Dealing with guilt and anxiety after eating | Tips to cope |Eating disorder recovery advice

Dealing with guilt and anxiety after eating.

First off…. having anxiety after eating is not normal or ok. It is not something that should be normalized either….. even if i see it happening alot more. People saying, “ohh i have so much anxiety after eating this donut”, but saying it in a very lighthearted way. Of course, it can be hard to know whether the person actually does have anxiety after eating the food or if it js just a joke/don’t really mean it….. but either way i don’t think it is ok.

From someone who has dealt with ALOT of anxiety, panic and guilt after eating…. it is not something to be joked about or something to be taken lightheartedly. The amount of harm i did to myself due to the anxiety i felt before, during and after eating is not something to be taken lightly or joked about.

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So, now that i have that out of the way… what do you do when you feel guilty after eating?

There can of course be guilt before and during eating, but in this post i will focus just on what to do after eating and the guilt or anxiety hits.

Well, the first step is to not compensate in anyway or resort to harmful or negative behaviour to cope with that anxiety. That is usally the go to – they want to compensate by eating less or by exercising. Or they resort to harmful behaviour to deal with the anxiety they are feeling. But none of these are helpful or longterm solutions, they may help in the moment but they are not actually helping *you*

It is also important to remember that the anxiety isn’t dangerous, and it won’t harm you. Neither will the food.

The anxiety and guilt WILL pass, i promise you that. Of course it can vary from person to person and situation to situation, but generally speaking… give yourself 30 minutes and the anxiety will begin to lessen. The anxiety will slowly begin to rise but then it will reach it’s peak and it will begin to lessen, so you just have to ride out that wave of anxiety and know that if you get through it… you can do it again and over time, the anxiety won’t hit you as hard, long or as often.

The best advice of course is to not eat or be alone after eating. Eat with others and then sit in the company of othres 30-60 minutes after eating. Whether you just sit there and ride out the anxiety, or whether you can join in on the conversation or activity the others are doing to help distract you.

 

Of course, not everyone has the possibility of eating with others for all their meals so if you do eat alone then have something planned/activity/hobby to do after eating. And it doesn’t have to mean you leave the house or you clean or do something active, it can be just deciding to read a book or do a wordsearch or some suduko after eating. Something that can distract you while you feel all the emotions and anxiety inside of you.

From personal experience, i had to do something with my hands and something that really grabbed my attention when i was dealing with the anxiety after eating. I couldn’t just watch a film or read a book because i would feel so anxious that i couldn’t focus and my thoughts would just go to the food i ate/how to compensate etc So instead i did things like suduko, wordsearch, puzzles while i was at Mando treatment. When i was at home i blogged, cleaned, tried to learn to play guitar, tried to learn to edit videos, studied… and of course sat with my family.

Note – it is important that you don’t become obsessed with cleaning either. It can be easy to become slightly manic with this so that you are always up and cleaning when you have anxiety.

 

Just resting. This may of course be the hardest, because it is easier to just distract yourself than it is to lay still and rest. But it is one of the best and most helpful ways to deal with the anxiety. To just sit in a chair/sofa and be still, or go lay in bed and nap.. maybe watch a series or listen to a podcast. You don’t have to lay in complete silence, but just laying still….. remembering that the anxiety will lessen.

Reminding yourself that it is ok that you ate. Reminding yourself that there is nothing bad about the food you ate. Even if you overate or binged, it is ok. As long as you don’t compensate or restrict, but instead try to get back into regular meals for your next meal. Reminding yourself that it is ok to eat, the food won’t harm you.

In the past, laying still after a meal was almost impossible… but now that is just what i do in a normal day without thinking about it. I sit and eat and then continue sitting as i am working or just resting…. or i lay in bed and watch series while eating and continue laying there even after i ate. It is just part of life and ok to rest/be still. Something which once caused so much anxiety is now just a part of my life.

The only way to recover is to deal with those fears and anxieties. To find healthy coping mechanisms. And it does help if the people you surround yourself with know about your struggles so they can help you.

 

But also if you are alone or have no one to support you… do reach out for help, either to a treatment centre or via online services. If you are really struggling with anxiety and alone, calling someone CAN REALLY HELP. I have had numerous times i have called my family to talk to them when i was in the middle of an anxiety attack (not related to food), just because i couldn’t sit alone with my thoughts and needed some form of distraction…. Sometimes you may not even have the energy or concentration to talk to the person you are calling, but if they understand what you are going through they can talk TO YOU, and it can be a comfort just hearing that person talk.

