I am lucky enough to be naturally petite. As soon as I hit 30, I noticed a difference in my metabolism and my body shape.
My body seemed a lot less toned that in was in my 20's, I didn't have to try at all to be slim then, I could literally eat what I wanted and never gain weight. Two things happened (other than getting older) that could have changed this:
- I started drinking alcohol, at the most once a week - but I was tee-total before that.
- I got a job sitting at a computer instead of walking around a shop floor.
I decided to take action. Instead of trying a specific diet or fad, I thought it would be easier to change my lifestyle, then I don't have to worry about the weight coming back and finding myself back at square one again. I read a lot about the Paleo diet, known also as a hunter gatherer diet This in its most simple form means that you don't eat anything that you can't eat raw. The thinking is that our bodies are not evolved to manage jelly sweets and dough - problems began to arise when man learnt to farm and produced flour. I therefore started off by cutting out anything with flour. So I do not eat:
- Pancakes, Waffles & Yorkshire Puddings (batter)
- Crumpets & Tea Cakes
These are literally ALL of my favorite foods, so this was a massive change for me. I also didn't use to eat a lot of meat, feeling that a high carb diet was best. I now eat a lot of meat, mainly steak, ham and salami.
If you want to really boost the weight loss, you should control your calorie intake at the same time. For losing weight, you should eat your weight in pounds, multiplied by 10. so if you are 112lb x 10 = 1120 calories can me consumed in a day.
What else have I done to lose weight?
Changing your diet is just one element of weight loss. I knew that cutting out carbs would work but I didn't want to just get thin as I personally don't think that this is very attractive. Also, I am more interested in being toned rather than thin. So I started circuit training. This was suggested to me by a friend as it builds strength, not muscle and keeps you very, very fit.
I have kept to this diet and circuit training for 6 weeks now and the results are:
I have lost 1kg in weight - this was unexpected as I know muscle weighs more than fat so I expected the strength I built up to cancel out any loss of fat.
I am definitely more toned. Unfortunately for me cellulite runs in my family, so even at a UK size 6 (US 0) I still have some cellulite, but this has really improved. I think this is down to the reduction of what are known as 'White fats' in bread and cakes.
I have more energy and fewer aches - I have always suffered from pain and slight immobility in my right shoulder from an accident about 6 years ago. I thought the exercise would irritate this, instead my shoulder doesn't seem to ache as much, and I can raise it up my back in a way I couldn't before.
It's not easy to diet!
I think mentally, you have to see this as a lifestyle change. A diet is something you would do short term. This combination needs to be adhered to closely for 12 weeks, and then..forever. If like me you want to be fit and healthy in later life, you have to start the good habits now. I read some great books about changing habits and gaining motivation. The main thing is 'this is a lifestyle not a diet'. I also find myself saying this to sceptics who insist on telling me I'm already slim. They miss the point, this is about health strength and fitness.