Saturday, May 25, 2013

My guide to healthy eating and weight loss

I usually only post fashion/style related articles as this is mainly a fashion blog, however, a few weeks ago I brought up the subject of losing weight in a healthy way and a few of you seemed to be interested in me writing this post. Before I start this post properly, I want to clarify a few things, as I know this is a very touchy subject. I am not writing this thinking "I know better and you should do as I say", in fact, I know very little about healthy eating compared to so many other people, but recently I have become quite interested in this subject and have done a lot of research. I am writing this post simply as a means of sharing my tips, the things that work for me, and should normally also work for you. I care about other people's wellbeing and I am disgusted with the way the media and major food companies are taking over people's minds and their conceptions about food. Studying retail, and therefore also marketing, has additionally helped me open my eyes to a lot of marketing tricks that people are sucked into, which may also have triggered my interest in this field.

With this post, I am not trying to pressure people into thinking they need to lose weight. The post is about being healthy, and weight loss is a consequence of good and healthy eating.

Eating healthy does wonders for your body and skin, it gives you more energy and enhances your mood in general. Your body is not a waste basket. One could even ask: "Do you really hate yourself that much that you will only feed your body bad food?" I read somewhere about the human body being compared to a battery operated machine, batteries in this case meaning food. If you put bad batteries in your machine, it will perform badly, just like your body will after eating bad food.

My tips are super simple. They don't require much additional effort to your daily life. It is simply about changing your lifestyle. Slowly but gradually.

1) Eat in moderation, stop when satisfied

When having a meal, stop eating as soon as you feel satisfied, rather than when you feel so full that your stomach might burst. Extremities are never good, regardless if you are feeling super full or starving. Besides, if you feel satisfied after eating X amount of food, why keep eating? Something I used to do, especially when I ate in restaurants, was trying to eat ALL of the food on my plate, because I paid for it and it's a special occasion, and so on. I have now realized that all that doesn't matter. Restaurants have a default size for each meal so that this meal would work for everyone - big men or small children, which doesn't automatically mean that you need to finish it all off. Your health comes at a higher value than money wasted on food. It can be difficult at first, but you will get used to it and after a while, I swear, you will hate feeling too full and avoid it at all costs! Something I do to help me eat in moderation is cut my food into small pieces, in that way it takes me longer to eat it all. You might notice this in my fruit pictures below.

2) Eat dinner from a small plate

This kind of ties in with my first point, to eat in moderation. No one ever said you need to eat from a large plate. It is just something that has become an acceptable norm in society and somehow everyone thinks you should have dinner from large plates. I'm not sure how it has come to this, whether it was the impact of movies or TV food adverts or whatnot. Anyway - large plates create the illusion that they are half empty, psychologically making you think want to eat more, even if you don't necessarily need another portion. Let me demonstrate with the picture below! Both plates have the same amount of food on them (I tried my best :P). If you will eat from the large plate, you are likely to feel like you haven't eaten so much, however if you eat from the small plate, you will normally feel quite full and satisfied.



3) Drinks that are often misconceived as healthy




... but are actually not. At all. Some of them are super obvious, although I still see people drinking Diet Coke and saying that they are on a healthy diet. If we put aside all the sugar and chemicals that have been added to Coke, at least think of all the side-effects of drinking such a bad drink. Most of these drinks are marketed as healthy, but what actually happens, is that a lot of companies try to play on those "healthy" people that don't really read the ingredients. ALL the above drinks have so much sugar and chemicals in them that you could as well go pig out at Macdonalds instead (please don't, though). Even Innocent smoothies are not good for you, as all the natural fibers are stripped off from the fruit they use and the smoothie is only left with sugar and lots of calories. Also, they are definitely not completely natural as they stay on the shop shelves for days or even weeks without rotting away. Try to make a natural smoothie at home and see how long it stays decent looking/tasting. I give it a day or two! Did I mention that most of the above drink companies are owned by Coca Cola (including Innocent)?
Some other drinks that I would recommend skipping are cow milk (I don't want to tell why you should stop drinking milk as it will give me loads and loads of hate, so please do some research on it yourself) and juice made from concentrate.
If you really are serious about being healthy and losing weight, drinks you would ideally consume are water (!!!), lots of green or mint tea and natural juices (No Tropicana! Only home-made juices).

