I started January 2018 feeling fairly fit, through running and Strong Body Bootcamps, but was aware that I was carrying too much body weight. I had tried – and failed – in the past to lose weight, especially after the birth of my third child. Weight loss also seemed hampered by a hectic schedule, leaving little time for exercise around school, nursery and work.
What’s more, we were (and still are to some extent!) in the middle of a building project, so our kitchen consisted of a microwave and toaster in the corner of the lounge! Not much space or inclination for healthy eating!
Pete assured me that by some simple changes to my diet and activity, I would be able to follow his Kick Start plan without the need for complicated recipes or lots of food prep in my non-existent kitchen.
Pete’s approach was simple but effective: no snacks, more water, fewer carbs and more wholefoods – as little processed food as possible. Key to the programme was the food and activity diary; cataloguing every morsel that passed by lips was a challenge, but meant that Pete could effectively analyse where the weight was coming from. A few scary emails about the number of calories in a slice of cake (500 apparently!…45 minutes of running to burn it off!) or a mug of hot chocolate soon convinced me to give up sugary snacks! I tried instead to have a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts as an alternative.
The ‘scale’ weight didn’t drop off as quickly as I thought it might, given the effort I was making both in terms of eating and increasing activity, but what did change was my fat percentage. In total I lost 11lb of body fat (!) and put on 2lb of muscle, and also lowered my visceral fat around my organs. I’m also starting to see results in my body shape and fitness – near the end of my 28 days I recorded my fastest 5km running splits in a long time.
What I’ve learnt is that I need to prioritise food – so rather than grabbing some toast or pesto pasta for a rushed lunch, and then getting hungry and snacking lots – I should base my meals on protein and wholefoods. So lunch becomes eggs and avocado on toast, half a bagel with tuna or some daal and brown rice. I am also trying to stick to low carbohydrate options for dinner (retaining carbs as a ‘side dish’ for my husband!).
I still have some weight to lose, but I hopefully have the right habits in place to make it happen… slowly but surely.
So that’s it. No calorie counting, just whole (and delicious) foods, and good levels of activity, some accountability and a few kind but stern words from a personal trainer! Oh, and don’t focus on the scale weight!
Kate G – New Malden March 2018