8TH AUGUST 2017 BY DANNII MARTIN
Have you gone off track and got back on again more times than you care to remember? That doesn’t make me a failure! It makes you human. As long as you get back on again, you are making positive changes. Here are all the tips you need to get back on track.
There is no fad diet, there is no detox, and there is no total deprivation. There are just a lot of small, everyday healthy changes that are going to help to make you eat better, have more energy and just feel a whole lot healthier, because that’s what it’s all about. These are all things that worked for me when I was in the process of losing 100lbs.
1) BE REALISTIC WITH YOUR GOALS
This is a photo of me on my honeymoon 6 years and whilst I would love to look like that again, it’s just not going to happen. I am not saying it is impossible, but just not realistic.
I am older now, I have had a baby, my body has changed (that’s not an excuse, that is just fact) and I just don’t have the same time to dedicate to working out. Working out and “clean eating” was my life back then and it just isn’t now.
Set yourself realistic goals, otherwise you are setting yourself up for failure from the very beginning.
2) GET BACK TO BASICS
Forget fad diets, crazy detoxes or anything that promises miracle cures. Focus on eating less processed food, more fruit and vegetables and move more. Whilst I might not be able to control what I eat, I can control how much of it I eat, so I am focusing on portion sizes and calories.
I am going back to basics of simply tracking what I eat, keeping track of my daily glasses of water, going for a walk. Just keeping it simple for the moment. I am not going to obsessed over calories, but it does help with portion control. I am aiming at around 1700 a day because I am not working out a lot, but I am still breastfeeding, so I can’t cut my calories too much.
3) TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME
I know all the changes that I need to make, because I have made them all before, so it’s tempting to make them all at the same time – but that just isn’t going to work. If I make too many changes at once, I will feel overwhelmed and fall at the first hurdle. Just take each day as it comes and make small changes at a time. Maybe start off with healthy breakfasts for the week and going for a walk. Then the next week move on to upping your workout.
For me, focusing on portion control at the moment, even if the foods I am eating aren’t ideal. After a couple of weeks, I will set myself a new challenge. Constantly reminding myself that this is a marathon, not a sprint.
4) FILL HALF MY PLATE WITH VEGETABLES
Not only are vegetables healthy, but they are filling too – which is why I am trying to fill half my plate with them. Doing this is going to really help me with my portion control, because if I am still eating some pizza, then as long as half my plate if full of vegetables then it isn’t going to be too bad.
5) BE ACTIVE EVERY DAY
This is where I reeeeeally struggle because in total honesty I have become lazy. For the first 2-3 months of Avery being born I spent a lot of time on the sofa feeding her and she would only sleep on me. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED that, but it then became a habit that I just haven’t gotten out of. There has been a whole lot of sitting going on and not much moving and man, can I feel the results of that!
You don’t have to go to the gym and kill it for over an hour. I am a firm believer that a small workout is better than no workout, so if Avery is entertaining herself with the remote control, I do a quick 10 minute workout in the living room – just some squats, burpees (meh), lunges and running on the spot works up a sweat. Got a bit longer than 10 minutes? Go for a quick run or swim or just dance to your favourite song like no-one is watching.
Change the way you see being active, as being active is so much more than the gym. I think walking is one of the best, and easiest, workouts you can do and it will be the way I am mostly going to be active – it’s perfect if you are a new mum, because most babies will happily nap in the pram.
6) TRY SOME NEW RECIPES
This is hard for a food blogger to admit, but I have gotten in to a food rut. We made so many meals for the freezer before Avery was born and we were living off those for the first few weeks and barely cooked. Then they run out and we turned to takeaways. When we did start cooking again, it wasn’t very exciting and we got in to a food rut and that was part of the problem.
You will find it hard to get back to healthy eating if you are not excited about the meals you have planned. So, look online, look through recipe books (the Hungry Healthy Happy Book is a good place to start) and magazines and make something new. You guys are going to seriously benefit for me busting out of this food rut, as I have some epic recipes planned.
7) REMEMBER THAT FOOD IS NOT THE ENEMY
Developing a healthy relationship with food is a top priority for me and I need to stop giving food all the power. There is no good and bad food (this of course doesn’t include people who have allergies), just consistent choices and you don’t have to 100% cut things out of your diet and never eat the things you enjoy again. Getting healthy and losing weight is about creating a healthy relationship with food, not an even unhealthier one.
8) BE POSITIVE
I am all about body positivity, but even I am not perfect in that way. I have found myself slipping in to bad habits and talking to myself in a way that I would never talk to someone else. Bringing up a daughter, I am very conscious that I never want her to hear me talking like that, because it guts me to think that she would speak to herself like that – so it has to stop.
