Yeah yeah, I know how cliche it is – doing a health kick in the New Year. But I am determined to get fit, fighting belly fat once and for all.
But I’ve gone through many healthy eating phases, none of them lasting and most of them unsustainable. But now I’ve got added motivation as my husband is trying to do the same, and is embarking on a more rigorous routine with a new diet and exercise plan.
Another reason for my New Year health kick is because, as much as I hate to say it, I’m getting on a bit.
I recently reached a milestone birthday, I won’t delve into numbers, but let’s just say 21 again.
This has come some interesting side effects. One of which is a stubborn paunch.
I’ve always been lucky enough to have a fast metabolism. So I never counted calories, cut back on food or exercised much.
But alas, all good things must come to an end, and recently I’ve found that the weekend take-away or meal out doesn’t disappear quite so easily. My metabolism is slower, and weight sits in all the wrong places, i.e. my tum.
Losing weight in all the wrong places
I’m not alone on this either, as most women say that their stomach is the hardest place to slim down.
Even during Ramadan when I was eating much less and much better, I lost weight on my face, rather than my gut.
More recently, I’ve tried to alleviate my pot belly a little… Going to the gym a bit more, trying to eat less. But in truth, this was all superficial – I was still loading up on carbs and not really pushing myself with exercise. I could still undo all my good work over a foodie weekend.
And as 80 of our weight loss/gain is down to diet alone, I need to make proper modifications to feel a difference.
So as part of my expanding lifestyle section, I’m keen to report on the little changes I’m making, whether it’s eating better or a new exercise, to see what changes help, and what tips I can pass on.
I went to an event held by facial scrub aficionados St Ives recently, and they had a guest nutritionist, Julie Montagu, who gave me some real for for thought in regards to eating better.
Now it was only upon Googling Julie afterwards that I realised that she’s quite the lady – literally. A blogger, nutritionist and reality TV star of Ladies of London, Julie is healthy living personified.
Here’s a few things she mentioned we should all be adding to our diets…
Oats – great for feeling fuller for longer but also helps positivity and can therefore benefit the mind and help reduce the risk of depression. This in turn has a knock on effect on many other diseases.
Millets – I’ve never heard of this before, but this African grain is a great, economic food that can be used in place of rice, or added into salad.
Dried apricots – great for helping offset ‘bad’ food such as red meat or processed meals. Apricots are good for cleansing, hence it bring used as a natural laxative.
Walnuts – a handful of walnuts contain so much energy
Avocado – one of the good fats you should have in your diet. Avocado is full of natural oils, so is a great buttery addition to a sandwich or a moisture kick to a plain salad. With its meaty texture, avocado is great for keeping you fuller for longer.
Another few things I’ve learnt recently are courtesy of the really awkward Salad Master sales-meal thing I had (read about the cringe situation here
One of the things mentioned was that when we eat good clean food, we actually get fuller more quickly and require smaller portions. This makes sense, as I find myself surprisingly full if I go to a good restaurant, have a quality piece of fish and veg. Whereas on the other hand, I can eat crisps for days without feeling fully satisfied.
We were also taught about how nutrients are lost through unnecessary washing and peeling. So this made me think twice and peeling carrots and potatoes as we load most of the vitamins this way.
Food for thought, right?
Well I’ll be trying to apply some of these principles this year and of course I’ll share any recipes or tips with you.
But don’t worry this blog won’t be a complete health overhaul. I’ll still share some restaurant reviews (on cheat days) and some indulgent recipes.
Everything in moderation, right?