Watch what you eat. Seems straightforward enough.
Well, it certainly hasn’t been for me. I’m a total foodie.
When I’d go to my favourite Latin American , I’d order a starter, a main, two sides and, of course, happy hour cocktails. I wasn’t even THAT hungry but hey, I’m at one of my favourite restaurants and letting loose so what the hell, eh?
When I’d go to my favourite Afro-Portuguese restaurant , I’d have the beanie burger, medium spice with pineapple and halloumi and two sides of peri peri fries because… why not? I deserve it, right?
When I’d go to any Indian restaurant with my family, there would, of course, be a range of starters to share, a main dish and naan. I don’t really eat rice but…
Family member: There’s some rice left over. Nim, finish that with the curry you’ve got left.
Me: Yeah, sure. Wouldn’t want it to go to waste now, would we?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not blaming anyone else here but myself. This was all in my head. Why couldn’t I just say no? Instead, it was “yeah, whatever, seize the day”.
It’s that attitude I’ve really had to knock out of my head. Every calorie counts – especially if you’ve not burnt any off. Again, it all seems quite straightforward. But when I was in the moment, there was just no stopping myself. (I am, of course, against food being wasted and so now ask for leftovers to be boxed up instead!)
The occasional treat is fine, of course. But I was eating like this every time I went to a restaurant. And at family parties. And generally at dinner time. Although I was working out, I was still consuming more calories than I should have. No wonder I wasn’t getting into shape.
When I started this journey in 2017, I started using a food tracker app to log what I was consuming. At first, I was still eating and drinking like normal. Some days, I was anywhere between 3000 to 4000 calories. Shocking that my exercising wasn’t having maximum impact, right?!
The app has really helped me think more about the types of food I like to eat, how much I’m eating and whether I’m getting enough of the nutrients my body needs (both in general and to support my training). Check out the NHS Eatwell Guide for more about your daily intake.
At the end of 2017, I went to LA to visit my cousin and her husband. He got me thinking about macros specifically. Was I getting enough protein to assist my body in its post-workout recovery? Was I consuming more carbohydrates than I should be (the daily intake differing on a rest day and a workout day) because if I was, then that would convert to fat?
This new awareness coupled with my daily usage of the app has helped me to become much more focused about WATCHING WHAT I EAT – even to the point now that I look up information about my favourite restaurant dishes and look for alternatives if I think ordering that particular dish might be counterproductive. Again, the occasional treat is fine but it’s all about balance.
And I learnt even more about that during the F45 Challenge, which I took part in earlier this year. More on that to come….