It will get easier, i promise you.

Face those fears. Face those anxities. In time they won’t be as strong or as frequent. You will be able to live a life without anxiety around food or eating. But it does take time and you do need to eat the foods that scare you or give you anxiety.

Remind yourself that food is fuel, it is nourishment, you need to eat. No food will harm you as much as your eating disorder will. 

And finally, remember that ALL food is guilt free. 

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My thoughts on food waste | How to limit food waste | Masterpost

Something i have noticed alot of online is the amount of food waste that is due to example different video ideas…. Such as making shoes out of sandwiches, making freak shakes which the people just throw away later because they become so inedible. Or just buying a bunch of food which just doesn’t seem to be eaten up, of couse I can never know… they may give the food away, but sometimes they say that the food has gone cold and they are just going to throw it away.

And it just all feels so unnecessary…. And of course there is nothing that one person, like myself, can do about it. Instead there just needs to be more awareness about food wastage and how unnecessary it is. Especially when it comes to things like just wasting food for the sake of a video.

There is food wastage everywhere and if I am honest the biggest problem is big companies such as food stores, restaurants, school, factories where the food is made. That is where the most food goes to waste. I work at a store and it is crazy how much food we throw away each DAY. I wrote a post about it HERE (along with some facts and thoughts about food wastage), if you want to check it out.

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But as individuals we can all do our best to try to limit our food wastage.

I have some meal ideas for limiting food wastage, HERE. & Some tips for what to do with food leftovers! & another post: what to do with leftovers

But I thought I would give some more tips on how to limit how much food you throw away.

Let’s start off with, that everyone has some foodwastage, it is hard not to end up with some food wastage each week or month.

Sometimes you buy food that is already moldy and there is no way to save it. Othertimes you don’t manage to eat the fresh produce fast enough before it turns to go off and mold. And othertimes there may be crosscontamination or the risk of bacteria on the food which means you have to throw it away… and othertimes maybe you burn the food, drop the food or anything else that means you can’t eat the food and have to throw it away.

However, we can all do our part to try to limit the amount of food we throw away, and the first step is:

Tips to limit food wastage:

Planning your groceries and meals so that you don’t buy an excess of fresh produce which you might not be able to eat throughout the week.

Buying frozen food can be a good way to both save money and stop food from going moldy before you manage to eat it. You can read more about the nutrition differences between fresh and frozen food (Hint, there isn’t a huge difference!). Post HERE.

By planning your meals you both save money buy also just buy the food you know you will eat so that you don’t have food just sitting in your fridge. Another option is that if you do cook an excess amount of food, then you can freeze it in for later.  That’s what I do whenever I cook too much of something and know that I may not want to eat only that food for the whole week. It is perfect for the days you don’t feel like, or don’t have time to cook!

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Get better at using up what you have at home before buying more. Sometimes you end up with just a tiny bit of rice or two potatoes, or barely a portion of pasta left and many people have the automatic response to just thor wthose away (from what I have noticed from friends or family). But don’t… instead get creative and making something out of those small remainders. Or…. You could just use that amount when cooking and not leave just a tiny bit left, hahah.

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Practical tips are: If you have a little coffee left, you can pour it into ice cubes and make frozen coffee later. The same goes with example fresh herbs/lemon/mint/lime, so that you can later add to water to make flavoured water.

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If you have a bunch of vegetable scraps left, turn then into your own vegetable broth.

Vegetable peels: You can even turn vegetable peels into chips.. but then just make sure you really scrub and clean then as they could have pesticides or soil on them which you don’t want to ingest in too high amounts. (Home made vegetable crisps: recipe)

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Fruit going bad? If you have left over bananas, slice them and freeze them. – The same goes for other fruit or berries… if they are beginning to go bad, just place them in the freezer to make smoothies later on. (Of course, this also means you have to have a food processer or blender to make the smoothies/nice cream.) Otherwise, if it is apples, pears, nectarines that are beginning to go bad, you can always bake them or fry them and add to oatmeal….. Or why not make a pie out of them if you have time and ingredients for it.

