Is It Over Yet?
A couple of birthdays, an anniversary, a school half-term, birth of a baby and end of Lent, (and now with Easter, the big one, second only to Christmas, thrown in for good measure) it has been a testing time to stay on track. I think we can all agree on that!
Huge congratulations if you’ve made it intact without the scales rising stratospherically north; muted handclap, but still there, for those who haven’t screamed when standing on the scales by barely registering a small gain, stall or plateau; and a knowing sigh (but reassuring nod) that this can be turned around to those who have registered either a big gain or are all at sea by going off-road!
For now the end is in sight – today (or tomorrow, if more sensible) signals a line in the sand when it all can change and we can make a new start before the summer begins.
How? Well first I am going to read, digest and follow my 7 new rules to stick to my low-carb and low-sugar targets that always get me back on track. They are a bit tough at first but I know that by this time next week I will feel so much better and in control. Check these out below …
I don’t go for crazy diets that omit whole food groups so this isn’t a no carbs regime but one that cuts out simple ones that I know form the basis of some of my cravings when they get a hold, and also spike my blood sugar levels after consumption which plays havoc with my portion control too.
By following these rules and a regime based on them for a week or two I find myself comfortably back on track and very much in control.
Do come on board and see what this entails if you’re troubled too after the Easter breaks (and beyond); are struggling with regain; experiencing a plateau or stall – or simply want to feel healthier. I shall be showing some of my food choices on my Instagram feed and my recipes on the website blog (starting this coming week) will reflect my new choices.
The 7 Rules
- Reduce Or Eliminate Your Intake Of High Carb Simple Sugar Foods: This means reducing or cutting down substantially (or all together) processed breakfast cereals, white or processed bread without wholegrain and little fibre), pasta. white potatoes, rice, couscous, quick-cook or instant oats, crackers, rice cakes, cakes, cookies, biscuits, sweets, candies, fruit juice, sugary cordials and foods where sugar is listed near the top of the ingredient list.
- Fill Half Of Your Plate (Bariatric Size) With Protein: Then fill the remaining half with non-starchy and salad vegetables such as salad leaves, broccoli, mushrooms, peppers, cabbage etc – the former protein will keep you fuller for longer and should be eaten first, and the latter will also help to keep you full without raising your blood sugar levels to an appreciable degree so you avoid a sugar spike. Keep an eye on your consumption of any root vegetables or starchy ones – minimising them to treat status.
- Eat Good Fats: These include oily fish, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado and animal fats (but not trans fats). These are good for your metabolism as well as for helping you to feel full. Add nuts and cheese in moderation – although they are nutritious they are highly calorific so use portion control for them.
- Stop Snacking And Grazing: Have three good main meals in a day and forget for now any snacks. Fasting between meals and overnight really helps improve your body’s response to insulin.
- Eat Some Form Of Protein At Every Meal: Protein is essential for all your body’s repair mechanisms and so it’s needs must be met. Jot down your protein at each meal so that you are having about a minimum of 70 g per day. It doesn’t of course have to be just animal based but also plant based too (indeed I encourage you to add a few more of these). It really does also help you to feel fuller for longer.
- Drink 2 Litres Of Water A Day: This is to keep your body well hydrated. Don’t mistake mild dehydration for hunger pangs. If you’re unsure have a glass of water, wait 20 minutes and then see if you still feel hungry.
- Do Enjoy Fruit But Choose Those Naturally Low In Sugar: These include berries, apples and pears. Opt for these over high-sugar tropical fruits such as bananas, pineapple and mango.
NOTE: Always consult your GP or Bariatric Team/Dietitian before starting a new meal plan, particularly if you are taking any prescribed medication and/or have diabetes.
I almost added an number 8 in the form of checking your portions and proportions – you know how much I hold store by these. I use a my own bariatric portion plate to make things virtually foolproof but you can use any plate with a similar size and proportion lines (or eyeball them yourself) to be accountable during this time. My bariatric cutlery (used at most meals) helps to slow down my eating speed and get bite-size sorted. Away from home I also use my bariatric bento box.
And if we were to stretch to a number 9 then I would say by all means stick to what you know is reliable food wise but also don’t feel deprived by making mundane choices. Look out our recipes on the website, Instagram, Facebook & Twitter; scroll through the current newsletter (and previous ones in the archive); pull out your recipe books for inspiration (and consider the new ones in our ‘The Bariatric Bible’); and come back here since I shall be covering some basics of this regime and my food choices this coming week.
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