Sammie Harding, qualified Personal Trainer, and straight talker, keeps it real by sharing her advice on losing weight realistically, so you can quite literally have your cake and eat it too!
Some people may think I am totally bonkers for using the slogan "you can still lose weight and eat cake” on my business card! However, I don’t think I am! Answer me this: if someone tells you, “you can't eat something” then what is the first thing you want to do? Most of us would be lying if we didn't say that we wanted to stuff our face with whatever it is we can't have!
I am not saying that you can eat a whole cake everyday, or a whole box of doughnuts. What I am saying, however, if your exercising well and eating well, then why can't you have a few treats now and again? After all life is for living, and it’s all about balance.
Eat a little of what you enjoy
Through my 15 months of losing my weight I still ate crisps, take-aways, chocolate, ice cream; you name it, I ate it. I don't believe in restrictive diets; I believe the best way to lose weight is to eat a little of what you really enjoy, now and again. Hence ‘Everything in Moderation.’
I've tried diets that include a majority of shakes. and yes it worked. I lost weight but I was miserable, lethargic and I couldn't train properly because I had no energy. And the worst thing was once I started eating again, I put the weight I'd lost drinking a week of shakes, back on in a few days.
Eating carbs with your other food groups doesn’t make you fat!
I remember having a Personal Trainer myself, around 10 years ago and on my first session he told me that the only way I would lose weight was if I cut out carbs completely. I was horrified because I love my carbs, however, I was in a situation where I wanted nothing more than to lose weight so I did what he said. The truth is, I lasted 24 hours before I gave up. I was so moody, so tired, and do you know how many things this PT classes as carbs?! I cancelled all my sessions after that with him as I just thought he was too unrealistic!
I've also done the whole no carbs thing by myself; oh my god I was one moody woman! I was moody, tired, lacked energy, was bored of food, and literally hated life. Again don't get me wrong, I lost weight, but it's not good to not have carbs in your diet. I understand that some of you may believe that eating carbs makes you fat, that's not true - well okay if you eat bucket loads, and not a balanced diet then maybe, but eating carbs with your other food groups doesn't make you fat. There are also lots of people on social media that argue that you shouldn't eat carbs after 5-6pm - again I used to think that was true. Social media draws you in, and you believe what you hear when you don't actually know the facts. This is another myth.
Forget the diet
You shouldn’t put yourself on a ‘diet’, you should just take all your main food groups and enjoy a balanced diet.
Food group examples:
- Protein - (Meat, Fish, Legumes, Quinoa, Beans)
- Carbohydrates - (Bread, Oats, Fruit, Pasta, Rice, Grains)
- Fats (Oily fish, greek yoghurt, olive oil)
- Vitamins/Minerals - (Fruit & vegetables)
What chocoholic wants a life with no chocolate?
Say you are a huge chocolate lover, and as your Personal Trainer I say to you, “Right no more chocolate whatsoever!”. I am guessing your initial response would be “What the hell?” and if you’re anything like me, you don’t like being told what to do. Like I said earlier when my old PT told me I couldn’t have carbs, I didn’t even last 24 hours. Now, if he’d have said to me, no carbs after lunch, that may have been a little bit more realistic. So back to the chocolate, I would never tell any of my clients to cut out something that they really enjoy from their diet completely. I would say ‘everything in moderation’, so instead of over indulging on chocolate, limit it. Here are the options I would discuss with you:
- Limit to one chocolate a day, or every other day
- Change from a full-size chocolate to say, a curly whirly or a freddo
This way, in my experience, and with my knowledge, you are more likely to stick to the plan. After all what chocoholic wants a life with no chocolate? This is the same principle for wine, sweets, cake, crisps, fried food etc.
So I’ll leave you with that thought - “Everything in Moderation.”
Sammie, who lost an amazing 3.5 stone herself, is all about supporting other women to lose weight in a realistic and balanced way. If you have a question for her or would like to connect, you can find her on Instagram sharing regular tips, accountability check-ins, and more!
Instagram - www.instagram.com/slim_with_sammie