life, life changes, weight loss, diets, food, exercise, health, healthy living, healthy eating

Many years ago, I weighed 160 kg. That’s not a typo, that’s the actual number! I managed to drop half my body weight and to keep most of it off, for almost 2 decades. Now, your probably asking yourself, how, right? It was actually pretty easy. I changed my relationship with food. Instead of it being my enemy, it became a life long friend.

I concentrated on 4 basic things; water, eating often, low fat, high fibre food and exercise. That’s it. It’s not hard. The only thing is; it’s for life. Initially, you will need to monitor yourself. As time passes you’ll forget about the habits of the past and so will your body. If you have a bad day or week, it’s not going to go straight to your hips.

So, lets start with the water. When I began, I drank no less than 3-4 litres a day. Someone once asked were the weight disappeared to and I’m sure it literally went down the toilet! Water not only keeps you hydrated, but it also captures fat on it’s way through your body. 

Second, is eating regularly. To kick start your metabolism, you need to keep a constant flow of food coming in. If you don’t eat breakfast; start. If you can’t stomach food in the morning; grab a diet shake or milk based drink. You will be surprised, how starting the day with something in your stomach, will encourage you to be more hungry. Hunger isn’t your enemy; it’s your friend. It’s much harder to eat when you aren’t hungry, than when you are.

Now for the food. Low fat, high fibre foods are what you need. Remember the food pyramid? Following this, is the best way to lose weight and keep it off. If you love bread, cereal, rice and pastas; go for it! I swear, I lost my weight by living on carbs, fruit and veggies! Limit the amount of sugar, fat and salt in your diet and you can’t go wrong. The longer you do everything on the following list, the easier it will get. Remember, you need to aim at life long changes to lose the weight and keep it off. A fad diet isn’t going to cut it!

Here’s a few basic tips:

  • Don’t ever shop on an empty stomach
  • If you shouldn’t eat it; you shouldn’t buy it
  • Get rid of everything which will temp you, from you home
  • Designate a specific place to eat.
  • Substitute everything high in sugar, fat and salt, to low varieties
  • Buy and use non-stick cookware. You won’t need to add fats because the food won’t stick
  • Use herbs, spices or powdered stock to flavour food instead of salt, fats or sugar
  • Don’t keep treats for you or the family in your home
  • If you want a treat, don’t deny yourself. Buy it, eat it, and enjoy it. Avoid guilt and move forward

Lastly, exercise is anything which gets you moving and keeps your heart rate up. If you hate exercise, (like I do!) find ways to make this happen in your everyday life. This can include housework, gardening, parking the car further from the shop front or school, take less shopping inside and make more trips or if you have stairs; use them. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do something.

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By Kim Chartres