Hey guys, I’m so sorry It’s been awhile since I last posted having been christmas and new year I’ve been incredibly busy and as always experiencing serious January blues. I have big plans this year for my blog and my youtube account. On my blog I’m planning to be adding either a new blog entry or recipe every other week going forward, perhaps more often depending on how busy I am. So keep messaging me and leaving comments of things you’d like to see from me. I have decided going forward my blog is going to be about health (physical and mental) and all things food (reviews, recipes etc) and my You tube will be outings, baking fun videos, creativity and fashion stuff.

Okay so I did a Q and A the other day on Instagram and I was asked many questions about how I lost weight and for recipes to aid in this. I thought rather than addressing them all independently I would write a blog entry to share with you all as in the past I’ve also had a lot of questions about it. For those that don’t know I lost quite a lot of weight after being on some heavy medication that made me gain 2.5 stone (35 pounds) in two months, I was really depressed and had absolutely no idea how I was going to loose the weight as i’d on and off struggled with weight gain through binging and thyroid issues in the past. I did manage to loose 3.5 stone (49 pounds) then last year after having a bad bought of depression I had an episode of over indulgence and I gained a stone but having changed my relationship with food I very easily lost the weight and have successfully kept the weight off. I have since gone on to help many friends to loose weight and keep to their goals.

I believe that you should be any size you’d like to be as long as you’re comfortable in your own skin. This is something I preach to everyone. For me I didn’t feel comfortable being the weight I was and I decided I wanted to loose it. I wanted to not only loose weight but I wanted to feel stronger and build some muscle too. So there started my journey to loosing weight.

 

 

11.5 stone

 

 

 

8 stone.

I am by no means an expert so please if you are experiencing issues or feeling weak or unwell please go to a health care professional. I am simply sharing how I lost weight and how I changed my relationship with food to keep the weight off in a healthy manner.

Please note that I hate the term dieting and my main focus is about a life style change to something that is sustainable to your body and most importantly if you’ve lost the weight you want to maintain it.

 

If you follow me on social media you’ll know that I’m a massive foodie. I’m one of those annoying people that constantly posts photos of my food in my stories, on my facebook and of course always creating recipes to share with you all. So after gaining weight the dreaded thought of having to cut out my favourite foods because as society would tell you they were a huge sin and this was really depressing, I love pizza and chocolate and although my diet is generally very healthy the thought of giving up my favourite “naughty” foods was really depressing. In the past the reason I had lost weight was purely by cutting out “bad foods” but would often lead to bingeing sessions later on. This is why I no longer label foods as naughty or bad as for me it leads to a very toxic  relationship with food and disordered eating habits. I had no idea how to loose weight other than this really toxic mentality.

There is also a whole host of contradicting information out there telling you to be on *insert fad diet* or of course the alternative of weight watchers and as great as these are for many people as soon as you stop at your goal weight you start gaining again because you don’t actually know how you lost the weight in the first place and then the cycle of “well I better start again” happens. I have so many friends that have done this, but I’m here to reassure you that you don’t need to give up all your favourite foods to loose some weight.

After doing a lot of research I discovered their big secret…. the way these types of programs work is that they keep you in a calorie deficit and that’s it! To loose weight you just need to make sure you’re eating less than you burn off. Simple right! you don’t need special teas and there isn’t some magical tablet you can take that will make you loose the weight you want to, you just have to eat less than the energy you’re using.

Yes that means that you can eat pizza and ice cream and chocolate and still loose weight.

I know, this sounds like an absolute dream come true doesn’t it? And it absolutely is! Now before you get carried away and start shoveling bags of crisps down your throat you need to make sure that you’re leading a happy and healthy balanced life style (I know! You hear this everywhere and i’m sure you’re sick of hearing it honestly, but you want to be healthy on the inside too so that you don’t struggle with heart issues and other inner body issues). You can still eat the odd take away, packet of crisps or muffin but It’s important to remember that foods like this aren’t nourishing for your body and although you can definitely still eat them and they aren’t the devil like diet culture would have you believe they are high in calories and saturated fats.

My biggest weakness is definitely… hands down… chocolate,  (self confessed choc-o-holic here) I would have it for every meal of the day if I could.  When looking at my favourite chocolate bar (big shout out to OMBAR For the most incredible chocolate ever) for the 35 gram bar it contains 202 calories but then for comparison you get the same amount of calories for scrambled tofu on a slice of toast with veges and of course this is a lot more filling and sustainable. I wouldn’t just have a chocolate bar for lunch as i’d still be hungry.

