Tag Archives: sweet and sour

Different diets for different times of our lives – trying Wheat Free

So I desperately need to lose about 1 and a half stones or 20lb. I’ve needed to lose this weight for a while now – ever since a 2nd unsuccessful pregnancy last summer followed by a load of consequent comfort eating. Plus, as many of you know, before I’d shed my extra weight, me and my husband set off on a year’s backpacking around the world. (We have a travel blog at www.middle-aged-spread.com). We’re living in hostels & cheap hotels so I’m unable to follow my own normal advice – my ’21 Keys to Keeping Weight Off’. So desperate times mean desperate measures. And looks like I’ve found winning solution. Going wheat free! 

Different times, different diets
I believe that different diets work for us at different times un our lives. We can’t assume that because one diet worked once for us or a friend, that’s the only possible answer. Our lives change and so I think the answers to managing our weight changes through time too.

Veg and protein. Perfect for wheat free

Veg and protein. Perfect for wheat free

I’ve really been struggling to find a diet I could do whilst traveling. Food replacement diets have worked for me in the past but are no good on the other side of the world. Slimming World has also worked for me but it relies on UK shops and being able to cook your own meals which I can’t do. Low fat isn’t going to work when it’s hard enough to order veggie food when there’s a language barrier and the shops just don’t stock it. Alternate day fasting could be an option – but to be honest it isn’t an option when meals are the only thing that break up our days. And really it’s not fair on Patrick during this trip. Even just eating wonderful, healthy Thai food and lots of fresh fruit for a month didn’t shift any extra weight. People back home have been telling me to just stop worrying about my weight. But I can’t as it makes me unhappy to be the size I am now. It’s how we feel ourselves that matters.

So I’ve decided to try and diet that is totally alien to me and what I normally do. And guess what? 2 weeks in its really working!!!

Gone wheat free
Strange as it may sound, writing this in Vietnam, but I’ve found this diet really easy here. Basically, I’ve cut out all wheat and most carbs and sugar, and don’t worry about fat or fried food. Whilst this means no rice or noodles (I know, sounds strange) its been easy for me to get meals that are veg and protein, like stir frys or omelettes. I’m snacking on low GI fruit and loads of nuts – including loads of fresh coconut and coconut water to drink – so never hungry. I’m even having full fat milk I’m coffee (just getting milk without sugar is a challenge here!!).

And I’m having a little dark 70% chocolate bar most days. Sounds alright doesn’t it. When we get to thailand I’ll also be able to have fabulous Papaya Salad too. 🙂

Changing my mind too

Hostel bunk bed living - listening to downloads on headphones is easy

Hostel bunk bed living – listening to downloads on headphones is easy

I’m also listening to a short download every day which is telling my subconscious mind that I don’t want to eat wheat or carbs and that I want to be slimmer again. It’s certainly having an effect. I have started to get bloated drinking fizzy pop and I’m getting full really quickly so want to eat a lot less. Mind you, eating with chop sticks might be helping with this too!

 

My make-shift waist measuring devise. The first week I could cut off a good piece!

My make-shift waist measuring devise. The first week I could cut off a good piece!

The results? Well I don’t have any scales so I’m monitoring my waist using a piece of string we used to tie up our mossie net in our last bungalow and a ruler app i downloaded onto the ipad! The first week I cut off about 4cm. This week just over 1. Not bad heh?

For ever?
The programme I’m following says you have to cut wheat out for ever. I’m not so sure as I successfully ate whole grains in moderate amounts whilst keeping weight off for a number of years ; indeed it’s one of my 21 Keys. So I’ll have to see what I decide to do once Im back to a size I’m happier with. But it sure is working for me at the moment.

Goes to show – different approaches work at different times in our lives.

Staying motivated when dieting or keeping weight off no 2 – Don’t give up even if you put on weight!

 

In a previous blog I talked about how to stay motivated when you keep weight off or when you are trying to lose weight. Thanks for the comments you sent about this being helpful. In that blog I talked about how you have to concentrate on any positives, even if your weight loss isn’t going to plan. But what do you do if worse than not losing weight, you end up putting it on? Well, that’s what’s happened to me in the last few weeks – I’ve put on weight despite being on a diet – so time for another blog post!

