Okay, so you're most probably going to laugh out loud at this, but at the start of the year I promised that I'd transform myself into one of those ultimate babes on Insta- well, at least attempt to anyway- you know the ones, a pert round bum and chiseled abs that are flat enough to you eat your dinner from.
You see, I hadn't quite thought it through properly... I love food way too much to give up eating out, and don't get me started on Nutella. The will power that I once had to resist the urge to buy a pack load of chocolate bars each time I walked down the sweet aisle in a supermarket is long gone- I'm a self confessed sugar monster, which doesn't bode well when I'm unable to do absolutely zilch exercise to burn off my late night chocolate/the entire kitchen binges.
So, what's a gal to do when she's faced with the absolute dilemma of being blessed a foodie, but at the same time unable to break a sweat in the gym due to medical reasons? (I promise that I'm not just lazy.) Overhaul her lifestyle and eating habits, of course.
And yep, you've guessed it, I'm about to let you in on all of the little hints and tricks that work for me- y'know, from one greedy girl to another. Oh, and before I start I just want to put it out there that I'm absolutely no expert, these are just a few handy hints that work for me personally.
Tip 1: Fad diets don't work if you're in it for the long haul
I just thought that I'd mention this first: I really don't rate fad diets. Why? Because tell yourself that you can't have carbs, and what will you want all the more? Carbs. Plus it's no secret that diets are extremely hard to stick to! For me it's all about the 80/20 rule, which just means that you aim for eating clean 80% of the time, as appose to the full 100% that leaves you craving every bit of junk food in sight.
Midweek motivation: Stalk fitness pages on IG-
Nothing will motivate you more than seeing a girl with chiseled abs and a toned bum so take full advantage of the fitness pages on IG, you'll be left feeling slightly jealous, but if that doesn't make you put your tub of ice cream down, then I don't know what will?
Tip 2: Make small changes slowly
Myself, and a lot of others make the mistake of thinking that we'll be able to squash our habits instantly, when really, it takes time and a whole lot of determination. Honestly, the best thing I've learnt is: don't try to overhaul your entire diet completely overnight. Start by swapping fizzy drinks/juice for water, fries for homemade sweet potato chips, and reach for fruit instead of sweets if you're craving something sweet.
Once you've adjusted to the small changes, make another swap a week or two later, and so on until you're finally sticking to all of the changes you've made. This process will make it much easier to stick to a healthy diet! Tip- if you aren't keen on plain water and find it boring try infused water as this will add flavour naturally. My favourite combo's are: watermelon + strawberries + mint, and raspberries + lime + mint- for a mojito inspired thirst quencher.
Tip 3: Don't keep unhealthy food in the house
This one is pretty obvious, but I don't know about you, when there's a jar of Nutella calling my name from the inside the kitchen cupboard, that's all I can think about. I'm more than likely to give in to temptation when I'm bored at night- my body still hasn't learnt the difference between boredom and hunger- so now I make sure that I'm stocked up on only the good stuff, instead of biscuits, crisps and chocolate.
Midweek motivation: Have the willpower to say 'no'
Don't get me wrong, healthy food is never going to live up to a Domino's pizza- let's be completely honest- but instead of focusing on the taste, think of the long term. Yes, it might not taste as good, but it will certainly make you FEEL better about yourself.
Tip 4: Don't deny yourself a treat once in a while
I find that if I allow myself a treat day to eat whatever I fancy once a week, it gets all of the cravings out of my system and I'm ready to start again the next day with the healthy eating. For example, if I deny myself a chocolate bar that's all I'll think about until I've had one, and I'm more than likely to head off into the kitchen and 'sneak' about 10 spoons of Nutella. I'm a pig.
Life would be boring if you constantly denied yourself a treat, so if you're going out to Nando's don't be the weird friend that sits in the corner with a salad, when what you really want is a butterfly chicken with garlic bread and spicy rice- there's always tomorrow to get back on the healthy eating game.
Tip 5: Healthy eating doesn't have to be boring
The problem with eating healthily is people assume that it's just a bowl of boring salad- and that's it, when that's not the case whatsoever. Healthy food doesn't have to be bland; add spices, herbs and put a healthy spin on a well loved meal and you'll find that it's more appetising than you once thought.
I absolutely love the 'fake-out' idea, which is basically just a wholemeal wrap, tomato purée, and then your choice of toppings: grilled chicken, jalapeño's for a hot kick, and/or veggies, instead of highly calorific pizza from Domino's. I won't lie and say it lives up to a Domino's pizza, but it's perfect if you want to be good.
Midweek motivation: Try you summer clothes on/have a goal to aim towards
Nothing will spur you on quite like not being able to fit into your favourite pair of shorts. So the next time you're contemplating ordering a Chinese takeaway and going all out with the prawn crackers and chicken chow mein, try your shorts on first, because it'll probably make you change your mind.
Tip 6: Plan meals in advance if you can
If you have a set plan of the meals you're going to make for each day of the week, and then go and do a food shop for all of the ingredients there and then, you're less likely to come home rolling through the door with a McDonald's purely due to convenience. 9/10 of the times, I fancy a takeaway simply because I can't think of anything to make.
So there we have it, my top six healthy eating tips- with a few motivation boosters thrown in for good measure too. What helps you to stay on track, anything that I haven't mentioned maybe? I'd love to know.
Don't forget that you can find me in all of these places too!