Making wise decisions when choosing what you’re putting into your body is really important but also remember it’s absolutely okay to eat foods that you want when loosing weight (and going into your diet with this mentality often stops the needing to binge). When I lost weight I ate pizza at least once a week and a few pieces of dark chocolate every day. I ate everything I baked so I was definitely having cakes regularly, I just made sure that I accounted for them into my calories and the rest of my meals were healthy and nutritious.

Also if you slip off the band wagon for a day or two don’t worry! you’re not suddenly going to undo all of your work it’s absolutely okay to have a few days where you eat more than others if you’re extra hungry those days. The biggest thing i’m trying to stress here is to make sure that what you’re doing is maintainable and sustainable. 

Phew! So now that is all out in the open lets talk about how I worked out how to eat in a healthy deficit.

First thing I did was go to Tdee calculator and input my stats. I’m going to show you screen shots of my stats so you can understand and see mine. I’ll try to break it down as easy and as much as possible.

 

Your Maintenance Calories

1,852
calories per day

12,964
calories per week

After inputting your stats it’ll tell you bunch of information. At the top to the left in the box it says “your maintenance calories” as you can see mine says 1852 with 12,964 calories per week, I am at a point where I don’t want to loose anymore weight but maintain so for me I can eat up to this amount each day and I won’t gain weight as long as I stick to my current exercise regiment. To the right hand side it says “basal metabolic rate 1,195”

This is really important, you should never eat below this amount. 

Eating below this amount can cause serious health issues. Your body needs this amount to function every day and to make sure your body is healthy.

 

Basal Metabolic Rate 1,195 calories per day

 

scrolling down the page you have your ideal weight and BMI. I don’t really pay much attention to these. As you can see it states:

“Your ideal body weight is estimated to be between 110-123 lbs based on the various formulas listed below. These formulas are based on your height and represent averages so don’t take them too seriouslyespecially if you lift weights.”

I got to the gym regularly and I lift weights and do cardio so I don’t tend to pay much attention to these. BMI also doesn’t account for bone density etc so don’t worry so much about this even if you don’t it’s just an average.

Lower down near the bottom of the page you have a section that says macro nutrients. “maintenance, cutting and bulking” click the tab that says cutting. As you can see mine says “1,352 calories per day, which is a 500 calorie per day deficit from your maintenance of 1,852 calories per day.” So that is exactly what I would need to eat if I wanted to loose weight.

You also have a list of Macro nutrients. If you don’t know what macro-nutrients are they’re simply the fat, carbohydrate and protein amounts in your food. I really recommend that everyone sticks to the moderate carb maintenance unless you’re on something like Paleo diet where you might want to pick higher protein, but for simply just loosing weight on a regular weight loss journey this option is the most suitable.

Next you need some way of tracking how many calories you’re eating. I use My fitness Pal (if you’d like to add me on there my diary is deliberately public so you can see the food I eat every day and I add recipes from my website so you can replicate them and find them easily. Leave a comment below) after making an account go to the section that says Goals. From there input your calories and macro nutrients. I believe you can only do this from the website and not the app. I really recommend downloading the App too, this will make adding food in really easy as you can scan barcodes. The food data base on fitness pal is huge and I’ve only had a couple of times where food items haven’t been found and that’s usually with a new product. You can also recipes of your own in there with your own ingredients and it’ll work the calories out for you. (if you make any of my recipes then you can find my recipes in fitness pal as Miss bunny *insert food*)

Please note above that it says I’ve lost 18lbs, this was after I reset my fitness pal so isn’t accurate to my true weight loss which is stated above.

I have found that using a food scale really helps, I bought a cheap electronic one from Amazon. It’s often hard to eye up exactly how many grams you think you’re using especially at the beginning so if you’re not good with portion control like I wasn’t in the past then weighing scales are really handy to help you keep track of portion sizes!

I used to struggle a lot with stopping when full if there was food in front of me because I felt bad about waste but it’s really important to remember that if you have a portion of food in front of you and you’re full don’t push your body to eat more and to try tune into the signals that your body is giving to you to stop. On the flip side of this if one day you are really hungry then make sure you eat something, don’t let yourself starve just to keep yourself in your calorie goals because this will be detrimental to your health.

Are you boredem eating?

I used to find that I would do this all the time. I wasn’t really hungry but if I didn’t have much else to do I would start looking for food. If you find this relates to you then this trick may be handy for you. Ask yourself “could I eat an apple now?” often if we’re boredem eating it’s crisps or junk food we want. If your answer to this is “no” then you know it’s likely boredem eating and it might be a sign to go find something to do to distract yourself.

HYDRATE! HYDRATE! HYDRATE

This is a funny one. Often when we’re feeling hungry it’s actually thirst. Make sure you aim to drink plenty of water. I drink about 2 liters of water a day more in the summer and if I’ve done a heavy work out.

 

Keep an eye on Macros.

