My Fitness & Healthy Living Plans for Summer ♥

 So, if you follow me on Twitter, you will no doubt have heard me whinging and whining about my weight and body recently. I am not really sure how, but I seem to have put a hell of a lot of weight on really quickly. And I’m going on holiday in 5 weeks time and I hope to look at least a little bit presentable in my gorgeous new bikinis! This blog post isn’t meant to be ‘advice’ by the way, as I’ve no idea on weight loss, I just felt like writing down my new ideas to keep myself focused.

I think my weight gain must be down to me starting my new office job and therefore having a ‘proper’ sized lunch from the canteen as well as an extra snack or so. However, I also started going to the gym in February so I thought that would have helped keep the weight down, but I guess I wasn’t doing enough to balance out the extra food. I literally have no idea about fitness nor weight loss, so I don’t know how the human body processes food and stores fat etc, no idea at all.

Me last summer!
I’ve received numerous bits of advice from a tonne of different people, who all say different things. Some say just do cardio, some say I need to do weights and strength exercises, some say I need to cut out all this food blah blah blah. Anyway I still don’t know what to do to lose my big belly so here is a little plan that I have devised myself!
Before:
Breakfast – Peanut butter and Nutella on 1 slice of white toast
Lunch – Large plate of canteen pasta or cheese & ham baguette
Dinner – Homemade pasta meal or meat/potato/veg or pizza
Snacks – Mr Kipling Angel Cake, mini Dairy Milk bar, Laughing Cow cheese triangle
Drinks – 2 glasses of semi-skimmed milk, 1 glass of orange juice, 1 glass of Coke
Exercise – Gym two nights a week burning 300kcal per session
Water – Nil.
After:
Breakfast – Peanut butter on 1 slice of 50/50 toast
Lunch – Small portion of homemade pasta bake or cheese & ham baguette
Dinner – Homemade pasta meal or meat/potato/veg (smaller portion)
Snacks – Banana, satsuma, Mr Kipling Angel Cake (can’t resist these!)
Drinks – 1 glass of semi-skimmed milk, 2 glasses of orange juice
Exercise – Gym three nights a week burning 500kcal per session
Water – Drink a bottle throughout the day at work.

My previous lifestyle wasn’t the most terrible, but it certainly could have been healthier. I have a big sweet tooth though, especially for cake and chocolate! For breakfast I like to have a slice of toast, and I’m pretty sure peanut butter is relatively good for you, but I have changed from white bread to 50/50 and removed the Nutella (yum!). I have a glass of milk with my breakfast too.. I absolutely love to drink milk!
I really struggle with what to eat for lunch as I work in an office with just a microwave. I wish it had a toaster! But as I don’t like sandwiches nor salads, I usually go up to the canteen and spend £3.50 on a fairly dull and carb loaded meal. I don’t really know of any other options to be honest. I would love to be able to eat just a salad but by 1pm my tummy is rumbling sooo much and I need something to fill me up! So I think I will have to shrink the portion sizes or bring in my own food from home to heat up.
At work I also have a few snacks on my breaks, which always includes an angel cake slice (mmmm!) but also used to include a mini chocolate bar, and sometimes also some pom bears! But I’m going to reduce this now to just one treat (cake slice.. only 140kcal!) and then just snack on fruit. I’m also a bit of a night time snacker and have a biscuit before bed but I’m too tired to even go downstairs these days!

My Mum makes me a big hearty dinner every night, which I can’t refuse to eat, but it is home cooked and doesn’t include chips etc! But I will perhaps have to cut down on the size of the meal. I’m also going to cut out the majority of the fizzy drinks that I have, which is only a tiny bit anyway. But I will replace the small glass of Coke I have with my dinner with juice. I also have juice for my lunch, but I will also be increasing the amount of water that I drink.

