Some basics about dieting

If there’s one thing you probably don’t want to think about when you’re dealing with fibroids it’s your diet. Diet is hard enough to deal with when everything is fine; when there are problems it’s very easy to reach for the chocolate cake!

But you might have been told by your doctor that you need to lose weight before surgery. Or maybe you’re just thinking that yourself; that you’d rather be in better shape for the surgery than you are at the moment.

My husband is a strength and conditioning coach, and has been involved in sports coaching and personal training for as long as I’ve known him (and that’s been a while now 🙂 ). His is a no-nonsense approach to fitness; he has no time for gimmicks and fads and with everything I’ve learned from him, neither do I. So while this article is some helpful thoughts about losing weight there is no quick fix here, no shortcut or miracle pill. Those things don’t exist, they’re just a quick fix for someone else’s bank balance. The basic rules of losing weight are very simple, the most difficult thing is finding something that works for you, because everyone is different. This is why those diets of the 1980s didn’t work… you know the ones, where they give you a set menu of meals that you’ve to eat, something specific for each meal, every meal. (OK so I say the 1980s, that’s really because I remember my mum following them every now and then, but I’m sure they still exist in womens magazines today). The problem with those diets is if you don’t like one of the things that’s in one of the meals, you’re stuck. Can you replace it? If so, what with? Will it be the same? And you end up just eating something else, and then it’s the slippery slope to giving up. For me it’s cottage cheese; how many diets give you meals including cottage cheese?!

Sorry, I got a little sidetracked there 😉 So I’ve learned a lot over the years from my husband on this subject. So much so that I’m in the process of putting together an e-course for anyone who wants more guidance on weight loss and more of a structured process to follow. You can read more about that here. But in this article I’m going to go over some general points; they might sound obvious but they really are the best route to weight loss.

 

1. Diet means more than exercise.

My husband has a phrase for this; diet is the engine, exercise is the turbo-charger on that engine. You won’t get very far with a turbo-charger but no engine! It feels much easier to day ‘I’m going to go to the gym twice a week’, or ‘I’m going to start doing yoga’ than ‘I’m going to eat better’, but unfortunately the latter is the thing that’s really going to have an impact. Exercise is excellent for health in many different ways, and of course you should exercise, but if you want to lose weight you need to tackle your diet.

 

2. Sugar is worse than fat.

We’ve been conditioned to see fat as the enemy – eat fat and get fat. Food marketers sell us ‘low fat’ versions of foods, telling us that it’s better for us. But in reality, eating fat is not that bad. Sure, you don’t want to eat loads of it, and trans fats are definitely not great, but fat is not the devil we’ve been told it is. The bigger problem is sugar. Sugar affects how our body processes food, how it uses energy and stores fat. And guess what? A lot of those ‘low fat’ foods are high in sugar. If you choose to pay attention to just one part of your diet, make it the amount of sugar you consume and try to consume as little of it as possible. It can make a big difference.

 

3. Document your food.

If I asked you what your diet is like, what would you say? You might say ‘oh, not too bad’. Or ‘I eat fairly well, I just have a sweet snack each day’. And you might think that’s the truth, when in fact your diet might not be as good as you think. The best way to keep track is to document everything you eat. Everything. There are lots of ways to do this, from calorie-counting apps, instagram photos or just a good old notepad and pen, but you can learn a lot by doing this even if it’s just for a week. You’ll probably find you snack more than you think, or you eat more ‘junk calories’ than you realised.

 

4. Watch for liquid calories.

Everyone knows about the calories in soda, that’s why so many people drink diet soda these days. But what about the other things you drink? You know that iced tea that looks really healthy? It’s probably full of sugar. Alcoholic drinks? Calories. Sometimes it’s hard to be aware of all the ways extra calories can sneak into your diet….

 

5. Check your portion size.

This is a really interesting one, the psychological effect of plate size. Take a look at your dinner plates, I’m betting they’re pretty big. When I moved away from my parents house I bought myself a set of plates, and didn’t think anything of it. Some time later my mum gave me some old the old family plates – sentimental value! – and when I compared them to our dinner plates I was shocked at the size difference. It’s amazing how much more food you can pile on to a large plate without realising.

It works the same the other way round. If you have a large dinner plate and try to give yourself a smaller portion, it looks tiny. You feel like you’re not getting much food. Put that same portion on a smaller plate and it looks like more food.

 

6. Real food is the best food.

Processed food is never as good as real food. Even if it’s processed food that claims to be healthy, making it yourself is better. Now perhaps this isn’t strictly a weight loss rule, it’s more of a healthy living rule, but it is true. If you cook your own meals you know exactly what’s in the food you eat, and there will be no preservatives, no artificial flavours, just tasty food. Now don’t tell me you can’t cook, because I don’t believe you. Anyone can cook, you just need to keep it simple. (Part of the weight loss e-course covers cooking and some easy options). If you don’t think you have time to cook, you just need to plan. A slow cooker can cook all day while you’re at work. One pot meals are low hassle. The internet is an amazing recipe book! And if your family won’t eat home cooked food, well, either they need to start trying in order to support you, or perhaps involve them in the process – get your kids cooking and teach them good eating habits!

 

If you’re trying to lose weight try not to cut anything out of your diet entirely. As soon as you start saying ‘I can never eat that’ you’ll just crave it even more. Give yourself a treat day every now and then, or eat a square of dark chocolate rather than a bar of candy. You’ll find it much more manageable long-term.

If you’d like to learn more on these topics, and find out about options like intermittent fasting and exercise options, keep an eye out for my upcoming e-course where I’ll teach you all about these things and more,  and walk you through a learning process to keep you accountable! 🙂

Want to hear when the e-course launches? Sign up for the mailing list below! (You’ll only hear about the weight loss ecourse, you won’t be bombarded with other emails – no one likes that!)