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After only two months in lockdown, I was horrified to jump on the scales to find I had gained 15kg.

I found myself to be eating whatever I wanted, when I wanted, and too much of it and because I
wasn’t exercising regularly (thanks to the gym being closed down), the weight piled on.

I’ve never been someone who diets. I’ve tried shakes, cookies, all protein and Keto, but I could never stick to them and even if I lost weight, I put it back on again. Knowing this, I used intuitive eating and I got creative with the meals I made. They were still my ‘naughty’ foods, but they were much healthier for me. Lesser in carbs, fats, sodium and sugars. Before I knew it, I started to lose weight.

Intuitive eating is making smarter decisions but not banning myself from the foods I loved. If I
wanted chocolate – I ate the chocolate, but I was intuitive in how much I ate. I listened to my body
when it told me I was full and didn’t binge eat because I wasn’t restricting myself from the foods I
loved.

Within 2 months I had dropped 10kg by staying within my calorie deficit, but I didn’t count any
calories. I dropped carbs and sugar, and increased my protein intake. Combined with my averaged
day of activity, half an hour walks and household cleaning, it was able to lose 10 kilos the weight I
had put on.

One of the main ways that I managed to lose weight was by swapping out my favourite foods with
low carb and vegetable alternatives. These are the foods I used:

Pasta

Pulse Pasta Rotini Red Lentils - San Remo - US

6x Edamame Bean Organic Fettuccine - Slendier

 

Instead of whole grain pasta, I used red lentil pasta or edamame fettuccine as an alternative, which
are available at Coles, Woolworths and online.
I also used zucchini or sweet potato spaghetti. Coles has these already pre-cut and packaged ready
to eat, but I also made these using a vegetable spiralizer. This helped me increase my daily vegetable
intake.

I followed the packet serving instructions and paired it with my choice of sauce (usually bolognaise).
I used the same sauces as previously but whole grain spaghetti changed.

Spaghetti Squash is also a popular alternative. I cooked the squash in the oven for 40 minutes and
used a fork to scrape it out.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash - Recipes by Love and Lemons

Rice

Birds Eye Frozen Cauliflower Rice | Coles Online

Sweet Potato Rice 500g | Carb Alternatives | Frozen Vegetables ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I swapped white rice with cauliflower or sweet potato rice, which are available in the freezer section
of Coles or Woolworths. Similar to the approach with the pasta, I paired it with anything I
traditionally ate. People often boil cauliflower rice, but it goes gluggy, so instead I fried this for 5 to
10 minutes and it tastes much better. My favourite meal with this is curried sausages.

Wraps and bread

High Protein Low Carb Bread - Aldi Mum

Mission Low Carb Wraps 6 pack | Coles Online

I swapped bread or wraps that I loved for lower carb alternatives and I could barely taste the
difference. If anything, I preferred these lower carb options. I avoided cereals or muesli as much as
possible because of their high sugar. Instead, I found a slice of toast with an egg would be perfect. I
would also make myself a ‘McDonald’s’ brekkie wrap with scrambled eggs, fried bacon and BBQ
sauce (lower salt).

Ice-cream

Aldi finally dupes Halo Top - $4.99 Kenny's Frozen Dessert in ...

Halo Top Birthday Cake Ice Cream Tub | Coles Online

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Companies are slowly becoming much more friendly to low-calorie options when it comes to sweets.
I found Halo Top’s ice cream fantastic for curbing my cravings for sugar. Each tub has 360 calories or
less so I didn’t feel guilty about eating it. They’re stocked at both Woolworths and Coles, but Aldi has
a cheaper version called Kenny’s 360. Keep an eye out for these products because more variety are

Here are a few of my favourite recipes:

Raw Caramel Bites

photo of how the raw caramel slice bites will look like when you have finished making them

Ingredients

Base layer

  • 1/2 cup macadamias
  • 6 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut

Caramel layer

  • 1/2 cup macadamias
  • 7 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or rice malt syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt

Chocolate layer

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or rice malt syrup
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder

Instructions

  1. To make the base layer, add the ingredients to a high speed blender or food processor and blend until it resembles fine crumbs and sticks together when pressed. Spoon mixture into a 24 mini muffin pan (see note below) and press down with the back of a teaspoon. Place it in the freezer.
  2. To make the caramel layer, add the ingredients to a high speed blender and process until completely combined and smooth. Spoon the mixture onto the bases and smooth over with the back of a teaspoon (see note below) and place back into the freezer for at least 1 hour to set.
  3. To make the chocolate layer, melt the coconut oil in saucepan on low heat. Once melted, remove from heat and add the sweetener. Whisk briskly until well combined. Then add the cacao powder, stirring until well mixed through. Pour the chocolate on top of the caramel layer and place back into the freezer and let it set completely, approximately 3-4 hours. Once frozen, they are much easier to remove.
  4. I keep mine store in the freezer in an air tight container and remove them a few minutes before serving/eating.

