Yep, all ‘12 suggested servings’ of it. The whole damn thing.
I love cakes, biscuits, chocolates, all those little sugary treats! People are often surprised and shocked to hear I eat them, why? Because I’m pretty lean.
What people fail to realise is that being lean doesn’t mean not eating chocolate bars or slices of cake; being lean means that you can have these things in moderation as long as you work them into your sustainable diet. I hate the word “diet”. When people ask what diet I’m on they always assume it’s some calorie restrictive, carb cutting, anti-sugar warfare. Wrong.
Yes, I track my calories.
Yes, I track my macros.
Yes, I check what fuel I’m putting into my body.
But it’s not a diet plan, it’s just my lifestyle.
How do you make it sustainable?
Make it work for you, make it fit around the rest of your life. It doesn’t have to be a huge issue to worry and stress over – which in turn will probably cause you to stress eat even more!
Here’s My Top Tips For You :-
- Look at the week as a whole, not day to day. This way you can see if there may be days where you’re likely to eat more or be restricted in your choice of meals. You can plan around days and nights out, factor in your alcohol consumption and any puddings you might have at restaurants or ice creams at the park. Then look at the days around these where you can ease back on your calories or particular macros and in a sense, bank up some spare calories for those trips out. Don’t get weighed down with thinking you have to be perfect every day, that’s just not sustainable, instead look at your averages over a 7 day period.
- Don’t take away all the foods you love, you’ll just crave them even more. The fact you’ve made them ‘forbidden’ makes them seem even more tempting! If you want ice cream, eat full fat ice cream with all the caramel, chocolate chips, marshmallows and cookie dough in it you like. I don’t see the point in having low calorie, sugar free, no taste ice cream, it will never satisfy that need, those cravings.(Just factor in to your weekly intake)
- I often get a lot of comments about my weekly food prep like, “how do you do it?” and “teach me how to prep”. Well, it’s not really that difficult, plan some meals and cook them! We, (my husband and I, he’s the cook!) sit down on a Wednesday night and look at the plans for the following week, write out a list of meals based on what’s happening and then order our online food delivery according to the meal plan. This way we remove the temptation of going up and down the isles looking at all the snacks that are on offer and we only get exactly what we need saving us time and money! We do all our prep on a Sunday morning, this is the best time in the week that we have found to be able to get it all done in one go. We get up nice and early, put on some tunes and get cracking! We love cooking together, it’s a great chance to catch up and spend proper time together that we don’t get in the rest of the week. It’s a team effort, I help prepare things and wash up and he cooks everything; cooking meals, not my forte!
Some of you might think, “It’s all very well for you, I have children to look after, I don’t have the time for this.” Ok, fair point. Why not get your kids involved, get them interested in food, veggies, herbs, spices, smells, textures! Get them excited about new meals to try out and new flavours to explore.
Can’t cook several at a time? Start off with one or two in an evening, or get something in the slow cooker – absolute food prep king of a machine! It’s not been an easy journey to get to this point with my food. I used to hate food, hated trying new food, hated going to restaurants because of the anxiety it caused not knowing if there was going to be anything on the menu I would eat.
My mum was never very adventurous with our meals and I grew up on cheese sandwiches for dinner and mashed potato, carrots and Birdseye frozen meat of various descriptions every night. We were allowed one mini chocolate bar, one packet of crisps and two biscuits (very strict on the two biscuits rule!) and if you were still hungry, eat some fruit. Over the years I’ve been encouraged to eat a wider variety, especially different vegetables other than carrot and peas! I’ve found it tough and often overwhelming at times, finding myself wishing for potato smiles and turkey dinosaurs like mummy used to make. But I’ve battled on, along with a good metabolism, stubbornness runs strong in my genes! Prepping my food has allowed me more freedom with what, where and when I eat. It’s allowed me to take control over what I fuel my body with and highlighted the areas where I’ve been eating too much or too little of a particular food group. It’s also opened my eyes to a whole world of flavours out there I never knew existed!
Using resources like My Fitness Pal helped me track everything to start with and learn about calories and macros – I had no clue whatsoever about these things before I started training! After a while it all becomes second nature. Don’t stress out about prepping, make it fun, make it interesting. Keep some old faithful recipes that you can quickly knock up but then try one new meal every week, every other week or month. Slowly build up your meal prep time, you don’t even have to cook everything, just get all the veggies chopped in the morning so you can quickly throw them in the pan later and get some chicken marinating overnight Start small, just little tasks to make it easier in the long run. People say, “You make it look so easy”, well I have had a lot of practice and I’ve not been alone on this journey. If you need help or guidance, there are always people around you who will happily help, you just need to ask.