Then I hope my post can be motivational and inspirational for you!
I personally never thought i’d be the kind of person to go on a diet as my weight has never been a problem, nor fluctuated no matter how much or how little I ate, but here I will tell you my experiences, as well as advice i’ve received from fitness enthusiasts, body builders and others who have experience in dieting.
*DISCLAIMER* What you are about to read are my personal experiences for what I myself found the best way to diet for me and my body. Whilst a lot of this information is what I have heard from professional or other sources, I am not saying this kind of information is 100% correct, nothing is factual but what I know and think for myself. So its quite possible I may be mistaken in areas however using this information I managed to loose weight and tone in a healthy way.
Also, please do not assume that this kind of dieting will provide you with the goal you are looking for. Dieting takes time, dedication, motivation and a positive mind set to achieve and everyone is different.
I am also not saying everyone should or should not diet. That is purely the decision of the individual. I most definitely like to promote self-love and esteem. We are all beautiful. I personally wanted to improve myself and my eating habits, so thats why I dieted and have written about below.
My Before & After.. (2 months)
I will talk about the two dieting strategies I recommend below!
So anyway, lets begin!
So, Firstly Why Did I Decide To Diet?
As I mentioned, I never thought I’d be one of those girls who felt like I'm ‘Too Big’ as I have always had a great metabolism and never put on weight before. However, my motivation for dieting started from a few influences in my life:
❀ Living in Japan I automatically feel bigger compared to petite Japanese girls. Living in Japan has really helped my motivation being surrounded by slim and petite framed girls. In England I feel tiny however here I feel huge which was a bit of a shock to begin with. I also want to fit in to Japanese fashion as the sizes only come in small sizes.
❀ When I joined instagram and saw all these amazingly fit and petite women in beautifully choreographed photos. Hell, seeing this made me feel fat despite not being. But it also showed the potential of what I could achieve if I decided I wanted to work for a better body inside and out.
❀ My partner goes to the gym every day without fail, drinks a lot of protein and has a huge muscular body to show for it. Me at the time of meeting him with my puppy fat and lack of fitness and toned my muscles made me feel a bit unconfident, like I wanted to improve myself and join him in being a regular gym attender.
Before starting a diet, it can be hard to pluck up the motivation to do so, and our mind can automatically think negatively about something we are not sure we want to do, or want to talk our selves out of.
So here are some of the thoughts I had in the past, and how I have learned to overcome them!
Un-Motivating Thoughts You May Have..
❀Thoughts & Advice..❤
❀ I’ll start next week…
❤ If you put it off, you will never find the time to start! Any time is better than never!
❀ I really want a thinner and toned body but, maybe it already looks ok, maybe I don’t have to diet now…
❤ If you are wanting to diet and loose weight but feel lazy or unmotivated and ‘settling’ for its current condition, this mindset is quite negative with lack of motivation. It needs to change by thinking about the body you could potentially have by implementing a diet.
❀ I’ll never get thinner…
❤ If you want to, and try hard, YES you will!
❀ It takes so long to see results anyway, maybe theres no point…
❤ If you never start, you are never going to see any change, the sooner you start, the sooner you will see results!
❀ I really need sweet and sugary things in my life..
❤ Do you really need it? Is it really going to make you feel better? Is that mouthful of sugar and calories really worth the few seconds of pleasure it gives you when it will be added to the current stores of sugar and fat in your body? The answer is no, you can find something healthier and delicious that will satisfy you just the same!
❀ Even if i diet, it doesn't make a difference…
❤ Yes it does! Sometimes even if you can’t see it, dieting can change your body in ways you cannot see, but feel instead! Like your energy levels and your overall body condition.
So hopefully once you feel optimistic about these negative thoughts, it can help motivate you to start!
What Kind Of Diet Works Best?
Now i’m not going to lie, everyone is different and will respond better to different diets, however I feel the kind of dieting I will talk about should be easy enough for every one to try.
One thing I most definitely DO NOT recommend is to shock your body in to a sudden change of diet. Your body needs time to adjust to its new nutrition and sustenance.
I’m going to talk about 2 types of diets: ‘Low Carb Diet’, and a ‘Calorie Controlled Diet’.
