To detox by feeding my body non-processed food for 7 days and see the impact. It wasn’t designed to be a "diet" just an experiment to clear my body of all the junk. I felt “dirty” after a 5 day holiday eating lots of ice cream, cake at breakfast, pasta and fried foods – you guessed it, I had been to Italy.
In general, I was getting obsessed with food and my portions were getting larger and larger. I was reaching a new norm with my eating.
My weight post birth had fallen to a steady state of about 77 kg and in May it had been jumping between 77 and 79 kg never going lower than the 77kg mark even though I was trying to be food conscious.
DETOX DAILY MENU
Breakfast: a fruit smoothie – I thought this would be hard to get used to because I love porridge BUT it wasn’t. I had a huge smoothie that almost filled the NutriBullet cup and it took so long to finish that by the time I did, it was nearly lunch time.
Lunch: a huge bowl of salad
Dinner: a light cooked meal with lots of fresh fruit and vege
Snack: any fresh fruit or vegetable allowed BUT I found that I wasn't needing to snack much. Coffee and tea with milk allowed with no sugar. Honey allowed to sweeten one cup of tea or coffee in the day. All second cups of tea or coffee cannot be sweetened.
Where I got my recipes: LoseWeightByEating
Note: I didn’t have smoothie only days as recommended in the Detox above because that would be too extreme for me, I'm breastfeeding. I adjusted recipes to account for my taste, e.g. I added tomatoes, cucumber and grated carrots to salads a lot. I used chicken thigh instead of breast or canned mackerel in sweet chilli – it’s more fattening but hey ho!
Allowed Processed Food
In a proper detox you should only allow canned food in water with no sugars or sauces but I didn’t go that extreme. I had a can of Heinz 5 beans over the week (half on one day and half a couple of days later). I drain as much of the sauce off as possible when I had canned food.
I jogged 3 times and swam twice over the 7 days.
The jogs were just under 3 km each and the swims were 30 minutes each time. Always first thing in the morning, always on an empty stomach. That's how I usually exercise. I hadn't jogged in 7 months due to pregnancy and recovery after but I had been doing cardio and lots of walking in that time so I wasn't starting from a base of no exercise.
The big question I had before I started: how long will I last? I thought 3 days max, my husband thought 1 day.
I wanted to make a facebook status update re. my detox project but I was so sure I would fail that I decided to only do it if I succeeded. Facebook is a happy place, right?
SO – WHAT HAPPENED?
Weight Over The Period:
I weighed myself in the morning before drinking or eating anything
14-June: 77.7 kg
16-June: 76. 3 kg
17-June: 76.0 kg
21-June: 75.7 kg
Note: my breasts are super full with milk this morning and I think if they weren’t I could be as much as 0.5kg lighter – you should see the size of them.
The shocker: my breastmilk production shot up! My baby had been stuck to my breast all the time, never unlatching, a possible sign that it was taking her ages to get the needed quantity of milk. However, by about day 3 or 4 on this eating plan she was getting so full in 5 minutes - she'd unlatch and take on this milk-drunk look - that just said, "that was nice". I don't know if this was a coincidence as milk production gets more efficient over time anyway but I think it is definitely related.
Feelings Over The Period
14-June: I kept realising I was stopping myself from snacking on things, e.g. my son’s food, bits of chocolate. I realized I don’t eat large quantities when I snack but I am grazing all day on anything and everything: nuts, crisps, a piece of a chocolate (not a whole bar), toast, sandwiches, etc.
15-June: I had a carrot as snack to avoid a post-swim sugary snack; I go to the park with my friends on a Thursday and I was 100% going to have a pastry if I hadn’t had an apple to hand when I got hungry. Note to self: always carry a fruit in one’s handbag otherwise you will give in.
16-June: I was peckish in the evening so I had 2 peaches and an apple. This normally happens if I delay a meal.
17-June: By the end of the day I realized I hadn’t been particularly hungry enough to snack ALL day. My only snack of the day was a mint tea with honey in it and I never got round to having another snack! I want to eat like this forever was my feeling when I went to bed.
20-June: I’ll stick to healthy eating in the week but even on my eat whatever you want days I won’t go crazy. I’ll just have a couple of treats.
21-June: the detox is officially over but I've found it so easy I'll just carry on until Friday.