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Maybe you have a little cooked rice or roasted vegetables left which have gone dry…. Then you can refrey them (of course, you should be careful with rice as it is a risk that bacteria can grow in rice. So if you havenät eaten rice within 48 hours I would throw away… however if it was placed in the fridge right away and not left standing in room temperature it might be ok. But typically reheating, cooling and reheating rice over and over isn’t recommended).

How to save fresh salad in packages? I recently learned a tip that once you open a pacakge of fresh salad, example spinach in a plastic bag, take some householdpaper, fold it 2 times (to a little square) and place in the corner of the spinach bag… this will soak up the extra moisture and keep the spinach fresh!

Buying ingredients/food that doesn’t go bad – i.e limiting fresh produce if you don’t have time to eat them. Just buy the food you will eat… i.e if you know you won’t be eating the fruit or vegetables, don’t buy them… I know many who buy fresh produce just in the *hopes* of actually eating them because they have bought them, but week after week throw away the food anyway. Don’t be that person. Either eat the food, or don’t buy it.

Another tip to save food and limit waste is storing food correctly. If you store food in too high or too low temperatures it can make the food (fresh produce) go bad/rot quicker… so make sure to store the food correctly!

 

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Best before vs use by date?

Typically, you can still eat food after the best before date… it just means that the taste or texture *may* be a little off/different, not always… but it is still safe to eat. Just do the smell, look, taste test… your senses should be able to tell you whether it is still ok to eat or not 🙂 But you shouldn’t eat food after the use by date, as then it may not be safe to eat due to bacteria or other risks. Especially when it comes to meat.

Going out to eat? If you don’t finish your meal, ask for a goodie bag/take away. If you don’t want to finish the food at home anyway… ask for a takeaway bag and give to a homeless person (if possible).

Don’t waste aquafaba from canned chickpeas. I know it may seem silly, and i have to be honest, 50% of the time i just throw away this liquid as i know i won’t make anything with the aquafaba before it goes bad. But you can infact make quite alot with this liquid, RECIPES HERE. And i even have an upcoming recipe which is SUPER TASTY using aquafaba. So when you use chickpeas from a can, save that liquid and use the liquid in another dish… example works great in pancakes!

Got leftover bread? Freeze it. Otherwise… make your own bread crumbs or croutons or bread pudding or french toast casserole or if you have tortilla bread, make home made nachos.

Freeze in fresh herbs to use later in dishes. You can even grate the peel or orange, lemon, lime etc which you can later use in baked goods or other recipes. 

Or if you have garlic/chilli/ginger which is going bad, chop them up/grate and freeze in… makes it alot easier when you need them when cooking!

And finally…. food compost. I know not all households have the possibilty for this, but if you can…. do it! Sure, it may mean having to go compost the food every other day (or preferably less because *you don’t have so much food waste 😉 * , but it is much better for the planet!

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I know that the people who may need this post and reminder are the ones who most likely won’t be searching or reading this post…. but maybe to those of you who already are aware of minimizing food waste can remind others to do the same thing! 🙂 Even if we are just “One person”, it all adds up, and we can all make a small difference.

If everyone thought, “i am just one person, what does it matter”, then there would be no change happening in the world… because “just one person” adds up! 🙂

If you have any other tips to reduce food waste, or your thoughts regarding food waste, comment down below!!

Plastic Free July? | Tips & advice | privilege, practical, realistic?

It’s July, and i have noticed on social media there is a “campaign” talk about plastic free July.

I think it is great that we are bringing awareness about plastic and the need for everyone to decrease their use/consumption/buying of plastic. To use alternatives and to demand that products are packaged in other materials than plastic.

You can read more about plastic pollution crisis, HERE. I.e we all need to do something about this…. and if we as consumers show that we want products with less plastic and make active choices. For the sake of the climate and planet, but also for the animals as many animals and marine life are actually dying due to plastic pollution… but even our health is impacted due to the microplastics and BPA.

*This post contains affiliate links*

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I have written previous posts about plastic which may be interesting to read:
Aware but not obsessed? | Organic, plastic free, locally produced food?

Going plastic free – Realistic? Convenient? Practical?

