WEEK ONE WEIGH-IN RESULTS
13TH JANUARY 2020
I am over the moon to have lost 9.4 pounds in 9 days. That’s a pound a day! I need a minute to get my head around this. My week one weigh-in results show that I have lost over half a stone in just over one week all thanks to EATING REAL FOOD!
No calorie counting, no tracking, no exercise. Can this be right?
Ok, let’s take a second to keep it real. The geek in me knows all too well that not all of those pounds lost will be fat. Sure, some will be water. I’ve undoubtedly been shovelling in a LOT of salt, from all the processed foods I’ve been eating lately.
Nevertheless, I’m happy with my progress. I’m off to a good start.
HOW DID I LOSE WEIGHT BY EATING REAL FOOD?
The truth is, eating a diet that includes no or minimally processed food requires a little planning. But I was consistent with
- eating 3 REAL FOOD meals each day
- having a healthy snack when I felt ‘real’ hunger (not psychological hunger)
- drinking a minimum of 1.5 litres of water every day
Here’s what happened this past week.
I knew I was going to have to get organised if I was going to have any chance of success in changing my lifestyle. So, I created a meal plan and filled it with wonderful real food recipes, that I knew I would look forward to eating each day.
I spent some time at the weekend thinking about foods that I love to eat and scrolling through my favourite food blogs for inspiration. As someone who has only dabbled in meal planning previously, I kept things simple. I thought about meals I cook regularly, and I chose one new recipe from a favourite cookbook. I also had lots of recipe testing I wanted to do for the blog, so I factored those meals in too.
My next task was to create some form of a meal plan. I decided to do this the old fashioned way with a pen and pad. I spent about 30 minutes slotting in the meals I’d chosen into breakfast, lunch and dinner for every day of the week. You’ll notice I ate the same thing for breakfast every day and my lunch and dinners were more varied.
If a recipe included processed ingredients, I only added it to the meal plan if I knew I could substitute in a real food alternative. For example, if a recipe lists rice, I used wholegrain rice instead.
Once I’d decided what to cook, I jotted down a shopping list ready to head out to the supermarket the next morning.
Before even entering the supermarket, I knew I needed to steer well clear of any aisles that stocked cakes, biscuits, chocolate, soda and convenience food. And, that’s what I did. I stuck to my guns and my shopping list.
I made a point of meal prepping the day AFTER I went shopping. Spending a few hours in the kitchen after navigating supermarket chaos did not appeal to me at all.
On meal prep day, the first thing I did was write a schedule. It included what I would prepare, based on the time I had available that day and the order I would do them.
I prepped both complete meals and single ingredients. ‘Complete meals’ only needed reheating when the time was limited. Washed and chopped ‘single ingredients’ were pulled together, hassle-free, when I had more time to spare.
EATING REAL FOOD
Investing time in planning and preparation over the weekend meant all the real food I planned to eat was delicious. Food I WANTED to eat. I woke up looking forward to breakfast, I was excited about lunch, and I loved every single dinner.
I did think sticking to a meal plan could be kind of restrictive with all my meals mapped out. I’ve always been an I’ll eat what I fancy on the day kind of girl. But, there was no need to be completely rigid. By keeping an eye on the expiry dates I could juggle meals around, no problem. And, there was no wasted food!
After a few days, I was immediately hungry when I woke up in the morning. I found this odd because I usually prefer to skip breakfast, as I’d be feeling nauseous from all the snacks I’d eaten before going to bed.
This week, my last balanced meal of the day was around 7 pm with no snacks late in the evening. By the time I wake up at 7 am, it’s been 12 hours since I last ate something.
REAL FOOD RECIPE OF THE WEEK
My favourite Real Food Recipe of the Week was The Freshest Thai Pork Larb from Ben Lebus and his Cookbook Mob Kitchen. You can find this recipe on page 56 of the cookbook, or you can find the recipe online at the Mob Kitchen website.
I did make a few swaps to make this dish fit in with my real food lifestyle. For example:
|MOB KITCHEN INGREDIENTS||CHERYL’S REAL FOOD SWAPS|
|Fresh Coriander (Cilantro)||✔️|
|Spring Onions (Scallions)||✔️|
|Basmati Rice||Organic Wholegrain Rice|
|Lemongrass Purée||Fresh Lemongrass|
|Fish Sauce||Tamari Sauce|
|Olive Oil||Unrefined Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil|
It’s also worth mentioning that I used Turkey Mince instead of Pork Mince, just because I already had some turkey in the freezer. I’ve not listed it as a swap because Pork Mince is 100% a real food ingredient.
It just goes to show, you can still take recipes from your favourite cookbooks and easily fit them into your lifestyle by making a few simple swaps if you want to.
I am not off to a good start when it comes to exercise. My back has been causing me trouble, so my marvellous hubby has been taking care of the dog walks for a few weeks now.
I’m eager to get back to walking though, as I know it will boost my weight loss efforts. And, it’s the weight loss that will make the difference with easing my back pain. So, this week I plan to do a 15-minute walk every day to start to build myself back up. Hopefully, I should be back to the one hour morning dog walks in a couple of weeks.
