Health Diary Week 1: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

It’s an Encouraging Start (Phew!)

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Week 0

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Hi and welcome to another weekly instalment of what’s on my plate, health and nutrition updates and some positive smile-provoking experiences.

The Plan

…Before I divulge the results…

…I decided to weigh-in on Monday mornings, straight after potential weekend shenanigans. For me, weekends are for relaxing and socialising, which can include a few alcoholic drinks, well, if I’m being honest (and I’m trying to be) sometimes a lot! Ultimately, this scenario leads to late night food cravings, coupled with a massively reduced willpower to ignore them. I don’t want to completely give up these weekends, so I’m going to experiment and see how much I can get away with:

Image: Pexels, Pixabay

Food and Nutrition

So, let’s have a look at what food was on my plate (and the booze in my glass), the healthy and not so healthy choices and identify any tweaks I could make to improve my nutrition…

Alcohol and Snacks:

I had a fun, though excessive weekend. I met friends for drinks both Friday and Saturday night. I stuck to soda water and a slice of lime to flavour my vodkas to keep the calories down where possible. Friday night, I took vegetable sticks and salsa with me to a friend’s house to reduce my crisp/chip intake (it was a successful plan). However, Saturday night I drank too many vodkas (I don’t know how many) and in the early hours of the morning I ate a bowl of pasta left-over from dinner. My Sunday ended up being a ‘duvet’ and ‘comfort-food’ day. I was tired and felt like I was fighting off the cold that the rest of our household already had:

Image: StockSnap from Pixabay

Fibre:

Earlier in the week, I hadn’t drunk any alcohol and I ate more healthily. I tried to keep my fibre content high, as it’s so important for maintaining health[1,2] (My Carbs Article), including reducing risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancers. [Important! – don’t suddenly up your fibre intake if your body isn’t used to it, as it can cause painful bloating and wind! – build-up fibre gradually]:

Friday night’s lazy, but fibrous dinner: Chana Masala (chickpeas in tomato-based spicy sauce) and pre-cooked brown rice.

Meals:

Over the four days I’m reporting this week, I had fruit for breakfast, salad lunches (one day was an oven-baked, not fried, cooked brunch). My dinners were legume-based (chickpeas or lentils) with a grain-base (rice or tortilla wrap), which have the added benefit of providing quality protein[3, 4], as well as being high-fibre and nutritious:

My Typical Salad lunch: mixed salad leaves, red onion, cucumber, tomato, avocado, beetroot & mixed seeds with balsamic vinegar, steamed potatoes & falafel. Here, I added artichoke hearts & sauerkraut with a dollop of mayo (Vegenaise).

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

Okay, so, here’s what you’ve been waiting for – my results. The first week was only four days since the start, because of how I timed things. I lost 1.6 lb (0.7 kg) and 0.8% body fat – yay and phew!:

My week 1 results compared to my starting point

A Positive First Week

So, the first week was a success – I’m so relieved! The results seem quite small but, I remind myself that it took five years to get to this obese state. Ultimately, it’s going to take time to return back to where I was, especially in a way that I can sustain any behavioural changes without feeling like I’m missing out.

Okay, I’m feeling motivated – bring on next week!…

Image: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I hope you enjoyed this week’s ‘What’s on Watson’s Plate’. Please feel free to follow my bite-sized updates on Instagram or Facebook. See you next Wednesday for another catch up.

Week 2>>>
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References

1. Edwards, C. A., Havlik, J., Cong, W., Mullen, Preston, T., Morrison, D. J. and Combet, E., 2017. Polyphenols and health: Interactions between fibre, plant polyphenols and the gut microbiota. British Nutrition Foundation: Nutrition Bulletin [online], 41 (3), 214-231. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1111/nbu.12296.
2. Lockyer, S, Spiro, A. and Stanner, S., 2016. Dietary fibre and the prevention of chronic disease – should health professionals be doing more to raise awareness? British Nutrition Foundation: Nutrition Bulletin [online], 42 (4), 356-360. Available from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/nbu.12212.
3. Kahleova, H., Fleeman, R., Hlozkova, A., Holubkov, R. and Barnard, N. D., 2018. A plant-based diet in overweight individuals in a 16-week randomized clinical trial: metabolic benefits of plant protein. Nutrition and Diabetes [online], 8 (58). Available from:  www.nature.com/articles/s41387-018-0067-4.pdf
4. Song, M., Fung, T. T., Hu, F. B., Willett, W. C., Longo, V. D., Chan, A. T. and Giovannucci, E. L., 2016. Association of animal and plant protein intake with all-cause and cause-specific mortality. JAMA Internal Medicine [online], 176 (10), 1453-1463. Available from: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/2540540.

More from What’s on Watson’s Plate:

4 thoughts on “Health Diary Week 1: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

  1. Hi Katey,just read your progress.Congratulations.There,s no feeling like it when that blasted needle actually moves down on the scales! Keep up the good work and i hope to see you at circuit class on Friday.
    Jo Horn

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your frankness makes me smile – no holding back about your love of socialising & you have my total admiration for taking your own snacks & adjusting the drinks – small but important successes in being able to be disciplined & make changes. Keep it up, Katey. I look forward to more smiles.

    Liked by 1 person

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