This is used to be a very difficult topic for me. As a teenager, I had huge weight fluctuations (going down 20kg and then up 25kg) and was flirting with eating disorders. I’ve tried every crazy diet my mind could make up, from eating a salad and an apple a day to a proper diet proposed by a dietitian. Then I tried the diet where I ate anything I wanted and didn’t care about the weight gain. Chocolate crepe at 2 in the morning? Yes, please! Pasta with french fries and bread? Carbohydrate overload for ever! And then I moved to Norway and everything changed. I’ve talked about my body image before, but I’ve never talked about how I lost the weight and kept it away for over a year now.
It’s a topic that my real life friends find really interesting, as I didn’t follow a proper diet and I just ate what I felt was right. After a long search, I’ve found out what works for me and what doesn’t. Here are the very few rules I follow.
I never ever ever skip breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Even if you ate twice as much as you should have the night before, you should never ever skip a good full breakfast. This is important as it’s more likely that you’ll control yourself throughout the day. A good breakfast can be yogurt with fruits and granola, or an avocado toast and orange juice. A not so good breakfast is a croissant or a donut or anything containing too much sugar.
I don’t have a cheat day. I watch what I eat every single day, but I don’t get obsessed over it. If I feel like eating more one day, it’s fine, as long as I eat proper food (whatever that is) instead of a whole chocolate bar or a loaf of bread. I can have some chocolate or bread, but I have to eat proper food to satisfy my hunger. I follow this rule whenever I eat out as well and so far so good, there hasn’t been a need for a cheat day.
I look for healthy alternatives. If there is a healthier option, I go for eat. Case in point, this frozen yogurt that I love and has absolutely no sugar added. Or that time when I used humus instead of mayonnaise in my wrap. In some recipes you can partially replace butter with olive oil, or regular flour with whole wheat flour. Simple changes make a huge difference in the end.
I stop when I’m full. Most of the proper diets I’ve followed in the past, left me feeling hungry after each meal. This was very distracting as I could not work as well when the only thing I was thinking was how much time do I have left until my next meal. Now, I don’t watch how much I eat. I just stop when I’m full. No matter how good a dish is, I won’t eat more than I need to. This way, I rarely overeat and I’m never guilty about it.
Apart from that, I’ve mentioned before that I’ve quit eating sugar or any sugar substitute apart from honey and I’m still very happy with my decision. This simple rules have helped me maintain a healthy weight for over a year now without obsessing over what and how much I eat. What’s you experience with diets and food?