I like to share with you some of the things which I have changed in my routine enabling me to shed two stones(28.6 lbs / 13kgs) without going on a fad diet between last December and May 2015 which I am proud to say without going on any special diet restricting myself of any food.

I have been maintaining my weight and focusing more on toning my body though I would like to lose another 5 kg; I am happy with how I am and feel right now.

I used to think that I was fine, and never realised that I had gained 20 kgs(44 lbs/3 stones) over the 7 years. I am one of those people wholesome if you tell me to go on a diet, I will get a chippy the next day.

I don’t know about you but I find dieting so restricting – or maybe I am just stubborn and lack will. However, I have friends who have followed popular diets religiously lost the weight, just to put the weight back on after stopping the diet.

I will be the first to tell you that I am a proper chocoholic, devouring at least 1 massive chocolate bar a day. But when I flew home last December, I didn’t fancy chocolate perhaps due to the long haul flight. Then I decided I wanted to see how far I go with this. So far, I have to report that I have not had or bought a bar of chocolate since.

Though don’t get me wrong, I will still have that chocolate cake or brownie as a treat at times.

I changed my daily routine and here’s what I did:

1. Beauty sleep

Guide to losing two stones without going on a fad diet

It’s been proven that when you are tired, your body craves energy to sustain you which means you will have a tendency to crave for sugar and/or eat more than you actually need. I used to function on 5 hours of sleep during workdays. I had an office job, and you know the dangers of snacking at your desk and not realising how much you have actually eaten.

I used to say chocolate and coffee is the best combination. I clearly was wrong. Also look at it this way the more time you spend sleeping, the less time to eat. Simple. 8 hours a day should suffice.

2. Started to eat breakfast

Guide to losing two stones without going on a fad diet

This is by far one of the most important changes that I have made to my day which I believe made a huge effect on my weight loss. I used to spend the extra 15 minutes snoozing instead of having some form of breakfast. As you can imagine, I stuck to chocolate and coffee till around lunchtime and also crisps and/or brioche sometimes.

This year, I started to have breakfast regularly, and now I have an addiction to toast and butter but I will always have a fruit in the morning. Oranges are my go-to fruit, and recently cherries. I find that I have more energy, and I crave less. Boiled eggs are my go-to mid-morning snack if I do get hungry, and I love, love Eggs Benedict!

3. Exercise

 Guide to losing two stones without going on a fad diet

I love the gym. So much so I got featured on my local gym website haha (poster above). I know not everyone likes going to the gym but the point is to be active. There are so many things you can do other than just exercise, I mean I get exhausted cleaning my apartment than an hour session in the gym – go figure right?

But seriously, I hate running but I do quite a mixture of exercise classes such as Zumba, RIG, spin and most recently Burlex, and weight training. I love how my body feels after walking up the stairs now – I am not out of breath.

I actually find certain exercises easy to do now unlike last year when I was heavier. It is such an amazing feeling. I am currently scared about loose skin so I increased my weight training to tone my body. Find what is best for you and it’s even better if you are having fun.

4. Moderation is key

Guide to losing two stones without going on a fad diet

I firmly believe that you shouldn’t cut out anything from your life, I mean life is short so why not enjoy it. But moderation is key, know when to stop. If you fancy that Chinese, go for it, I mean seriously if Chinese food is bad for you, why are most Chinese people thin? Yes, genes has a lot to do with it, I know!

Seriously though, if I am craving for a biscuit, I will have one and that’s it. I am first to tell you that I am addicted to Gu’s Vanilla and chocolate cheesecake. It is my dessert of the day. It is easier said than done, but tell yourself when to stop.

5. Avoid getting hungry

Guide to losing two stones without going on a fad diet

Have you ever gone food shopping on an empty stomach, and bought the whole supermarket only to regret it later? Yep, the same concept, I will devour anything when I am hungry, normally the worst kind of food – junk food! Eating 5 times a day makes sense, breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner, though don’t eat too near your bedtime as that will defeat the purpose.

Carbs are good for you, it gives you energy and protein as well as vegetables, it definitely does wonders for you in the toilet department. I eat properly and not crave for food after for at least 4 hours or so after the food is digested.

6. Start cooking and have a proper diet

Chicken vegetable Oyster sauce recipe www.whatsupcourtney.com

I love to eat out, I really do. It doesn’t help that I live smack in the middle of the city centre, a stone’s throw away from every restaurant and supermarket that Newcastle has to offer. I have always found it a chore to cook for myself but I now bulk cook, which means I cook a couple of times a week in huge proportions, and ration it for the week. I do quite like to cook and love simple & quick recipes which with preparation take less than an hour.

I feel better eating my own home-cooked food – I feel lighter and less sluggish. Also, you know what you put into the dishes  – who knows for sure if the restaurant is not serving 2 year old beef or semi rotten veggies -and you can easily control the flavour. Additionally, it is always fun to try new recipes too! And it’s cheaper!

If you need inspiration, check out my easy recipe for Chicken & Veg Oyster sauce dish.

7. Network and support 

Guide to losing two stones without going on a fad diet

Friends and family are my rock. I wouldn’t know what I do without them. They have been incredibly supportive and not pressured me in any way, sometimes the smallest of encouragement can go a long way. Additionally, the trainers in the gym are helpful too, they can monitor your progress and guide you.

You know yourself and how your body functions, everyone is different. Self love is equally important, I had no intentions to lose weight this year, it wasn’t a New Year resolution, it just fell into place and I saw progress and continued with it.

But first and foremost, I love myself and who I am, confidence has definitely grown even further. My friends and family still love me for who I am regardless of weight and I did this for myself and no one else.

I hope this helps and maybe inspire some or most of you to start your own journey.

Just make sure you are doing it the right way and have fun with it. It is a lifestyle change after all.

One step at a time and your world may drastically change for the better.

Don’t forget to report back how you get on!

Love yourself,

Courtney xx

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How to lose 2 stones without a fad diet - www.whatsupcourtney.com