Inspiration
With regards to exercise, I started going to the gym in February and go about twice a week. I used to only burn 300 calories through cardio and then go home. But now I’m starting to get into doing at least 500 calories, three times a week, as well as a bit of strength training (lifting a very small weight with arms!). Hopefully this increase in fitness will also help with some weight loss. But I’m not too hopeful as I am no weight loss expert! Also as well as thinking about my weight for my holiday I’ve been looking for the best laser hair removal, which would be a nice easy alternative to razors! Think I’d have to save up a bit though…
Do you have any tips on how to lose weight or tone up? Please let me know! 🙂

 

24 Comments

  1. May 2, 2013 / 7:43 pm

    Try making some cous cous for lunch? It's great cold and you can buy a huge bag which lasts for weeks from Tesco really cheap (mine cost 69p!) – you can add loads of stuff to it like seeds, herbs, spices and of course, plenty of vegetables. You can buy ready-made mixes which are pricier, or individual packets which you just pour boiling water into, leave for 5 minutes and eat, but it's cheaper to buy a plain bag and make it all up from scratch.

    Other ideas for eating healthier include wholewheat pasta rather than white, and drinking lots of water. LOTS of water! In order to lose the weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume overall, otherwise you're going to gain rather than lose. I'm not saying calorie counting is the way to go (it stresses me out far too much!) but keeping a general eye on what you eat in terms of calories is always good. Celery supposedly uses more calories to digest than it actually contains so you're burning instead of consuming! That's great if you like celery 😉

  2. May 2, 2013 / 7:57 pm

    You'll be fine lovely, you're going to the gym which is great. The best thing to do is cut back on your carbs that's what makes big changes and up your protein and veg intake. Also I use the My fitness Pal app which you just type in the name of your foods or scan the bar code and it tells you how many calories are in there! Hope this helps lovely xxx

    loveontopxo.blogspot.co.uk

  3. May 2, 2013 / 8:00 pm

    What works for me is switching round ratios a bit in favour of protein and veg. So for example I would have a small serving of pasta or a half a baguette with a big load of salad, veg, fruit etc instead of focusing a meal on carbs like bread and pasta. For diner fill most of your plate with veggies then have your meat and a few tatoes, or if you have pizza just have half then fill up on salad. Basically you're eating the same amount of food but the calories are less, and you won't be all bloaty from white carbs that will give you a sugar crash. A fave healthy blog of mine is keepinghealthygettingstylish 🙂 Good luck with it all 🙂 🙂

  4. May 2, 2013 / 8:18 pm

    I bought myself a mini stepper which I go on as I'm watching TV in the evening – I don't even notice I'm exercising sometimes! Han x

  5. May 2, 2013 / 8:39 pm

    Hahhaa I see what you did here you sneaky minx!!

    But yeah, I figure just go the gym and eat what the fuck you want! You're not obese, you're not fat, you're a normal size. You're healthy in what you eat and fit from the gym.

    My tip for feeling better about your body? Stop reading magazines, stop looking at pictures on the internet, stop comparing yourself to others and stop looking in the mirror as much! I am fine about my body until I do these things, and with the warm weather coming out I am looking in the mirror more trying on different clothing! and feeling a bit crap so I need to stop it!!

    http://www.helloterrilowe.com

  6. May 2, 2013 / 8:48 pm

    Hey! Definitely switching up your ratios with more veggies is good, but you will need to bulk up on protein so youre not hungry 🙂 try having things like nuts seeds lentils avocado eggs chicken tuna etc, especially at lunch, because they will keep you going! If you do feel like you need something a bit more carby then go for less processed carbs, so cous cous, wholewheat pasta, brown rice, fresh bread! Also a nice tip I heard the other day, youre not really hungry unless you could eat an apple;) so basically if you want a snack in the day eat an apple first, and if youre still hungry have something else 🙂 drinking lots and lots of water will help keep you feeling full too. and one last tip: try matcha tea if you dont already drink it! it is amazing and has really helped me! heres a link http://www.teapigs.co.uk/tea/matcha_shop
    it looks horrible, but the benefits are amazing 😀
    good luck sweet, 🙂 xxx

