This is not your average weight loss article.
In fact, I’m going to start by telling you something you probably won’t hear in any other weight loss article.
I DIDN’T DIET TO LOSE WEIGHT!
No restriction. No deprivation. No quitting sugar or carbs or fat.
“All things I knew I didn’t want to be doing in 10 years time because my health, and my relationship with food, mattered more than some number on the scales”.
Sure, I don’t have abs or a fitness model body. But I have a body that is healthy, that functions well, that is energetic and lively, and that is healthy from the inside out.
So how did I do it without dieting? Isn’t dieting the only way to lose weight?
Let me boggle your mind and challenge everything you’ve ever learnt. Because dieting is NOT the answer to weight loss and it most likely won’t get you long-term results (I’m yet to find a study that suggests restrictive weight loss is the forever-answer).
I lost the baby weight through healthy and sustainable lifestyle changes.
Firstly, it’s probably helpful if you read about my pregnancy journey and how I stayed fit during my pregnancy despite the fact I’m not a fitness expert.
I live and breathe a healthy lifestyle BUT during my pregnancy picked up some not-so-flash habits. Habits such as eating refined sugar more than 20% of the time. Habits such as boredom-eating at the end of the day (oh the bowls of cereal I was eating!). Habits that saw me feeling tired, lethargic and not quite myself.
I knew about nutrition and what I ‘should’ be eating. That wasn’t the problem. I didn’t need a strict meal plan or “weight loss challenge”.
What I did need was a way to change my not-so-healthy habits. I needed guidance and a voice to say ‘what about this’ when I started boredom eating. I needed a program I trusted to get me the results I wanted. Results that kept my health in check and ensured I didn’t allow myself to re-create an unhealthy relationship with food.
And on a side note, that was actually how my Inner Pretty Wellness Program was born. Out of sheer frustration that I could only find weight loss programs riddled with restriction, deprivation, calorie counting or crazy gym sessions. All things I knew I didn’t want to be doing in 10 years time because my health, and my relationship with food, mattered more than some number on the scales.
I’ve poured my heart and soul into my Inner Pretty program which will be launching in December 2016, but in the mean time let me share with you some of the favourite tips and tricks I used to lose baby weight without dieting.
Last week I wrote an article about how perfect eating can damage your mental health and your relationship with food (you can read it here). I know because I used to believe perfect eating was the answer to my problems and as a result I had a terribly toxic relationship with food. I’ve since healed that relationship (which took a lot of time, patience and self-discovery) and have lived and breathed balance ever since.
Feeling like you have to restrict or give up your favourite foods only leads to cravings and binges. Instead, focus on nourishing your body with healthy food as often as possible while allowing yourself to eat the foods you love and appreciate every so often. You’ll be surprised at how little you crave those less healthy foods when you know you can have them if you want them!
Wellness warrior tip: Aim for a source of protein, healthy fat and carbohydrate at each meal. Meal prep once or twice a week so you always have healthy options ready to go!
DITCH THE SCALES
Feel free to place your scales under a car wheel and reverse. Actually, that’s probably not safe so don’t do that! But in all seriousness, scales are not the answer to your weight loss journey. The scales aren’t going to tell you how proud they are of you for getting up and walking even though you were up three times during the night with your babies. They aren’t going to smile back at you for choosing a healthy salad over a bowl of fries, and they sure aren’t going to tell you it’s okay to indulge in your favourite dessert tonight.
Focus on non-scale victories such as your clothing fitting better, your skin glowing, being able to carry seven bags of groceries from the car instead of two, choosing salad and lean protein over burgers and fries even when your husband is eating burgers and fries, or being able to keep up with your child at the park. They are all victories worth celebrating!
Wellness warrior tip: Take progress photos and compare yourself only to YOU.
My favourite kind of exercise is the kind you accidentally do! Did you know activities such as cleaning, playing with your children and shopping count as physical activity? Pop on your activewear (or wear it all day like me) and move your body as often as you can.
And if you can, stick on a short Youtube video (like my favourite Lucy Wyndham-Read) and get stuck into a quick workout while dinner is cooking. I always commit to only five minutes in my mind because I know I can achieve that. I also know that 99% of the time I end up doing a lot more than 5 minutes once I get started.
Wellness warrior tip: Schedule 5 minutes of exercise into your day. Chances are once you get going you will go for more than 5 minutes, and you will feel great for it!
FILL YOUR PLATE WITH GREENS
I have a love-affair with greens but I know this doesn’t come naturally to most. Green vegetables are so good for so many reasons. There are the obvious reasons such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, yada yada yada. BUT, when you are on a weight loss/wellness journey the nutrient you want to know about is FIBRE!
Fibre is what fills you up and keeps your digestive system moving efficiently. And let me tell you, a healthy digestive system is one of the keys to wellness! Fill up at least half your plate with non-starchy green vegetables and enjoy every bite.
Wellness warrior tip: If you don’t like the taste of green vegetables or you’re new to the whole green-veg movement try drizzling lemon juice, salt and pepper over the top or whizzing a few leafy green veggies into your delicious fruit smoothie.
If you are a child of the 90s you will know all to well the advertising around ‘low fat’ products. But fat is not the problem! Good quality fat is actually essential for our bodies to function at their best. FAT WILL NOT MAKE YOU FAT! Eating more food than your body needs or eating large amounts of processed foods such as refined sugars can cause weight gain due to fat storage, but eating healthy fats in moderation will not make you store fat.
Wellness warrior tip: Healthy fats are found in foods such as salmon, avocado, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, coconut yogurt, nuts and seeds.
It seems too obvious to be a weight loss tip, but seriously. Our bodies are primarily made up of water, making water the single most important fluid to take in. I get it – coffee, tea, fruit juice, smoothies and juicing are all so tempting. But none can hydrate you energy-free.
Avoid drinking your calories and instead leave more room for actual food (the stuff that fills you up and keeps your stomach from grumbling between meals and snacks).
Wellness warrior tip: Drink water, eat energy.
Register your interest in the Inner Pretty program below and I’ll keep you up to date with the launch date as well as give you opportunity to use EXCLUSIVE discount codes!
Do I have the perfect ‘bikini body’? Heck no. But do I care? NO! I have a little mum-tum and a droopy belly button and I definitely need to work on my upper body strength! But I feel healthier than I have felt in years. I feel energetic, lively and happy. THAT is what matters.
THIS. This is what matters. ALWAYS.
If you want to see what I eat in a day, on an average day, watch and subscribe! I upload videos weekly.
And see us at 4 months postpartum here: