Today is going well (it’s only 3.37pm).
I had protein rich and low carb scrambled eggs and smoked salmon for breakfast, cashew nuts for a snack and I am thinking about getting round to lunch (albeit late) of homemade mushroom soup. A bike ride is also on the cards. I am feeling virtuous. If only every day was like this; I’d have the body of Lizzie Armitstead by Christmas. But it’s not.
The carbs gently speak to me from the bread bin…that bit of buttered toast I made for one of the children can’t go to waste so I scoff it, and then there’s cake. I blame the Great British Bake Off. Really, I blame myself. I love baking. It all started with my Nan and making crumbles and pies. When the kitchen is full of beautiful, buttery smells it makes me feel warm and happy. Steak and broccoli does not have the same effect. But the cookies and cake are moreish and they do affect my weight, skin and ultimately my mood.
Back at the start of the summer, when I got back on my bike for the first time in ages, I knew I needed some help with my diet. What I was eating was not working. The tiredness of having a new baby made me reach for the carbs, leaving me sluggish. And if it’s true that you are what you eat, then both my children are at least 50 per cent toast and peanut butter, judging by the amount I ate during pregnancy! I was introduced to Steve Hoyles, a personal trainer in Cheshire. He has changed everything I thought about food and exercise.
For most of my adult life I have roughly, and at times strictly, followed a low-fat diet. So filling on the carbs and low-fat foods as well as veg and fruit. I would lose weight but it’s always concerned me how much other ‘rubbish’ was loaded into these meals: sugars, artificial sweeteners and other fillers. When I have got down to my lowest weight I have been hungry most of the time.
Steve recommends a paleo / primal mix: low carb and high protein. He talks about hormones and how those carbs (especially pasta and bread) affect your insulin levels, leaving you crashing and then craving more.
When I reduce my carb intake and increase my protein I feel clear headed, energetic, and my tummy is far less bloated. I also lose weight and more importantly I am not hungry. The hard bit, like anything, is being disciplined and working at it.
Having lost sight of my goals the last couple of weeks, I am now refocussed. Steve has asked me to complete a dreaded diary of exercise, food and weight.
The baking, for now, is on hold….