  7. May 2, 2013 / 9:17 pm

    Hey! I've been following your blog and I think you look fab. I'm a bit of a fitness fanatic, but, like you, I struggle to eat healthily at work, as taking a packed lunch is a pain. M&S do some lovely little salads that are 2 for £3. Why not get a couple of these and put them in a cool bag / fridge if you have one at work. I love the super nutty grain one, the super wholefood one is good, too, as is the giant couscous one). They've probably got a portion of veg in them, and will fill you up. I usually bulk them up with sweetcorn (i love the stuff). Also, if you're spending £3.50 on pasta or a baguette, you'll be saving money with these. If you want to make your own lunch, on the cheap, you could make a wrap or pitta bread, instead of a sandwich. Or take some oatcakes and have your Laughing Cow as part of your meal. Also, I have to recommend instructor-led aerobics classes – I'm a big fan of Body Attack, and have just got into spinning and swimming, due to an injury which has kept me off running and aerobics. Body Attack is a killer at first, but stick with it. Good luck with your fitness goals! xxx

  8. May 2, 2013 / 9:35 pm

    It sounds like you're going the right direction with your fitness and weight Victoria 🙂 we are all different. Personally I'm pear shaped like you, so bigger thighs and bum! My typical breakfast is porridge topped with sliced banana and strawberries, for lunch you could do the salad but with some chopped ham or cheese (and sliced apple in my case!) then a flask of soup to keep you going. I also suffer from the sweet tooth demon so I tend to treat myself with sugar free chocolate (from Holland & Barrats) and then a smoothie! I avoid fizzy drinks and tend to drink mainly juice/squash and water.

    I know everyone is going to sound really preachy with their tips and ideas, but I hope you can get something from my little routine! Good luck! Xx

  9. May 2, 2013 / 9:40 pm

    Hi, my main tip would be to use some kind of calorie counter (I use Livestrong online but I think there's an app for it too and there are loads of others too) for a few days to get to grips with how many calories you are actually consuming because it's often surprising! I don't use it religiously at all and now I know about how much most things contain, but it can be really eyeopening when you're a bit clueless to begin with. Things like orange juice for instance, two largish glasses can easily come to around 400 calories which is obviously A LOT when you're trying to lose weight.

    Good luck!
    Elise x

  10. May 2, 2013 / 10:25 pm

    I'm actually doing WW at the moment and it's my go to weight loss tool. Whilst I appreciate it's not for everyone here are some tips and things I do that are helping me at the moment… and these a from a lazy girl who doesn't exercise and likes to eat!

    One thing I did too often was eat the same thing and often eat something I'd think healthy and was actually worse than I was eating before, and like you I can't just eat a salad for lunch as I'm physically hungry hours after.

    To mix up breakfast you can these swedish krisp rolls which are great to take into work, and I use philly extra light as a spread. Also I'm loving poached or boiled eggs at weekends and find they fill me up.

    I have a similar issue at lunch in that we have a staff restaurant and our meals are paid for… I am lucky it has a variety of options but many were tempting… now I try and avoid having the carbs portion and sticking to protein and veg and it still feels me up but I feel less bloated and sluggish.

    There's are various crisps available, I eat WW ones as well as twiglits (oh and marmite is a great spread as on WW it's zero points), Snack a Jacks etc for snacks if I'm pecking am or pm.

    For dinner I'm eating a lot of quorn, the mince is great for things like chilli etc and worth trying… again I try to avoid the carbs but that's not full proof and I'm not an advocate of aitkins I just find being sensible about carbs does make a big difference.

    I love a sweet treat with my cuppa of an evening, WW do choc digestives which are lovely, a couple of oreos are only 2pts on WW (I get 26 a day plus a weekly allowance)…

    If dining with friends split things like fries etc… chicken kebabs with salad is a great takeaway option, if I want takeaway I try and go with indian or chinese meals from supermarkets… chicken is a lifesaver with so many spices, rubs and things to mix it up a bit… as is a grilling machine if you have one…

    The most important thing I've found is mixing things up so your body doesn't know whats coming… also if you're in the gym you'll need some energy so make sure you eat enough for this.

