Totally cringing posting up a pic of myself. My stomach has always been my “problem” area. Constantly frustrated at how I could be getting so much fitter, stronger, faster on the inside but not showing it on the outside. There was a piece of my puzzle missing somewhere! So I decided to try an experiment.
A few weeks ago I posted a pic of my lunch boxes all packed with a week’s worth of food cooked and portioned up properly. So many people asked me, “how can you be bothered, does it really make any difference, why are you doing it?” Well here are my reasons I had to give it a go….
1: I had totally plateaued with my results.
2: I had constant sweetness cravings and couldn’t figure out why.
3: I was hitting real slumps in my training programme both energy wise and mentally.
4: I was CONSTANTLY hungry even though I was eating plenty of calories.
In a sudden eureka moment I had realised I wasn’t eating enough carbs! “No carbs before Marbs,” we’ve all heard that one haven’t we? Carbs, have gotten a very bad press recently but it’s really not as simple as saying, just go on a low-carb diet and you will definitely lose weight. Not all carbs were created equal and not all body types will support increased levels of carbs so this is one to play about with and make it suit you.
So how did I increase my carb intake? I chose whole carbs such as more broccoli, more sweet potato, more fruit like berries, banana, almonds, seeds, beans etc basically what I was eating but bigger portions, and I believe the choices combined with the portioning of these carbs is what made the difference. A portion the size of my fist and cooked veg (my carbs) also the size of my fist was what I had for dinner MOST nights. A protein shake packed full of fruit with almond milk was what I had MOST mornings (I bag up portioned fruit and freeze in bags) and a nice vibrant salad with tuna/ chicken/ eggs/ salmon, nuts, avocado etc or homemade soup and home-baked bread were, and still are, my lunch time staples. Nothing massively innovative, right? It took me about an hour one day a week to do. I have to be honest, all the new lunch boxes made the first time feel quite fussy and I did have to wonder if I would still be bothered a few weeks down the line.
Having my meals prepped stopped me from snacking while I was hungry and making my food, having the right portions ready meant that I wasn’t passing that point where I was eating for the sake of it rather than out of hunger. It meant if I was busy coming up to a meal time, I didn’t have to grab something “convenient” as my food was just sitting there. It just took the stress out of it and stopped me making poor choices.
So does this mean that I only ate clean, whole, healthy foods for the past 4 weeks? No it does not. Life is too short to not allow yourself little treats. I had Chinese take away last night, so what of it? Yes I had a wee sweet treat here and there, totally fine. Everything in moderation.
So did it work?
I knew I had lost a little weight (around 7lbs in a couple of weeks) which isn’t a massive amount and the scale seems to be staying put again now, but I hadn’t realised how much my shape had changed until I put this pair of jeans on. Shocked would not be in it! I’m feeling stronger, more energised and am seeing more and more muscle tone from my workouts all the time. 100% worth the effort one hour a week.
So are you like I was, stuck in a slump, completely hit a brick wall, unable to get those results? Maybe you’ve already lost a lot of weight but finding it hard to get those extra pounds off. Slim already but just want to get rid of that wee squishy bit on your belly that only you notice? Maybe you are just a really busy person that doesn’t have time to cook a good meal every night but would like to eat more nutritious food. Why not give it a go and see what happens. If you have specific dietary requirements, please speak to your gp before you make any major changes. Preparation is the key!