I lost the main chunk of weight that I wanted to lose last year, reaching my goal of 10st7 by September. Until January this year I was successfully maintaining between 10st0-10st7, which involved learning to eat healthily more 'instinctively' - no recording calories or trying to lose lbs each week - just making sure I made sensible healthy choices. But since January I've returned to the weight loss path again, aiming for a new goal range of 9st8-9st11. I'm re-examining my current healthy choices, especially as I'm now trying to restrict my calories and lose a few extra lbs. I thought I'd share what I've found during this transition from maintaining to losing weight again - even though I'm just trying to lose a few lbs this time.
For those who don't know me, I have dietary restrictions for health reasons, meaning I'm off anything with wheat or dairy. I'm also veggie but I eat fish sometimes too. I realise this is quite an unusual set of restrictions! But hopefully this means some of my food choices will give people new ideas for things they haven't tried before.
I'm also open to any suggestions for variations - or any general thoughts about making healthier choices - or any more suggestions from anyone else on wheat free/dairy free diets.
While maintaining, I started having rice noodle based lunches for work - easy to just throw it all into a tupperware (with tofu, pak choi, lots of veg) and heat up in the microwave. However, since restricting my calories again I've found this leaves me hungry a couple of hours later. While maintaining, I must have been supplementing this meal with extra snacks to keep myself going through the afternoon, but I don't want to do that while trying to lose weight again. So I've decided it's time to find whole-grain brown rice noodles (instead of the white rice noodles I'm currently having) to make sure this is not just an easy tasty low calorie lunch, but also a filling one I think I also generally need to just aim to have whole-grain versions of all foods like this - brown rice instead of white rice, sweet potatoes instead of new potatoes. This has slipped by the wayside a little while I've been maintaining but it's a habit I'm keen to gain back.
Eat Natural/Nature Valley bars:
Despite the way these are marketed, these types of gluten-free bars aren't 100% the healthiest snacks, although I find them a great fall-back when I'm tight for time to make my own no-added-sugar apple flapjacks/banana cake (see previous posts!). Bars like these contain more sugar and about 40% more calories than things I can make myself. So one of the things I'm determined to do is bake a great big batch of healthy banana cake, slice it up and freeze it ready to take to work. And maybe some apple flapjacks too
I've completely fallen out of the habit of batch cooking while I've been maintaining - but it's absolutely the way to go for easy pre-calorie-counted tasty lunches and dinners. I used to have containers of soup, curry, daal or veggie stew in the freezer - a good set of choices for things to heat up when I want a tasty healthy dinner but quickly. I've recently discovered Amy's Kitchen soups (which all seem to be wheat free/dairy free) - especially the Spanish Rice & Red Bean soup - 400 cals, a generous meal for one, and very very filling. I want to start making things like this that are new and exciting and easy to re-heat. And maybe lots of daal too. So watch this space
So for now, I'll be adding brown rice noodles, banana cake ingredients and lots of lentils to my shopping list, and maybe some more whole-grains and filling fruit and veg. I know this sounds obvious, but by thinking through how these can be added as adjustments to things I'm having already, it helps me know where to make small, manageable changes. Hopefully then I'll be able to redress any imbalance that occurred while I was maintaining, and reach and maintain my new weight without compromising the tastiness of my meals