and it can result in overeating throughout the day.
It is much better, and definitely more sustainable in the long run, to eat regular, balanced meals throughout the day.
Plan your meals
This was key for me as it's so easy to resort to unhealthy meals when you have no idea what you are going to be eating each evening. Not only that but it's a great way to save some money an reduce the amount of food you waste.
Before we do our weekly shop, we write on our calendar what we are going to eat for dinner each evening that week. As a result we only buy what we need. This also stops us from impulse buying unhealthy foods in the shop and sets us up for success when trying to lose weight! Your meals don't necessarily have to be set for each exact day, for example we use post-it notes so we can swap a couple of days around if necessary. But, by having some form of plan in place you can start taking out those impulse decisions! One of my favourite meals is this fresh one pan pasta. It's super easy, delicious and best of all healthy!
Make healthy habits easy
We all know that if you have biscuits in the kitchen cupboard, it's difficult to resist the temptation to eat them. I can't stop myself if I know they are there, in fact I would eat the whole pack in a single sitting!
It can be difficult to constantly maintain your willpower when it comes to eating. If you have the unhealthy foods in your home then all it takes is one small slip and suddenly the whole jar of Nutella is gone. Instead, it is important to maintain the will power when you are out shopping and intentionally not buy the food which you know are your weaknesses when you're at home! Instead pick up some healthy alternatives like fruit, which you can snack on as much as you like without feeling guilty.
By doing this you are making it easier to stick to a healthy diet and inconvenient to eat junk foods, which makes you more likely to succeed.
Don't be too hard on yourself
When it comes to eating healthily and trying to lose weight, you want to choose an approach which you will be able to maintain for the long term. If you choose a diet which cuts out all of your favourite foods completely you'll be unlikely to stick to it because ultimately it won't make you happy, and will make your weight loss journey more difficult.
To combat this, It is important to have balance and allow yourself small treats every so often. This could be through cheat meals once a week or small daily treats - I quite like Jaffa cakes and can't resist the occasional pizza. By doing this, you still allow yourself to look forward to eating some of you favourite foods, just in moderation. It is very important, however, to be honest with yourself and make sure one cheat meal doesn't turn into a cheat day which then turns into a cheat week.
In its most simplest terms, weight loss comes down to eating fewer calories than your body burns each day. Your body requires more energy when exercising, therefore you burn more calories to create that energy.
This is key to losing and maintaining a healthy weight - you need to be active everyday! You don't have to go out and push yourselves to the limit every day in an intense workout, but getting out for a short run/walk or playing tennis or doing any sport you enjoy will really help you to burn a few extra calories. Also, I don't know about you, but after a run I feel more guilty if I eat bad foods, so I find it actually makes me more conscious of eating well, in an attempt to not undo the hard work of the run!
Finally, portion control
Now I know this sounds obvious. Eat less food and you'll lose weight. And I know you're all saying "but I'll be hungry if I just eat less", but this point is more about eating the right amounts of each food type.
Let me explain. Not all foods are created equally when it comes to the amount of calories they contain. Some foods have more calories for the same volume and some have less. For example 100 calories is equal to just 9 crisps or a whole banana. One of these is much more likely to leave you feeling fuller for longer, and it's not the 9 crisps.
By using this to your advantage you can lose weight without feeling hungry or restricted. It's about being smart with what you choose eat each day. Bulk up your pasta dishes with more veg, get rid of the chocolate bars and eat more fruit as a snack. Small changes like this will makes a massive difference in the long run, if you are consistent.
The Bottom Line
It is all about balance and setting yourself up for success. No-one is perfect all the time, but by making these small changes, and being honest, you are giving yourself a head start on your healthy weight loss journey and I know you can do this!
For this week’s challenge I want you to swap 3 unhealthy foods you buy regularly for 3 healthy alternatives.
My swaps this week are going to be:
Strawberries and blueberries instead of cereal bars
Pop corn instead of crisps
Hummus instead of cheese
What foods are you going to swap out? Let me know on Facebook or Instagram.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog about healthy weight loss. I would love to hear if this blog has been useful to you, how you may have changed your daily routine or even if you have any other tips.