The holidays – whether Christmas or otherwise – can end up being a bit of a free for all. Even the best of intentions to stick to a healthy eating plan can vanish in the face of that last mince pie or another glass of fizz. This is not said with any judgement. It just is the way it is. And then here we are in January, and you’re wondering how to shift that holiday weight, tame the hormonal mayhem that comes with overindulgence, and get back to being healthy more of the time.
But how exactly?
You could make a New Year resolution but we all know (and science backs this up) that you won’t stick to it and that most people end up making the same resolution year after year after year.
If you’re a repeat offender at goal setting and not reaching them, you’re not alone – but help is at hand because in this blog I’m going to be talking about how to reel things back in so that you can get back on track and meet your goals.
How to lose weight after weeks of stretching the boundaries starts with this one thing.
1 It starts with a commitment to yourself –
and it’s also handy if you can make some kind of announcement about it. You don’t have to tell the whole of Facebook. Writing it down (diary, journal) is enough. Or share with friends or a partner about what you are committed to.
Why does this matter? We are very ‘reasonable’ as humans, which is to say that we are very good at finding reasons why we are or are not going to do something. And these reasons always seem incredibly plausible. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that but it does stop you from getting where you want to be. People often give up because of their reasons – especially if the only person who knows about this intention is you.
This second step is the GOLD if you know you’re the kind of person who can’t stick to a diet.
Daily affirmations help you reach your health goals
2 If you’ve ever worked with me on any level before, you’ll know that I am a great fan of affirmations on all kinds of levels. You are the CEO of your health and having a daily business meeting with yourself in the mirror as you start the day works. Here, you remind yourself what you’re doing and why it matters. It’s like setting your internal GPS for success.
Knowing what to do is only a small part of achieving your goals.
You may know – conceptually at least – what it takes to eat well to lose weight or to halt those hot flushes in their tracks. But how do you keep on doing it over and over?
From my clinical experience, when people stop doing what they know to do, they have simply forgotten why it matters.
Think about it for a moment.
Let’s take New Year. It might be that you have eaten all the mince pies and drunk all the champagne (cannot just be me?) so you start out making some changes.
The needle starts to shift.
But before you get to where you want to be, you’re breaking all the ‘rules’ you created for yourself.
Often, the pain of why you started (hot flushes massively dialled up, weight gain, not sleeping properly, feeling rubbish – or whatever) is felt less intensely than before AND chances are, you have forgotten ‘what’s in it for me’.
Aside from that daily reminder, here’s another thing that is important. Get the beginning of the day sorted.
Some people are great at doing ‘everything’ and like a ‘full on’ approach. They like to dive in and do everything at once. Many people aren’t like that and there’s no right or wrong. Some folk like to take things a meal at a time, get that sorted, then move on.
In this case, it makes sense to think about what the very first thing is you are going to eat in a day.
Planning the first meal of the day.
Notice I didn’t say breakfast.
I am a great fan of fasting. It works for me to stop eating at around 7 pm and not start again until 11 am the next day. Many of my clients like that too. For some folk, it is a little too long, and that’s OK – you don’t have to fast to work with me! You can still get many of the benefits of fasting from going 14 hours without food and just drinking water, herbal tea or black tea or coffee.
And, there are some people who should not fast. If you know you have problems regulating your blood sugar, you have a history of stress or suspect you might have adrenal fatigue, or if you have a history of disordered eating, this is not the approach for you.
If you’ve tried fasting before and it works for you, that’s the first thing to bring back in.
Whether you choose to fast or not, you’ll want to plan out what the first thing is that you are going to eat in the day is going to be.
The point is that you need to plan ahead so that you’re not so ravenously hungry you eat anything you can get your hands on. Spontaneity is best left to superheroes.
Here are my top choices for breakfast:
Any kind of omelette
Overnight oats – 40g oats and then whatever else you fancy. These nearly always feature in my recipe books. Perfect for making in advance and keeping in the fridge.
A protein-based smoothie – I like to use plant-based milk (usually almond), and I chuck in a scoop of vanilla protein powder, a handful of greens (often spinach), a few chunks of frozen avocado (available in most supermarkets) and a handful of frozen berries. Whiz and you’re done in a couple of minutes. (If you have The Self Care Fix, you will have 30 of my best recipes already).
If you like a chia seed pudding, do that.
Of course, there are tonnes of other things you could do. For brevity, let me share the one recipe I make over and over and over… the low carb cheese scone.
It’s a recipe my mum found and has become rather evangelical about. She’s having some building work done at the moment and she’s even got the builder making them at home now *eye roll*.
They work for me because they fulfil on the things that are important to me: low carb so they don’t mess up my energy levels or lead to weight gain (since perimenopause, too many carbs don’t work) and they contain protein, which helps keep me fuller for longer.
If I’m being super lazy, I will just cut mine in half for breakfast and add gluten-free Marmite (as an aside, there are 2 options in shops, the own-brand one from Aldi, which I think is a bit grainy and the own-brand low salt one from Sainsbury’s, which I recommend).
Yesterday, I had mine with some bacon and a poached egg.
I also sometimes have them with smoked salmon and avocado.
I will often have them with soup for lunch.
You see? I am almost as fanatical.
Of course, the other thing you can do to get back on track is to work with a nutrition coach.
Working with a coach costs money but it is very effective at helping you get to where you want to be significantly more quickly than doing it on your own. I’ve spent years on the science, from the 4 years of training to the 7+ years in practice giving me the clinical experience of helping women rebalance their hormones naturally so they can lose the weight they want to, regain their energy, dial down their hormonal symptoms and feel more like themselves. We can do things slowly, or quickly. Every programme is tailored just to you and your circumstances. There’s no judgement but there is accountability. You have to show up and you have to do the work.
I only have capacity for working with a few new clients a month and if you’re thinking this could be your year, you can apply to be one of them. Follow the link here and we can hop on a call. It’s not a sales call, it’s a mini strategy session that will help get you out of the starting blocks. You’re not tied to anything.