For the past three years (heading into my fourth year yay!) I have being living a real food lifestyle. As you will know, this has changed my life; I have gone from morbidly obese to healthy and strong! I often get asked how I did it, and what my key to success has been. Up until now I have always given the same answer; I kept my motivation always in mind (which was my health, first and foremost) and I worked damn hard – I didn’t take any days off from good nutrition.
The reason for my change in my secret to success is the revelation and well, realisation that I actually kept it really simple. Let me explain; back when I first started we didn’t have any of these ‘paleo’ products. There was no paleo bread, no paleo muesli and no paleo pre-baking mixes. I think if I had of had those back when I started, they would have been detrimental to my new lifestyle change. Of course I look back to how I used to eat and cringe at some of what I was eating… Kumara/Sweet potato daily as well as high carb snacks such as more than 4 dates in one sitting! Thankfully I was still seeing progress but it is still something I wouldn’t recommend to someone trying to lose weight. However I wasn’t doing lots of paleo baking and I also had routine.
A typical day for me when first losing weight was three meals and two snacks. I religiously ate bacon and eggs for breakfast every day for about six months – 3 pieces of streaky bacon and 3 eggs, scrambled. Then snack one was 3 thick slices of salami (sometimes topped with goats feta). Lunch was always meal prepped and was generally chicken with broccoli and dinner was a red meat component with kumara or carrots and sometimes broccoli. I would also generally have either an energy bar I had made (recipe is in The Shrinking Violet eBook) or a banana as an afternoon snack along with a small handful of raw almonds. I’ve never been big on vegetables but used to force a couple in. Now I eat a lot more green veg and a LOT less kumara. The point was that I had my routine and I stuck to it – very rarely straying. It helped that I was working 12 hour shifts so I had little time to go off course as I was always busy. I will be honest; during this time I was anti-social. I didn’t go out for meals and I spent a lot of time with myself. But I think the fact I was anti-social for the first six months really did help. I lost 44kg in the first year (check out the cute face transformation from my first year of weight loss below!), and a further 11kg the following year. I have been maintaining for over a year and a half!
Eventually I started spicing up my meals and getting more creative in the kitchen. As popularity of real food living increased, so did the demand for niche products. I definitely don’t think there is anything wrong with them – and they are a perfect treat or way to make things easy; however I do think that if weight loss is your goal, you should leave them until you’re ready to be in the maintenance stage. My advice to everyone is to keep it simple. Stick to your eggs for breakfast (maybe not bacon every day for 6 months like me haha!), meat and veg for lunch and dinner and snacks if you need them. Stay clear of packaged goods!! I know it’s exciting to find a convenience product you can eat, but it doesn’t mean you need it. More often than not, it is made with ingredients that won’t be friendly to your weight loss journey.
Be honest with yourself; real food that you cook and eat is all that you need.