    I've rambled on a bit here sorry about that and happy to chat more on email (should be on this comment) or I'm on twitter. My brother is a personal trainer so I can always ask him for some advice for you if that would help. I've also 2 fab chicken soup recipes which I find so filling and satisfying…

    Oh and final word for now.. sign up for my fitness pal, it's a free service and you can enter your weight, how much you want to lose per week etc and it'll work out how many calories you can eat to lose weight… then you enter in everything you eat. I have a similar thing for WW and it really makes me think about what I'm going to eat… if I'm enjoying a nice lovely burger with cheese, bacon and a bun etc… do I really need the fries… oh and chips.. my fave… I make parsnip ones instead!!

    Right.. I'm really going now!

    Victoria x
    http://www.florenceandmary.com

  11. May 2, 2013 / 10:27 pm

    Rather than having a large dinner, why not have a smaller portion, and then put the rest you would have eaten in a little tub and have it re heated for lunch the next day? That way at least it's home made so you know what's in it etc 🙂 Good luck! xx

  12. May 2, 2013 / 10:58 pm

    I have been cutting back and going to the gym but have not noticed much difference until I cut out bread! I used to eat like 5 slices of bread a day and now I just have 2 slices of toast on a Sunday as a treat. Also I am eating potato but have cut right down so instead of eating potato every day like I was doing I probably eat them 3 days out of 7 and not as big a portion.
    I take a salad to work but I know exactly how you feel as it does not fill meup. I work with a girl who just has a massive salad for lunch and it fills her up and she eats nothing else…oh how I wish I could do that but I would be starving and feel faint!
    I am thinking of joining WW or Slimming World.

    I am a 12 and I go on hols in 8 weeks and I am scared I am going to look massive! I think I need to up my gym sessions a bit!

    You are not big Victoria so don't worry too much x

  13. May 3, 2013 / 4:52 am

    I've recently lost 25 lb (just under 2 stone) by cutting refined carbs (chips, bread, crisps, crackers, etc), having tons of veg and protein (chicken breast and green beans is my go-to meal), only 1 piece of fruit a day and I drink nothing but water and tea. I also go to the gym 4-5x a week and do 30 mins cardio, 20 mins strength. Make sure to work your legs and arms as well as abs if that's a problem area. The stronger you are, the more calories you'll burn.

    Good luck!!

    xo Gillian
    http://sparrowlanebeauty.blogspot.ca

  14. May 3, 2013 / 6:04 am

    I need to get back on the healthy eating and exercise! I was so good in the summer last year and have gone downhill since Xmas!

    I work in an office too and it's crap for being stuck at a desk. You could maybe try walking to work/using stairs instead of lift (if there is one!) just to get moving a bit more in day.

    Soup is a really good lunch option as its filling and low cal. For sweet treats I have snack a jacks caramel (tastes like popcorn!) or the slim fast caramel bars (just like mars bars but only 90 calories). I found I lost weight quicker by eating less carbs and more protein and veg too.

    Finally check out myfitnesspal! I used this at beginning of last year and I lost ten pounds. It helps you track your calorie intake etc!

    Good luck! Xxx

    http://hipslikecinders.blogspot.co.uk

  15. May 3, 2013 / 6:44 am

    What I've got to say to this is just tell you what my dad used to say to me (he's a farm animal vet): if you think that pasta will make you loose weight then think why do they feed it to pigs before they slaughter them. Seriously the best advise ever given to me. Pasta is dangerous man, it doesn't look it but it's evil! And so are boiled potatoes.

    By the way, am on day 2 of Jillians shred and I cannot fuckin move. THE PAIN. Even typing this hurts.

    xx

  16. May 3, 2013 / 7:14 am

    Hello Victoria!
    I'm putting myself on a diet.
    The advice that I can give you is to limit the pasta and bread to once a day (or lunch or dinner), because that's what makes inflating the belly. This is coming from an Italian who for pasta, bread and pizza is crazy! Riducili to once a day: at noon if you eat pasta / sandwich in the evening prevents rather eat dell'affettato, cheese or white fish steamed with a little oil in dressings.
    We divere eating habits of course, but the same desire, to arrive no flab in a month!!
    I also advise you to limit snacks … are deleterei! Try instead to drink a lot to make up for the empty mid-morning! And maybe eat a fruit.
    I followed the Dukan last year and in 3 weeks I have lost 7 kg (never again resumed despite then I started to overeat 🙂 but of course it is difficult to follow!