4) Sweet cravings - healthy snacks

And no, healthy snacks are usually not what you can find at supermarkets labelled as a "healthy snack". It is perfectly normal to have a sweet tooth and crave sweet things after your meal, or even all day long (like me, haha). I ALWAYS have desert after eating, doesn't matter whether it's during breakfast, lunch or dinner time. The catch is that my desert is fruit. And lots of it. The more colors, the better! It tastes amazing and with time you will forget all about candy and stuff. If you have a hard time getting over candy cravings, try to read the ingredients at the back and it might put you off for life. Pork gelatin in your typical Haribo sweets? No thanks. Gelatin is literally made of leftover animal parts at factories, such as bones, skin and so on. That's freaking disgusting, if you ask me.
Fruit is very rich in nutrients and there are millions of reasons why it's beneficial for you. Additionally, a full bowl of fruit (like in the 3 photos below) is so filling that it can be a meal alone. I usually have something like this at night when I'm hungry but it's too late for a cooked meal. Doesn't it look good?







5) Skip junk food

I know this is super-duper obvious. However it is an important part of this post! Now, most people usually associate the term "junk food" with becoming fat and gaining weight. But what some don't seem to realize is that junk food literally IS junk. Junk food definitely is high in fat, but so are avocado and almonds! Since fats are a part of any balanced diet, there is not much need to worry about that - what you do need to worry about is the fact that junk food is full of junk ingredients. Did you know that your typical Macdonalds fries contain ingredients like Disodium Pyrophosphate, Polydimethylsiloxane and other weird stuff? All these chemicals are added to preserve the food color, to make it smell nice and so on. If you were making fries or burgers at home from scratch, would you really add all those chemicals? I don't think so! To be honest, I honestly don't know much about chemistry and stuff, but I definitely don't want to eat food that contains something like that. To conclude, the main idea of this point is that junk food is just really garbage and if you value your body and health, you should not be eating food like that. What I suggest is that if you really crave all this "junk food", then make it yourself at home, this way YOU can decide on the ingredients and make it a bit more healthy. Why not try a thin base whole-wheat pizza with some healthy veggie toppings? Time will not be an issue with most foods, however if you are trying to be healthier and lose weight, then time should never be an excuse to eat bad food anyway!

6) Be more active

I know a lot of you probably have the idea that you really are not a gym kind of person and might even skip this point after reading the title. Obviously regular exercise is always good and will make you feel better, however if you are one of those people who can't push themselves to do it, there are lots of easy ways to sneakily become more active during your daily life. For example, I always take the stairs instead of the elevator, I try to walk instead of taking the bus, I carry a shopping basket instead of taking the trolley. If I feel super stiff after sitting too much, I turn on music and dance alone in my room until I feel like I've unleashed my stiffness and energy, thank god no one is watching haha! All these are baby steps compared to actual exercise, but integrate them in your daily life and you will be more active than you were before. There are people at my uni that take the elevator for one floor. Come on! ONE FLOOR!

7) Swap sugar for honey

Sugar is a processed product that doesn't provide you with any health benefits. Even though my family has been using organic (brown) sugar for years (as well as organic honey bought from a neighbor beekeeper), I've decided to cut sugar out of my daily life and instead use honey as a substitute. While both sugar and honey are super high in calories, it is better to choose honey as it actually benefits you in some ways. Now, I know that there are huge debates on exactly how good honey is for you as a lot of people believe it is not healthy, but it is clear that, for those who absolutely need to use it, out of sugar and honey it is the lesser of two evils.

8) The more colors = the better!

It's important to eat a lot of vegetables as well as fruits, therefore try to have fun with your meals and make sure there are lots of different colors on your plate as each vegetable is beneficial in its own ways. There are so many variations that you can make with vegetables, trust me! In the picture below I was aiming to make a completely greenish yellow kind of meal with zucchini pasta, whole wheat pasta, peas and a sauce.



