It takes a while for us to break eating habits that we have been accustomed to for almost, if not, most of our lives. For years I was used to eating large sized meals, and these habits were not particularly benefiting my size, let alone my health. Upon acting on trusted advise from the Health Advisor, I gradually minimized my meal portions until it became a natural practice. I can honestly say that this subtle change in my eating habits has made a huge difference and is one of the main contributors to my shedding the weight! Self-discipline is paramount in maintaining the habit. There were days, many days when I indeed felt like "throwing in the towel" or simply quitting; especially if my favourite foods were on the dish, I was often tempted to have "second helpings". Again, this is where self-discipline comes into play, and it's importance cannot be overemphasized. I try not to restrict myself to eating only low fat meals; in fact, I still do enjoy my favourite recipes. The difference is downsizing and my meal portions are now no larger than the palm of my hands! I did some research, and a worldwide survey states that over a third of us are unhappy with our weight so we end up restricting what we eat for half the year, and spend the rest of time "falling off the wagon"(source: Healthy Mag.) I broke the cycle by ditching unrealistic food plans and started eating healthily, that is, enjoying my favourite meals in moderation, accompanied by large portion of mixed vegetables and of course one of my natural fruit beverages (see video "Lesley's Fruit Bonanza"). Below are examples of how I portion my meals. Simple and easy!
If you have toddlers, take ownership of one of their
dishes and use as your own! Alternatively, purchase a child-sized dish. This is
a great way to kick start the habit of taking control over your food portions.
You will be eating less. This won't shrink your stomach, but
can help to reset your "appetite thermostat" so you won't feel as
hungry, making it easier to stick to the plan. You'll be astonished to
see the difference this small change makes!
Stay In Control
not a lover of chocolates, sweets and other confectionery, but I've
always had a weakness for cakes, yes I do! Madeira Cake and Cheesecakes
are particularly my favourite! Cakes
and other pastries are now conveniently sold in shops and supermarkets,
at very low prices, and in a wide range of flavours and styles.
Resisting the temptation of adding "cake" to the shopping list proved
very challenging for me. I had to really discipline my mindset and change my attitude completely by doing the following, which may also work for you:
out of sight, out of mind -When shopping, I avoid the pastry aisles. This way I'm less inclined to buy goods from that section in the supermarket. This was difficult for me in the beginning and I must admit that I occasionally ""gave in". Having said so, it also becomes easier with regular practise and persistence.
substitutes - Thank goodness for weight watchers! They are an international company that offers various products that are tailored to weight loss. I've substituted Madeira cakes for the weight watchers Sponge, which I truly enjoy! I also enjoy the Crisps and Ginger Cookies(insert: weight watchers sponge cakes (top) & crisp)
rewards - I have a "reward" day once a month where I indulge in foods that I wouldn't normally have on a regular basis, particularly "junk food". This is my personal reward for maintaining a healthy diet.
Sugar Addiction I wantedto expand on sugar in pastries and how it massively contributes to weight gain. Have you ever noticed that the more cakes, donuts, etc you consume, the more you crave? Well, this is called "sugar addiction". 1. you eat pastry / confectionery (sugar) - you like it , you crave it - it has addictive agents | 2. your blood sugar levels rise rapidly - Dopamine is released in your brain = addiction - mass insulin secreted to drop your blood sugar levels | 3. your blood sugar levels drop rapidly - high insulin levels immediately cause fat storage - your body craves the lost sugar 'high' | 4. hunger and cravings - low blood sugar levels cause increase in appetite and cravings - the cycle is repeated In addition to the high insulin levels causing fat storage, this change in the body could also eventually lead to type 2 diabetes. This is when you really need to be concerned! Be Mindful You will encounter more difficulties to start your healthy eating, let alone maintaining it, if you are not mindful of what you eat on a regular basis and again your food portions at a time. All new transformation comes with discipline and dedication but will eventually become easier and natural the more you practise. If I can do it yo sure can too! Remember to subscribe to get all my posts emailed directly to your inbox, email me for personal tips and tricks an add a comment. Have a great day all and let the journey begin!