This is the final post from the wonderfully varied archives of poet and author Ritu Bhathal. This week I have chosen the celebration and lessons learnt by Ritu when she lost two stone back in 2017… a great reminder of how you can lose weight healthily.
#Weightloss #HealthyEating – 13 Tips I Learned Over The Last Year 2017 by Ritu Bhathal
Well hello, Peeps!
I can’t believe that a year has passed since I decided to change a few things about my life, to lose weight. I set my target and my own little hashtag #icandothis, and went on my way!
52 weeks later, I am happier, healthier, and though not at the target I set myself, I am pleased with what I see in the mirror!
There are many articles and posts out there which will claim to give you miracle ways to lose weight.
I can’t do that, but as I have managed to successfully lose weight, and generally maintain the bulk of that loss, I think there are a few hints I can give, that would help anyone during their journey. As I said, I can’t promise anything, but I can support!
- Set yourself a realistic goal – This is so important. I started my journey convinced that I needed to lose two stones in order to be happy with myself. But I was also aware of the fact that, unless I lost limbs, two stone would take time to achieve, especially if I wanted to keep it off. A pound or two a week, slow and steady was what I aimed for. When I lost those two stone in total, I also realised it was too much, so I decided my goal and now have a realistic ideal weight to try and keep at!
- Try new things – Since starting Slimming World to aid my weight loss, I have been introduced to a few new things food-wise. Some are not exotic, but just items of food I previously turned my nose up at, such as prawns, fish and cottage cheese! Seriously, I had a big barrier up against them, but I decided to bite the bullet and try them because there are so many weight loss benefits to me opening up my food world. And I discovered Quark. What? You haven’t heard of Quark? It’s a mild soft cheese made from skimmed milk, so is fat-free. I have used it to make pancakes, as an addition to sauces to give them a creamy texture, and sweetened, used it like cream with fruit!
- Learn to recognise when you have reached your ‘enough’ level – Control your portion sizes. We sometimes fool ourselves into thinking we are hungrier than we actually are. Take a little less and leave some for later. You will often find that you didn’t need the extra anyway, and a bonus is that you have leftovers that are healthy and mean you don’t need to cook the next day!
- Batch cook – When you are planning your meals, you may find it easier to make large batches of certain dishes, which you can then portion up and freeze. This means that if you are feeling lazy, you always have a stash of healthy meals ready, and no excuse for reaching for the takeaway menus!
- Treat yourself before you reach breaking point on your cravings – When you are trying to cut out certain items, then you ‘slip’, that slip can be of epic proportions. I know. I have been so good for weeks, then eaten a whole large tub of Haagen Dazs ice cream, or a whole pack of biscuits. Then felt sick afterwards. I didn’t really need to, but the thought of eating these forbidden goodies, drove me to distraction! I ended up nibbling something naughty every day. A little treat meant I wasn’t denying myself, and I was able to control my cravings
- Try and weigh yourself every week at the same time – I have been pretty good at this every week. I know that I will be weighing in on a Friday morning. I go to the loo and stand on the scales before eating or drinking anything. I found that this regularity was most important. Having been one of those people who weighed themselves morning and night, every morning, I have seen how the natural fluctuations of your body reflect on your scales. If you are really serious about losing weight, seeing the ups and downs that happen can be disheartening, but the fact is, if you weigh your self regularly, at the same time, you will get a much better reflection of what your diet and lifestyle is doing to you, weight-wise.
- Present your meals well – if things look appetising, you’ll enjoy eating them more! If you follow me on Instagram ( @phantom_giggler ) you’ll see that I have taken to photographing my food. And I try to make every meal, no matter how simple, look good. It makes it taste better too!
- Add some physical activity to your day – A walk, an exercise class, a DVD at home; they all count! Whatever you do on an average day, try to add half an hour of heartbeat raising activity to it, and it will help to increase your fitness, and aid with any weight loss. I used my exercise bike, and even joined a dance class!
- Don’t beat yourself up if you have an off day – We all slip at some point. Really. It happens to the best of us. Instead of wallowing, and getting stuck in a rut of overeating again, whilst mourning that one off day, put a line under it. And start again the next day. It may mean a gain that week, but it will spur you on to do better the next week. Sometimes you know you will have an off period. It may be to do with a special occasion or a holiday you’re going on. Just remember, the eating habits of one day, or even a few, shouldn’t affect your whole journey if you know it is for just that period of time.
- Having someone to partner up with you on the journey helps – Not everyone is supportive, or understands why you are on your journey to change your health and weight. Some are pretty flippant about it and that flippancy can put you off even trying. But if you have a friend or family member who is going through the same thing, you can support and help each other, regardless of the views of others.
- Be strong – Sometimes, you are going to have to learn to say no. Or you have to stand by your guns and choose something to eat or drink that wouldn’t be your first choice. You need to envisage the new ‘you’ that is going to emerge, once you hit your target, and order that baked potato with no butter, instead of fries, or have a salad instead of a bowl of creamy pasta! In my case, it was saying no to the numerous takeaways that my Hubby Dearest was wanting to order, convinced he was helping me, by arranging food so I didn’t have to cook. That was probably one of the biggest factors in my weight gain, so I became very adept at using that No!
- Be accountable to someone – This was something that really spurred me on! And who was I accountable to? Obviously to myself, but the biggest other force was YOU! Knowing I had committed to posting about my journey every week meant I wanted to be posting good news to you all, instead of gains, and excuses as to why I slipped… again! And it helped me so much!
- Still know you can have fun! – This week, I am totally having fun. I am eating semi-healthy, but there are times I am totally letting go. If I want crisps, I will eat them, if that ice cream calls my name, I will answer. But I am relaxing. It is my break away. I know that as long as I stick to the tips above when I go back to normal life next week, I’ll be back on track. The odd gain here and there is to be expected, as long as it isn’t every week!
And there you have it, the 13 things that I learned over this last year! I do hope some of these tips helps any of you in the same situation as me!
©Ritut Bhathal 2017
What an amazing job… fabulous – Ritu was lovely before, but she looks stunning after all her hard work.
About Ritu Bhathal
Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970’s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her.
From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is mostly credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her own writing, from fiction to poetry. Winning little writing competitions at school and locally gave her the encouragement to continue writing.
As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn on inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes.
A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing!
Ritu also writes a blog, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was recently awarded The Best Overall Blog Award at the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards in 2017.
Ritu is happily married and living in Kent, with her Hubby Dearest, and two children, not forgetting the furbaby Sonu Singh. She is currently working on some short stories, and a novel, to be published in the near future.
Delve into a book of verse exploring different topics and different genres, all with a RITUal twist.
A collection of poetry drawing on the experiences of the writer, ranging from matters of the heart, love for the family, situations in life and some verses written with a humorous twist.
One of the reviews for the collection
Read all the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Poetic-RITUals-Ritu-Bhathal/dp/1533088020
and other reviews on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Poetic-RITUals-Ritu-Bhathal-ebook/dp/B01H46DN5Q
Read more reviews and follow Ritu on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30843440-poetic-rituals
Connect to Ritu
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/butismileanyway
My thanks to Ritu for permitting me to dive into her archives to share with you. I hope you will head over and check them out for yourselves. Thanks Sally