I lost 11 kilos 18 months ago and have kept the whole lot off. My diet didn't cost me a cent, I did it all myself, not a gym, Jenny Craig, shake or weight loss bar in sight. A lot of my friends asked me what my secret was so I wrote it all down and thought I would share it around To lose weight you need to eat less than your body needs.
To calculate this I designed a simple spreadsheet. Everything you eat or drink (except water) has a Kj value. You can either get it from the back of the packet it came in or go to http://www.calorieking.com.au/foods/
and look up any food on their data base. Always enter the KJ per 100gr in the 1st column and the actual amount eaten in the 2nd column. You will need digital kitchen scales for this. Get a set of scales that you can zero as that makes plating up a lot easier. The spreadsheet will then calculate the total Kj’s for you.
By entering your Kj needs for your CURRENT weight in the bottom, the spreadsheet will calculate how much weight you’ve lost every single day.
Here are my hint & tips:
• Be honest in your food diary/spreadsheet.
Y?: Nobody is going to see it, only you. Be accurate with the amounts you eat so you can work out exactly how much weight you’ve lost per day. Making things up, leaving things off or putting today’s eaten food on tomorrow’s list so you don’t go over your Kj’s today serves no purpose whatsoever.
• Try to work out which “hungry” you are.
Y?: Quite often we eat because we are bored, upset, lonely etc. You should only eat when you get that hungry in your stomach feeling- the tummy rumbles. All the others are just not necessary, just go and make a coffee or tea instead. You’d be surprised how full you will feel after.
• No CARBS after lunch.
Y?: B/C you won’t burn them off. Carbs are: breads, flour, sugar, pasta, rice, anything baked, spuds etc.
• No booze.
Y?: Alcohol is bad for 2 reasons, 1) it has Kj’s in it (duh), 2) after a few drinks your willpower evaporates and you will eat everything in sight. Saying no or just having a ‘taste’ will be impossible.
• Cut out all sugar that you possibly can.
Y?: Sugar is converted straight to fat if you don’t burn it off immediately. If you like sugar and can’t ditch it go for a natural STEVIA based product. Stevia is a plant that is super sweet but has virtually no Kj’s. Also sugar doesn’t make you full, you can eat a bucket of the stuff and still feel hungry.
• Eat smarter, try and eat foods that will fill you up.
Y?: 6 squares of chocolate = one bowl of porridge w milk and sugar. I know what will make you feel fuller.......
• Try and eat protein with all meals.
Y?: Protein is a very complex thing for the body to break down and digest. Eating protein really does make you feel “fuller for longer” because it sits in your stomach for ages. Plain protein powder is great sprinkled on porridge if you don’t want/like eggs.
• You will lose 3 Kg’s in the first week.
Y?: Your body will lose a lot of fluid when you first cut back on food. Also, your body has poop in it and once that goes through you will be lighter. As nice as this huge loss is, it is NOT FAT, sorry. And it will only happen in the first week. Don’t think the second week will be anything like it.
• You can still eat what everyone else is having for dinner.
Y?: I ate what the family ate except for the carbs. I would substitute these with extra veggies instead. If it’s steak & veg, trim the fat and weigh that before you cook. When plating up, weigh your own vegies as you put them on the plate.
• Eat 20 almonds a day.
Y?: Almonds have essential fats and are amazing in stopping munchies dead in their tracks. Get a 6 pack of Decor mini salad dressing tubs, they hold exactly 20 almonds. Don’t eat them straight from the packet because you won’t be able to stop at 20. Measure them out and have the tubs in the car, handbag etc.
• When grocery shopping compare food labels for different products on packets.
Y?: Only compare the PER 100 GRAMS panel because serving sizes vary too much. The biggest thing to watch is when it says “FAT FREE” but have a close look and watch the sugar especially in yogurts. NO fat = tons of sugar instead!!!!!!!!!
• Don’t waste your money buying meal replacement snack bars and shakes.
Y?: First of all these things are SUPER EXPENSIVE. Do they work, yes they do. You will lose weight whilst you are having them. BUT, as soon as you stop, you pack it all back on because it is a quick fix and won’t teach you to change your eating habits. You go straight back to what you were eating before and HELLOOOOO that’s how you put on weight in the first place.
• Try not to eat too much salt.
