If you haven´t read part one, you might want to read that post first. In Part 1 I tell you my reasons for changing my life and how I modified my training. You can find the post here: Part 1
Now let´s have a look at food! I love food, sweets and just eating. I could eat almost all day without being hungry. As you can guess this is not healthy and for sure I was gaining weight. About 1-2 years ago it didn´t matter what I ate, I always had the same weight. But my body got used to all the sports I did and due to my age and all the stress my metabolism has changed. So I also had to change my nutrition.
Calories and improving my relationship to food
My first step was to get an app to track my food. I used FitPal. You can choose your goal and it will tell you how much calories you should eat to reach it. Which was about 1300kcal for me. But you can also just do it old school by getting a notebook to track your food with a pen and calculate your calorie income on your own. You find many calculators online which can do that job for you as well. The advantage of the app was that I also could monitor my protein, fat and carbs. Especially the protein amount was interesting for me as I do lots of sports.
Don´t count your calories forever!
I definitely don´t recommend to count your calories all the time, it can be so annoying and you should enjoy eating. I did it for four weeks until I had developed a good eating routine and a better knowledge of what food was good for me. Then I stopped counting and instead switched to a simple food diary, where I just write down what I eat over day to get an overview of it.
I also started to eat vegan this year. I still cheat from time to time, but it is becoming less and this is the way it works for me. Unfortunately going vegan doesn´t mean that you automatically start to eat healthy and lose weight.
So what did I learn from my food tracking?
I want to give you a quick summery of the 5 most important things that I learned during these first weeks, which might help you, too.
- Serving Sizes: Rethink the size of your portions. You can eat anything you want, just make sure to eat the right amount. I used to eat way too much, so I googled which amount of pasta, rice and so on I should eat. Most times I cook about 80g of pasta, rice or other cereals now.
- Balance is the key: If I eat cake (I loooove Mississippi Mud Pie) I sometimes skip the lunch and just eat a small healthy snack (raw vegetables with humus for example) and in the evening I cook something low carb with not many calories like zoodles (zucchini noodles) with fresh tomatoes or cauliflower with carrot sauce (you can find some of these meals here). If you have a day where you eat too much you can also counterbalance it the next day by eating more salad and vegetables and less carbs.
- Carbs: I know there are many diets which recommend to eat no (or at least almost no) carbs. But this doesn´t work for me at all, I don´t want to give something up I love to eat. I still eat pasta, bread, oatmeal for breakfast and other carbs. Not all carbs are bad for you, oatmeal for example has protein which your muscles need and whole-grain bread will raise your sugar level less and therefore keep you full for a longer time.
If I eat carbs, I just make sure to eat a small portion and really enjoy it by eating it slowly. To fill my stomach I eat vegetables or salads to every lunch.
- Berries are amazing: They do not only taste great, they also have less calories as many other fruits. So I always have some fresh or frozen ones at home to add to my breakfast. Blueberries strawberries and raspberries are my fav.
- Filling food: I started to add vegetables and salads to every meal (not for breakfast). If I eat bread I like to add tomatoes, cucumber and carrots with hummus. If you eat pasta you can add some salad or vegetables. This allows you to eat still a lot without eating too much calories.
Carrots are one of my fav fillers, they are sweet, healthy and offer lots of possibilities. You can bake them in the oven, put them in salad, eat them raw as a snack or use them for soups and sauces. They have a bit more carbs than other veggies, but still don´t have too much.
The results of my new eating habits
Of course I lost weight, this was my main reason to start changing my life. You could see my muscles more now and my body matched again to my fit life. As I kept an eye on my proteins I didn´t lose muscles. I felt so much better and confident with my body.
But there were more changes that I didn´t expect and which helped me a lot to stay motivated and keep my new habits. I feel more awake now in the morning, often I wake up before my alarm clock and get up right away because I feel so fresh and ready for a new day.
When I eat too much the day before I feel heavy and full the next morning and my belly looks bloated. Not the way you want to feel if you love to do sports in the morning. I never noticed this before, but it makes such a huge difference. Now that I eat smaller portions I feel ready right when I get up and sometimes running is the first thing I do in the morning.
I also had some health issues which got way better. About one yeat I suddenly got stomach cramps at night or early in the morning. Often I woke up at night because of the pain and couldn´t sleep. My doctor couldn´t find out the reason yet. But since I eat more healthy the cramps are totally gone. This is one of the biggest motivations for me now, not only because I don´t want the pain back of course, but also because this showed me how much my nutrition and health are connected.
Some other little results were that I started to enjoy cooking more, tried lots of new foods and dishes and I stopped feeling cravings for sweets all the time. I have a totally new relation to food now which is definitely a better one. I don´t feel like being on a diet, it feels like I finally eat normal and the way I should. I just learned (and maybe still learn) how to supply my body with food the way it deserves it.
Feeling more active, awake and healthy makes me feel more happy overall and I enjoy my life so much.
These are enough reasons to me to stay motivated and I never want to get back to my old habits. For me this was one of the best decisions in my life. You shouldn´t be scared of changing things or struggling with it. You can start slowly by changing little habits and slowly find your perfect way of living your life which fits to your body and soul. Let´s get addicted to a healthy life together!
Would love to hear what you want to change or maybe already changed and how it affected your life, write a comment to tell me your story! Or let me know if you have questions about anything.
Have a fit day! xx