I’m back from holiday… and after 10 days of eating amazing food in America, I’m feeling considerably heavier than when I left.

We had an absolutely brilliant time, and I’m not going punish myself with regret. It was awesome.

Cinnamon and raisin French toast (in the photo above, so good!), ice cream cookie sandwiches, amazing burritos, chips and guac… ate and loved them all.

So, onwards.

I always remind my clients that it’s perfectly normal and ok to gain weight every now and again.

One of the most unhelpful things you can do is beat yourself up for it. That’s just a waste of time and brain power that could be spent doing something positive and productive 🙂

The best thing you can do… get straight back into being healthy and active again, and keep building a healthy lifestyle you love.

Successful long term weight loss comes from building healthy habits, making sustainable lifestyle changes, being consistent, being patient. Focusing on losing weight in a way you can live it – not depriving yourself to slim down fast and then putting all the weight back on again.

I am a huge proponent of taking the pressure off, staying well away from restrictive diets, and focusing on enjoying the process. That might mean slower weight loss than you’d see on a quick fix diet.

But it also gives you far greater chance of actually keeping that weight off for good.

There’s also nothing wrong with jumping in while you’re motivated and working hard to make some quick progress early on.

Sometimes it’s really important to get some quick wins and see things happen – as long as you have a sustainable approach to back it up with.

Everyone is different in the type of approach that will work best for them. That’s why I love being a coach – I get to learn about you, your life, your goals, your struggles, and help you achieve what you want in a way that works for you.

Always working individually with clients to achieve results in a way that suits their goals and lifestyle.

 

For me personally, in early June I have a few events I want to be feeling my best for. That’s one month away. 

Whatever happens, with a month of great nutrition and training, I know I’ll be feeling a whole lot fitter and healthier, have dropped a few pounds of fat, and be pleased I put the effort in.

 

Mission for May

I want to see where I can get to with a month of knuckling down on nutrition, training (got two big bike rides in June to get fit for) and sleep (yep, sleep – hugely important and I’ll explain more below).

To really nail this month in terms of nutrition, I’ll be using the ‘my fitness pal’ app to track my calorie intake.

Tracking calories isn’t particularly fun for most people (me included).

But it is a brilliant learning tool to see where you’re at. Every time I go back to using fitness pal for a few weeks, I’m always eating more than I had optimistically / delusionally been thinking.

It’s a great way to learn what’s in the food you’re eating, and what you need to do to start making progress.

It also allows you to fit in a meal out or your favourite joy food now and again, and still keep on track for weight loss. This for me will be Easter eggs, some of the chocolate we brought back from the US, and cake at my nan’s 80th birthday party. Just to make my nan happy of course 😉

Plan it into your day (get your protein and veg in there, then cut back on some of your usual carbs or fats to make room for what you fancy). Healthy foods most of the time plus a bit of whatever else you love most… that sounds like winning to me.

 

My ‘losing weight and feeling fit again’ plan

To achieve any goal, you need a plan of action.

With weight loss, that generally needs to involve planning the food you’ll eat and the exercise you’ll do (and then the harder part – actually sticking to the plan).

You also need a way to keep track of how you’re doing, so you know whether or not you’re making progress.

With my weight loss clients, we keep track of not just their weight and activity, but also their sleep,  energy levels, consistency with planning, measurements, how clothes are fitting, and how they feel about themselves.

These are all great ways to monitor how things are going – there’s far more to making progress than just the number on the scales. That won’t always drop (even when you do everything right), so it’s really important to measure other changes too.

This is what I’ll be keeping track of during May:

Daily calorie intake 

Using my fitness pal. I’ll be aiming for calories of 1800 and protein around 135g. On days with long cycles, I will go over this to fuel the ride – mainly with carbs. On normal days, I’ll stick with the advice I give to clients – calories and protein are the two numbers to focus on, and carbs and fat can vary depending on preference that day.

Daily weight 

Alot of the reason for this is to gather some data to show that weight does fluctuate regardless of how well you do. It’s not a straight down drop like we think it should be.

There’ll be ups and downs related to water and hormones and a higher carb intake on certain days… and it’s all fine.

With consistency, the general trend will be downwards.

 

Steps 

On non-cycling days, I’ll be aiming for 10,000 steps per day.