Firstly, How To Start A Diet..
Starting a diet is not as easy as just eating salads or replacing all your food with water and leaves. Ohh noo. There is quite a lot of preparation and things to think about.
❀ First things first, you have to be in the right mindset. You have to feel like you are ready. It can be quite strenuous, so you need to feel positive about what you are doing, and be able to fight off the negative feelings you may have whilst dieting. Strong will power is necessary!
❀ Second, you should decide what diet you are going to go for. (I’m going to talk to you about the diet I most recommend, and I have achieved amazing result from.)
❀ Buy a notebook, diary, or even use an application on your phone to record your eating habits, daily weight and results if you wish. (I like buying a book I can stick pretty stickers in however an app can be very convenient!)
❀ The first thing you should do is measure your current weight. The best time to weigh yourself is in the morning with an empty stomach and bladder. This will show you your real weight. You can even get a BMI weight check too to show you your percentage of body fat, bone, water etc.
❀ Once you’ve done that, you need to decide your goal weight. Best to start with just loosing 1kg / 1st, or even just half of that to begin with and keep an open mind to progress as you go. Baby steps and small goals helps make things easier, and you can feel a sense of pride and happiness when you complete that goal!
So, once you’ve done the ‘starting points’ I mentioned above, you’re ready to start dieting!
What Are Carbs, Calories & Fat?
‘Fat’ as labelled on foods, is different to carbohydrates. Carbohydrates we eat are digested and turned in to sugar which is stored in our body ready to be used as energy as and when we need it. If we don't use that energy, it will stay stored, hence how people can put on weight. Fat is a different kind of energy that can easily be burned if you do something energetic, however of course if you can try not to eat foods that are too high in ‘fat’ also due to excess causing weight gain. It's easier just to think of all of them as things you will try to cut down.
Calories on the other hand are just a measurement of the sugars and energy as a whole that specific food will give you if you eat it. A kind of easy way to measure portions or energy if you like.
Excessive carb consumption has a possibility of increasing the risk of cancer, hearts disease and all those awful things you hear about..
You’d be surprised at how little our body actually needs to actually function properly for your daily activities.
At the end of the day, once upon a time maaaany many years ago, we as humans were very primitive creatures feeling on small potions of meat, eggs, fruits and vegetables because thats all there was. We didn’t have anything like candy or fried foods in the past, yet we thrived!
#1: The Low Carb Diet..
The purpose of this diet is to cut out most of the carbohydrates you currently eat yet keep a proportionately healthy and nutritional diet.
What Should / Shouldn't I Eat?
Now, dieting should always start gradually.
Take a look at what you eat on a daily basis, and start by thinking about the high carbohydrate, sugar and calorie foods you eat. Cutting carbohydrates and sugar from your meals gradually will allow your body to adjust to the fact you are not eating them so regularly, so you shouldn't feel a craving for them once you have finally completely stopped, or only eat a little of them in your daily meals.
❀ High carb foods I recommend cutting down your portion size:
✘Fried Food, Rice, Pasta, Potato/Fries, Bread, Crackers, Crisps, Cereal, Sugary Drinks, Some Noodles etc.✘
And of course sugary foods such as:
Chocolate, Candy, Cake, Biscuits, Fruits, Alcohol, Fruit Juice Drinks etc.
I bet you’re looking at that list and thinking woah..! Basically almost every food we can eat is high in carbs/sugars! And you are absolutely correct! It is! Sometimes something can look healthy but it can contain sugar and you don’t even know it!
Even fruits, have a lot of sugar and energy. However eating fruit is obviously a better alternative than fried food for example due to the other healthy nutrients it contains.
So.. what can I eat? I hear you say… Well,
❀ High protein foods such as:
✔︎Fish, Red Meat, Chicken, Eggs, Vegetables, Tofu, Nuts, Cheese, Salads etc.✔︎
Are perfect and balanced nutrition, as well as giving you enough energy to go about your day.
What To Do..
It’s normal for us every day in the modern world so full of variety to indulge in sweets, fried food and other carby foods such as pasta and rice. But you shouldn't just cut them out suddenly as you will start to feel tired, sluggish and you will crave these foods. So first of all you should start to cut down your portion size, and perhaps add another item to your dish that is a healthier option. Then you can start substituting healthier meals such as a chicken salad for example instead of fast food or a pasta dish etc.