It is hard to stay motivated  …..
There’s no doubt its hard if you are denying yourself and keeping to a diet and then you don’t lose weight or worse put some on. A couple of weeks ago I got on the scales and, horror of horrors, I’d put on about a pound. And I have to be honest and say it’s sent me off-course. Seeing a higher number on the scales bought back the crooked thinking I have about me and weight and I started to catastrophize. I decided that as the diet I was doing ‘obviously wasn’t working’ I may as well give up. Of course, it wasn’t the truth that it wasn’t working as I was losing size, just not weight. But I didn’t see that. I wasn’t concentrating on the positives as I should have been. Old habits returned quickly – I’d been missing porridge for breakfast (not allowed on my diet) so I went straight back to that. Other food came back into my diet pretty quickly. I also went for an impromptu curry one evening, had a couple of cakes at an event one afternoon, and then had puddings every night whilst staying with my in-laws.

We all know it’s just too easy to go back to our normal habits. And what do you think has happened? Well I’ve put on a fair bit of weight in the last couple of weeks; my clothes are telling me this. But I haven’t weighed myself as there is no point in just adding to my misery.

But all is not lost; I’ve not given up…….
So, and I think this is the main point, that sometimes we all fall off the wagon. The point is how do we respond when we do?
I think a lot of the time we think if we have given in once or twice, or even for a couple of weeks, that that is that. It’s all over so we may as well give up on the diet and just go back to old ways. Well ….. WRONG!! Research shows that successful dieters and people who keep weight off don’t do this. When we go off track we accept it, don’t give ourselves a hard time about it. We pick ourselves up quite quickly, dust ourselves down and we just start searching for ways to get back on track.

That’s what I’m doing, and today I am going to try something new to help me eat less! (More of that to come in the future.)

Part of my getting on track involved one last blow out…..
One thing I did decide to do though whilst off the wagon was to allow myself a bit of a blow out and the chance to have some flavours, tastes and foods I don’t normally have. As a calculated decision I decided that having some of these foods on one occasion would help me get my motivation back for the longer term. So last Sunday me and my husband went to the ‘all you can eat international buffet’! Of course I eat loads and came back far too full if the truth be told. But I enjoyed every mouthful and it has helped me prepare for the new method I’ll be trying later today.

I didn’t totally let go though. Here’s some tips I used to still control even at the all you can eat buffet…

1. Quite a lot of the buffet was fried food. Try and avoid food like fried rice, deep fried starters etc. I did have a few prawn crackers and poppadums but kept them to a minimum.

2. Only put a small amount on your plate at a time. You can always go back for more. Use the smallest plate you can find. The puddings section may have smaller ones.

3. Have a break between plates. You may find you don’t want to have as many visits as you first thought you would!

4. Fill up with salads and fruit; most buffets have them. But watch the dressings as they can be really calorific and if you have fruit salad watch for sugar syrup.

5. If you know that puddings will be your weakness plan for this. Don’t have too much first course. Do some extra exercise and think about what else you eat that day. Top up puddings with fruit.

6. Beware of any sauces as they can be very fatty and full of sugar.

7. Drink plenty of water. I also ordered a green tea.

8. Prepare for the sugar rush and carb effect the next day. Have lots of fruit to hand so you can manage it.

9. If you know you are the kind of person who will keep going back for more even if you aren’t hungry, do some deals with yourself about how many times you will do this and stopping before you end up feeling sick!

So if you’ve fallen off the wagon don’t panic. Just get back on, no self re-criminations. And good luck!

Staying positive & motivated when your diet isn’t working!

Its one of the hardest things – staying motivated when you are dieting but not losing weight. I’ve become so expert at keeping weight off that this is what’s happening to me at the moment! I’m doing Slimming World Success Express and although I’m on week 5 I’ve lost no weight at all! Every Sunday morning my scales say the same thing; 142lb. I’ve even started taking Adios Plus tablets to try and speed up the loss!

According to some research from the US this week it’s not so surprising. Researchers  say that the common expectation that reducing our intake by 500 calories a day, or upping our exercise, means we will lose about 1lb a week is too ambitious. They say that weight loss probably takes about 3 times as long as that.

