14 jún LOSING WEIGHT WHILE EATING – THE GUIDE TO LIFESTYLE CHANGE

There was a huge flower bouquet in all its splendour parading on the kitchen table. It was International Women’s Day and I should have been celebrating, but I was unable to do so, as to my own standards (of perfection), I was feeling fat. To add to all this, my trainer told me point blank that I looked like sh!t. I had convinced myself that the person sending me the flowers only kept my intrinsic values in mind when he brought himself to visit the flower shop, and by no means did he get the inspiration from looking at my bulging waistline to spend such a fortune on me– unless he had some potting soil to waste.

This is how it all began. I was going to change my lifestyle, while bearing in mind my passion for food, and for the sake of keeping to it I was willing to start working out. For my going on a diet was out of the question; I have had some successes with being on a diet, but none had long-lasting effects. When it comes to food I know no boundaries. I was knee-deep in trying to find the ultimate ‘recipe’. Something feasible. One that could become part of my daily routine, and by sticking to its general guidelines, it could help to finally feel at ease with myself, and the routine of five trainings a week would clearly show, giving me the liberty of still keeping my vices (like cakes, ice-cream and rosé spritzers) that are so fundamental to my lifestyle. After three months that didn’t really seem to fly so much, I am here to tell you: IT HAS WORKED!

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Clear as day. Like everything else, it all starts in the head! Even if you see me standing in front of you with noticeable transformations, a new figure, fully charged, glowing skin and eyes gleaming, without the inner drive or if you are just simply not ’there’ yet, forget about it. Let it go. Don’t do it. On the other hand, if all it takes is that one single push of someone telling you when finding you standing in your pink robe in the middle of the kitchen pottering with your coffee that you look like sh!t – you can count on me!

It’s terribly simple and we’ve all heard it a hundred million times: 70% diet, 30% exercise. Being a meat-eater or vegan is irrelevant. Everyone will find a diet that suits them most. The craziest version I’ve heard so far was when a friend of mine told me he didn’t eat meat, fish or eggs, or too much vegetable, and that he virtually had all the allergies and intolerances in the book – lactose, gluten, dust, light – he was practically allergic to life. His words left me with nothing to add. He was in need of greater expertise than I could offer. The point I am trying to make is that you should eat the right thing at the right time. Right being certain types of food left out. Right here, right now!

The key to it all is simply don’t starve yourself. You can eat. As much as you wish. The sky is the limit, but make it five (5) meals a day. It comes down to having something every two or three hours and. I just simply love it! It means a whole bunch of food!

1. HAVE A NICE BREAKFAST!

After waking up, my slippers with “I Love My Bed” written on them carry me straight to the kitchen where I lean against the kitchen counter to have a little time to relax after my grueling morning routine. I wave my arms around like tentacles while every other inch of my body is still in ‘sleep mode’. This goes on until I am finished with making my coffee with milk, oatmeal and my daily vitamin ‘fix’. All this with my eyes wide shut. I kick-start my coffeemaker and get my oatmeal cooking in some milk with the fizzling of the effervescent tablet giving it some nice undertone. Besides being full of proteins, oatmeal is rich in healthy, low-fat, slow-digesting carbohydrates. It’s filling and it lasts for 2-3 hours. You can find a description on how to prepare it. It goes great with water or any sort of milk (cow’s milk, oat milk, coconut milk, almond milk etc.); you will get the same result, which is a heavenly bowl of creamy grits! And nothing like some grits with a hint of cocoa powder or cinnamon. Top that with some of your favorite fruits or jam. Let me remind you once again: Forget about going on a diet. This is all about changing your lifestyle!

If you are still suspicious of the oatmeal disguised as delicious creamy grits, a nice omelet or hard boiled eggs with vegetables will do just fine for breakfast instead. Unfortunately pastries are out of the question, but trust me, if you sauté the onions on some oil/butter until brown and add the beaten eggs to it, it will be more than enough to fill you.

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2. BRUNCH

I’m looking at my watch…It’s time to get me some of those seeds and fruit. Almonds, cashews, walnuts. My mother says you need walnuts because it’s full of vitamins that are essential for the brain to function at its best. Then again, Gerbeaud cakes (a Hungarian delicacy of heavenly wonders) are good, she says, because they have walnuts in them. I AM SOLD ON IT! There is no mention of fruits, but if you want to reach your goal, by all means beware the glycemic index. I took one glimpse at the glycemic chart. Then I burned it immediately. Sometime later, I looked it up online because even though it puts a whammy on the most delicious of ingredients and condemns them as unworthy of your previously happy-go, sweet everyday life, it actually turns out to be a great guide on how to include them in your diet to serve the ‘cause’ in the long run. The second time around it became clear to me that there was still hope if I kept maneuvering. Apples, grapefruits, oranges, strawberries, bananas and pineapples all add a nice kick to my mid-morning snack time seeds. Not a ton of them for sure, just one banana and an apple. Oh right, and a hint of pineapple. Tadaaam…

If you consume dairy products, you can always go back and forth between seeds & fruit and cottage cheese or curd, which you can spice up with a bit of radish, cucumber and some fresh vegetables; bear in mind, however, that seeds have high vitamin and oil content, so it could be a good idea to make them part of your diet. Salted peanuts are off limits. At first I wasn’t aware that they did not count as ‘seeds’, and so I was so satisfied with myself when I had a half pack of unsalted peanuts – because you know, let’s be conscious of what we eat… Well, this made my trainer go ‘nuts’, so she sent me a virtual dope slap. I got it then and there. Almonds, cashews, walnuts.