9) Pack your own lunch before school/work

A big problem in today's world is that everyone is always busy, eats bad food during work/school or starves all day until they get home. This might actually be the most difficult point in this post today, as it really can be hard to find the time to prepare a lunch while getting ready in the morning. If this is the case, I suggest doing it the night before. Might take ages at first, but if it becomes a habit, I promise you - it will take less time to prepare the food AND you will actually look forward to doing this, as it will always be fun to decide what you will have the next day.
It's very easy to develop a habit of always going to some local kebab or sandwich place every day for lunch, but it's very bad for your health AND budget. Last year at some points I would literally spend up to 50 euros for food during school, which is kind of insane if you compare that to the production cost of all that food - could add up to 3-4 euros, maybe? So pack lunches will also help you save up sooner for those amazing shoes you've had your eye on for ages ;)
Below you can see the kind of pack lunch I would take to the library for a day of studying. The box is quite big, and the fruit is cut into little pieces, so it would take me ages to finish the whole thing with a spoon, which is why it lasts me the whole day! A whole day sitting on my ass in the library, but still having fresh fruit while everyone else keeps running to the shop for extra crisps and sandwiches. Feels good! ;)



9) Have oats for breakfast

I've recently started this habit and now every morning I am so excited for breakfast! Not only do oats have numerous health benefits (do some research and you'll be surprised!), they are also very good for weight loss as they make you feel SUPER full for SUPER long. Oats alone might taste a little bit boring, so I always add lots of berries, and in a way it becomes a desert, yum! The picture below does not represent my breakfast in the best way as that morning I only had frozen berries, but check this one that I posted on my instagram, so yummy!

 

10) Lifestyle, not diet

Overall, I want to add that I do eat bad food sometimes, and I mean really bad food. It's difficult to stop the habit when you have been doing that for all your life. The thing you need to remember is that one processed burger won't kill you, just like a few healthy meals won't make you healthy. It's about changing your lifestyle. Forget all about diets, honestly I don't even know who invented those, because they are absolutely useless.. I mean - eat a certain way for a week or two and then go back to your old habits, why even try if all the weight will come back anyway? If you want to constantly feel and look good (something a diet will not provide you with!) you need to change your lifestyle. Start slow, but with a goal, and you will get there. I used to be junk food obsessed, was a total couch potato and couldn't even walk up the stairs without gasping for air, but as soon as I started my interest in becoming healthier, it is literally on my mind all the time and I try to teach all my friends to do the same, haha. Hopefully they're not too annoyed with me!




It was quite difficult for me to step out of my comfort zone as this is really not the kind of articles I usually post, and I am aware that I will probably get critisized for it, but if I helped at least one person, then it was worth it. I hope you guys enjoyed this post! ♥

43 comments:

  1. I changed my lifestyle the same way, with small steps and making it a lifestyle not a diet. :) And I haven't looked back since!
    Funny, but the first thing I noticed was about stairs and no need for air gasping, too, lol

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  2. well it's good to make different articles from time to time, you know taking a break from fashion posts and stuff! its good to know that we have a healthy or trying to be healthy blogger that wants to help us!

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  3. Lielisks raksts! Tiešām iedvesmojoši ;) Paldies!

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  4. Paldies, ka uzrakstīji šo postu! Ilgi domāju par veselīgu dzīvesveidu un tagad sapratu ar ko sākt! :)

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  5. I did a little research on the badness on cow milk, gummy bears and so on... wow.. I knew that they were bad for you but I never knew why. Since I've become a little closer to knowing what's the stuff in all those soft drinks, candy and even cow milk(!!), I'm really shocked. So THANK YOU for opening my eyes, I'm really trying to become more healthier. Good luck!

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  6. This was really helpful!
    THANK YOU!!!! :-)

    www.moreissuesthanvogue.com

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  7. This post made me thinking about my eating. I didn't know that oats was that healthy because normally i have 2 slices of bread with cheese or something but i think i will change that then:)
    I really liked this post because it is something different than just fashion and know i have the feeling that i should change my eating. Thank you:)

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  8. Hey! I recently started my blog about healthy living that I am trying to learn myself. I have been to couple of seminars about this topic and there is one thing I have learned - it is actually not that good to eat oats for breakfast. The thing is, you have to try to get more proteins than carbs because your body turns carbs into sugar which raises insulin level which actually destroys sugar.So when it raises - it is above the norm in your body, when it is destroyed - it is too low and you feel like having some sugary snacks and you feel damn hungry.
    Meanwhile protein will keep it in a normal level.

    If you are interested I have some small info about this and I can send it to you through the email!

    anyways, good luck with keeping it healthy :)


    sannmente.wordpress.com

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    1. Yeah, I could have anticipated that - obviously there are opinions about all foods! I get what you mean, but at the same time oats are a much healthier option than a lot of the "typical" breakfasts that people have. I will look into this more though, thanks for bringing it up! x

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  9. A really good post Kristiana. Thanks for taking time to do this, I'm sure it will help a lot of people !