Earth day 2018 – Plastic pollution & ways to minimize plastic use

Pre packaged and portion sized foods

Tips to minimize waste and plastic use

5 ways to minimize plastic use and help the environment

If i am honest, i am not someone who believes in 100% plastic free or zero waste. Even if i like the idea of it…. I just don’t think it is practical for anyone. Unfortunatly, our society uses plastic in SO MANY items… just like with being vegan, there seems to be animal products in almost everything. However, just because there is so much plastic doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible to make a change/difference and decrease your use of plastic.

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It just means some extra planning. You may also need to invest in things such as glass lunch boxes, Metal straws, reusable fresh produce bags, on the go coffee cups/thermos, glass jars,reusable utensils and the list goes on.

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You will also need to carry around an extra bag with you incase you need to buy something when you are out and don’t want to purchase a plastic bag. Of course, this is one of the simplest changes you can make… just buy a cheap cotton bag which you can always have in your bigger school/work/gym bag!

Bring your thermos/on the go coffee cup with you so that you don’t buy coffee out… but if you do have to buy coffee out, skip the plastic lid!

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I think it is great with the initiativ to decrease plastic use… how it is not always practical or possible for everyone.  There is plastic everywhere. And i am pretty sure i use and purchase items which contains plastic which i had no idea about.

But also …. going plastic free means you may need to invest in certain products/items before you can go fully plastic free. Not to mention, it may mean having to cut out ALOT OF different foods because they contain plastic. If i am honest… almost half the food i buy comes in some form of plastic packaging. When going plastic free you will most likely have to shop at stores which sell products that have very little or no plastic packaging… where you bring your own jars or use brown reusable bags to pack the fresh produce. However… alot of frozen food is then no longer an option. But frozen food (meaning frozen vegetables and fruit, not pizza and fries) which are often cheaper and last longer, arenät an option. But many people don’t actually eat up the fresh produce they buy and have to throw it away, meaning that it isn’t really better.

However… what you could do if you can afford it (and have the space in your freezer), is to buy big 1kg frozen vegetables instead of the small 200g/500g bags… because then you atleast minimize plastic in that way. 

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4 examples of plastic:

1 The lid and little inside “lid” in plantbased milks. (Note, cut the little “capsule/lid” when you thro them away so that wildlife don’t get caught in them/eat them)

2: Alot of the food i buy does have plastic… which i do want to become more aware of and limit – as i do have the possibility to do it at times.

3: Everything in that pesto came in a plastic pacakge… apart from the garlic

4: Eevn the glassfood boxes i bought came with plastic.

Also, you can’t forget that if someone is living on minimum wage the most important thing for them is to find some form of cheap food to be able to eat…. not whether it is plastic free, vegan or nutritious.

Going plastic free is a privelage in a sense… I live in Sweden and have the possibility as well as somewhat economical possibility to make choices. I can buy food in bulk and without plastic when possible. I can bring my own bag to the grocery store and invest in glasslunchboxes and metal staws. I can bring my own freshproduce bags and skip the plastic bag that is usually used when buying fruit and vegetables in bulk.

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I can choose between buying lentils in a cardboard package or plastic package. I can choose to not buy a food because it has lots of plastic packaging – because i know i can buy other food. I can take the time to walk/travel to another store just because they have more fresh produce which is loose/buy in bulk. Some months i can spend the extra money on making more plastic free choices. It is a privilige which not everyone has.

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However… i can’t avoid all plastic. It would not be possible for me to buy all my food plastic free. Not to mention, i take medication which i need daily that comes in/is packaged in plastic… there is no plastic free alternative.

I can of course make active choices when possible.

But what about disabled people… there are certain foods which may have extra packaging because it is easier for someone who is disabled.

I think when possible we should all try to limit plastic… example, does the product with a cardboard/nonplastic package cost 1dollar more than the option with plastic… then it is worth tat 1 dollar… according to me anyway.

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Can you skip the small portion packages of food and instead buy in bulk? Can you skip the Nescafe coffee capsules and instead use a coffee press/coffee beans? (in all honesty, i think these coffee capsules should be banned). Can you buy fresh produce in bulk using a paper bag or your own fresh produce bag? Can you buy the frozen berries in a cardboard pacakge instead of plastic pacakge? Can you skip the plastic lid when ordering coffee on the go?