  17. May 3, 2013 / 8:28 am

    I've been having the exactly the same problems! I've actually started a new blog so that I can keep track of my weight loss and the healthy food. I was eating a ton of carbs, cakes, pasta, bread. So I've cut it out completely. and in 5 days I can already see a difference. I'll leave you a link here http://www.orangentyoulovely.blogspot.com so you can see the type of things I've been eating 🙂 x

  18. May 3, 2013 / 9:30 am

    Hi Victoria,
    I really agree with some of the posts above, carbs are often the source of our pain! Pasta and bread are very sneaky as we often eat them with foods such as salads, so limit yourself to one or two portions a day maximum. Carbs have a habit of going straight to the tummy, if I leave them out I notice a massive difference in the flatness of mine! If in doubt, just make sure no more than a third of your plate is made up of carbs, leaving the other two-thirds for veg and protein.
    The other thing to remember is that processed fruit juices often have sugar added and can end up being quite high in calories. Obviously health-wise it's far better to drink orange juice than Coke, but it's something to keep in mind. The better option would be to eat an orange just as they come, then there's no risk of additives! You can find quite a few low-sugar fruit squashes (Weight Watchers do a divine elderflower squash that's almost sin free!) so you can provide a bit of healthy variation in what you're drinking.
    Good luck anyway! You're not overweight so it's hardly like you've got much to lose, but I know it's about feeling confident in yourself rather than measuring up against some someone else's yardstick. I'm also in need of a health kick, endless and stressful Uni deadlines are forcing me into not the most healthy of eating patterns, but I'm looking forward to shedding some pounds once they're done!
    xx

  19. May 3, 2013 / 11:44 am

    I haven't read the other comments, so sorry if this is repeated.

    You absolutely need to drink more water. It's recommended you drink 2 litres a day as a matter of course, so if you're trying to lose weight, I'd up it to 3 litres. That should shift a few pounds on it's own, as you'll be retaining water if you don't drink enough.

    There's a saying that's something like "Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince, Dinner like a Pauper", which basically means that breakfast should be your largest meal, and dinner your smallest. I know that seems totally backwards, but the theory is that you then have longer to burn off the calories.

    You don't have much protein in your meal plan, think about introducing chicken, fish, lentils, chickpeas. All low calorie, high protein. You could probably get a little bit more fruit/veg in there too, as you only look to be having about 3 or 4 servings. Two meals of pasta a day are going to leave you feeling bloated and sluggish. The main reason you're hungry at lunch time is because of your small, carby breakfast. If you had a slow-release breakfast, such as porridge, you'd feel fuller longer.

    Finally, work out your BMR. http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/
    This tells you how many calories you need to consume a day to stay the same weight. Since you want to lose weight, you'd obviously want to consume less, or exercise more to burn the deficit off. Bear in mind that as you lose weight, your BMR will decrease, and if you carry on eating in the same manner, you'll gain weight back.

  20. May 3, 2013 / 11:47 am

    Hey Victoria 🙂
    Just like in some of the comments above, I can really recommend you "My Fitness Pal". This community is so much fun. You can set yourself a goal and they calculate your ideal calorie intake. So you can see how you're doing everyday and even track your excercises. And it's awesome how much support you get from other users 🙂

    Steffi 🙂

  21. May 3, 2013 / 1:59 pm

    Hi Victoria, I just loved reading this post. I'm currently in the same situation as you at the moment. My holiday is in 6 weeks though!

    Anyway, I have a decent knowledge on fitness thanks to my boyfriend and thought I'd leave a post for you to have a think about if you have the time.

