“Dieting sucks” said my wife recently. I have to agree. But is does serve the very useful purpose of helping towards a fitter, happier you. But yes, counting calories isn’t much fun for some people.
One of the many things I love about my wife, it was certainly very refreshing for me when we first met. Is that, like me, she enjoys good food and the occasional indulgence. And of course when you’re in a happy relationship you do like to indulge in the delicious things in life. Unfortunately with two children under the age of three, exercise and trying to be eat healthily moves down your list of priorities.
We’ve recently returned from a three week trip to New Zealand. Of course when you’re on holiday it’s very difficult to keep on top of healthy eating. Even if you’re staying with family and have access to home cooking. I love the cafes in NZ, the milkshakes, pies, chips and most of all the cakes. specifically the slices;
Lolly Cake (this is a particular NZ favourite – “Lollies” in NZ are fruit puff style sweets)
Mmmmmm sorry, I’ve digressed somewhat from the purpose of this post. Counting calories.
After three weeks of indulgence it was time to face the fact we had both put on quite a bit of weight.
My wife introduced me to an app, myfitnesspal. Essentially it’s a calorie counting app. You put in your current weight then your target weight and the amount of time you want to lose this weight. The app then gives you a target number of calories to consume each day along with a weekly weight loss target.
You then log the food and drink you consume during the day. The has a huge web-based database of foods including, useful for my wife, all the different dishes you get in any number of London food outlets. There is even the ability to scan a bar code. Now for a former finance nerd like me, I love logging all these numbers and seeing how the calories add up during the day. When I worked behind a desk for a living I could control what food I brought to work. Since I became a stay at home Dad I’ve lost all that control and was grazing during the day as I was in my comfort zone at home. I’m really liking having something to give me motivation to watch what I eat. My wife is less enthusiastic.
Pre-holiday and particularly during, we both felt pretty unhealthy and tired most of the time. I suffered from quite a bit of heartburn, which made sleeping particularly uncomfortable.
We’ve been watching our calories now for a week. Despite my wife having the harder task (she has a much lower daily calorie target than me so really has to watch what she eats), we both agree that we are already feeling better. I’m talking about having more energy and for me in particular no heartburn.
The next stage is finding some time to do some exercise again. Dieting alone will not help keep the weight off, you need to couple healthy eating with exercise.
But I can still have the occasional treat, right?
Cakes and biscuits are my downfall but on days where I’ve not eaten my full quota of calories I can give myself a little biscuity treat. Yum. It’s a good job that Lolly Cake remains in NZ!
Are you struggling with watching what you eat, what are you top tips, let me know below.