*I must get back to this... I've put on a quarter of a stone since this photo was taken apparently but it feels like A LOT more :(*
I know what you're thinking, 'She's lost it... she's finally lost it' but that is where you would be WRONG. Quite the opposite in fact. I'm not claiming to be some kind of nutrition genius like everyone makes Dr Atkins or Dr Dukan out to be. I'm just a girl who has tried many a diet in her time (3 Day Diet, Cabbage Soup Diet, Atkins Diet, Weight Watchers Diet, Slimming World Diet, Jenny Craig Diet, Special K Diet and so on and so forth...) and has learned what does and doesn't work. With that knowledge and experience, I have chosen the things which work and built my own little diet. And actually, I shouldn't really call it a 'diet' because it isn't just about the food you eat but the lifestyle choices you make in general... The basic rules are as follows:
GabriellaSofia's Diet Rules
1) Drink at least 8 pints of water per day. Most of the time when you think you are hungry you are actually just thirsty. Plus, it works wonders for your skin. Total no brainer! *SEE ADDITION AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE*
2) Don't nap during the day and sleep at night for between 7 and 9 continuous hours... If you wake up in the night and stay awake for longer than five minutes, switch the lights on, read for ten minutes before attempting to go back to sleep. If you wake up when you were going to stay asleep for an hour or less, get up and start your day early.
3) Eat a minimum of three veg and a maximum of two fruits per day. Veg is really incredibly good for you (which is no surprise to anyone). However, people often get it wrong with fruit. I went on a diet very recently where I just ate fruit all day until dinner and it actually did me no good at all. I don't know if I actually put weight on (I only did the diet for a couple of weeks) but considering the amount of sugar I was taking on I'm sure I would have done if I'd carried on. Plus, all the acid that I was taking on in fruit was making me very bloated and my stomach literally felt like a balloon. Obviously fruit is good... but it is better in moderation, hence sticking to two portions a day. Also don't overdo it with nuts and cereals... they can actually be surprisingly bad for diets!
4) Don't avoid carbs. Carbs are not the enemy, carbs give you energy! Every time I've been on a low-carb diet I have felt very weak throughout and often given in within the first couple of days because I have craved something heavier than just meat and veg. However, again, you want to moderate the amount of carbs you do take on, make sure they are all wholegrain and don't eat carbs after about 3pm.
5) Eating six to eight 'mini-meals' a day is a bad idea. I'm not sure about you guys, but I need to feel like I've got one nice big meal to look forward to, so eating itty-bitty meals every few hours doesn't work for me. However, I'm not saying you should eat three or fewer meals per day and nothing else. Three meals a day is the minimum and you should have healthy snacks in between. See my GabriellaSofia Sample Diet Day Plan below...
6) Don't you dare cut 'naughty things' out! Don't even try it. Actually, don't even call them 'naughty' because contributes to the unhealthy relationship with food you've probably spent the majority of your life building. If you are anything like me, you like anything that is bad for you. That includes Fruit Pastilles, kebabs, chocolate muffins, Chinese takeaways, ketchup, pizza, fried chicken, double cream, Indian food, Coca-Cola, crisps, wine, Jammie Dodgers and so on... This rule can be easily remedied with my three sub-rules which are;
a) Find healthy alternatives: Instead of Coca-Cola, try flavoured waters or tonic water (tonic water is my absolute favorite!) Instead of salt and vinegar crisps, switch to salt and vinegar rice cakes. Instead of fried chicken, try it grilled but with the same spices as you would usually use on it when it is friend and sprinkle it with wholegrain breadcrumbs.
b) Remember never to deny yourself anything... but to do it all in moderation. I entrust myself with one square of dark chocolate at the end of every day. Dark chocolate is much healthier than milk or white, plus it is much richer so you need a lot less of it to satisfy your craving.
c) Have one day off every week. This DOES NOT MEAN you can make yourself sick stuffing your greedy gob with every calorific item in your house. However, if you know that you are going out for dinner on Saturday, don't deliberately choose the most pathetic salad on the menu and resent everyone else around you as they chow-down on steak and pasta and curry. Have one day off. But make sure your next day off is at least seven days apart from your previous one (for example, if you have Saturday 'off' don't have the following Monday 'off' too... wait until Sunday instead.)
