I started my first diet aged 17. Back then, a calorie was a calorie. It didn’t really matter where that calorie came from, or so I thought. My aim was to keep my midweek calories as low as possible so I could go out at the weekend. I ate a lot of broccoli, cottage cheese, low fat yogurts and Weight Watcher meals in order to have enough points to drink cider and wine and eat crisps and toast at the weekend! If I needed a snack, I would have a 2 finger KitKat, a Solero ice cream, Skips or Quavers. I loved avocado, cheese and nuts but they were banned! I can’t eat FAT, I’ll get fat!
I feel uncomfortable looking at photos of myself from the age of 17 to my mid-twenties. I always felt frumpy and overweight despite the fact that I was always starving, always depriving myself. I so desperately wanted to be slim like all my friends. They slung on a pair of jeans and a top and looked good. I did manage to lose weight but it would never last as I would pile it all back on once I started eating again.
I asked myself the question –“How can someone who loves food get to a point where they can maintain a healthy weight without being on a constant rollercoaster of starving and binging”?
I don’t really know how it happened or when it happened but it did happen. I have always enjoyed cooking, so I did not have a hard time giving up ready meals or takeaways. I am a bit of a free spirit when it comes to food preparation and following recipes. I love to look at cookbooks for inspiration, then I really just like to do it my own way based on what I have available at that moment. I grew up with parents who loved good food and my mum is an excellent cook, always very ahead of her time in terms of the kind of food we ate growing up.
As my interest in nutrition started to grow, I found that my weight naturally began to drop and I was eating freely without too much effort. The principles for everyone are generally the same: limit your sugar and saturated fat intake, eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, eat wholegrains in favour of white refined carbohydrates, protein should be as lean as possible and aim to eat at least 2 portions of fish a week.
Finding the right balance that works for you can take time to fine tune. We all have different tastes, time constraints and activity levels. I know from experience over many years as a serial dieter that what works like a charm for some may not work for others.
If you would like to have a consultation with me, I would love to help you achieve your goal. After receiving your food diary, I will make notes and it will form the basis of our discussion. I will also ask a series of lifestyle questions which will give me further clues. From there we will set 3 SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Specific) to be completed for the following week. I believe that if you try and do too much at one time you are setting yourself up for a fall, or a very short period of success.
I feel as though I have a secret. I would love to share my secret with you.