I took inspiration from Eat to Live to reverse my food pyramid. Although I thought I was eating healthily, I realised that I was consuming most of my calories from fats and hidden sugars. I had slipped back into the habit of relying on packaged food, especially when I am busy at work and don't feel like preparing food. I knew I needed to break these habits.
Rather than focus on the negative habits I wanted to break, I decided to focus on the positive habits I wanted to develop.
Habit 1: eat fresh fruit for breakfastI prepare a pre-packed breakfast to eat when I arrive in the office. Last weekend I was at college, so I took a packed breakfast. Here I have chopped half a Galia melon and one each of banana, kiwi and satsuma. A handful of blueberries adds colour. On top I've sprinkled a spoonful of mixed nuts and seeds.
|Breakfast - 5 fresh fruits with nuts/seeds|
Habit 2: eat 'salad as a main meal' for lunchI kicked off making 'salad as a main meal' last weekend with a packed lunch for college and continued throughout the week for work. People have been commenting "that's a large salad", I guess we are used to seeing salad as a side dish.
Here I have chopped a whole Little Gem lettuce, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, sprinkled with more mixed nuts and seeds. In the centre some mixed beans. I've adapted the basic Eat to Live salad to include a spoon of coleslaw, cottage cheese and some shaved Parmesan - sometimes I sprinkle on a spoonful of chopped ham or chicken too. I'm mindful to keep salad as the main component, rather than the side dish, and that seems to be working well for me. It's palatable, filling and nutritious without adding calories that pack on the weight.
|Lunch: salad as a main meal|
Habit 3: eat steamed vegetables for dinnerTo be honest, I haven't yet developed this habit fully!
I've been so full that I haven't wanted to eat much else in the evening. I cooked some meals mainly to use up food rather than throw it out. I cooked a leek and broccoli ensemble, and I ate a pile of chard and fish. I haven't eaten any packaged food, so that habit seems to be abating.
Reflections so farThe most surprising thing I have found is that I am eating twice as much as usual but I am still losing weight. It just goes to show that not all the calories I have been consuming are equal and probably contributed towards my weightloss plateau. I also developed a tendency to eat more of 'slimline' packaged food in the mistaken belief that it contained fewer calories.
I like eating fruit, salad and vegetables and can always find different combinations to ring the changes. I think adapting Eat to Live by incorporating a small amount of fish/meat and eggs/cheese has made it more sustainable as a way of life for me, rather than a fad diet. It has certainly made me think more carefully about what I pop in my mouth! A minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.
Borrowing from project management terminology, I identified a few quick wins to keep my motivation high.
- I've lost 7lbs in one week.
- I've broken my weightloss plateau.
- I've passed the 200lb barrier for the first time in two years.
- Losing weight has boosted my confidence.
- I have been able to wear a favourite jacket for the first time in nearly two years.
- I feel I have turned a corner and now step out with a renewed sense of purpose
- I've broken the habit of eating buttered toast while cooking my evening meal.
Habits - the new normTo embed the new habits, I will follow them daily for the next 6 weeks until they become engrained as the new norm. I can then move on to form new habits to support my Life Grid.
|My Life Grid 2013 and a goodie bag from overseas!|
It's early days, but I feel like my weightloss programme is back on track. Full steam ahead now to reach the next milestone!