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Health and Maintaining Weight Loss

Hey guys!

Just wanted to write a post to update you all on how maintaining my weight loss has been going, and how I’m going to proceed from here in terms of health goals.

If any of you didn’t know, last year I began my own little weight loss journey, and completed it a few months ago. I say little weight loss journey because I only wanted to lose 15 lbs (from 142.8 to 127.8 lbs,) so the visual transformation in my body isn’t super noticeable! Regardless, I feel much happier and healthier now 🙂

I have successfully kept the weight off (exactly 127.8 lbs when I weighed myself this morning!) Below I will give 5 tips on how to lose weight based on how I managed it (I’m not a health professional by any means,) and then 5 tips on how to maintain weight.

Here are some quick before and after photos. All the before ones will be on the left and are from August 30th – September 6th 2016. All the after pictures will be on the right and are from June 17th – September 6th 2017. (Sorry they’re not clear, I can’t be bothered to edit them right now…)

I at least can see the changes! Before I looked a lot less happy and my body looked disproportionately large in comparison to my head! After I look more happy, much more shapely, healthier, everything looks proportionate and I look a hell of a lot younger in my opinion!


Tips on how to lose weight through diet:

  • Try to only eat until you feel content, do your BEST to not eat until you feel FULL!
  • Drink plenty of water – 2-3 litres a day. This is a perfectly healthy amount to drink in a day, and doing so really helps with weight loss. When we are dehydrated, we easily put on water weight because our body is scared to let any water go! Also, often when we feel hungry we are actually just thirsty or bored. Drinking water gives you something to do without causing you to gain weight, and keeps you hydrated. You’ll also feel a lot more hungry if you’re not drinking enough because your stomach will be more empty than it should be. On top of all of that, water helps a LOT with digestion, which in turn helps with weight loss and bloating. Water helps you to feel more energetic. Having the energy to move around helps with weight loss! Basically, water is amazing. Drink lots of it!
  • Try to avoid unhealthy, carby foods with low nutrient-density. Try to limit your intake of sweets, cakes, chocolate, crisps, noodles, pasta, bread, biscuits etc, and find lower calorie options where able to. Since I began my diet, I only drank unsweetened almond milk because of how low in calories it is, and now that’s the only milk I actually enjoy drinking! This change reduced my calories from 39 per 100ml of milk to 13 per 100ml of milk – that’s a third of the calories! I also really try to go for healthier options when I eat, and tend to steer toward vegetable based meals with tons of greens like kale in them. Use low calorie carbohydrates like couscous and cereal. The more nutrient dense your food is, the more satisfying and filling it will be.
  • DON’T GIVE UP! It took me a REALLY long time to lose 15lbs, and I became disheartened a lot during the process. It’s really easy to give up, but just pick yourself back up and keep going. You’ll get there in the end and trust me, it will be 100% worth it once you do 🙂
  • This might be a really obvious one, but count your calories! This is real stressful but, honestly, if you REALLY want to lose that weight then the most direct route to doing that is by counting your calories. Use a calorie calculator to see how many calories you should be eating a day to lose a maximum of 2lbs a week and do your best to stick to your chosen amount of calories everyday. This is how I lost weight and the only times I didn’t lose weight consistently was when I got lazy with my calorie counting. This method isn’t fun, but it does work!

Tips on how to maintain weight through diet:

  • Don’t go absolutely nuts with junk food just because you reached your weight loss goal! It’s really easy to feel like you are allowed to reward yourself with a good old binge on your favourite snacks and food items, but really, don’t. I mean, it’s okay to overeat every now and then but you just have to remember that for every day you over-eat during the week, a day will need to be spend under-eating in order to balance your calorie intake and outake and to maintain your weight. It’s all about balance guys!
  • Don’t get lazy and stop drinking so much water when you finish your weight loss journey. Just because you feel more full because you’re able to eat more food now, it doesn’t mean water becomes any less important! You’ll gain weight pretty quickly if you slack on your water intake!
  • Don’t change the good, nutrient dense food that you’re eating. I still eat loads of kale, tomatoes, broccoli etc, it’s just that I’m more able to also eat other foods like carby noodles, rice and bread with my meals too now. If you switch over to less healthy foods once your diet ends then again, you’ll gain the weight back very quickly.
  • Don’t stop checking your weight! It’s scary how quickly you can gain / lose weight when you’re not keeping an eye on it. I’d make sure to quickly weigh myself at least every 2 weeks or so (preferably once a day) just to keep an eye on the direction that things are going. It’s much easier to nip a weight gain of 2lbs in the bud than it is to have to lose 7lbs all over again!
  • If you do notice you’ve gained a little weight, don’t feel disheartened – weight fluctuations are normal! 1-2 lbs of weight gain will only take 1-7 days of drinking lots of water and eating nutrient dense, low calorie meals for your weight to spring back to normal.

Now that i weigh a healthy amount, it’s time to move onto a different health goal. Being the best weight you can be for your height does generally improve your health, but it definitely isn’t the only important aspect of being healthy! I’m still incredibly unfit, have a high fat to muscle ratio, have pretty poor waist to height measurements, still eat somewhat crappy foods, still don’t drink enough water and so on and so fourth. There’s an infinite amount of ways that you can improve your health, and it’s something I intend to keep trying to do until I can’t any longer.

I chose becoming my ideal weight (ideal BMI of 21.75)  to be my first health goal because I was just so sick of not being a healthy weight. Absolutely everything about it made me miserable, and it was a no-brainer for it to be the first health goal I try to achieve.

I’m going to make my second health goal to be to bring my water intake up to my ideal amount everyday. Hopefully this should be a very quick health goal to complete, and is fairly crucial in order for me to achieve other future health goals (such as fitness!) I’ll begin working on this tomorrow! The idea is to put my full focus into whatever health goal I’m currently working on, meaning I won’t be putting any focus on maintaining my weight while I try to get my water intake up. Instead, I’ll make sure that my weight has been maintained once I have finished my current goal, and if it hasn’t then I’ll quickly sort it out! I find it much easier to work on one thing at a time!

You can work out how much water you should be drinking based on your weight. A good guide for a healthy adult is 35ml of water per kg of weight, which is around 2 litres for me (2028.91868ml apparently,) or around 680ml (24oz) of water with every meal. With water, it is important to remember that too much isn’t healthy – it’s important to be getting in the right amount of fluids for your body and your levels of fitness!

That’s all from me for today 🙂

Love you all!

– Storm x

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How to lose weight easily.

Long Introduction:

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:

My… method???:

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!

– Storm