 

Chaffles

Chaffles! What they are, how to make them, and all your FAQs answered about these low carb waffles that are taking the internet by storm! #lowcarb #keto #chaffles

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded mozzarella

Instructions

  1. Plug in the waffle maker to heat.
  2. Crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork. Add the mozzarella and stir to combine.
  3. Spray the waffle iron with non-stick spray.
  4. Pour half of the egg mixture into the heated waffle iron and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Remove waffle carefully and cook remaining batter.
  6. Serve warm with butter and sugar-free syrup.

2 Ingredient Pancakes

Banana Egg Pancakes | hurrythefoodup.com

Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 2 eggs

Instructions 

  • Mash up bananas in a large bowl.
  • Whisk eggs (using a fork is just fine!) and add to banana paste.
  • Fry gently in a pan on low-medium heat with a little heated oil or butter.

Outspoken body-positivity activist Jameela Jamil calls for change by addressing the harmful behaviours of reality stars and the media on our body image and self-esteem.

The tide is changing when it comes to body positivity. Where low self-esteem once dominated and allowed for the media to spread messages of weight loss, there are now many people challenging these ideas and calling for the removal of body shaming.

British actor and star of The Good Place Jameela Jamil is an increasingly loud and insistent voice when it comes to challenging the standards of physical beauty perpetuated by the media and entertainment industry.

Jamil is outspoken on social media when it comes to body positivity and calling out celebrities who encourage unhealthy body image ideals.

She recently shared an image to Instagram showing off the stretch marks on her breasts, announcing that she would now call them ‘Babe Marks’.

Jamil is outspoken on social media when it comes to body positivity and calling out celebrities who encourage unhealthy body image ideals.

“Boob stretch marks are a normal, beautiful thing,” she captioned her post. “I have stretch marks all over my body and I hereby rename them all Babe Marks. They are a sign my body dared to take up extra space in a society that demands our eternal thinness.”

These comments are a welcome dose of honesty and frankness in a world where women are conditioned to be ashamed of such things.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bvt4ccCBbdr/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

“[Stretch marks] are a sign my body dared to take up extra space in a society that demands our eternal thinness.”

Her tweets about Photoshop and airbrushing advertising campaigns in the media, calling for them to become illegal also went viral. She banned the use of Photoshop on herself, explaining that the practice is not only harmful for the audience, but also for her own self-image.

She banned the use of Photoshop on herself, explaining that the practice is not only harmful for the audience, but also for her own self-image.

Recently, Jamil called out Khloe Kardashian on social media after the reality star promoted weight loss products to her millions of followers on Instagram.

“It’s incredibly awful that this industry bullied you until you became this fixated on your appearance,” wrote Jamil. “But now please don’t put that back into the world and hurt other girls the way you have been hurt. You’re a smart woman. Be smarter than this.”

View this post on Instagram

Tea, for lack of a better word. #CommentsByCelebs

A post shared by Comments By Celebs (@commentsbycelebs) on

Jamil is adamant in the fight against body shaming, which comes from her own personal experiences of body dysmorphia, eating disorders and incessant bullying she received as a teenager.

Jamil recently launched her “I Weigh” campaign, a social media movement where she encourages women to describe their qualities and accomplishments rather than their appearances.

Jamil is adamant in the fight against body shaming.

Beginning as a single powerful message shared on Instagram, it has since turned into a movement after thousands of other women also began sharing their own powerful messages after becoming sick and tired of their worth being measured by their weight.

I’ve tried my luck at a fair few diets, including when I stuck it out with a popular shake diet and lost almost 20 kg, which hardly lasted when I put it all back on again plus more. But I’ve also gone down the doctor recommended path of seeing a dietitian and wasn’t hugely successful either.

Most of us have tried our luck at some sort of diet, whether it’s a juice cleanse, the shake diet, intermittent fasting or the cigarette diet (ok, maybe that one’s a far stretch). We’re constantly bombarded with advertisements and news articles telling us which diets are best for us. There’s always Jenny Craig ads on TV where Sharon parades around town showing off her 32kg weight loss, all while you’re on the couch polishing of your eighth taco. Thanks a lot Sharon.