 

Just because we can’t do something perfectly or can’t do it all… doesn’t mean we can’t try. Can’t go completely vegan? Well you can still eat as vegetarian as possible and not buy products with animals products (such as fur, leather, wool), as well as buying cruelty free. Can’t go completely plastic free? Well you can still decrease use of plastic when possible. Can’t go zero waste/minimalist? Well you can still try to limit waste and clutter when possible. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, 0 or 100. We can just do our best and what is possible.

I also think it is important for us all to ask ourselves… do we not make these changes because we don’t want to or because we can’t? There is a difference. Many people don’t even try to limit plastic or try to eat more vegetarian because they don’t want to… even if they can. Whereas there are many who are in situations where they actually can’t make those choices but might want to.

So if you are in a situation where you actually can make choices and changes that are better for the climate, planet, animals… then i think you should. It doesn’t have to make a huge impact in your life, but may make a huge impact for the planet and climate if everyone made those small changes.

You can read more about plastic and plastic pollution in the links below:

Plastic pollution in numbers

The worlds plastic pollution criss explained  *highly recommend you read*

100 steps to a plastic free life

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How to lose weight on a plantbased diet | Nutrition advice

How to lose weight on a plantbased diet

A while agoI wrote a requested post about gaining weight on a plantbased diet. And since then I have gotten messages asking me to write a post about how to lose weight on a plantbased diet.

I hadn’t actually thought about writing this post, because well there are already so many posts regarding weightloss while eating plantbased. But as it was requested, I thought why not…. Maybe I can add some valuable advice and give you examples of nutritious meals you can eat even when weightloss is the goal.

Note – this post contains talk about calories which may be triggering for some. It is important to remember that the advice given in this post is focused on those who need to loseweight. If you have a stable weight and don’t need to lose weight then these tips/advice may not be necessary for you.

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And just like i wrote in a previous post regarding weightloss, HERE, one of the most important things when it comes to weightloss is changing BEHAVIOUR and even MINDSET. You can’t just diet for 4 weeks on a low calorie diet and expect the weightloss to be sustainable… You need to change your habits and behaviour. Make changes in your diet and lifestyle that last. Also you don’t need to eat just salad and celery juice to loseweight, you still need to get all your macronutrients, you may just need to eat less than usual… but doesn’t mean you have to walk around constantly hungry.

Also important to note… why you want to loseweight, and your mindset to food, exercise and the upcoming changes are important.

And lastly… if you do suffer from binge eating or bulimia, or any other form of eating disorder it is best to seek proffessional help and not try to lose weight when the problem is inside of your head and a mental illness. 

Eating at a calorie deficit:

So just like I wrote in the post regarding weight gain, when it comes to losing weight you need to eat at a calorie deficit, meaning you eat less calories than you need each day.

You can calculate how many calories you need to eat to lose weight on THIS site. HOWEVER I don’t typically promote counting calories mostly because it can become obsessive in the long term and you begin to just see food as numbers and not as something enjoyable, nutritious and tasty. Not to mention that you can never know just how much you need or actually eat. It is better to focus more on habits, what you eat, how much you eat rather than whether your meal was X or Y calories. Even if calories still matter… there are other parts that matter as well.

Even if you need to lose weight doesn’t mean that you need to count calories. If you feel like you want a very strict meal plan which is calculate for YOUR needs I would recommend going to a qualified dietitian or nutritionist – or me in the future when I begin working with clients – who can make you a mealplan based on your preferences and requirements.

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So in this post I am not going to write so much about calories, as I don’t promote counting them. But knowing about calories and how weightloss works can help you to understand how you can lose weight.

How to lose weight:

So… losing weight and creating a calorie deficit can be done in different ways. One, eating less than you need. Two, eating at a calorie maintenance but working out more to burn more energy and in that way create a calorie deficiet. Three, eating less and also working out more. This means that you can eat a little more than if you were to just eat at a calorie minus without exercising. Not to mention, if you are strength training you can build muscle/work your muscles and that in turn burns more calories. Also, you can’t forget the health benefits of exercising!

Just working out for weightloss is very time consuming and you would need to spend 2-3 hours working out to burn enough calories to lose weight.

If I eat 2000 kcal do I need to burn 2000kcal?

So many think that all the calories they eat they need to burn off. But that is not the case. Your body is always using energy. Your brain and organs require energy constantly and we all have a base energy requirement, which is basically what your body burns just keeping you alive. So if you were to just lie in bed all day, or example were in a coma, your body would still burn those calories. It is typically around 1200-1500, depending on body composition. I.e the more muscles you have, the more energy you burn just being alive.

