I used to stave myself. And then overeat. I used to restrict myself heavily. And then I would binge on foods I didn’t even like. I used to exercise daily and wake up in the early hours to go to the gym. Then I would beat myself up for missing a day, or failing to run the set pace I had designated.
I was cruel and harsh with myself. Nothing I ever did was good enough.
The things I have done to my body to lose weight
I have dabbled in fasting over my lifetime. I still think that fasting is a useful tool for the human body. Catholics fast. Buddhists fast. Muslims fast. Jews fast. Even Anglicans fast on occasion, such as for saints’ feasts days. Fasting has been a human practice since the beginning of recorded history. And now it is coming back into fashion.
Is fasting harmful?
I no longer fast as I have come to realise that my body needs frequent meals to keep me in an optimum mood. There was a time when I would snack too much. There are many claims in this day and age that we need to “keep our metabolisms going” and “eat 5 to 6 times a day”. I do not agree with this for my own body’s needs. I do not need to eat more than three times a day, and I try not to.
I really like food and I enjoy snacking like most people but I came to realise that snacking was my downfall. Now I focus on eating three healthy meals a day. I try to make sure these are substantial meals that include some protein to keep me full. I don’t vary my meals too much either. I try to stick to the same menu on the weekdays, allowing me to eat more freely on the weekend.
How not to snack
If I feel hungry between meals, I do snack, but I make sure that I have a very, very small snack, accompanied by something hot to drink which fills me up. I have previously done a post on some great teas for weight loss and talked about the benefits of miso soup for hunger control. I also often talk about Therapeutic Hunger, a book which has many tips and techniques in it to help you control your cravings naturally. You can buy the book here.
Meal #1: What makes a good breakfast?
- I always try to eat a breakfast that contains between 300 and 500 calories
- If I am hungry, I will eat up to 800 calories for breakfast, but only 2 or 3 times a month
- I always include some protein, I especially love eggs
- I also like to include some fat: butter, oil, cheese all work for me
- I usually eat about 1 hour after waking
- I always have a coffee, but I do not like to have too much milk, so I ask for an Americano coffee because in Australia – it’s typical for a coffee to be made on a base of milk, Italian-style, which can add unnecessary calories. Australians have just taken over as the best baristas in the world. Coffee in Australia is serious shit and we get very upset when they make the cups smaller without telling us.
Meal #2: What makes a perfect lunch?
- For lunch, I typically eat between 300 and 500 calories
- I have said that I don’t like Subway, but I do eat there all the time
- Again, I make sure I have some protein for lunch
- Carbs: ain’t nothing wrong with them. I usually eat some bread for lunch
- After I eat my lunch I like to go on a long walk
- I make sure I take an hour for my lunch break every day if I can. I prioritise my health, so that I can be an effective afternoon-worker
Meal #3: What makes a top-notch dinner?
- This is where I really try not to overeat
- I measure out my dinner carefully – I eat no more than 500 calories
- But I love a glass of wine. I factor this in to my calorie count so I can enjoy a glass or two of sauvignon blanc
- These days I have been favouring potatoes over rice or pasta as I feel they fill me up
- Don’t be afraid of carbs at dinner, there are studies that show they help your digestion. In the book Skinny Bitch (which advocates a vegan lifestyle) the authors advocate eating carbs at night. Seriously, it’s fine. People have been eating carbs at night for generations
- I always have a big salad with my dinner, usually rocket leaves dressed only with vinegar, fresh lemon juice and cracked black pepper and salt. This helps me to feel full
I know that my meals are not for everyone – what are your suggestions? Do you find that you need to eat more than three times a day? How often do you eat?