Within the first week, small changes is best, then in week 2 perhaps be a little more strict with your portion size and add more meals that week that are healthier. Your body can get used to not eating these sugary and carbs things, it just takes a little time.
Try not to eat after 7pm as your body is in relax mode towards the end of the day, and any food on your stomach as you sleep will just be stored as fat.
You can start measuring what and how much you eat by using your diary, and measuring the carbs/calories you are taking in. The less the better however don’t starve yourself!
Personal note* I remember I thought i’d never be able to quit eating tea and cake, however after a week or so of weening it out of my daily diet, I managed to not even crave it anymore which made it a lot easier to not even want to at it! However, I know it is hard to stop eating them, you have to keep your mind strong, and no matter how much your body wants to give in to temptation, remember you have already come so far just starting a diet! How you will feel when you have reached your target weight will feel so much better all day every day then how that cake tasted for a few seconds when you ate it. Stay focused, positive and have your goal in sight!
#2: The Calorie Controlled Diet..
This diet is exactly what it says it is! Controlling your daily calories. This diet includes eating anything you want, but only to a certain limit of calories a day.
You might be thinking. 'Well, this sounds like the better option because I can still eat sweet things!' Yes to a certain extent you can, however you should try to cut down carbs and sugars to the best of your ability, however if you do decide to continue eating sweets and cake etc. you should know how much you are putting in to your body, and sweet things can take up a huge portion of your limited calories. And of course the less sugary foods you eat the better of course!
As I mentioned before, calories are all the energy in that food, fats, sugars and carbs. So controlling calories can help you to understand how much energy you are putting in to your body.
The average male needs 2400 (ish) calories and woman 2000 (ish) depending on what you do and how much energy you exert in a day it could be more. With the food thats available today its very easy to go over 2000 calories without even knowing it.
What To Do..
So first I recommend starting with 2000 calories a day as your limit for the first week or so, then lowering it bit by bit to around 1400 (if thats not too low for yourself personally or your daily activities.) This lower amount will help you loose weight and burn fat.
Again, try not to eat after 7 or 8pm.
This might sound easy, but I assure you once you start keeping track of how many calories are in each food, you’ll be surprised how quickly they add up! So, its best to break down your calories in to meals. I made myself a little daily reminder, if you like, this could be a good way to remind yourself your limits. I even set this as the background on my phone for extra motivation!
This was my 1800 calories for starting, however I did decrease gradually. I also included the calories for the protein I drank so thats why the meal calories are so restrictive.
If your limit is 2000 a day, you can say:
Breakfast: 400kl Small Snack: 200kl Lunch: 600kl Small Snack: 200kl Dinner: 600kl
I recommend this app for counting calories: ‘My Net Diary’
You can use this app to give you a plan of how many calories you should consume each day in the given time to reach your weight goal in a healthy way.
It’s an awesome little app that already has so many foods and their nutrition programmed in so you can just search for the food you ate, and add it to your list of things you ate that day, or you can add your own foods and calories etc. It gives you a daily calorie count plan and how many calories you have left to eat that day etc. Very useful!
This is what mine looked like when I started a year ago:
I wanted to loose 2kg in 2 months (bit of a push but I tried) so I only had 1430 calories in a day, which was tough but I kept with it for a long time! I did manage to drop 1kg over the 2 months which made me more than happy!
Other Recommended Things To Do Whilst Dieting..
❀ Go to the gym!
If you can! This really helps speed up the process of weight loss. Not only are you burning more energy and therefore fat with your exercise, with weight training you are also providing your body with muscle definition. Having muscle mass and definition not only looks good, it also helps to use more energy from your stored fat, even whilst you aren’t exercising! Great right??
Another good thing is despite the fact it’s tiring at the time, it helps you to sleep at night what with being more fatigued and you wake up the next day feeling extremely refreshed! (With a little muscle pain too but thats what you want! And its actually a good reminder that you worked hard!)