Okay so I mentioned macros above. Just a reminder they’re your carbohydrate, fat and protein intake. You can absolutely loose weight not paying attention to your macros as long as you’re in a calorie deficit. However tracking them makes it easier to do so. On fitness pal it’ll tell you if you’ve over eaten a specific macro. Some days my macros are all over the place… for instance I totally ate the new Papa John’s pizza yesterday (it was absolutely delicious by the way) and so my carbohydrate intake was a lot higher. However to try and keep some balance knowing I was having pizza for dinner I ensured I had a high protein breakfast and lunch.  (mindful eating and all that)

I am currently on the low fodmap diet due to stomach issues so as a vegan it cuts out a lot of big protein sources (chick peas, lentils, beans) however I always aim to hit between 85-100 grams of protein per day minimum. I use a great tasting protein powder for shakes from a brand called The protein works. Their vegan protein powders are some of the tastiest I’ve ever tried. I’ve tried almost all of them now and my favourites that I highly recommend are Chocolate silk, vanilla creme, Birthday cake, mint chocolate brownie and salted caramel. I really recommend protein shakes especially if you’re working out as you need the protein to help build muscle and of course even if you’re not working out protein is vital for brain function! If you sign up and buy protein through my code they’ll also send you a free bag of protein!  Click this link: The protein works

Okay so we’ve talked protein but what about fats? It’s really important to make sure you eat healthy fats when trying to loose weight. A lot of people see the word fat and shy away. You don’t need to do this at all (hurray!) There is a really big difference between trans fats and healthy fats. Trans fats are those fats you’ll find in fried foods or take away. Healthy fats can be found in almonds, avocado and olive oil for example. Fats are essential to the body and you need fat to burn fat! So make sure that you’re eating healthy fats too.

On tdee they say for every 10-14lbs you loose then you should reset your stats on the website. When you reach your goal check tdee and up your calories to your maintenance calories.

Down 3.5 stone, trying on an old skirt that I used to wear regularly.

 

Exercise?

So I’ve just given you a whole host of information on my diet. What about exercise? Do you need to exercise to loose weight? Absolutely not…You could sit in bed and eat your calories lying in bed doing nothing all day and still loose weight. Do I recommend this? No.

The more you exercise the more calories you can eat…That sounds like the perfect reward and the best excuse to exercise if nothing else. That aside exercise has so many positive impacts on your body and can definitely speed up weight loss.

I really recommend finding an exercise that you find fun and incorporating it into your day. I exercise 6-7 days a week either from walking, gym, yoga, rebounding or pilates (and very excitingly starting pole fitness soon). Even dancing around your house for an hour is better than doing nothing and can have such a positive impact on your mental health.

I’ve invested in some work out bits for home; A yoga mat, light weights and a rebounder (indoor exercise trampoline perfect for low impact workouts on the joints). I have found a couple of you-tubers I adore Blogilates and Yoga with Adriene are a couple I highly recommend. I also have an app called easy workout light which is just a 5 minute work out a day; one for abs and one for thighs and butt. I do generally make sure I exercise everyday in some way or another being active for a minimum of 60 minutes (going for a walk, yoga, gym) but some days I’m tired, It’s really important to listen to your body other wise you could end up doing more harm than good. so along with mindful eating mindful exercise too!

Another good thing to point out is that if you’re exercising remember muscle weighs more than fat! this might mean your inches are going down but your weight isn’t. On fitness pal you can also keep track of measurements too. I focus less on weight now a days and as i’m working out more at the gym I’m keeping an eye on how i’m feeling and measurements. I have been taking progress shots each month.

Supplements?

I took some supplements on my weight loss journey. Purely because I have borderline low thyroid issues (and at times my thyroid has become under active) for this I take Magnesium which is also good for reducing water retention that you might be holding onto, typically heavy carbohydrate meals can mean your body holds water weight more. Vitamin D which also helps aid weight loss if you’re deficient, iodine, B12 (because i’m vegan) and selenium. Please research supplements before taking and if unsure ask your Dr. I really recommend researching your supplements before buying too, make sure you’re paying for quality!

I don’t recommend weighing yourself everyday. Your weight will naturally fluctuate during the week depending on food and a whole host of other things! Try weigh yourself once a week at the same time of the day. You will weigh more at night than in the morning and If you’re a girl remember you can gain up to about 4lbs in water weight before your period.

Now I know that Is a whole load of information that I have given you but i’m really hoping that I’ve answered all of your questions and in a simple form. A really great you tuber Jordan Shrinks also has a video explaining the same thing. Her channel is really inspiring. She talks a lot about her issues with binge eating and body dysmorphia so I really recommend following her if you have similar issues.

If you have any more questions please feel free to leave a comment below. But for now so long, lots of love and good luck on your journey <3