The item you just added is unavailable. Please select another product or variant.
- Written by Shani Kaplan
I have been on a carefully curated health journey these past 3 months, which ultimately led to losing weight I had been holding onto for the majority of the last few years. I should start by saying that this process was driven by much more than weight loss. Instead, it was about improving my relationship with food so as to become far more intuitive; ultimately finding what truly works for me. Like many others, I spent the first few weeks of London lockdown eating my way through the best of Deliveroo options, which subsequently led to the realisation that I could be directing this energy towards a positive goal. You see, since moving to London from health-obsessed Sydney, I had really struggled to find a healthy balance. Too many extra treats and overall food consumption on the weekends became my source of comfort and had turned into unhealthy habits.
Whilst I absolutely love plant foods and have a very healthy relationship with exercise (I have been a qualified PT for 8+ years), there was no denying the fact that my caloric intake was way exceeding my energy expenditure, despite being active. Whilst Instagram, Pinterest and articles are fabulous tools for getting started on any health journey, it can become really confusing and falling down a rabbit hole of trying to find the “best” diet can consequently become the enemy of progress. Ultimately, there really isn’t one best meal plan that contains the magic secret ingredient to results.
Throughout the years of research and client experiences, as well as my own, I know that most people can lose weight, the difficulty is in keeping this weight off and creating a new “norm” - a lifestyle they can maintain with comfort and joy. But why is it so hard to achieve this? Why do so many yo-yo with weight fluctuation for years when trying to achieve weight loss? Well, I put this down to the wrong mindset and choosing a ridiculously strict diet plan - for all the wrong reasons.
So, when embarking on one of the newest trending diets, ask yourself - is this for a short-term goal like ‘summer abs’? In other words, will you quit it immediately after the sunny season that calls for those abs to be flaunted, then binge-eat everything in your treat pantry? Or is this for your health and wellbeing - a lifestyle change that you could easily adhere to forever?
In any case, I’ve found that the golden nugget of weight-loss wisdom is actually never about punishment or reward, restrictions or ‘cheat meals’, or any other principle of polarisation. So let’s have a look at 5 things that helped me on my journey that weren’t eliminating sugar, carbs, fats, coffee, dairy, or anything else fun!…
This one is really important so I wanted to cover it before moving on to the other tips. Societal pressure can often result in a never-ending quest to lose ‘those last few kgs’. It isn’t hard to get stuck in this mentality either, when we’re not just exposed to magazine covers that perpetuate unhealthy standards of beauty and comparison anymore, but are now living with social media - something we all know can exacerbate social comparison and result in poor self-image.
So if you want to embark on a transformative journey and avoid a plethora of issues down the line, make sure your goal is linked to something bigger than just how your body will look to others. As I mentioned above, my personal motivations were about having a better relationship with food and eating mindfully to where I could reap the nutritional benefits of what I consumed - without feeling deprived!
For me, this was most important. I am almost 6-feet tall and am pretty active. I will average almost 10,000 steps a day and do some kind of resistance/cardio/Pilates workouts for 30-45 minutes 4x a week. This level of activity means that I have always had a fairly fast metabolism and do feel hungry often. But reading about all the health benefits of fasting and that eating every 3 hours was a redundant nutritional philosophy, plus having heard so many success stories surrounding this trend, I had told myself that I could eradicate this hunger by abstaining from food.
I was convinced that in order to feel my best and regain my true hunger and fullness signals, I must eat less often. But under the guidance of a dietitian on this new journey to intuitive eating, I was having 3 meals a day and 2 snacks. Eating regularly like this actually made my preoccupation with thoughts around food really disappear and I learnt to honour my hunger. However, somebody who does not have the same activity level and is much shorter than myself may just not have the same caloric needs, highlighting why listening to your own body is so important.
I used to love cooking. However, somewhere along the way I lost interest and instead found myself choosing the easy, convenient option. Through this journey, I rediscovered my passion for cooking by finding recipes online that filled my dinner plate with half vegetables, ¼ carbohydrates, ¼ protein and a source of good fats. This combination was really easy to bring to life in a delicious way. Some of these weekly recipes I created were:
1. Vietnamese vermicelli noodle salads with tofu or chicken
2. Salmon with rice and asian greens or roast vegetables
3. Pesto pasta with courgette, asparagus and chicken
Based on many circulating articles and trends, it is so easy to fall into the trap of thinking you need to completely restrict food groups to get fast results. Sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, fat-free, low-carb etc. I too, have been down this road before and it ultimately led to the issue of not trusting my own intuition and body’s signals, resulting in a poor relationship with food. That’s certainly not to say those don’t work for anyone, but again, this is about my personal journey in the hopes that it could help you with similar challenges/goals.
So something that I prioritised was to ensure I was getting 25-30g of fiber a day and enough protein for my body’s activity levels. Because my dietitian worked out a base level of carbohydrates for me, I found myself rarely craving junk food or takeaway as I was actually enjoying the whole-food meals and snacks I was consuming. And when I did crave something, I chose options I truly loved and just had them in a reasonable portion size.
They don’t say consistency is key for no reason! With an array of conflicting information at your fingertips, it is easy to question yourself if you don’t see your desired results immediately. I don’t mean consistency in having the same ol’ meals day in and day out, but I mean having meal and snack times regularly throughout your day.
I rotated my 3 favourite breakfasts as I knew they were satisfying, quick to prepare and gave me great energy! I had a list of snacks I alternated between, that were enough to keep me energised between meals. I feel like my metabolism responded really well to having some sense of consistency. I followed these principles pretty solidly for 12 weeks and my body - and digestion - responded really well to this!
Any topics you would like to hear more on?
Join the Truth Origins club to stay up-to-date on our latest articles, blog posts, updates and exclusive discounts. You'll also receive 10% OFF your first purchase for joining.