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  10. I don't usually comment on blog articles, but I really thought I should let you know that this was very informative and some tricks (for example the plate) are completely new to me. even people who are slim like you have the 'right' to give health tips, because it is not just about weight loss, as you correctly pointed out. so thanks! :)

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    1. Thank you for the comment! :) I completely agree, being healthy is vital to everyone, no matter the size!

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  11. Ļoti labs raksts! Noteikti ielikšu favorītos, lai lasītu, kad vajadzīga iedvesma. Kādu laiku atpakaļ biju veselīga dzīvesveida piekritēja, bet tad sāku līdzināties saviem draugiem, kas Makdonaldu uzskata par normu. Tagad mēģinu tikt atpakaļ tajā dzīves laika posmā, kur pat nebija domu par Makdonaldu.. Paldies Tev par labajiem padomiem. Prieks, ka uzrakstīji kaut ko tādu ļoti interesantu. Domāju, daudzus tas iedvesmos :)

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  12. I really mean it when I say this is one of the best tips I ever read. I've been trying to start a healthy lifestyle so I've been getting more interested on this kind of articles and personal experiences and I was really glad when I saw the topic of your new post. Thank you for sharing :)

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    1. Thank you so much! I am glad it helped you! x

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  13. it was really helpfull, thanks a lot :))

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  14. paldies par padomiem! ļoti noderīgs raksts :)

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  15. That's really a good article. I also start to have a healthy eating habit. Do you have any idea of making the oat for breakfast? Are you mix with milk or soya milk? I want the taste more sweet. Do you have any suggestion?

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  16. Interesting post to read as I just recently started eating healthier myself. I'm just craving for fruits all the time! I used to have cravings for chips and chocolate, now i prefer fruits. My friends seem to think that I'm pregnant or something, cause I've always loved junk food and I'm trying to gain weight rather than lose. But I feel so good and doesn't matter what my friends think, even though some of them really could use a lecture :D But as I'm really skinny I feel bit awkward when talking about healthy food as most of the people associate it with losing weight, even though I've gained weight with regular and healthy eating. So yeah, all this is new for me too and I'm trying to find my way :)

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  17. just wanted to say, that it isn't actually good to eat fruits after you've eaten something else, because fruits are digested faster than other foods and when you eat them after something else, they will stay there and start to rot and it is not good for your body.

    the other tips were very good :)

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  18. love the plate trick! im gona start doing that now :D
    it's so difficult to get into a new lifestyle but i realize that it's about not about expecting a change over night but just changing the way we live our lives in a healthier way :)

    Lemon Kitty (I just really like cats okay)

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  19. You've already done a lot but I was wondering if yoiu could tell us, either as a new post (but I'd completely understand if you don't do this!) or just as an asnwer to this comment, what exercises/sport you do. I've gone for a run a few times but I have to stop very often because I'm out of breath so recently I started working out at home with youtube videos (can't be bothered to go to a gym).I think it would be very helpful, at least for me! xx

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  20. really good article! thumbs up!

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  21. Man arī šī tēma pēdējā laikā ieintereseējusi.. gribēju padalīties ar veselīgu pankūku recepti. viss kas vajadzīgs 1 banāns un 2 olas (es gan parasti ņemu pusi banāna un 1 olu).

    saspaidā banānu, pievieno olas, visu sajauc kopā un liec uz pannas :) sanāk banānu pankūkas, nenormāli garšīgas & veselīgas. prieks no rītiem celties :D

    rekur links receptei + tur vēl daudz citas arī:
    http://www.blogilates.com/recipe-index/100-natural-pancakes-recipe-gluten-free-flourless-low-calorie

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  22. This was an amazing post, thank you very much! I wanted to start living healthy, too, and this is so inspirating! I'd be glad if you write more posts like this. :) <3

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  23. Great post !

