I am a 23 year old adult female, 5 ft 3 (160cm,) and my starting weight was 10 st 3 lbs / 64.9kg / 142.8lbs. Because I am really quite short, this weight actually means my BMI was 25.3 – I had officially hit the overweight category! I have always been a fairly slim person, so this fact was sort of scary to me.
And I know, BMI isn’t the most accurate way to determine whether you are healthy as an individual or not. I don’t argue that someone could have bigger bones/more muscle mass than another person, and thus be categorised as overweight. I don’t argue that different weights are “right” for different people…
I also don’t argue that using your BMI purely as an indicator for what weight would be healthiest for you, is a good first step. For example, I actually am extremely lazy and thus my muscle mass is almost certainly less than the average healthy person, so my weight goal is probably actually over what it should be. I’m not focusing on my body’s composition – just its weight as good first step in the right direction!
I chose a weight goal based on the BMI that was right in the middle of the healthy BMI range, as that seemed like the healthiest option to me (note: I am a perfectionist if you couldn’t already tell…) That meant that my new goal was 8 st 11 lbs / 55.8 – 55.9kg / 123lbs. That would put me at a BMI of around 21.75 – smack bang in the center of the healthy range!
I was a vegan before I began my mission to lose 19.8lbs, which made things a bit easier in my opinion. As I said, I’m lazy so although it isn’t the healthiest option, I didn’t really want to exercise as a form of weight loss if I could avoid it. I probably started my diet somewhere between the 15th Dec and 20th Dec and woke up this morning 10 lbs lighter than my starting weight (from 142.8lbs to 132.8lbs,) here is how I achieved that:
The first thing I did, was to use a calorie calculator to work out how many calories I’d need to be eating, with my no-exercise lifestyle, in order to lose a healthy maximum of 2lbs per week. I’m around 3 weeks behind that goal, as it has taken me around 8 weeks instead of 5 weeks to lose 10 lbs, but I’m completely cool with that. Once I worked out how many calories I needed to eat per day, I divided this number by 3 to work out around how many calories I should be aiming to have per meal.
This number seemed pretty low, and I didn’t want to be malnourished in any way. So, I turned to nutrient dense foods. If you search Google Images for nutrient density, charts will show up with a scale of how nutrient dense certain foods are.
Nutrient density just basically means foods with the most nutrients per calorie. So, they are very nutritious, but low in calorie! An individual chart wont show many different food items, so it is best to look at several different ones to get a good idea of the types of things you should be eating.
You can’t forget that you are still aiming to have foods from each food group – you want some fruit/veg, you want some protein and you want some starchy carbs. Kale became my best friend 😀 An example of a meal I would eat at first would be a portion of couscous with a couple of big handfulls of kale, half a tin of chopped tomatoes and a sprinkle of lentils, peas and carrots. The only seasoning I’d use would be salt for this meal. It sounds simple, but is actually really tasty and pretty good for you! Another type of meal I might have had would be some porridge made with a mix of water and unsweetend almond milk with a little apricot jam. I also loved having couscous with tons of salad, like half a bag of the stuff!
Snacks would usually be cherry tomatoes (super tasty, healthy and low in calories,) strawberries, blueberries and veggies (celery, carrots or kale) with low fat hummus. I also really enjoy these pots of edamame (soy bean) salad they sell in Asda, and often will have a pot of that for lunch to top up my protein! The only drinks I try to drink are water, green tea or if I want something that feels like a treat, I’ll have some Pepsi Max (NOT GOOD FOR YOU so only drink it if you really wan to curb your cravings!)
I’m not perfect, and I’ve slipped with my diet tons of times. I’ve indulged in cider a couple of times this past week, lots of champagne and wine during Christmas time… I have had lots of sweets, delicious berry pies, custard, crisps, takeaway and even ice cream! Hence why it has taken me 3 weeks longer to lose 10 lbs 😉 The key is really to just be mindful and careful of what you are eating and the calories in that food. For example, in the past 8 weeks, here are a few of my unhealthy slip-up totals:
Takeaway: Twice or so.
Ice Cream: Once.
Crisps: One of my biggest slips, so maybe 10 times.
Sweets: Maybe 4 times.
Alcohol: 5 times or so.
Pasta: Around 8 times.
Bread: Maybe 5 times.
So, as you can see, I am far from perfect! I DO go over the calories I should be eating EVERY SINGLE DAY.
The key is to know when to stop and to not go too crazy! If you feel really hungry but are worried that if you eat more you will go over your calorie limit, I suggest snacking on cherry tomatoes, carrots, kale, strawberries and even lower calorie cereals like blueberry wheats 🙂 You will still go over your calorie limit for the diet you set yourself, but you will still be under the total amount of calories your body needs per day to sustain its weight, so you will still be losing weight overall!
It is also vital to drink a lot of fluids, as they really aid in weight loss and sometimes the body thinks it is hungry when actually, it is thirsty! According to my calculations, I should have completed my weight loss by around April 5th-10th. I think I’m going to have to make less slips to be able to lose my final 9.8lbs, wish me luck!