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3. LUNCHTIME

Let me give you the highlights first, and then, within its restrictions you may go as wild as you want. Focus on always having proteins, vegetables and some of the ’good’ carbs. I am a regular at the chicken farm, I get my eggs by the dozens (one of which is always broken…) because I don’t eat meat and I am too lazy to go down to the grocery store every second day. Anyway, I boil the eggs, toss them in a food container, and when the time comes, I have two or three of them at once. Meat-eaters may go with grilled chicken or turkey. I personally top my boiled vegetable dish with hard boiled eggs and some kind of fish, add some brown rice, buckwheat or quinoas (they stay fresh for days so I just cook them whenever), or I prepare some couscous. While the vegetables are getting ready, the couscous also soaks up most of the hot boiling water. When it comes to pasta, I always go with either whole meal or durum wheat, although full disclosure, I hardly ever have pasta, they are just sitting there on the shelf as backup.

You can always go wild with spices and experiment with them depending on your daily schedule. Fish and seafood – they are also a blast. Just remember to get your protein-packed lunch. I simply go crazy for the uniquely harmonious flavors I get when I am trying out various Indian spices. To take away the strong taste, I usually have a massive amount of spicy pickles with it. All that I can really taste from the Indian cuisine is that my mouth is on fire, but it could just be the pickles doing their thing. We’ll never know, but my point is that spicy pickles are packed with vitamins, and I just love the crunchy feel in my mouth and how they are sitting on the side plate waiting to be eaten.

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Salad is always a brilliant choice for lunch, apart from three major issues I have with it (and therefore I try to avoid having it around the house). One, it always goes off in the fridge; two, you will need some kind of bread to go with it and then lastly the craving for dessert. How curious that one would think rabbits must know best, when in reality there are huge risks lurking on an unsuspecting bloke just trying to make some changes to their eating habits.

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It’s also a neat way to get your proteins from vegetables. Lentils, red beans and yellow peas contain a lot of proteins. They will make a great soup or casserole, and instead of using cream, just thicken it by putting some of it in the blender and then back in the pot it goes. It will last for days, so why not mix it up a little? Have them hot or cold, whenever, wherever.

 

 4. AFTERNOON SNACKS

I guess it must have been in elementary school that I had any of them. It was always Lunchables, crackers and Capri Sun for me in my lunchbox. Good times. Good old times… Well not anymore. Seeds will do instead, cottage cheese or curd for meat-eaters and milk-lovers, and this is typically the meal that you tend to have on the go. It’s like a “God, I’m starving, I could do with some snacks” kind of thing, so in my anticipation of the worst, I never forget to pack some seed mix or sunflower seeds. And when I can’t take it anymore, I just eat it all up and I’m good till dinner. No fruits after snack time, except if you are about to hit the gym, but I am usually in the mood for some ice-cream in the afternoon (Juhhuuuuu!!! :)). My favorites are definitely pistachios and lemon; they let me check seeds and fruit off my list for the day. Awesome.

 

5. DINNER

Proteins with salad, but no later than two hours before bedtime. Though it doesn’t mix well with my routine, my body has grown to reject salad, so why force it? It will do during the day, but to me, evening calls for vegetables with eggs or tuna (or just two hard boiled eggs when I’m feeling full), and so no carbohydrates at this point. Well, except for the rosé wine spritzer if it’s party time (excellent!). Time to hit the club, so I get me some seeds or a granola bar on the go to get me though the heat of it all. It’s been scientifically proven to have saved the lives of countless partygoers. I am always the center of attention with my little seeds. In my fancy clutch.

If we party too hard and too long, and morning finds me still awake, it’s not rare for me to have some creamy grits to boost my protein levels. It’s nice and warm and nutritious, and it’s like pudding. How much easier it is for meat-eaters! Some delicious ham, eggs, chicken breast and a bite from the best polony you can find – maybe a shawarma/gyro or two… 🙂 Obviously without the pita or bread!

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That’s all there is to a great diet. Nothing too fancy. Just oils, fats, vitamins, good carbs and a hint of sugar for a little treat. The secret is having the right things at the right time. “So why do I never starve”, you may ask. 3-4 liters of water a day will do the trick. Drink whenever you can, and keep track of how much you’ve had. For me it’s somewhere between 2.5 and 3.5 liters, depending on whether I exercise, what’s on my to-do list for the day and so on. It is a lot of water for sure. I’ve almost reached the point where I’m drinking more water than my washing machine does. It’s not something you will take to overnight, but it really is just a matter of getting used to and also what your body really craves. It makes you feel full so much so that I myself actually had to cut down on my food intake just three days into my “Project” because I constantly felt like I was going to be sick. Water is good. It’s vital, it energizes and hydrates the body. You will not feel hungry, and last but not least, your skin will glow like a peak at dawn. 🙂

The only thing to be careful of is to always have the right amount of change on me, because “when you gotta go, you gotta go”.

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Source: Image/Eat, Move & Smile; Pinterest; Giphy



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