Sleep 

Using my fitbit. My usual average is around 6 hours 50 minutes which isn’t enough. I’m an early riser so need to get to bed early enough and have some wind down time before so my brain can shut down.

 

A note on the Zzzzs…

Sleep plays a huge part in weight loss. Not enough sleep means increased cravings, higher perceived levels of hunger, less willpower, poorer decisions, slower recovery from exercise, reduced energy, reduced movement, and reduced desire of other people to be in your company because you are cranky.

Getting enough sleep means the reverse of all those things.

Tracking this will push me to improve my evening routine and stop scrolling social media after 9pm.

 

Do you need to weigh yourself every day?

You definitely don’t need to weigh daily.

It’s down to personal preference and I’d only do it if you are emotionally unattached to the scales.

What’s worth noting though is that because weight fluctuates on a daily basis, if you pick just one day per week to weigh, you may have picked a day when it’s spiked up and isn’t a fair representation of progress.

So don’t get disheartened if it’s not what you think it should be. Check again the next day and also take note of if you feel bloated or where you might be in your menstrual cycle.

Only a handful of my clients way daily, and that’s because they choose to and don’t get frustrated or worried if it goes up for any reason. The goal over time is for all clients to understand weight fluctuations and not give two hoots about it. And to be so busy and happy enjoying their life that standing on a set of scales each morning doesn’t even cross their mind.

This happy 🙂

 

Weight loss rules

These are my guidelines for weight loss success:

Plan ahead. Planning out food in advance means you know you’ll have what you need, and don’t need to use your limited willpower to make decisions in the moment. On fitness pal it also means you can make sure you get close to your calorie and protein targets – if you enter food as you go, it’s easy to find yourself way off target by the end of the day.

Do your best. If you want great results, you need to put the effort in. That means not making excuses, or letting other people’s choices affect what you do. You are in control.

Forget perfect, just be consistent. You don’t have to get it spot on all the time. If you go over calories on one day, it’s not a big deal, just cut back a little the next day and carry on. The only way you can fail is if you think you’ve ruined it and stop trying. Don’t give up!

Use accountability. Being accountable to somebody else is priceless. It can make all the difference to keeping you going long enough, through the struggles, persevering when you would otherwise have let things slide. My clients are accountable to me. By writing and posting this I am making myself accountable to you.

 

The most important rule for healthy long term weight loss

Come at this from a place of self-love and compassion, wanting to be better while loving yourself as you are right now. No shame, guilt, self-criticism. Hating your body into shape doesn’t work. Hating the process of losing weight won’t give you much chance of keeping it off. 

I am happy with my body, I know I am blessed to have a body that is healthy and capable of pretty much anything I ask and train it for, like most of us are.

My body isn’t perfect, and it doesn’t need to be. It’s felt better than it does right now. I’ve somewhat abused it with sugar for the past 10 days. But I love it, and I refuse to criticise it. In the last few years I’ve realised how incredibly powerful our thoughts and words to ourselves can be.

It’s beyond ridiculously important to say kind things to you and your body. Treat yourself with the understanding, kindness and compassion you give to everyone else. Encourage yourself. Don’t listen to negative thoughts. Choose thoughts that serve and empower you.

 

My goal for this is simply to see what I can do with enthusiasm and a month of focused effort.

It’s not so much about weight – it’s about being my best self. Eating well, moving often, feeling like the best, happiest, heathiest version of me. You can do those things regardless of what the scales say.

I’ll still be enjoying my Easter eggs, just in much smaller portions than if I wasn’t keeping track. And I’ll have a few social events to navigate too, including my nan’s 80th birthday party with lots of cake. But I will do my best, stay consistent, and keep you posted.

In the meantime, my online clients are joining me on this challenge to make May a month to be proud of. We have a facebook group set up where we’ll be sharing healthy meal ideas, lots of encouragement, and group support.

I’ve taken photos and measurements, and I’ll post my progress in a month’s time at the start of June. If you’re interested, I’ll be posting updates on my Instagram story through the month, come join me there and please say hi 😊

If you have any questions about weight loss, coaching, or just want to say hi, feel free to drop me a message HERE.

 

P.S.

A photo below of the best part of our trip the US… the Grand Canyon. Just wow!

 

For any questions, coaching enquiries or just to say hi and chat about food or the Canyon, feel free to message me HERE 🙂

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