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Tag Archives: Healthy Eating

Confessions of a Chocoholic

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“Are you going to tell the diet police, or are you going to retain your right to remain silent?” That was the question posed by my boyfriend after I stepped off the scale this week and announced the result.

I gained a kilo!

Don’t get me wrong; this didn’t come as a surprise! I have no disillusions as to how it happened. In fact, I can think of a number of reasons – the chocolate and banana milkshake shared with colleagues after school, the packet of Whispers that was just lying there, the second packet of Whispers that was sought out and not to mention the copious amounts of “thank-you” chocolates I received from teachers. Each and every “cheat” was justified in my mind. “I deserve this!” or “I’ve been so good up to now, what’s one more _______________?” The problem was not “one more _____________” the problem was that it was really “5 more ___________”, but at the time, I was not thinking that.

So what have I learnt? Don’t use food as a reward! If you think about it, we’ve been conditioned to see food as a reward from an early age. From the mother who is trying to get her child to eat all their supper in exchange for dessert and the doctor who gives the child a lollipop for being a “brave boy/girl”, right up to colleagues buying chocolates as thank yous. I’m guilty of it myself! Just last week I gave a group of girls in my science class each a packet of Whispers for coming first in the quiz (hence the extra packet of Whispers lying around). This is not a novel idea. When I did a simple Google search, I found numerous studies and research that has been done into the topic. Bottom line: using food as a reward perpetuates a bad psychological cycle.

So this week I’m going to try and avoid using food as a reward. I might have the odd “nice-to-have” (remember the balance) but it’s going to be just that, a nice-to-have, not a reward. Instead of the reward, I’m going to focus on how far I’ve come and how good I feel and try to take that as reward in itself.

Happy moving and munching!


Munch moderately, move more

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7 weeks, 12 kgs down! That feels so great to say! It’s fantastic seeing people that I haven’t seen for a while. Special mention goes to a good friend, Pieter, who made my day on Thursday with his comment: “Where are you disappearing to Jenna??”. Ahh Piet! Even the kids at school are starting to notice and that’s pretty cool!

It hasn’t always been easy, but we knew it wouldn’t be from the start. Hey, if it were easy, everyone would be doing it! A couple of things have changed though… I no longer like the look of cream based sauces. I far prefer fish to fatty cuts of meat. I don’t even consider getting the jelly babies and the likes that line the isle of temptation at the shops. Chocolate is a nice-to-have rather than a can’t-live-without. Sugar in tea is repulsive. And I have learnt to “just say no” on most occasions when presented with unhealthy options.

Note that I said “most occasions”. That has been a very important factor for me. I would not be standing here 7 weeks down the line and 12kgs lighter if I had not allowed myself a few “cheats” – simply because I would not have gone through with it. The way I see it, I am changing my lifestyle not going on a diet, and lifestyle is about balance. We have to have the not-so-healthy with the healthy. Sure, because the goal here is to lose weight, I try to have a lot less not-so-healthy options, but at least I can still have them!

Many people have asked me about my approach. It’s simple. Munch moderately, move more. I eat smaller portions and when I do eat I aim for fresh – not processed foods. I try to have protein at every meal – important when you’re trying not to lose muscle mass. I try not to eat carbs at night, as there is no time for your body to process and use all that energy. Water and rooibos tea with no sugar are the only two drinks I have – not even diet sodas are welcome as they cause havoc with your body. I also avoid coffee, mainly because I still can’t get my head around coffee without sugar, although I do have it on the odd occasion.

One other thing I have done to boost my motivation has been one week with carbs and one week without. The way this works is in every 2 week cycle I have 5 – 7 days without carbs. On these days I basically follow the 17 Day Diet cycle 1 and I don’t allow myself any cheats at all. It offers a rapid weight loss (1-2kgs in the 5 days) that boosts morale. It also makes me appreciate the avocado or low GI roll even more when I do have it on a carb day.

As for the move more, I try to get some form of exercise in daily – whether it be a quick lap around the school grounds, taking a long walk or dancing on the Wii. This week the goal is to return to regular gym sessions.

All in all it has been an interesting 7 weeks. While I am 12kgs down, I would still like to lose another 28kgs, so I still have a bit of a way to go. I’m okay with that. In general, I try to focus on how far I have come, rather than what is left.

Happy moving and munching!

17 Day Diet: 1st week down!

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1 week, 4kg’s down!!! Let me just say that again… 1 week, 4kg’s down!

It’s getting much easier I must say! Apart from the fact that I’m incredibly sore from the workouts (a good feeling actually), I feel great! I’ve got more energy, I don’t get hungry during the day, I don’t crave things like sweets and chocolates anymore and best of all, I’m starting to feel the change! Honestly, this is probably partly to do with the supplement that I have been taking lately. I started it on Saturday and I’ve noticed that I’m not as hungry during the day. I’m going home with lunch that I haven’t finished rather than going home and looking for something to eat!

What has been a great help is I’m actually enjoying the food, simple as it may be.

I have a fruit and yoghurt for breakfast, followed by another fruit and yoghurt as a snack (bout 2 – 3 hours later). I’ve found that a nice yoghurt to use is Parmalat’s Fabulite. This is a yoghurt that is fruit flavoured but is fat free and has no added sugar.

Lunch usually consists of a salad with copious amounts of free veggies and either tuna (a nice tuna to get is the one in brine with lemon and black pepper added, alternatively, mix in some fat free cottage cheese) or grilled chicken. Recently I introduced a bit of cous cous (half a cup) on a Tuesday and Thursday, just because they are 14 hour days, so I’d like something a bit more substantial.

Supper options include grilled fish and veggies, chicken stirfry, steamed chicken pockets, prawn stirfry (when Woolies has a prawn special :P) or even fillet steak and veggies to name a few.  I usually buy the pre-packed stirfry veggies, just because I don’t have time to julienne veggies during the week, but it’s probably better to do your own. I’m not going to stick to something if it’s going to be too much like hard work, especially during the week (as much as I love cooking)! There’s a trick to buying ready prepared though, you need to look for the ones that don’t have potatoes and butternut in (not allowed in the first cycle).

Keep an eye out. I promise to post lots of recipes this week! The first being a delicious chunky vegetable soup.

Happy moving and munching 🙂