7) Plan your week of food the week before so you can buy all the right ingredients and don't end up eating something unhealthy just because there was nothing else in the house. Eat veggie for your main meal twice a week. Eat chicken or turkey twice a week. Eat fish or seafood twice a week. Eat red meat no more than once a week. Its a simple formula and it is healthy. Stick with it.
8) Get active. I know, this is the one that sucks the most, but this is the one which makes your day off your diet ok. I don't want you to just shrug your shoulders and say, 'Fine, I'll go for a jog' which you'll only stick at for two days. I want you to really think about what you enjoy the most and do it. If you like dancing, try ballet for adults or zumba or pole dancing. If you love swimming, sign up for a membership at your local baths or teach your little cousin how to swim. If you can't think of anything better than to paint landscapes, walk up some nightmarishly tall hill and draw! You get the idea.
9) Cook your own food or at least know exactly what ingredients are going into your food (and I don't mean just read the label and act as if you understand the scientific words on the label). No matter how 'healthy options' your ready meal is, the fact of the matter is that it is nowhere near as good for you as it would be if you'd made it for yourself. Sure, at first this may be a big effort and may result in your food tasting slightly more bland than usual because you've simply never made sweet and sour sauce before... However, you'll get used to it! Plus, there are easy recipes all over so don't even try to use the excuse that you wouldn't know how to start. If you can read you can cook. That's what my granny always says to me, and she's not been wrong yet.
10) Make sure that your main meal is not eaten after 3pm and that you never let yourself go hungry... See below for GabriellaSofia's Sample Diet Day Plan. Also, never write off the rest of the day or week or month or year just because you've had one cheeky chocolate finger. Forget it and move on.
And that's it! Those are the rules which will allow you to lose weight without having to cut too much of the good stuff out. As you can see, the diet mostly surround portion control, activity and meal timing, plus general healthy living. I have done this diet on and off a few times in the past five years and have felt energized, detoxed and healthier in myself. Plus, I've lost weight and felt better about my figure. Here is a sample of what I would eat in a day:
GabriellaSofia's Sample Diet Day Plan for A Weekday
Upon waking - A pint of ice water
Breakfast - Actimel and a Special K Bar or a bowl of Porridge made up with water, and a pint of water
Snack at about 11.30am - One piece of fruit, eight nuts and a pint of water
Lunch at 2pm - Heinz Tomato Soup, a slice of brown bread with a bit of butter on or a rice cake with a cheese triangle spread on it, a piece of fruit and a pint of water
Dinner at 6pm - Tuna salad seasoned with lemon and balsamic vinegar and half a pint of tonic water
Evening snack - A piece of dark chocolate and a pint of water.
Obviously this day sounds VERY low calorie because I chose tomato soup rather than a meaty meal, but I could easily have chosen a slice of homemade fish and veg pie, or chicken and veg stir-fry with brown rice, or pasta with prawns and olives... you get the point. Also, I would be wanting to drink at least three more pints of water. *SEE ADDITION AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE*
So there you have it... the official GabriellaSofia Diet. And I would advise everyone wanting to lose weight in the long term to GET ON IT because it really is very sensible. Having said all that, I'm no angel. I know it is reasonable and a good idea to follow this diet to a T because it is such a healthy way of living... but I've been very bad recently, eating all kinds of trash. I really am going to try from now onwards though. Scout's honour.
What diet are you trying at the moment? Do you have any healthy living tips to add to my diet plan? If you decide to get involves with the GabriellaSofia Diet plan please let me know then maybe we can cheer eachother on!
Love and snuggles
*ADDITION - A couple of ladies have told me that drinking 8 pints of water is unhealthy and that it can impact your kidneys negatively. Of course, as with anything I say on my blog, my readers are welcomed to read my posts and take what they want from them. I drink from pint glasses and on days when I spend half an hour exercising I find that 8 glasses is the right amount for me. This may not be the case for everyone. Just listen to your body. If you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated so keep this in mind. Thanks for the heads-up ladies, I'd hate to be making anyone ill in anyway.*