Health Diary Week 16: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

Reliable Pasta

Incredibly lazy red lentil pasta dinner

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Hi and welcome to another weekly instalment of what’s on my plate, health and nutrition updates…

What’s New

… I should start by explaining I think for the past week I’ve been fighting a cold virus – thankfully it didn’t fully emerge, but I’ve not felt on form. Okay, so bearing that in mind, let’s explore what happened…

Food and Nutrition

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

Week 16 behaviour: what I consumed & physical activity. Pink highlights: potential pitfalls of excess saturated fat &/or sugars.

Snacks:

…Looking at the above table, there weren’t many pitfalls really. I was pleased with myself for declining both a cheese and pickle platter and cake slice at the Kettle and Cake cafe, despite a friend having cake. I consumed chocolate every day (no surprise there!), but in appropriate portions. I ate crisps a couple of times – they were in a large pack, so I apportioned them into a small bowl:

Examples over the weeks of my snack portioning using ramekins or small bowls. Clockwise: Raw chocolate goji berries, mixed unsalted nuts, crisps & ¼ tub hummus & wholegrain pitta.

Breakfast:

Unusually, I didn’t fancy fruit, so intake was minimal. Also, I skipped breakfast 3 times, because I slept-in – I had some disrupted nights of 5(ish) hours sleep – well below the recommended 7-9 hours for my age[1].

Lunch:

I mainly opted for cooked lunches. Probably the highest fat and saturated fat meal was the jackfruit ‘fish’ and chips lunch special at Cafe Thrive. I felt a bit naughty choosing this when my friends opted for salad, but I knew I’d regret not trying it – I wasn’t disappointed!

Delicious jackfruit ‘fish’ & chips with tartar sauce & salad garnish from Cafe Thrive. I excitedly tucked in before realising I hadn’t taken a photo!

Other lunches included Mexican rice, curry and soup. I was particularly impressed with Amy’s Kitchen Spanish rice and red bean soup, because it tasted good, was filling (despite only 277 calories), contained zero saturated fat and was low in fat and sugars. What’s more, it provided a third of the daily fibre requirement[2] – brilliant!:

Left: Amy’s Kitchen Spanish rice and red bean soup. Right: Nutritional info – green lines show low fat, zero saturated fat, low sugar & good fibre source.

Dinner:

I ate various versions of my ‘lazy pasta’ three times for dinner (and once for lunch), because little effort was required. I stuck to my favourite: Castagno Bio red lentil fusilli pasta – its low in fat, saturated fat and sugars, has zero salt and is a decent source of fibre and iron – result!:

Castagno Bio red lentil fusilli pasta (sorry – I couldn’t find a decent weblink).

Exercise

I greatly reduced my physical activity levels to support my immune system to ‘do its stuff’ – I totalled about 4 hours and 20 minutes (260 minutes). I’m happy with this, because it’s still above the weekly recommendation for 150 minutes moderate activity[3].  

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

So, what were my results? I was dreading standing on those scales but, I was pleasantly surprised to discover I’d lost 1.2 lb, a total loss of 8.4 lb. This equates to 4.8% of my total body weight – encouraging, as 5% loss (nearly there) is linked to improved health outcomes[4]:

My weight progression so far – I’m happy with this overall downward trend

It was a body measurements week. My biggest reductions are in my thigh (8 cm) and bust (6 cm). Disappointingly, my waist circumference (WC) has only reduced by 3 cm, meaning I’m currently still at ‘substantially increased’ risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Thankfully, my waist:hip (W:H) ratio reduced slightly to 0.87 cm, not too far off the 0.85 risk threshold[5].

My body measurements comparison

Okay, I promised a comparison photo since I’ve been on this journey for 16 weeks – it’s gone quickly! I was a little disheartened there wasn’t a more obvious difference between the two photos, so I’m hoping my next comparison in Week 32 will be more impressive:

Week 0 versus Week 16 comparison photo – I can’t see much of a difference, other than a more prominent ‘muffin top’ and my dress needs ironing!

Positive Week

I’ve had a surprisingly successful week considering the circumstances. I’m hoping I’ll continue to move forward with more positive results and continue to gain inspiration from others’ stories. So, if you’re also on a health, weight-loss or wellness journey, please feel free to leave a link to your blog or Instagram in the comments.

A selfie I took at the beginning of the week that I quite liked – included to counterbalance the above photos I don’t like!

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 17>>>
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References

1. National Sleep Foundation, 2015. National Sleep Foundation recommends new sleep times [online]. Available from: www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need.
2. NHS Eatwell, 2018. How to get more fibre into your diet [online]. Available from: www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/how-to-get-more-fibre-into-your-diet/.
3. NHS Live Well, 2019. Exercise – Physical activity guidelines for adults aged 19 to 64 [online]. Available from: www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/.
4. National Health Service (NHS), 2018. What are the health benefits of losing weight? [online]. Available from: www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/lifestyle/what-are-the-health-benefits-of-losing-weight/.
5. World Health Organisation, 2011. Waist Circumference and Waist-Hip Ratio Report of a WHO Expert Consultation. Geneva, 8–11 December 2008 [online]. Available from: https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/44583/9789241501491_eng.pdf;sequence=1.

More from What’s on Watson’s Plate:

12 thoughts on “Health Diary Week 16: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

  1. Oooooo look at you sexy lady! Great boobs.The photos are fab, you look firmer all over. All these results should spur you on and keep doing what you,re doing.See you Friday .
    Jo x

    Liked by 2 people

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