I've finally found a diet that works for me - Slim Fast & Slimming World
Yes, it's true, I will say it again, I have finally found a diet that works for me. Stop me if you have heard this one before, but the secret to losing weight is basically eat less and exercise more (mind blown!!!). It's taken me a long time to really commit to that, but I finally have and I have already lost 5 pounds in the first week.
I have always been reluctant to calorie count as I thought it would be adding an extra complication into my life, but after years of being overweight and trying to diet here and there, I have finally worked out a plan that is easy to incorporate into my daily life. It started when I was flipping through channels on TV and came across 'Lose a stone in 4 weeks', where participants tried different diets for a month in the hopes of hitting the target of 1 stone weight loss. There were loads of different diets to choose from and it was an interesting watch, with some diets that I wouldn't touch with a barge pole but others that I thought might be worth looking into. At the end of the 4 weeks most of the people on the show had lost a stone or there abouts. I think there was only 1 person who lost about 4 lbs but the rest did great. It didn't look easy but they stuck with it (maybe breaking the odd time) but it made such a difference to their weight and the size of their waist and hips.
From the different diets they tried I decided to go for the Slim Fast option initially. I watched a few videos of people trying the diet and one of them (sorry I didn't keep a note of the YouTube channel unfortunately) mentioned how hard it was sticking to 2 shakes a day which was my worry). She suggested instead of sticking with the shakes that you focused on the amount of calories for each meal. So on the Slim Fast diet you can have a shake for breakfast and lunch and 3 snacks a day which can be a snack bar or piece of fruit. Then you can have anything for your tea as long as it's 600 calories or less. Now as someone who has basically eaten what I wanted for as long as I can remember and is a chocoholic and can knock back cans of Pepsi Max like they are going out of fashion, 2 shakes a day didn't sound that appealing. I thought sticking to the calorie count sounded more up my street so 230 calories for breakfast and lunch, 100 calories for snacks and 600 calories for tea. This was my light bulb moment and made me realise that I could adapt it to fit me personally so I wouldn't get bored of eating or drinking the same things.
I had joined Slimming World a couple of years ago and it worked for the first couple of months but then I got bored and just gave up using the app (even though I had paid for a year). So I decided to incorporate some Slim Fast parts of the diet with some Slimming World meals. So here's an average day for me at the moment.
Breakfast - Slim Fast Shake (Coffee or Chocolate) - 204 calories
Mid Morning Snack - Snack Bar or Fruit - up to 100 calories
Lunch - Sushi or Slimming World Soup (I share the soup with my sister as it's a large portion) - 200-250 calories (it can sometimes be more or less than that)
Mid Afternoon Snack - Snack Bar or Fruit - up to 100 calories
Tea - Slimming World Ready Meal (I usually eat half of the portion as again it's a big portion so I share with my sister)
Supper - This is not included in the Slim Fast plan but I use up calories I've generally saved from tea) - Cheese and Biscuits and I treat myself to a can of Pepsi Max.
So my plan is a bit of a mismatch but so far it has worked for me. I have tried both of these diets on their own and whilst I did manage to lose weight, it was hard to maintain because I just got bored. By mixing the 2 I have found that it's easy to keep track of calories, whilst having a decent amount of variety which prevent boredom with the same old food.
I have already managed to curb my diet pop addiction and cut the amount of cans I drink to 1 a day (from about 4ish a day) and even though you can drink as many diet drinks as you want on the Slimming World Plan, I thought it would be a good opportunity to cut back. I have also swapped my daily chocolate addiction for some less calorific bars that have way less calories and are cheaper and taste just as good in my opinion (as a long time connoisseur of chocolate bars).
I have also made exercise a daily thing. I have been walking a lot during lockdown, but now I have started the couch to 5k running app and I am already on week 3 and feeling fitter (although I don't like running anymore than I used to). I have also made my first foray into Yoga following Yoga with Adrienes 30 day yoga plan and whilst it's gonna take me longer than 30 days to complete it, I will get to the end. I am so inflexible, it literally hurts, but I am definitely enjoying following this plan and find that it helps me to relax and sleep well after doing each session.
Follow me on my journey and see if I can stick to counting calories. I will post regular updates on how I am doing, food that is working for me and how my fitness is improving (hopefully).
5 Pounds lost
Completed Week 2 of Couch to 5k
Completed Day 9 of Yoga with Adriene