Fitness guru and former Bachelor star, Sam Wood, told A Current Affair, “Your shake diets, your fat burning pills, all this kind of stuff, it’s really not good for you.”

“Typically, you’re not losing fat. These short-term quick fixes are designed to help you drop water and often muscle.”

“It’s a vicious cycle that goes around and around and before you know it, you’ve actually put on more weight than you’ve lost in the first place.”

This is partly my experience with shake dieting. In 2017, I lost 17kg from using Optifast shakes and then, only a few months later all the kilograms piled back on, and more. These are just some of the diets I’ve tried in my time…

In a Facebook post in one of the support groups recently, somebody asked, “Has anybody actually sustained weight loss for more than two years?” nobody responded.

Lite n’ Easy
I still receive (love) letters in the mail from Lite n’ Easy and no I will not ever go on it again. To me it was paying more for eating less. Plus living at home with a fridge full of groceries, there was no space for the over packaged food. I had to plug in the Engel and put all my Lite n’ Easy stuff in there.

The mornings were good, I remember I would get a piece of toast, maybe two, I was always full. The lunches were pretty hit and miss. I remember I got this awful vegetable salad that I had to heat up in the microwave and was soggy and revolting. I do remember making what I would call a mini burger for lunch, it was so tiny and I inhaled it less then 30 seconds.

But there was no snack with dinner. I would force myself to wait until 6pm and eat at a reasonable time but then I was still so hungry. Anyway, I did walk every day, I was determined and I did lose four kilos over about four weeks, but that was as long as I could take it.

I was at my friend Georgia’s house and she offered me a piece of chocolate and I straight out refused because I didn’t want to slip up on my diet.

Vita Weat or ‘Birdseed’ Diet

When I was in high school I became passionate about fitness and weight loss. I developed a fitness routine and diet plan for myself and I was so dedicated to stick to it. Looking back, I was on a very low calorie diet and I remember feeling light headed and found it difficult to concentrate sometimes. Just about every day I would run 4km and I was also on the running team and the rowing team at school.

As for my diet, I can’t remember who it was who called what I was eating birdseed, referring to the Vita Weats, I think it was my aunty, I laugh now when I think about it.  I was at my friend Georgia’s house and she offered me a piece of chocolate and I straight out refused because I didn’t want to slip up on my diet. My meal plan every day was:

Breakfast
¼ cup muesli for with plain Greek yogurt
Morning tea
Plain almonds and dried apricots for morning tea or an apple
Lunch
Carrots and celery sticks and 4 Vita Weat crackers with vegemite and cheese
Dinner
Something light

My sister did this diet with me too and we both lost some weight. I remember getting lots of compliments on my figure at the time but I definitely don’t suggest eating like this as it was not healthy.

I would force myself to wait until 6pm and eat at a reasonable time but then I was still so hungry.

Optifast Diet
As mentioned before, I lost 17kg in several weeks, but then I put it all back on again plus more so, take from that what you will. Someone once said to me “shake diets are good if you have a wedding to go to”. I think they summarized it quite perfectly, if you have a date set, and you need to shed the kilos fast, a shake diet can be a quick fix. But beware that the weight can come back.

But if you want to go down this road and a lot of people do, there are some benefits.

I actually started my own Instagram page for my weight loss journey which I shared with my close family and friends which I found helped me stay motivated. There are plenty of hashtags where you can find other Optifast dieters and follow their journeys.

There are various support groups on Facebook including Optifast Support, OPTIFAST SUPPORT for Aussies, Optifast Recipes – Intensive Phase and Opti Cook. In a Facebook post in one of the support groups recently, somebody asked, “Has anybody actually sustained weight loss for more than two years?” nobody responded. I think that example speaks volumes about this diet in that there’s hardly any evidence to suggest that weight loss is sustained post diet.

After trying a few diets and not really getting anywhere, the doctor suggested I see a dietitian.
Seeing a Dietitian – The long hard road
After trying a few diets and not really getting anywhere, the doctor suggested I see a dietitian. I went to see a dietitian and she gave me a meal plan to follow, it was mostly what you’d expect – eat more veggies, less carbs and a small amount of protein with every meal and I was told to ditch fruit juice. Everything had to be measured from now on. I basically had to go out and buy a whole bunch of Chobani yogurt and tiny cans of baked beans. Initially nothing was happening in terms of weight loss, because I wasn’t really following the dietitians plan at all. But then I had a sudden motivation and I lost 10kg following exactly her plan and it worked. And I was actually able to sustain that weight loss for a long period of over a year.