    1. Try HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) – This is fantastic for weigh tloss in a shorter time. It also massively increases fitness levels. In short, if you were to do HIIT whilst doing cardio, you would essentially only do 20-30 minutes of exercise but, as the name suggests, be working out a higher intensity. If you were to go on the treadmill, you could do 30 seconds of sprinting, 30 seconds of walking…you could do 1 minute walking 30 seconds sprint or 30 seconds sprint and 1 minute walking – it all depends on how fit you are at the present moment.

    2. Lower you carb & up your protein intake – All your meals at the moment have ALOT of carbs in them. You need to up your protein as curently it looks you are barely getting any. If you're going to have carbs, try having more of them on the day you're going to go to the gym as this in theory should give you more energy etc.

    3. OJ – Orange Juice was one of my main problems! i used to drink a full carton a day thinking it was going to be good for me however i was massively wrong. Orange Juice contains such a high sugar content. Most people don't realise (just like me). Try sticking to water. If you can't stick to it, try getting a flavoured water – Volvic do a a few nice flavours, all with very little sugar in them.

    4. MOTIVATION!! – The hardest part of losing weight for me is keeping the right frame of mind. I seriously cannot encourage you any more to look at motivating pages. If you use Instagram or Tumblr, then these are great to find motivating pictures, quotes and everything else.

    I hope this helps you and I wish you all the best – You can do it !!

    xx

  22. May 5, 2013 / 3:46 pm

    Its so frustrating working in a less active job isn't it! I take things like soup, salad, crackers, go ahead bars, yoghurts etc to work – the muller light ones only have 99cal in a pot and no fat and they're lovely! Personally I have to avoid carbs as much as I can as I have IBS so they do me no favours anyway and I feel so much better without them! For breakfast I tend to have Alpen cereal as I find it so filling that I don't get hungry til lunchtime anyway. There's a really nice fizzy flavoured water tesco sell, its 4 bottles for £1.50 I think it is and theres barely any fat etc in it, possibly a better alternative than orange juice as that has a lot of sugar in it.

    Try having a drink before snacking – sometimes your body confuses thirst with hunger so you may actually have only been thirsty, if like 10 mins after your drink you're hungry then eat 🙂 I have that my fitness pal app aswell and its great – you can use it online aswell I think if you dont have an iphone.

    Don't weigh yourself too often either – weight changes constantly due to water retention etc so don't get yourself too bogged down with it. My BMI says I should weigh 9stone 6 and I'd look ridiculous at that weight!

    Hope some of this is of use – I don't personally think you have anything to worry about going off pictures however everyone knows when they're not comfortable xxx

  23. May 28, 2013 / 11:59 am

    Definitely get yourself on My Fitness Pal. I've lost over 30lbs now by logging my food on there, combined with swimming and fitness classes. I'm now in training for a half marathon too so that should make a difference to my shape.

    They say "you can't out-train a bad diet" so you should look at what you're eating first. Your breakfast doesn't sound very filling and peanut butter is full of fat and sugar, though there is some protein in it. Up your lean protein, cut back on processed sugar and cut back on the orange juice. Fruit juice is full of natural sugar and can be just as bad as drinking a big glass of coke. Water is best and can be taken in as tea, coffee, hot water with squash, cold with fresh berries in it… so many options! You need 2L a day, plus an additional 500ml or so on workout days.

    As for your training, put down the Barbie Weights! There is absolutely no point in training with weights lighter than your handbag. Lifting has so many benefits and will give you a dramatic change in your body far faster than cardio alone but you really need to be looking at low reps of heavy weights. Focus on upper body one day, lower body another day and end your weight sessions with 20 mins of cardio to open your lungs.

    Good luck! xo

  24. October 20, 2013 / 12:43 pm

    I would try eating less wheat products, if you haven't already done so! One of my mantras is "Beige Gives You The Bulge". So cut down on wheat products (eg bread, pasta, cakes) – start with having your dinners without wheat, then move to 1 day a week with no wheat. Your bloating will be gone in no time.

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