Y?: A little salt to season food is ok. Salty foods make the body retain more water than usual. Try it by jumping on the scales the next day. You will be surprised.
• Exercise, yes or no? It’s up to you...
Y?: Exercise is a good idea but not really for the fact that you “burn off” fat. Exercise is only about 15% off weight loss compared with 85% of the food that you eat. BUT, exercise is 100% for your mind. It gives you time to reflect and it releases endorphins so you feel great. Best time is to exercise is BEFORE breakfast because 1) there is nothing in your belly to burn so it is taken it from stored fat 2) it increases your metabolism for the rest of the day 3) it gets rid of the “cobwebs” and gets your day off to a great start.
I walked for 45 mins everyday come rain hail or shine. That is all you need to do. Seeing as walking is free you can spend the money you would have on classes or a gym membership on some good shoes. If you are going through paddocks like me invest in hiking shoes. They are waterproof and have a bit more tread.
• I wear a heart rate monitor that calculates calories when I exercise.
Y?: It tells me how much I’ve burnt off. I add that to my diary because it means you can eat more during the day. If you don't have a heart rate monitor go to http://www.weightloss.com.au/weight-los ... harts.html
and you can estimate your energy use.
• Drink lots of water.
Y?: When you lose weight your body breaks down it’s fat cells for energy. This creates toxic by products. Water helps flush out the toxins.
• Drink lots of Green tea.
Y?: Green tea is supposed to increase your metabolism, but seeing as I’m off caffeine I didn’t have any. You need to drink at least 10 cups of it though.
• Get some kitchen scales and weigh EVERYTHING you eat including sauces, spreads, sandwich fillings etc.
Y?: I know it’s a pain, but this way will be able to ACCURATELY work out how many Kj’s you’ve consumed. And also it is a good visual guide to portion sizes. Serving sizes on packets are AMAZINGLY SMALL!
• I weigh myself every day before breakfast.
Y?: because it is so easy to put a few hundred grams on in a week and not even know. The scales don’t lie, stretchy jeans do. You can pack on quite a few kg’s before stretchy jeans start to feel tight.
• I had trouble losing weight when I got my periods
Y?: Several reasons: 1) The hormones can make you more emotional and so you want to eat more, 2) I tend to retain more fluid the week before and during my period, 3) the fact that your blood sugars drop in the days leading up to your period and so your body craves sweet things even more than usual.
• After approx 1 month you will plateau (stop losing weight) for a week or 2.
Y?: Your body is getting used to its limited Kj intake and becomes very good at conserving energy. However, stick with it and after a couple of weeks you will start to lose weight again. Don’t lose heart, you will BREAK THROUGH.
• I aimed to lose approx 100gr a day.
This was probably a bit on the high side, but I just didn’t want to diet for months and months. It took me 12 weeks to lose 11kg’s.
• Make sure you adjust your calorie intake as you lose weight (and get older).
Y?: As you lose weight your body needs less Kj’s as it needs less energy to move around because there is less weight to shift every time you move. See: http://www.weightloss.com.au/weight-loss-tools.html
to work out you own calorie intake needs.
• What happens once I’ve lost the weight?
Sadly you can never go back to your old eating patterns ever again as that is how you put on weight in the first place. You will need to change your eating habits once and for all.
To keep your new shape requires constant vigilance and extreme willpower. Your body will try to get back to its previous shape as it was perfectly happy there.
It is so much easier to be losing weight than to maintain it. The Dieticians Assn of Australia estimates that a whopping 95% of people that lose weight put it back on and MORE within 2 years. I strongly believe that you need to change your whole outlook on food before you can become the other 5%.
HOWEVER....... I have found that if I stick fairly strictly to my Kj needs during the week (Mon-Fri) then on the weekend I eat and drink what I want. Two days out of five will not make you ‘stack it back on’. This way of eating is actually a good thing because it will trick your body and keep your metabolism working. I have kept off my 11 kg’s for 18 months now.
Surprisingly, this way of “5 on and 2 off” is quite a sustainable thing to do as you know the weekend is always coming up. Most social functions are on weekends as well, so you will never feel like you are missing out. Once Monday comes you will be heavier by 2-3 kgs but that is just the extra food, fluid and poop in your stomach. As this food makes it way through by Wed-Thurs-Fri you will be back to normal GOOD LUCK!