We are continually bombarded with advice from health experts about with what constitutes a healthy diet, what foods to avoid if you want to lose weight and the importance of exercise in weight control and maintaining health. Yet obesity in the UK continues to increase. Knowledge is one thing, but putting it into practice is another! As a pharmacist and homeopath, I have been responsible for advising people on such matters for years but couldn’t put myself in their shoes. But all that changed when I gained three stones during my first pregnancy and didn’t manage to lose it all by the time I became pregnant again some 4 years later, during which I gained another 3 stones!
I am relieved to say that I’ve done it! I’ve achieved my dream of losing all the weight I had gained in both pregnancies and I have managed to keep it off for a year! Why has my weight loss been so much more successful the second time round? When my son was born, I was already a Mum to a 4 year old girl and life went from busy to complete chaos. Suddenly food, something I had always loved became purely functional; a means of survival. Food was eaten as quickly as possible so I could help my daughter with her homework or read her a bedtime story before my son was up for his next feed or load the dishwasher/washing machine or – and should I admit to this level of vanity – put on my eyeliner and lipgloss! With so little time to eat, I got used to ignoring the hunger pangs.
In contrast, after my first pregnancy, I ate like a horse. Breastfeeding made me hungry and because I had read that it can help you lose weight, I thought that gave me license to eat. Consequently, I didn’t lose any weight for the first 6 months and recall feeling quite shocked! I was convinced that by following a healthy diet, I would gradually lose weight. I ignored the simple equation that to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you consume and yes, portion size does matter. To keep the weight off, I have had to accept that I need less than I want to eat. When I feel the need to snack between meals, I eat fruit, soups made without cream and butter, wholemeal or granary toast and carrot and cucumber sticks with low fat hummus. If I’ve been good 80% of the week, I might indulge in treats like Snack a Jack crisps (7.5%fat) Green & Black’s Maya Gold Dark chocolate – 1 or 2 strips, not the whole bar and sometimes cake!
I hope you enjoyed reading this post. In my next one, I’ll share with you my thoughts on a healthy diet! I hope my blog inspires you to find your own path to achieving the body beautiful that’s right for you.