I recently went on a ten day holiday and came back four kg';s lighter. I wasn't on a diet. It happened with very little effort. Considerably less effort than what it usually takes to shift 4kg. Here is my little analytical look on how that happened:
My holiday weight loss was intersting. I am the type of girl who will lose her appetite with a broken heart (sob, it's ok, just a little holiday thing, hehe), but only for a couple of days. In any case, certain changes were made to my diet and exercise routine while I was away which resulted in a 4 kg loss, so, however that happened, I think it deserves a look-in.
3 meals per day (with optional snack)
We ate for every meal on holiday, which meant that we were eating 3 meals per day. Occasionally if we were hungry, we would eat a piece of fruit, or a tub of low fat or natural yoghurt for a mid-morning snack. The thing about 3 meals per day is that you allow your body to become hungry and you do enjoy your meals. On holiday you eat different types of food. That is important too - make your meals intersting, varied and full of flavour and you will be happy to wait for the meal.
I didn't starve waiting for breakfast or lunch. Not at all. We simply waited until we were hungry. Sometimes that was 12.30, sometimes it was 2pm. Then we ate.
The other thing I would point out, something I read, is that hunger signals (the rumbly stomach) does not always mean you really need food - the brain can give hungry signals to fix a balance that is more emotion-ralted than energy related. Sort of how the body tells you to seek out comfort food such as chocolate when you're sad or stressed - seeking serotonin to boost your mood. Apparently, according to what I read, the brain is concerned first and foremost with your emotional state not your nutritional state so sometimes these hunger cues are incorrect. Similarly, certain foods trigger further cravings. Have you ever eaten a huge bowl of pasta for dinner, only to have a rumbly hungry tummy an hour later? You think, 'how can that be, I just ate a big meal!'. Really your brain is probably just giving you hunger signals because the sugar in the pasta boosted your blood-sugar, and your serotonin, and then dropped, and so your brain is asking for more, to achieve that high again.
The point here is to be aware that rumbly tummy is not always hunger so I know I try not to run to the cupboard every time a hunger pang hits - think a little.
I had the advantage of naturally losing my appetite to aid portion control. Has that ever happened to you? I have experienced it before. It's when you have no interest in food - your body is giving you hungry signals and you basically have to eat to give your body fuel. You can't decide what to eat, because nothing takes your fancy. Very handy diet tool I must say, but not an affliction that is likely to stick with this little girl for too long!! As a result of my dwindling appetite, my portion sizes were smaller. I confess, there may have been a hangover thrown in there on one occasion (only one, I promise) which affected the appetite. The common denominator though was smaller portion sizes. I carried that over for the rest of the trip though, but without any sort of effort really. I ordered what I wanted and then I ate and when my body told me I was full, I stopped - sometimes leaving half the dish behind.
Eating Whatever you Want
What kind of things did I consume on my holiday? Frappocinno, souvlaki, spinach pies, halloumi, feta cheese, dolmathes, gyros, rice, bread, summer fruits, ice cream, cake, mousaka, fried potatos, salad, fried calamari, baked calamari, low fat yoghurt, boiled eggs, alcohol, pizza, crackers.
Hmm. Not exactly your usual diet food. How did I do that? It may not seem like it, but I did eat conciously. Within reason though! If I'd gone away and eaten salads for lunch and dinner every day, I could not have been any better off, I wouldn't have been happy or contented. I would have been panicked and pre-occupied.
I made sure to always eat a healthy breakfast. I've never really enjoyed started the day in fatty fashions anyway but I did crave the bacon and fried eggs, the rice pudding and the biscuits a little. So, one day in addition to my yoghurt I had a rasher of bacon and one egg. The next day, my friend and I each had only 2 teaspoons of a rice pudding in addition to our fruit and yoghurt. Yeah it was delicious and I could have scoffed the lot but I had my brain with me and just though, 'it's not worth it'. We tasted it, we said, 'that's nice', we put the spoon down, we pushed it away. The last day, I had a bite of the biscuit it breakfgast. It was quite nice but not amazing so I didn't bother with the rest.
For lunches and dinners I chose semi-carefully. I didn't go for full on fat each day, like pizzas and creamy pastas, but I just picked something I fancied. It's never really enjoyable eating something very greasy and fatty anyway is it. We made sure to choose salads some day, and some days we asked them to keep the bread basket away! When we got the basket, we ate one piece, not 3 or 4.
I think it's about eating what you want but within reason. Eat conciously and with your head screwed on, and with the consequences in mind. I would think, 'what would I prefer, this pie or a slimmer figure on the beach?'. Sometimes I chose the pie. Sometimes I chose the body. But as long as you're eating with your head.
For me, exericse has always been most effective when it happens effortlessly. Eg. a soccer game you enjoy, a dance session, a silly game of tip. I struggle sometimes with exercise routines and things I find mundace like walking or gymming (which will be a hurdle for me in these last few months in England, I may have to gym it!). We got a moderate amount of exercise on the trip but it was all extremely enjoyable. We danced the night away on bar tops... there are surely not too many forms as exercise as fun!! We walked around the town, exploring - something you do on holiday. My friend and I took the time out on our holiday only TWICE to do some little exerices, but they were fun because we did them together. We'd do sit ups in the water with out feet on the pool edge, we'd tred water. One day we did 1/2 our of resistance exerices in our room before the beach. One day we swam a few lengths from point A to point B in the ocean - it was lazy breast-stroke on my behalf - but it was about 1/2 hours worth and it was extremely relaxing and enjoyable. When I swam I also took notice of how my body was moving and stretching and pushing and pulling through the water.
No gyms, no pulling on the running shoes... just plain, enjoyable movements. I envy people who love the gym and I wish I was one of them. But if you're not, it's not the end of the world.
Being Happy and Keeping Busy
The one last thing I think which helped me lose weight on holiday is that I was relaxed and I was busy (riding around on quad bikes, or laying on the beach - all busy) and enjoying myself. It's really easy to want to eat when you're bored and in a rut. So it's important to keep your daily life interesting and varied I think, so that you don't fall into that trap. This is one that could be difficult to tackle, as everyday routine is really unavoidable, we can't always be jetting about on endless holidays unfortunately. I suppose recognising that rut, and trying to find something to get you out of it, is helpful.
Well, that is really the end of me just taking an analytical look and the way that I must have lost weight, quite unintentionally, on my holiday. Even though it was unintentional, I was started to feel slimmer half way through the holiday, and I certainly feel a lot better now. I can feel that I have lost a little bulk off my behind, so intead of there being two extra asses growing out the side of my regular one (you know what I'm talking about!), the whole region feels more pulled in. Also, looking in the mirror, I am definately beginning to see a more 'to scale' shape coming back in, as apposed to having all this bulk around my waist and hips. My boobs are feeling a little smaller. Not so great, but what can you do. Top is fitting better though. In general, just feeling a little more confident and in control.
Slow & Steady Wins the Race!
I'm imformed, committed & consistant. I'm loving my body & working towards a sustainable body, the healthy way.
Persistance will set you free.