|Mocha shake for breakfast.|
I'm definitely going to keep up with healthy weeks and a few weekend treats as it shows that you don't need to cut out anything to lose weight, it's just about balance and not eating naughty foods too often. After a weekend of eating more indulgently I'm now ready to eat well again on Mondays rather than thinking that I've "ruined everything" and might as well eat all the cakes in the office.
I'd definitely consider doing the Slim-Fast plan again if I had a special event like a holiday or wedding coming up - it definitely makes life easy as there's no planning required or working out calories for all your meals. I didn't find that I felt hungry at all but as the bars and shakes were all cold it might be easier to do in the summer - I am definitely enjoying having soups and porridge again! I also found that I craved savory food and veggies for my main meal as taking these out of two of your meals can make it a bit of a challenge to get your 5-a-day - I think that's why I'd only do this again for a week or so as there were definitely days when I didn't eat as much fresh fruit and veg as I would have liked.
Weight loss tips for busy girls:
1. If you're preparing food yourself download MyFitnessPal to calculate the calories - 600 calories is a lot if you use it wisely and this app is so helpful. Work out what the correct portions are as it's easy to end up eating more than the recommended "serving size". The app also has information on a lot of chain restaurants and I know a lot of people who have found it so helpful in losing weight and staying on track.
2. If you're out and about a lot at meal times (like me) then these are my favourite healthy destinations - there's no excuse to eat something unhealthy just because you're busy:
- Pret - if you're London based then Prets are on every corner. I love the spinach and egg snack pot (100 calories), the sweet potato quinoa rice pot is the perfect hot lunch (432 calories) and for breakfast I love the dairy and gluten free five grain porridge (204 calories).
- Pod - Pod's menu is so healthy and nutritious and all of the foods have a calorie count. I love the salmon detox box (289 calories) and the smoked Moroccan chicken energy pot (388 calories) for lunches and the superfood scrambled eggs (367 calories) for breakfast.
-Pizza Express - Pizza Express has been offering low calorie options for years and it's definitely a great idea if (like me) you end up eating out a lot. The Leggera pizzas have 500 calories and the Leggera sorbet is so good.
3. Carry snacks with you. Another easy tip that will avoid wasting calories and money on snack foods. I used to try to avoid snacking but found that a small snack (100 calories) mid-morning and mid-afternoon actually helped my energy levels and stopped me getting to the point of eat-all-the-food hunger. My favourite snacks:
- Propercorn popcorn (90 - 120 calories per bag depending on the flavour) and perfect for a Netflix snack
- Nakd bars are my favourite snack bar and are around 100 calories and one of your 5-a-day
- Slim-Fasts snacks are handbag sized - the heavenly chocolate delight snack bar is so good if you're after a chocolate fix.
4. Keep a journal. Back when I first started dieting I did this and found it so effective. I got complacent and stopped but since I've started keeping a journal of my food and exercise I've definitely been able to track progress and feel more accountable.
5. Make it fun - get your friends involved, cook healthy food together or go to a workout class together. Look up healthy new recipes to make (I'm always so inspired by Laura's blog) and plan in occasional treats to keep yourself sane. If you do slip up then just get back on track as soon as you can and don't beat yourself up about it - it happens and one bad meal is not going to undo all your good work.