Second, all the movement you do each day burns calories. Walking to the fridge. Brushing your teeth. Cleaning. Going shopping. Walking up the stairs. Walking at your job or school. Walking to the bus station etc… all of those things add up and burn calories throughout the day. Typically, around 500-600kcal, depending on how active you are. Some people are more active without thinking about it, while others are more still and don’t do so much movement each day. So in a day peoples energy requirements can vary from 1600-2200kcal. And then if you workout on top of this, that is another 300-600kcal.

So…. When you need to loseweight you should aim to eat about minus 500 kcal of your daily calorie maintenance. I.e if you have a maintenance of around 2000kcal, you should aim to eat about 1500-1800kcal a day.

Do you need to count calories… NO  YOU DON’T! This was just sharing the information of calories and energy requirement.

How and what do I eat?

Well, the first thing I would suggest is that you write a food diary over everything you eat and drink for a week. BE HONEST. This is just for yourself. Look over… when you eat, and it can even be helpful to write out why you ate/how you felt. I.e do you eat due to emotions? Stress? Cravings? Just because the food is there?

And don’t forget those small handfuls of chips while preparing dinner, the oil you fry in, the milk in your coffee, that piece of chocolate after dinner, that on the go latte. If you are someone who maintains your weight, then these are jst part of life and nothing to think so much about it… thinking too much about these small choices can just become problematic.

But when you want to make a change in your diet, it can be good to first become mindful of when and why you eat… sometimes losing weight is just as simple as cutting out all those mindful snacks you don’t even think about doing.

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Regular meals:

I would recommend regular meals during the day. Try to eat 4-6 meals a day and not let it go too long between your meals so that you end up feeling hangry and just eat whatever you see or fall for a bunch of cravings due to hunger.

Second, I recommend you try to eat balanced breakfast, lunches and dinners. Don’t cut out carbs or healthy fats, you still need those in your diet. However you may want to limit your intake of fats or carbs where possible. Example, can you steam your veggies instead of stir frying them? Or maybe make them in an airfryer where you use less oil than when roasting in the oven. Can you choose the wholegrain or bean pasta instead of white pasta? Can you make tomato-based soups and pasta dishes instead of cream based ones? Can you skip the butter/margarine on your potatoes? Can you skip the storebought sauce and maybe make your own version using low fat crème fraiche or soya quark?

If you are eating vegan you aren’t eating any animal products which have a lot of fat in them, but if you do eat red meat/a lot of fatty meat, maybe you could switch those to plantbased protein sources or lean meat.

Increase your fruit and vegetable intake. Try to fill half your plate with vegetables. Snack on veggies with hummus or fruit and berries. Of course, you can still snack on other foods as well such as rice cakes, bread, oatmeal, chia seed pudding, yoghurt…. But grabbing a fruit or some veggies and dip can help you feel fuller.

Even if you need to lose weight, you don’t need to always walk around hungry. Of course, you may have days you feel extra hungry… that is because naturally the body doesn’t want to lose weight and you will feel hungry. But it shouldn’t be unbearable. And if you eat a lot of foods that leave you feeling full and satisfied you are less likely to feel super hungry.

Fruit and vegetables are low calorie but filling, not to mention very nutritious.

Increasing your protein intake can also help with your satiety level. So, beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, soya products, seitan. Snacking on tofu scramble, tofu fries, roasted chickpeas or edamame beans.

Find and make healthier options of some of your favourite cravings/treats. I do recommend that you allow yourself 1-2 days a week where you can eat some of your favourite junk foods. This to create a balance and to not have too many restrictions. It can cause anxiety around certain foods and even lead to binging if you never allow yourself to eat some of your favourite junk foods. They can be eaten and enjoyed in a moderate and balanced way. However for weeknights when cravings for sweet or salty means kicks in, it can be good to have some backup meals you can make instead.

Example for sweet meals…. Unsweetened soya yoghurt with cacao, stevia and warm berries. Banana with peanut butter and some dark chocolate. Apples fried in coconut oil, cinnamon and stevia, add on top of oatmeal or some unsweetened soya yoghurt. Rice cakes with some melted vegan chocolate on top. Chocolate oatmeal with stevia. Chocolate smoothie. Banana ice cream.

