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At the beginning of November I embarked on a 30 day healthy plan in order to help me lose weight and get into the habit of making healthier choices on a daily basis. Today is my final day and I am very excited to share the results of my healthy November plan with you. If you haven’t been following my journey, let me catch you up on the changes I’ve made to my eating habits first.
Changes I’ve made
In order to kick start my efforts to reach a weight and fitness level that I am happy with I made the decision to follow a very strict dietary plan for one month. During this time I have cut out a number of foods and some drinks. The following have been completely removed from my diet:
- Processed foods
- Sugar (other than some fruits)
(It is of course important to speak to your doctor about making big changes to your diet and I want to stress that I understand gluten should not be removed permanently unless medically advised to do so.)
My first instinct was to assume that removing all of these things would be a huge challenge for me and that I would really struggle to get through the whole month without them. Alcohol would be fine, although a slight challenge on nights out. Coffee I could manage, I don’t drink much of it anyway. Dairy on the other hand would be a tough one, as would sugar. I love sugar.
To my surprise (and relief) it was actually very manageable. At the beginning of the month I sat down with my better half and we made a meal plan for every single dinner to help me stay on track. Brown rice and sweet potato became staples in order to help with any potential carb cravings and beans and lentils also made up a large part of our meals along with lots of veggies and lean meats of course.
I had absolutely expected to be suffering from really bad cravings daily, for chocolate in particular, but that just didn’t happen. A really bad headache did surface around day three or four which was horrible, but I think that might have been sugar withdrawals. Otherwise I have felt really good and never hungry. I think a major part of this was the focus that I had. I was fed up of being over weight and feeling rubbish. Being ready for change made the restricted eating very manageable.
As of today, December 5th 2018, I weigh 13st 7lbs.
My measurements are as follows:
- chest: 105cm (-1cm)
- waist: 81cm (-5cm)
- hips: 108cm (-6cm)
- bum: 117cm (-4cm)
- arm: 35cm (-1cm)
- leg: 68cm (-4cm)
The most obvious change I have seen in myself is of course in my weight. Not only can I see a visible difference in the mirror, clothes are fitting better and I have been able to wear a few blouses that I haven’t been able to get on in over a year. I’ve also seen a big improvement in my skin. It is no longer as oily and blemishes have reduced dramatically.
Food is no longer solely a source of enjoyment and emotional comfort for me. It is a way to fuel my body and keep me feeling good. I have seen improvements in my mental health as well as my physical shape. Naps in the afternoon are now a treat instead of a necessity and low moods seem to be coming mostly from the days of raised hormones around my period instead of out of the blue. If you struggle with periods of depression which you can’t explain, you will know how significant this is for me!
My plans beyond the 30 day plan
Going forward I had originally thought I would resort back to my old eating habits with a few improvements made. Of course I now know better and will be doing the opposite. Taking on the new healthier habits that I have adopted over the past 30 days I intend to reintroduce dairy, gluten and other restricted foods in small quantities.
I’ve heard the 80/20 balance mentioned many times before and I think this will work well for me. The idea is simply to eat well 80% of the time and allow yourself treats for the other 20%. All going well I will be able to enjoy the bad foods that I love whilst still fuelling my body well and maintaining good health.
To help push my weight loss further towards my goal weight I’m also going to do another strict 30 day plan in January. During December chocolate, alcohol and all the other unhealthy treats are guaranteed so I am going to allow myself these without feeling guilty. Once we reach the new year I’m committing to another strict month of healthy eating to give me the best start for achieving my health goals in 2019.
If you’d like to chat about what I’ve been doing in more detail drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.