So does this explain why I’m not losing weight? Or could my body just want to stabilise at my current weight? Once, when I was on Lighterlife and I was living off 550 calories a day I didn’t lose any weight 2 weeks in a row! I even put some on one week. Bodies are funny things.

Having to occasionally lose weight is just part of keeping weight off
As readers of my ’21 Keys to Keeping Weight Off’ know, I believe that when keeping weight off at times you need to actually diet. Every bit of research backs this up; everyone who keeps weight off has a way to monitor their weight and size on an on-going basis and takes action quickly when they know the pounds are starting to go back on. That’s what I’m doing at the moment so I can stay a size 10.

I don’t actually weigh myself normally; in fact I recommend ditching the scales. That’s because we all know our weight can fluctuate up and down various reasons – water retention, time of the month, building muscle etc. What does it matter if our weight goes up but we still like how we look and our clothes still fit? That’s why I recommend having a favourite outfit as your guide; when the outfit is too tight that’s when its time to take some action.

Not all doom and gloom though…
All is not lost though. Although I’m not losing weight at the moment, I am losing bulk. My favourite dress is certainly less tight around the hips than 5 weeks ago even if I know I still need to lose some more before I could wear it. Plus my tape measure is showing some improvement with at least one cm off each measurement.

 

So how do you stay motivated when the weight isn’t falling away?

It is hard to stay motivated when the weight isn’t falling off. That’s why on some occasions over the last few weeks I’ve not kept to the diet – the odd cake here, or a curry there, or crisps and biscuits at a mates house. If I’m honest it’s often been more than one; with one leading to another to another. But I have to face facts. All I am doing is making things harder for myself as at this rate I’ll be on this diet for months, not the weeks I originally expected.

So to get back on track I’m focusing on the positives. I keep reminding myself:

  •  That losing weight can be slow.
  • I am losing bulk as my green dress is getting that bit looser each week.
  • My measurements show I’ve lost some size over the last 5 weeks.
  • All my friends tell me I look great the size I am ; one even said I looked ‘perfect’ this size.
  • I actually don’t crave foods like cakes and chocolates when I cut them out all together so it’s easier to have none at all.
  • I have lost weight before; I can do it again.
  • There are still other options I can try if I decide this diet isn’t working; but I need to give it a few more weeks.

That’s what you need to do too if you are dieting and not getting the results you hoped for. Or if you are trying to keep weight off and putting some back on. Don’t let some slips push you totally off course. We are all humans so if you have a bad day or two don’t punish yourself. Instead, say today is another day, dust yourself down and just make some agreements with yourself that you’ll get back on course.

And to help me get back on course I’m making sure I cook food which feels comforting and lovely and is allowed by the diet. Here’s one of my favs – sweet and sour chicken/quorn. Its tasty, gooey and sweet, really quick but still hardly any calories. Brilliant.

Fat burning and low GI Sweet and Sour Chicken / Quorn

Ingredients:
3 shallots per person
½ to 1 bulb garlic per person for sweet and sour
Chicken breast cut into small slices or quorn pieces (defrosted)

For the sauce – each person:
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp passata
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar or wine vinegar
1 tbsp sweetener
Large pinch of hot chilli powder to taste.
If using quorn you may need some additional sauce per person – 1½ – 2 tbsp.  

Stir Fry Veg
1 bulb garlic
1 cm of ginger minced or chopped into small pieces
Prepared stir fry veg

Instructions:

  1. Chop the shallots finely. Fry in some fry light and little sherry if so inclined. Mince the garlic and add to the frying pan. Fry for about 5 minutes till nicely browned.
  2. In a bowl mix up the sauce.
  3. Add the chicken / quorn to the pan and fry for around 3 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
  4. Add the sauce and allow to cook over a medium heat.
  5. Meanwhile spray a wok or large frying pan with fry light and add the remaining garlic and ginger. Fry for about 30 sections then add the stir fry veg. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add splash of soy sauce and cook for a further 1 minute.
  6. Serve together and enjoy!

 

NOTE: If  you can’t open and watch the videos, view this blog on www.keepingweightoff.co.uk.