Positivity goes a long way and that includes not being negative to the way your body currently looks. You may want to change the way your body looks, but constantly saying negative things about yourself is not going to help. You can still love your body as it is at the time and work on changing it to make it healthier.
9) REMIND YOURSELF HOW YOU FEEL WHEN YOU ARE OFF TRACK
This is one of my biggest motivators, because I have kind of hit rock bottom in terms of feeling like crap, so I have something to remind myself of. When I am eating junk and skipping my workouts, I feel like crap. If I am struggling to get back in to a routine, then I remind myself of that feeling and it’s usually enough to kick myself out of a downward spiral.
10) PLAN, PREPARE, SCHEDULE
The saying goes, fail to plan and you plan to fail – I agree with that to an extent. Sometimes you can get by without planning but I think it is planning that helps me to stay on track. Planning my workouts at the moment isn’t realistic, because they are around a sometimes nonexistent nap schedule, but I can plan my meals.
On a Sunday I am going to spend 30 minutes planning out our meals for the week, but still allowing for a little flexibility. Want to do some meal planning? Take a look at our Recipe Section for inspiration.
11) CUT BACK ON ALCOHOL
This isn’t an issue for everyone, as some people don’t drink, but I really enjoy a glass/bottle of wine a couple of times a week. Apart from the alcohol itself being empty calories, I don’t exactly feel like eating a salad when drinking. I associate drinking with junk food, so my food choices are never good when drinking. Also, the next day I don’t feel like a healthy breakfast and I certainly don’t feel like working out, so it has a knock on effect.
I am not going to totally cut it out, but I am sticking to just 2 glasses of wine or 2 Gin and Tonics on a Saturday night and that’s it.
12) DRINK MORE WATER
I guess this follows on from drinking less wine, but my water intake has seriously slipped. That used to be the one thing that wasn’t an issue for me, but now if I drink 3 glasses of water it’s a good day. I have gone back to setting a reminder on my phone every 30 minutes to drink some water and hopefully after a while it will just go back to being a habit.
I make it more enjoyable to drink by adding lemon/lime and mint to it. At least I can pretend it’s a mojito then 😉
13) SHARING WHAT I AM EATING
I know not everyone is a fan of those people that share their every meal online, but that is what works for me and if I never started that, then this blog would never have existed. It was actually the Hungry Healthy Happy Facebook page that I started before the blog, and shared photos of everything I ate. The blog developed from those simple beginings.
So, I will be sharing everything I eat over on Instagram (in stories), but will be posting pictures on Facebook and Twitter too. So, if you want to see what I am eating in order to shift some pounds, then make sure you are following me. I find that posting my food pictures helps to keep me accountable. If I know I have to share a photo of it, I am probably less likely to order a pizza.
14) LESS SUGAR
I never used to have a sweet tooth, but it seems to have crept up on me. With Avery being a terrible sleeper, I turned to sugar to give me an energy boost. I know, I know! It is the worst thing to have as it’s not real energy and it just gives me a crash an hour later. We also found ourselves having dessert after lunch and dinner and it wasn’t small either.
As I say, I am not totally cutting anything out, but I am cutting back to a small piece of chocolate after dinner each night and eating fruit the rest of the time I want something sweet.
15) GO TO BED EARLIER
Whilst part of my tiredness is down to Avery not being a good sleeper, I could definitely go to bed earlier to help the situation. Some nights we aren’t going to bed until midnight and the longer I am awake, the more opportunities I have to eat and I am a late night snacker for sure. I am aiming to be in bed by 10pm and then reading for about half an hour before I settle down to sleep.
16) JUST GET ON WITH IT
Sorry for the tough love, but I am a fan of tough love. I have been beating myself up for ages that I have gained weight back. After all the hard work I put in to losing it, and I let it slip so easily. How could I have been so stupid? Why me? Blah blah blah! Well this pity parade is over!
Yes, it sucks that you have gained some weight and it is so much easier to just sit back and not do anything, but if you want to feel good again, you just have to get on with it. Sure it’s going to be hard, you are going to get angry and frustrated, but remember that it will all be worth it in the end.
As well as this post being a place where I share with you all the things that have worked for me in the past, and will hopefully work for me again this time, this post is where I am publicly recommitting. I have gained weight, my favourite clothes don’t fit, I feel like crap, I miss working out and feeling good and as heartbreaking as it is, my wedding ring doesn’t fit properly any more (I always gain so much weight quickly in my fingers – too much salt).
So this is me, being honest about having been off track and re-committing again.