Month: May 2017

Can you walk your way to weight loss?

In this post I’d like to pay homage to walking – yes, that free and simple thing you do to get from A to B. It’s the first form of exercise I did after having a baby and it definitely helped me build my fitness, lose weight and feel better (especially when I had no idea what I was doing as a new mum).

Plus, there are a lot of other benefits for you and baby…

Walking and weight loss
Like lots of women I really struggled to walk towards the end of my pregnancy. Walking was uncomfortable, awkward and terribly slow. Once my little one arrived I thought things would go back to normal fairly quickly but that wasn’t quite the case.

I had my recommended six week check up with a doctor and was given a thumbs up to start being more active. I thought I’d give running a go (as I used to jog pre-pregancy), but that really wasn’t a good idea. It hurt a lot and definitely didn’t resemble any kind of running style I’ve ever seen before! I had to start from the beginning – step by step – and that’s when I really became obsessed with my Fitbit. Walking was my main form of exercise and even now when my weight goes up a little or stays as the same, it’s often when I haven’t walked as much.

Is 10,000 steps achievable?
The recommended number of steps to walk each day is 10,000, which may sound like a crazy amount, especially if you desk bound with work and so on. That said, I’m often surprise at how many i’ll complete just getting ready to go out and about, or if Ii’ve given the house a clean the house. If you couple that with a ‘scheduled’ walk, it doesn’t take too long to reach that 10,000 step goal.

Walking with a baby
When my daughter was small, walking with the buggy was also a good way to encourage a nap if needed and she slept really well during our walks. She’s now 2-years-old and likes to walk (run) just as much as me. Nowadays we’ll take the buggy with us as she still gets tired after a few sprints, but it’s a great excuse to get out, feel as though I’m exercising and I’m sure it helps her sleep through the night. (Which has taken us a long time to achieve!).

Plus…
Walking often can dramatically decrease how at risk you are from type 2 diabetes, a stroke and even certain types of cancers. So it really is pretty amazing. For a full list of the benefits take a peak at the NHS website.

Can you walk your way to weight loss?
Yes! I strongly believe you can and walking is definitely an underrated form of exercise. With that in mind, let’s go for a walk!

The 80/20 weight loss method

In recent years I’ve heard the phrase ’80/20’ when it comes to healthy eating habits and weight loss. It’s all about being healthy for 80% of the time and I guess letting yourself off for the other 20%. I’ve struggled to come to terms with it, as surely any amount of time being unhealthy will just sabotage your weight loss efforts, won’t it? Here’s what happened when I followed the 80/20 approach to weight loss.

My weight loss following the 80/20 method
The week before last I vowed to embrace the 80/20 method and let myself indulge a little more at the weekend, but I was to eat well during the week and keep up my exercise. As usual, I got a little carried away once my ‘indulging’ time approached. I felt angry at myself for a moment and thought “why would I ‘waste’ being ‘good’ Monday to Friday, to simply gorge for a few days”. I was certain I’d hate the scales come my next weigh-in but I actually lost 1.5lbs.

Looking back on this week as a whole, my ‘bad’ days were really not that bad and I should probably spend more time reflecting on the bigger picture, to stop myself spiralling out of control*; which is what I feel like most of the time when I eat a little more than what I perceive to be a healthy amount for me (or if I have a treat food).

Less guilt, more food
One pleasant side effect of the 80/20 rule for me was the lack of guilt I felt when I did enjoy some more treats or have bigger serving size than usual. Allowing myself to be ‘off plan’ for 20% of the week felt quite liberating. Without the 80/20 mantra circling my mind, I would of beaten myself up about those extra treats until my next weigh-in. Life is too short to not enjoy the foods you love (ha, is that the piggy in me talking?) or to overly stress about it – strive for good health, everything in moderation and surely the rest will follow.

Skinny people eat chocolate, too
It has also occurred to me that there are plenty of slim people out there who drink wine and eat chocolate. This has been quite a revelation for me! It means one day I too could be slim and still enjoy that stuff, without putting on 7lbs every time someone invites me out to dinner, or if I fancy some Nutella (that stuff is so good!).

So here’s to the 80/20 rule and to being kinder on ourselves as we aim to lose weight and feel good about ourselves. It is ok to have a treat and to not stress about ‘unplanned’ treats either. There’s plenty of time to rectify any situation.

Chloe x

*Another confession
I started this post last week and as I finish it off to publish I’m very aware that I wasn’t able to go to my Weight Watchers meeting this week, and I’m pretty certain I’ve abused the whole 80/20 thing! Spiralling out of control food wise is exactly how I feel at this very moment (alongside being bloated); but this post has been good for me to re-read and I’ll approach being kinder to myself once more and get back on track. 

What my healthy day looks like

I’ve shared a lot of details about my eating habits when I’m off plan (chocolate, chocolate, chocolate) but maybe not enough about what I eat when on I’m track. So here is a typical healthy day for me, and all of this adds up to my Weight Watchers allowance of 30 SmartPoints.

Breakfast: Porridge made with a banana, water and a splash of skimmed milk. Plus a coffee with skimmed milk.

Lunch: Chicken salad with a brown sandwich thin toasted and torn up to become ‘croutons’. Finished with 150g of strawberry Skyr yogurt, some fruit and vegetable crudités.

Dinner: Two lean Heck pork sausages with potato mash, butternut squash waffles (finally got my hands on some of these), broccoli, gravy and baked beans. Plus a Weight Watchers chocolate bar.

Snacks: Fruit, Veg, tea/coffee, cereal bar

Workout: On this particular day I also managed a 20 minute buggy run with my little one (now I’m just showing off).

Voila, there you have it.

What do you think of my healthy day?
I would love to hear your thoughts on my healthy day and what does a healthy day look like to you? Leave a comment below or leave a message on my Facebook, Instagram or Twitter page.

Chloe x

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