On 4th March this year I embarked on another weight loss journey and over the past eight weeks, I have managed to lose 5.8 kg. A couple of weeks ago, I hit a plateau and not only found it difficult to progress beyond 82 kg but I also noticed that the weight started creeping back on! I thought it would be timely to write a post with some ideas for losing weight. With many countries still in a state of lockdown, facilities might not be completely operational but there’s no time like the present to start giving thought to a weight loss plan so you’ll be in great shape for summer.
Meal replacement shakes
As I mentioned in my previous post, I have recently started having an Optislim VLCD shake as a substitute for dinner. The chocolate shake which I have been having contains 153 calories. I have been having this for a week now and it’s working out really well. In that time, I have lost 1.6 kg. It’s possible to take it as a substitute for breakfast or lunch, but dinner suits me best. I’m very active in the early part of the day, exercising and gardening intensively, so I need food for fuel for breakfast and lunch. I eat a big lunch, so a light dinner consisting of just the meal replacement shake seems to work well for me. Everyone’s different, so if you’re keen to give it a go, experiment to find out what works best for you. It is possible to replace every meal with a shake, but I wouldn’t really recommend this. It’s not sustainable in the long term and you’re very likely to put any weight lost back on quickly.
With the gym shut, I am still exercising at home. This week, I started doing a Kayla Itsines 4 week total body workout which I read about in Women’s Health magazine. This workout appealed to me because it requires no fitness equipment. I do have a few bits and pieces at home but I’m getting sick of using what I’ve got. I’m new to Kayla Itsines’ workouts, but the one I’m doing is 28 minutes in length and consists of four seven-minute circuits, where you superset two sets of four different exercises. This one is meant to be done three times per week. On Monday you do abs and arms, on Wednesday you work the lower body and on Friday you do a total body workout. It’s too soon to say how effective this workout is but I have done two workouts so far – abs and arms and the lower body. My abs were so sore for days after the abs and arms workout! What I really like about Kayla Itsines is that she doesn’t talk a lot. She is like a machine and you just get into it. It really annoys me when presenters talk too much during their exercise videos and puts me off doing them. I would prefer to just get on with it and focus on what I am doing.
Now that the free Les Mills exercise classes are no longer screening on TV, I had to come up with some alternatives. I have done a couple of virtual Les Mills classes by Josie and Issac from One More Rep Fitness, which I really enjoyed. I also managed to find a few Les Mills Balance classes on You Tube. It’s hard to find Les Mills classes on the internet as they want you to subscribe to Les Mills On Demand, which gives you access to a huge range of their exercise classes. However, I have been having trouble subscribing as the system won’t accept my credit card and this issue is still being sorted out for me.
Push up challenge
Some of you will have seen that there is a push up challenge going around on Facebook, where nominees are invited to do 25 push ups for 25 days to raise awareness for mental illness. I was nominated by my gym friend Stacy Guttenberg and started the challenge 12 days ago, so I am about half way through it. If you are invited to participate, I strongly urge you to give it a go. Don’t worry if you can’t do any on your toes. When I first started the challenge, I did them all on my knees and each day, did one on my toes, adding another each day as I went along. I can now do 12 push ups non-stop on my toes! It is a great way of building upper body strength and like the Kayla Itsines workout above, it can be done without any equipment.
Instagram page or Facebook page
To give yourself a push, why not set up a personal Instagram or Facebook page dedicated to your health and fitness journey? I created an Instagram page tracking my weight loss journey and invited my personal trainer and some close friends to follow me. Although it was never really designed to attract a large audience, I have a modest following of 50 people, some of whom I don’t know who were inspired by my posts and decided to follow me. I post photos of meals and workouts, write an exercise diary and provide updates on my weight loss progress. I try and post every day and I find it really helps me to stay on track by making me accountable. I receive a lot of positive comments which makes me feel good about myself and encourages me to continue on my journey.
There are some many healthy recipes on the internet, but some of our favourite ones come from Weight Watchers. Now that we’re a bit freer to shop at the supermarket without undue restrictions, it’s possible to get the ingredients you need to try out a new meal.