Why a Healthy Mind Is Key to Successful Weight Loss

Why a Healthy Mind Is Key to Successful Weight Loss

If you think you struggle to lose weight because you’re a foodie, I’m afraid you’re just giving yourself excuses. Having to lose weight means you indulged yourself a bit too much in the past. It means the calorie intake was offset, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have eaten any of what you love. It may come across as a bit of a shock to some of you, but it is possible to love food AND keep a healthy weight at the same time! You just need to work on your mindset first.

Life is always going to throw challenges at you

Most people accept the idea of gaining weight during the Christmas period, with the idea of being “good” in January to compensate. It happens every year at the same time so at least you can rely on a community spirit to make temporary good resolutions. But what about other occasions throughout the year (birthdays, parties, etc) or unexpected moments when food is used for comfort (lockdown…)? You get it, temptation is around every corner and constantly threatens your weight loss journey.

How to deal with temptation

If it tastes great, it’s probably because it’s bad for you. Not fair, I know. And if it’s bad for you, then you feel guilty for eating it. You enter a negative loop: eat more of what you love, feel even more guilty, put on weight, let yourself go, feel even worse, etc. Unhealthy food can be like a powerful drug, extremely addictive. But is there a solution to this first world problem?

1. Embrace your cravings

There is only one caveat: moderation. It’s fine to crave for unhealthy food sometimes. After all, no one has ever desperately craved for some lettuce. We all have at least one guilty pleasure when it comes to food. If it’s not chocolate (which is probably the most common), it could be sweets, biscuits, pizza, cheese… No matter what rocks your boat, remember they’re not your real enemy.

2. Healthy mind = Healthy body

If you’re planning to use your guilty pleasure as a reward once you’ve reached your weight goals, it probably means your relationship with food is not healthy. This could be a warning sign that you’re going to put your weight back on very quickly when your diet is over. The key to losing weight in a healthy way is to avoid the word “diet” because it has a negative connotation, which is counter-productive.

Good news is you don’t have to suffer to lose weight! Restricting yourself too much is only going to make you lose motivation, and even make you question if it’s really worth it. So instead of forbidding yourself to eat that chocolate cake you really crave for, simply include it within your calorie budget.

3. Don’t ban the food you love

At the end of the day, you just need to find the right balance between what your body “needs” and what your mind “wants”. If you only listen to your head, you’ll have a healthier body but you’ll feel very frustrated. If you only listen to your heart, your bad decisions will eventually impact your self-esteem in a negative way. Every choice you make has consequences, whether you’re trying to lose weight or not. To find the right mix between health and pleasure, simply aim to limit your cravings to 20% of your total food consumption. You’re all good as long as the big majority of your diet includes what your body really needs.

I did it myself recently

My birthday was 10 days ago… I usually go to a restaurant but they’re all currently closed in London. So I had my first (and hopefully last) lockdown birthday! As a result I was desperate for some treats, I wanted to satisfy my sweet tooth. And you know what? I did receive plenty of brownies to celebrate my special day. All vegan and gluten-free, but just as “bad”.

At no point did I feel guilty though, I simply included them in my healthy eating habits. I limited myself to 2 bites a day (each bite contains more than 100 calories!), ate each piece mindfully and looked forward to the next day to treat myself again. I don’t think brownies ever tasted that good. What’s the point overeating what you love if you don’t fully appreciate it? Result: it didn’t affect my weight loss. I now only have about 3 more kilos to lose before I reach my objective of 60 kg. Was it worth it? Yes, 100%.

So tell me… What’s your guilty pleasure(s)?

Big Girl x

Delicious & Easy Treat: Strawberries Coated in Dark Chocolate

strawberries coated in dark chocolate

It’s Monday and it’s getting cold out there, I just wanted to share how to prepare this indulgence! Strawberries are great for you, they are among the top 20 fruits in antioxidant capacity and are a good source of magnesium and potassium, containing very few calories. Dark chocolate is also good for you (if it contains at least 70% cacao – the darker the better!), it contains antioxidants, fibre, potassium, calcium, copper, and magnesium. But the two of them together might not be that healthy, purely because you would be consuming more chocolate than you need to have a positive impact on your body. Hence why I call them my guilty pleasure! It’s excellent for the mood though.

Who knows, this 2-ingredient recipe could be useful if you want to prepare something a bit special but not too complicated at the same time, something that doesn’t take too long to make and is beginner-friendly too! Chocolate coated strawberries are probably one of the easiest fancy bite-size desserts that everyone loves…

Ingredients you need

First of all, pick fresh strawberries that are quite firm (not too ripe) and with long stems, it will be easier to dip them. For the chocolate part, it’s better to choose a good quality cooking chocolate, to make sure it melts well and then cools down properly. Personally, I like to use Green & Black’s Organic Dark Cooking Chocolate but it’s down to you and your preferences!

Few tips before you start

  • Use strawberries at room temperature (or leave them out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before dipping them)
  • Strawberries must be dry before dipping them, the coating will stick better
  • Prepare your workspace beforehand so you don’t have to rush
  • Don’t overheat the chocolate, monitor its consistency every 30 seconds if you’re using a microwave (you can also use a double boiler)
  • As there are only 2 ingredients, the quality of each makes a huge difference

Method (with pictures)

1. Clean your strawberries and let them dry

ingredients: strawberries and dark chocolate

2. Break the chocolate in small pieces and microwave until it’s almost completely melted, then stir with a spoon to get the right consistency (for 250g of strawberries, I used 60g of chocolate)

melt the dark chocolate to cover strawberries

3. Dip each strawberry in the melted chocolate and put them on a parchment baking paper that you’ve prepared in advance

cover the strawberries with dark chocolate

4. Let the chocolate set and rest until it has solidified nicely

strawberries coated in dark chocolate

Additional toppings

That’s the basic version but you can make it look (and taste) even better with additional toppings. You can drizzle them with melted white chocolate afterwards for example, or anything else you want. Here’s some suggestions:

  • Any nuts (crushed),
  • Coconut flakes,
  • Sprinkles,
  • Oreo cookies (crushed),
  • Mini chocolate chips, etc.

Enjoy!

Once done, you can store them in the fridge for a day or two (not in the freezer) or in a dry cool place, but they are much better when consumed on the same day!

It’s the ideal dessert for romantic occasions (Valentine’s day, anniversaries…) but any excuse is good enough. Sometimes it’s important to treat yourself with food that makes you happy, as long as it’s done with moderation!

Now it’s your turn, what’s your guilty pleasure?

Big Girl x