Salty meals: kale chips. Steamed edamame beans with sea salt. Roasted chickpeas. Parsnip fries.

Try to stick to regular meals, increasing your vegetable intake. Look over what size plate/bowl you are eating from…. Is it a huge bowl/plate which maybe holds a little more than necessary? Can you size down if necessary? OF COURSE… big portions don’t have to be unhealthy. You may choose to instead eat 3 big meals a day and then you will have bigger portions than if you decide to eat 6 smaller meals a day.. whatever fits your lifestyle.

Also, having a bunch of fruit and vegetables at home (which you like) as well as planning your meals for the week can help you eat the right amount for you and eat good quality food! If you have a bunch of junk food at home, there is a much higher chance that you will eat those just because you have them at home.

Get into a regular habit of drinking water throughout the day.

Lifestyle changes

With weightloss, it is not just your food intake you want to look over…. But also things like how much are you stressing? How much are you sleeping? Why you eat… i.e stress, anxiety, emotions? How are your thoughts and mindset regarding food, exercise, your body image…. Are those things you need to work on?

Remember that weightloss does take time and it won’t happen overnight. The important thing is to make sustainable lifestyle changes. You shouldn’t hate the food you eat, and you shouldn’t feel like a zombie living on just salad.

Even if you need to lose weight you can still enjoy some alcohol, chocolate or burgers if youwant to include those in your diet. Those don’t need to be off limits, just choose when you eat them so that it doesn’t become a daily thing. And it is also up to you to ask yourself… what is worth it? Maybe you want to keep your two lattes a day because they are something you really enjoy in the morning… then that is ok, but then maybe you can’t eat an afternoon snack or just a small one. Or maybe you want to keep your huge dinner and night snack, well then maybe you need to eat a little less for lunch or breakfast instead.

 

It is also important for me to remind you all again that if you DON’T need to lose weight, then some of this advice isn’t relevant for you. I.e if you don’t have a problem with your weight or eating, then continue as you are doing. Then you don’t need to overthink what, why and how much you are eating. But if you actively need to lose weight for health reasons, then these things can be helpful as you need to become more mindful and make active changes.

 

What about exercise…. Daily movement or exercise?

First and foremost, I recommend and promote daily movement. It is better than you are active in your daily life via walking, taking the stairs, being active during the day than forcing yourself to the gym 2-3 times a week but hating it and then not doing any other movement or activity.

However, taking time for an actual workout, whether is going to the gym, running, walking, crossfit, tennis, swimming etc is also important for health. Because during just daily movement you aren’t really getting stronger or working your conditioning. Not to mention, if you have a specific workout goal or maybe you want to build more muscle or get stronger, or maybe the goal to run 5km… then you need to specifically work on those goals to get better. Then it isn’t enough to just be active during the day.

A balance of both is the best. However if you really don’t have time to workout or just haven’t found a certain workout form you want to commit to and enjoy doing, then just focus on being active… maybe get a bicycle or walk when possible!

Supplementing as a vegan during weightloss?

Finally, I do want to mention that if you are trying to lose weight it does mean you will be eating less food and could potentially be consuming less nutrients, which could over time lead to deficiencies. However as a weightloss diet shouldn’t be followed forever, just a short period of time it isn’t really a problem. But you should take b12 supplements and could potentially be helpful with iron supplements if you are a female and have low iron levels. Not to mention D vitamin and Omega 3 if you aren’t consuming fortified plantbased milks (but then you most likely aren’t consuming enough to get the right amount of D vitamin). And if you aren’t using canola oil or eating a lot of chia seeds/walnuts/flaxseeds, you may be low on omega 3… so could be good to supplement but it isn’t a must. It depends if you are eating plantbased omega 3 sources.

Chia, Seeds, Super Food, Eat, Healthy, Of Course

Hopefully this post has been helpful to those of you who need to lose weight. I can share more advice in the future and some meal ideas/inspiration!

And as I mentioned, I don’t think counting calories is necessary… but just looking over what and how much you eat. Limiting certain foods to just certain occasions or days. Also seeing which foods, you can swap out for other options to maybe make them more nutritious or healthier.