Personal Note* I think it’s personally best to do aerobics like dance or running as well as some weight training. *For first timers I recommend going to the gym with someone experienced and learning how to weight train, there are specific ways to train each muscle, and it can be very easy to hurt yourself or to waist your effort and it not even train the muscle correctly. That would be a bit of a waste of time.
Some people (including myself) find it hard to go to the gym alone. You should create motivation to go, like:
❤ Get a membership with a friend and make it routine to go together.
❤ Take a dance class or something that you enjoy if you find working out on its own un-motivating.
❤ Make new gym friends there. Despite the fact people go to the gym to work out, some people are more than happy to make new friends also! I made a few new friends at my gym and it really motivates me to go there to see them!
❀ Start a high energy exercise hobby!
❤ Start doing something that requires you to exert more energy in the day.
❤ Go for a jog.
❤ Start a dance class.
❤ Watch work out videos online and follow along, even more fun with a friend!
❤ Or even just when you’re home alone, turn up for music and dance around!
Any kind of exercise is good exercise!
❀ Diet together with someone else.
❤ Dieting alone can be strenuous and it takes a lot of will power. If you have someone to help you along your journey it can really be motivating and reassuring for each other!
A Few Helpful Hints To Stay Full & Avoid Eating Excess..
Feeling full and content is important so you don't eat more than you need to. A few things I noticed that really helps is:
❀ Eat slowly. Eating slowly allows your body to register when its getting full. If you eat quickly your body doesn't have time to register how full it is before you've finished your entire plate, and that might be too much.
❀ Drink protein shake. It’s nothing but good for your body and it can help you feel full.
❀ Drink lots of water. This is one I struggle with personally as water doesn’t have a gratifying taste, and when I don’t feel thirsty, I find it hard to drink. However if you can drink at least 4-6, 500ml bottles a day, you can feel quite full and like you don't need to eat. Not only that but it really helps your metabolism and flushes out any bad toxins in your body and keeps your digestion flow healthy and functioning as it should.
❀ Cravings. If you feel peckish for something solid to eat or really fancy a specific food, have a small snack like a small piece of fruit or nuts are great also! Very healthy and satisfying.
❀ Clean your teeth after eating a meal. Not just for the good of your teeth, but if you can still taste food in your mouth from your meal an hour later, it will make you want to eat again or crave food. Take a toothbrush with you in your bag!
❀ Keep busy and think about other things. Sometimes our mind can be so powerful urging us to eat. But if you are keeping busy doing something you enjoy or if you are out and about, it helps you forget about eating.
❀ Don’t buy the foods you want to avoid. If you don’t have that food in the house, you can’t eat it! Simple as!
❀ Don’t cut out things you love completely! It can make you feel down. As long as you are eating healthily and less carby foods in general, its ok to treat yourself once in a while with those things, and it can be a good motivating factor to look forward to and a reward for your hard work.
❀ Eat your highest carb foods in the morning. That way you have all day to burn the energy and fat from it.
❀ Try not to eat after 7pm. And if you have to, just satisfy your craving with a small handful of nuts or veg like celery to settle your stomach. I don’t recommend eating fruit or cheese at night.
A Few Things To Keep In Mind..
❀ A diet never really ends, so once you reach your desired weight if you are happy to, it’s best to stick to that diet or perhaps you can gradually increase the amount of calories you intake slightly to satisfy. Just don't gorge or you may loose all of your hard work. Hopefully the foods you decide for your diet are satisfying enough for you to keep going without a problem.
❀ People who are quite slim already may find that this kind of diet ‘doesn’t do anything’. The fact is for smaller people its harder to see the weight loss. It’s easier to see it if you work out, then you can start to see your toned muscle also, however don’t let this get you down. The fat stores can be quite hard to shift, especially if you have always had them. It could just be part of your DNA or your body does also need some reserve that cannot be shifted.
❀ If you have been dieting for a while and have seen your weight has been dropping, then all of a sudden one week you cant seem to loose any more, this means your weight has ‘plateaued’ so to say. Your body is used to the new intake of food and is levelling your weight out with the nutrition it receives. Don’t let this un-motivate you, stick at your diet, perhaps change a few of the foods you eat or lower your intake slightly to kick start the metabolism again.
I’ll be happy to reply to any comments if you have questions about my dieting strategy!
You are beautiful! Never forget that!