Realizations About The Way I Eat
Carbohydrates are a large part of ALL my meals at the moment:
The Plan Going Forward
Completely cutting out processed food is not realistic for me. Although by day 4 I realized I wasn’t having cravings I know I enjoy the junk I eat so I’ll end up bingeing if I decide to cut it out entirely. I’ve decided the following:
I love banana cake and I still know what it tastes like so I’ll bake it this weekend BUT I currently actually feel scared to eat it because I might start getting that hungry feeling again. It’s funny that when I was eating much more than I am now, I was always hungry and wanting a snack. I never stepped into the kitchen without grabbing a handful of nuts, a pack of crisps, a yoghurt etc. In addition, I’m out a lot so I just buy snacks too with the excuse that at least I’m not bringing them into the house but if you’re usually out the house anyway there’s plenty of scope for eating bad snacks out there. Just cut them all out. Don’t accept offers of cake, biscuits etc. from people; cut out the hot chocolate, energy bars, flap jacks etc. and you’ll see your desire for sugar and fried foods falling. Just one biscuit makes you want 5 – that’s how the brain works.
I might try to follow the maxim of “eat all the junk you want provided you make it yourself!”
I ignored all people who say don't eat fruit, it has too much sugar or don't eat bananas because they are high in carbs - the fact is, NO ONE out there is obese because they eat too much fruit. A banana or a handful of grapes a day won't kill you. Yes, fruits are rich in sugars but this probably only really matters if you're trying to get super skinny.
Biggest advantage of this way of eating: you don't have to count any calories. Before you put anything in your mouth you just ask: does this food occur in the environment like this? If the answer is yes, eat away.
Disadvantage of this way of eating: the salads take 15-20 minutes to make where as toast with an egg or a sandwich, my previous go-to lunches take less than 5 minutes.
Buying all the extra fruit and veg has added £10-20 to the weekly shop but that’s okay for me. You spend a little more in the first week because you stock up on some staples, e.g. quinoa.
If you try to cut out processed foods yourself I'd love to see how it goes for you.
My 2013 goal: go from 63.5kg to 60kg (i.e. 140 to 130lbs)
I haven't been 60kg since I was 20!
This is what happened: I gained 10lbs! With the post Christmas indulgence I hit an annual high of 68.4kg (151 lbs) just after Christmas.
The weight gain did not come as a shock - I've been tracking almost weekly using the Fat Creep app and I saw it coming but didn't particularly care.
This year, I decided to make the goal SMART and actually set out how I was going to lose the extra weight. Luckily, my husband got me the FitBit for our anniversary and just having the gadget made me realize how sedentary my life was. My two weekly 5km jogs were not enough to counteract my incessant nut scoffing and my passionate love affair with desserts.
Because I wanted to start the year at 67.5kg exactly, I started my weight loss regime on 30-Dec. By some stroke of luck my Fit Bit is sending me summaries that exactly match my diet cycle. As always I am not dieting but getting rid of the silly habits that I had started slipping into.
So, what changes have I made?
I have committed to at least 10,000 steps a day!
I never really considered walking exercise so I didn't do much, I thought it was so low impact and hence not worth the effort. What I have discovered with my FitBit is that I was only walking 3,000 to 5,000 steps a day which is as low-activity as a life gets. Not good enough!
I am still only doing my two 5km a week. The only difference in 2014 is that I'm doing it at a gym rather than outside - I couldn't take the cold anymore. With a treadmill I can increase the intensity of my jogs much more easily so I am enjoying it.
I am currently jogging on Tuesday and Thursdays.
3. WORK OUT IN THE MORNING
I always used to jog around midday but I have always known there is an extra benefit to doing it first thing in the morning - it gives your metabolism an all day boost. I decided to stop being lazy and just do it! I'm now up at 6.30 a.m. instead of 7.30 a.m. - it's not a huge change.
4. RESISTANCE TRAINING
Two thirty minute sessions a week.
I hate resistance training (!) but I can't deny that I do see much better weight loss and maintenance when I do it. To start off with I think two sessions a week is enough. I'm using a DVD to do it.
I am currently doing my strength and resistance training on Wednesday and Fridays.
5. PRE-WORKOUT FOOD
Research suggests you burn more fat if you have a shot of unsweetened black coffee 30 minutes before you work out. I am using green tea - I don't know if that is as good a substitute.
6. WEEKEND ACTIVITY
I have committed to either a swim, a long walk (2 hours) or a gym class once a week at the weekend...finally!
Weight loss is really just about what you eat; eating less is enough to lose weight even if you do no exercise at all. I am also exercising because I actually want to be fit. I've made the following changes:
What am I missing?
So, at the moment I am not doing anything drastic just what I should be doing anyway taking care of my health.
Five portions of cake completely destroyed week 4/5. What was meant to be an "I am feeling sorry for myself" cake turned out to be a big celebratory cake leading to a portion of cake per day for four days with two portions on the Sunday! Yikes!
Of course, weight loss = zero, I should just be happy I didn't gain!