Making small changes over time add up…. So if you are someone who drinks a lot of cola and eats a lot of candy, you don’t need to cut everything out at once and go from eating junk food 24/7 to eating steamed vegetables and tofu and working out. You can just cut down and limit to start off with. Structure up your eating to cut out mindless eating. Limit liquid calories. Focus on nutrient dense food.

Just like all nutrition posts, it feels like I could write forever but I will leave it there and instead make part 2 or 3 if necessary!

Antiweightloss and anti-dieting?

Something I have noticed a lot of online recently is antiweightloss posts. I have even been asked myself where I am against dieting or weightloss… as I often write about balance, learning to love yourself, gaining weight, intuitive eating… and that doesn’t always go along with dieting.

 

However I am not against weightloss…. Infact weightloss is necessary for some people and is something which is needed to be healthy. While for others weightloss is very unhealthy and not recommended, and weight gain could be the healthiest thing for thing.

However I think it is important to ask yourself how and why you want to lose weight. There is a lot of societal pressure to be thin, specially for females. And many females can feel the need to diet and lose weight even if they don’t need to. Maybe all they need to work on is healthier habits, more self love, balance and a different mindset to food, exercise and their body image. And that losing weight wouldn’t be healthy or necessary for them and wouldn’t necessarily make them happier.

So I can understand the antiweightloss posts that just promote self love, eating everything and all you want and going against weightloss. But it can’t be forgotten that some people do actually need to lose weight and there is nothing shameful or wrong about it. Infact almost 50% of the population in certain countries are clinically obese and need to loseweight. I do of course think that an important step in losing weight is also changing mindset and habits. Because you could diet on 600kcal a day for 4 months and lose weight, but if you don’t learn to find balance with food and learn to enjoy exercise and do it regularly or learn to love yourself and your body, then the weightloss won’t be sustainable in the longterm. And that is often the problem. It is easy to do a quick diet where you lose a bunch of weight quickly, but if habits and mindset don’t change then the person is very likely to regain the weight or to live a life with very disordered eating and body image. Sustainable weightloss means a lifestyle change.

How and why you want to lose weight?

So how and why you lose weight are important questions before you actually begin a weightloss journey. Are you doing it because you actually need to do for health reasons, i.e clinically overweight or obese, or are you doing it because you think you should… because you have some stomach roles or cellulite? Also how…. Is it a quick fix diet, or are you making lifestyle changes that will give you long term results?

I am not against weightloss, however I am against weightloss for the wrong reasons. But also one of the most important things is change in habits and mindset to more healthy, sustainable changes… not just focus on the number on the scale.

There is a lot of focus on weightloss when weightloss may not be necessary.

For those of you who don’t know I studied health promotion with specialisation nutrition, and so my main  focus is on promoting health and of course nutrition. It is important to look at the individuals needs when it comes to health and promoting health…. Some people may need to lose weight, others may need to gain weight, others may need to just focus more on their mindset and learning to love themselves. But looking over lifestyle, habits, choices and mindset are key to promoting health and creating lifestyle changes towards the more positive and healthy.

Board, Arrow, Shield, Note, Change, Solution

Even if weightloss may be necessary… losing weight doesn’t automatically mean you gain health. You could lose weight in a very unhealthy way and still not exercise, smoke, dirnk and stress and then the weightloss won’t make you healthy. Not to mention it most likely won’t be sustainable.

Which is also why making lasting changes with your diet should be one of the first steps… because if a person just loses weight eating a very small amount or following a trend diet, it will most likely not lead to lasting changes in mindset or weight. So even if weightloss doesn’t have to be bad, the way you do it matters alot.

Anti-dieting?

And with diets… I guess you could say I am anti-trend diets. A diet is basically just the way you eat, but a trend diet is often a quick fix diet which is trendy…. A set of rules of what, when and how much you can eat of certain foods. I don’t believe in those diets as they aren’t sustainable in the long term. Any diet which cuts out too many food groups or leaves you feeling restricted in someway isn’t a diet that will be maintained for a long period of time.

Image result for anti diets

So I promote intuitive eating and balance, even if I also believe that for some people in certain times of their life they may need more control such as a meal plan or set of rules regarding their eating. But that may just be a short period of their life to get some control and structure to their food and eating, but in the long term a balance diet where you don’t have any rules or regulations regarding how, what and how much you eat. But instead trying to tune in with your body’s signals.

I would love to know your opinion on this!