    http://www.olastory.com/

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  24. Super raksts Kristiān! Man ļoti patīk lasīt rakstus, kuros blogeri ir ieguldījuši savu laiku un uzmanību!
    Piekrītu it visam ko tu saki un es arī pirms darba, lielākoties vakarā sagatavoju sev pusdienas nākamjai dienai, savādāk sanāk kaut kāds ātro ēdināšanas iestāžu variants!! :/

    callmemaddie.blogspot.com

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  25. Eating fruit as dessert right after a meal isnt really good for you though:/ fruit itself should be eaten as a snack between meals... http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4970/The-Major-Rule-for-Eating-Fruit.html

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  26. I really don't want to be rude or attack you in any way, but you're NOT promoting a healthy lifestyle. Eating a bowl of grapes for lunch (saw it on your instagram) is not enough! This can be very triggering for other people and it's not right to promote eating so little. A lot of your readers are teenagers who are still very insecure and they shouldn't be tinking that a bowl of grapes is enough for lunch. Neither should you, please feed yourself. Be a REAL healthy exapmle.

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    1. If you're not trying to be rude, then you're not good at it because you're the rudest person I've encountered in a long time. After seeing a picture of grapes on my instagram, what makes you think you know what I had for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Grapes are a healthy snack and it's the best thing to take with me to the library as it fills me up. Everyone has different capacities of food they can take - why eat more than I need? Seriously, get off my page and stop judging without knowing a thing, it's absolutely disgusting.

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  27. love these tips! totally agree to avoid bottled drinks

    xoxo
    style frontier

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  28. Adorable! Shall we follow? let me know XSE
    www.supongoestilo.blogspot.nl

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  29. I'm sorry if I offended you in any way. I may have sounded a bit too harsh, but that's because I've had eating problems myself and I'm very afraid that young girls get triggered by the internet. I saw on your instagram a picture of a bowl of grapes and you wrote something about that being your lunch. I know it's not fair to comment on your eating just by one picture and I apologize for that. You're right, I don't know how much you can eat and what you're eating pattern looks like. I just think that you could've mentioned in your article that it's ok to eat something unhealthy every once in a while and that it's really important to eat enough. Maybe it's because of my past that I overreacted so fast, but it's just that articles like these were the ones that started my eating problems (without realizing at that time). I realize that that is because of the way I looked at things back then and not because of what you're writing. I just want you to know that there are a lot of girls who can't put everything in a good context and then this can be very triggering.
    But once again, you're right. I shouldn't have judged so fast. I'm sorry about that.

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  30. I like your blog and this was a nice post. I agree with most of what you say - especially the last point! I just have a little question. I hope this won't sound rude, I have no interest in snooping in your personal economy, but how can you afford all the fruits, vegetables and berries? I'm genuinely curious, because I will also be studying in the UK next year and (hehe ridiculously enough) one of my greatest concerns is whether I will be able to afford eating healthily or not. Of course it's about prioritising and so on, but I've been told that it's all very expensive there, and I'm a bit worried. Do you have any thoughts or tips?

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  31. Hey! Thanks :) Don't worry. Well, after changing my lifestyle, my food budget is still pretty much the same. I simply eliminated all the bad food from my shopping bag and replaced it with healthy food. Fruit/veggies aren't actually that expensive in the UK, and usually a box of berries (for example) lasts me 3-4 days because I have it as an extra to my oats or fruit salad. It's not that difficult :)

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  32. love it so much, you're adorable girl

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  33. hey kristina. this post was very helpful!! many thanks. just one question, when you go to the library, do you only eat fruits? because i'm studiyng in the library the whole day as well at the moment, and i'm always so hungry and go for sandwiches, chocolate and energydrinks which is very bad. do you have enough energy with the fruits then? i'm very curious because I wanna try this as well tomorrow. thank you very much! lisa

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    1. Sorry for the late answer!
      When I go to the library, I pretty much always take fruit with me but usually also something extra. I don't usually eat bread but if i would, i would definitely make sandwiches at home! it's cheaper and better :) Sometimes if i cook something in the evening, such as pasta or rice, i make double the amount and bring half of it to the library as well!

      however on those days where i have only fruit with me, my lunch box is quite big so i eat half when i'm hungry at first and the other half when i'm hungry again haha

      hope it helps :)

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  34. I didn't know the smoothies weren't healthy. i love them haha. thanks though! xo

    victoriasanusi.blogspot.co.uk

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  35. Hey Kristiana,
    I lovelovelove this post! Thanks so much for your advice. Would be so great if you could write more articles like this (about lifestyle and stuff) from time to time! :)<3

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