HOW DID I COPE DURING MY FIRST 7 DAYS OF WEIGHT LOSS?
Honestly, I thought about food A LOT. I was constantly thinking about when my next meal would be and what I would be eating. But, the cravings were the biggest problem.
One of the reasons I am overweight is because I use food as an emotional crutch. For me, this means I reach for food not only when I’m hungry but to provide calm in a stressful moment, to bring comfort when I feel sad, to accelerate my mood when I am happy, to fill a void when I am bored – I’m sure you get the point.
So naturally, when I don’t feed those emotions with food, I crave. And I crave, HARD!
It’s always the same. My mind starts to wander. I tell myself to go and get a giant chocolate bar to curb the discomfort I’m feeling. Then reality sets in and I have to remind myself NO! Intense feelings of disappointment and anger soon follow.
I can’t say I’ve coped with my cravings all that well. But, thanks to some distractions, I didn’t succumb to them.
FINDING A GOOD DISTRACTION
Finding a good distraction has been vital in keeping my mind busy and away from food. And by food, I mean processed snacks and sweets.
Focusing on work and producing content for this blog fills my days. I did find myself working extra long hours for more distraction. Probably not the healthiest idea in the long-term.
However, I have just started reading It Was Me All Along A Memoir, by Andie Mitchell. In the book, Andie talks about her 135 lbs weight loss and how she has overcome emotional eating. I am sure there’ll be plenty of useful tips to take away from this book.
WHAT ADVICE CAN I OFFER IF YOU ARE ABOUT TO EMBARK ON A LIFESTYLE CHANGE?
It probably seems a little premature for me to be offering any kind of advice when I’m in the very vulnerable first stages of weight loss. But, I have learned a lot this past week.
In my opinion, meal planning is super IMPORTANT. Having meal options each day completely alleviated any anxiety I had about moving to a real food lifestyle.
To avoid getting overwhelmed, keep things simple. Consider recipe prep times and how much time you have available to be in the kitchen each day of the week.
Cook mostly what you know and make real food swaps if you need to. Add a couple of new recipes into the meal plan if you have the time to cook them. I found this avoids overwhelm.
The best thing I did for myself was to plan healthy versions of meals I know and love. I proved to myself that I do not need to eat out to appreciate good food, and I don’t need to order a takeaway – it’s not quicker than knocking up a meal at home.
WHAT AM I EXCITED ABOUT THIS WEEK?
I’m excited about taking my Thriva home blood test tomorrow so that I can get more detailed information about what’s happening inside my body.
And, there doesn’t seem like a better time to do this, than at the start of my weight loss journey.
The process is simple. Choose a plan online, receive a sample kit in the post, collect a finger-prick blood sample, pop it in the post back to the lab (using the packaging provided) and within 1 to 2 days you’ll receive a doctor’s report detailing your results.
I have chosen the Advanced Plan which allows me to find out more about my Cholesterol, Liver Function, Vitamin D, Iron Profile, B12, Diabetes (HbA1c) and Folate levels.
I like that I can change my subscription based on what I want to be tested and the frequency of the tests.
Because of that, I was able to bolt on a test for C-Reactive Protein (CRP). This test will show me if I am suffering from chronic inflammation. If so, I could be at an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and some cancers.
Along with the results of the tests, I’ll receive GP recommendations giving me advice on how I can aim to improve my results and ultimately my health.
And, if it looks like I need to discuss my results with a GP, Thriva will advise me to visit my local surgery.
I have been a member since the beginning of 2019 and this will be my third Thriva test. It’s funny, I’m not a fan of blood. I was one of those kids known for fainting in biology. Totally embarrassing! But, in this case, I actually find the finger prick testing to be reasonably ok. It just stings for a few seconds. I just make sure to drink lots of water the day before, and the morning before doing the test and the blood tends to flow without issue.
I think it’s important to note, here in the UK, you may be able to have these kinds of tests done on the NHS. However, due to funding, this will usually only happen if your doctor believes there is a valid reason to do so.
THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST. NOR AM I GETTING ANY FREEBIES OR DISCOUNTS FOR WRITING THIS POST. IT IS SOMETHING I AM DOING FOR MYSELF AND SHARING AS PART OF MY WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY.
MY HOPES FOR THE WEEK AHEAD
OK, so the dreaded first week of weight loss is out of the way! I am eager to see how my body reacts on the second week.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little anxious. There are a few things playing on my mind, like, ‘was the first week just a fluke?’, ‘was my weight loss an obvious outcome for cutting out snacks and sweets’, or, can a life of eating real foods (most of the time) and no calorie counting, lead to the weight loss I’ve dreamt of for the last 30 years?’
And, you guys, it’s my birthday on Tuesday and I’m already feeling like I want to eat cake! I have three restaurant meals planned with family and friends so I am going to have to pull out some additional strength from somewhere.
But, I really don’t want my birthday week to be filled with angst. My aim is to stay positive and stay focused on what I am trying to achieve.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post. Please leave a note if you’re on a journey of your own, I’d love to hear from you. Any advice and tips are welcome!
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