How to be healthy, happy and slim without dieting or worrying about your weight
Updated: Jun 28, 2018
Sounds too good to be true right? If I'd seen this headline three years ago I'd have assumed it was click-bait for a dodgy dark web diet pill that shrinks your brain. But I assure you ladies and gents- you will read of nothing but natural, healthy and sustainable methods in this bloggy-verse of mine.
So you're struggling with losing weight for the summer, or just in general. You eat right, exercise regularly, and have only occasionally cheat days- and you can't work out why you're still not the size you want to be. Or maybe you're just starting your weight loss journey and looking for an overnight fix trick. Or maybe you've reached your goal weight and now you're looking for ways to maintain the shape you're happy with. Well chaps I'm here, as a recovered anorexic, body dysmorphic, bulimic, overeater to share with you my journey from dangerously thin, to unhealthily chunky, to happy healthy and body positive.
It's worth noting here that the purpose of this blog is not to promote negative body issues, dieting, or other unhealthily obsessive practices focused around weight loss. The reason I am the weight I am now is because I gave up worrying about my size in favour of properly nourishing my body. After letting go of my image obsessions everything fell into place, which I feel is a very important part of becoming a healthy, happy weight. I have been thinner than I am now but I wasn't happy; I starved myself, had horrible mood swings and very little energy, making me unfocused and not very enjoyable company. The most important things in life are being healthy, happy and enjoying your best life, which you cannot do when you starve yourself. Plus no one notices how thin you are if you look like a washed up pile of rags.
I'd also like to say that while my method of becoming a healthy weight did not involve exercise, that doesn't mean that it's not worth doing. I live a very active life, spending most of my working day on my feet, doing a lot of walking, and other activities in my spare time. Incorporating exercise into your daily routine is a great way of boosting your energy, fitness, strength and mood, so please keep it up!
So lets dive in. There are a number of methods I use which help maintain my weight- some may work for you and some might not!;
1. Raw Apple cider vinegar- There it is again, the thing that everyone's talking about. Sorry to be that dippy hippy girl but honestly guys there are loads of good reasons everyone's raving about it. I started using this due to the benefits for my skin, but soon realised there are so, so... so many more benefits. First off it's a mild diarrhetic, which aids digestion and clears out the pipes (and if you eat mostly fruits/veg like I do, it means your food literally flies through you.) Drinking ACV before mealtimes also provides better satiety, meaning we eat less and feel fuller for longer. It also regulates your blood sugar and blood pressure, which is usually the cause of those mid-late afternoon snack crisis. A dip in blood sugar is usually caused by eating refined carbohydrates and sugars at lunchtime, but drinking ACV in the mornings I find removes any cravings to eat sugary/refined foods in the first place, so removing the cause. Aswell as having weight loss benefits, the general health benefits are quite impressive. Although apple cider vinegar is an acid, due to the natural probiotics in the drink it actually has an alkalising effect on the body. For anyone who doesn't know, having an acidic environment in the body is the foundation for a number of health problems, including inflammatory diseases, skin problems, chronic fatigue, acid reflux, joint and muscle pains, kidney infections, liver disease, urinary infections and cancer. As we know the best things in life are highly acidic; alcohol, sugar, saturated fat, meat, eggs and dairy, so ACV is the perfect little post-night out remedy to bring your body back down to a healthy PH and help you recover quicker. ACV also helps to detoxify the liver and other organs by improving circulation, and boosts the healing processes for the skin and blood, removing any harmful toxins built up in the blood. It also quite impressively contains a bucketload of anti-oxidants, which as we know helps to balance our body's free radicals, which are the cause of our body's ageing. So Apple cider vinegar helps you lose weight, stay young, look young, fights diseases and infections, improves energy levels, detoxifies the body and controls blood sugar. Honestly? Doing a nasty shot of pure acid every morning is starting to sound quite appealing right?
I usually have half a shot first thing in the mornings and last thing at night followed immediately by a pint of water (you will need this to prevent heartburn). I also find that it prevents morning breath (thats all the natural bacteria and probiotics), and clears up thrush very quickly and effectively.
You can buy raw apple cider vinegar here at: https://www.buywholefoodsonline.co.uk/rewardsref/index/refer/id/177179/
(one last thing- always make sure you get the raw stuff.)
2. 5- HTP: It's a recent realisation of mine that this supplement actually keeps my weight down, as with all of my methods, I started using it because of health reasons. 5-HTP is a naturally occurring substance from the seeds of the Griffonia simplicifolia, which is a west African medicinal plant. It converts directly into serotonin in the brain, which has a number of profoundly important functions such as sleep, appetite, cardiovascular function, sexual behaviour, memory, mood, temperature regulation and muscle contraction. I started taking these supplements around bedtime to cure my insomnia and bruxism. They create a nice mellow feeling in the brain and heart, similar to being on drugs (kinda) but without the anxiety, skin crawling, heart racing, uncomfortable fidgeting and other general ill feelings surrounding recreational narcotics. I also pop one during the day sometimes if I'm suffering with anxiety or am having an especially down day. They're an extremely effective anti-depressant, as they literally release the one thing that is lacking in a depressed person's brain, without adverse side effects. Added to that no one will ever notice you've had one, as they're very subtle and cause no outward changes to behaviour. The weight loss effects work very logically. Eating food causes a rush of serotonin to the brain, which is what allows us to enjoy it. Someone who overeats usually has lowered levels of serotonin, which can likely be the reason they continue to eat even after feeling full. If the brain contains healthy levels of serotonin, you are less likely to overeat. This caused a profound change in my eating habits which ultimately led to the change in my relationship with food. I now eat only what I need to continue with my day, my portions are much smaller, I don't have cravings (or very few) and I'm not constantly thinking about food. And coming from someone who was either always either eating or thinking about eating, this is an incredibly positive change. I usually take one 5-HTP tablet before bed to aid sleep, but if you suffer from anxiety or depression it may be best to take them first thing in the morning.
And you can buy 5-HTP here at: https://www.buywholefoodsonline.co.uk/rewardsref/index/refer/id/177179/
3. Smoking weed: I can literally hear the complaints from overprotective parents flooding my mailbox, while the squeaky clean judgies roll their eyes and hastily unfollow me. Everyones got an opinion about this, most of which is profoundly misinformed. And while I could literally talk for days about the benefits of cannabis, the negative propaganda surrounding it, and the real reasons it's illegal; that's another blog entry for another day. So heres a handy video for any sceptics out there, which pretty much de-bunks all those false myths surrounding the plant:
Now that we've got that out the way, we can start learning about the benefits including weight loss, of the miracle drug! (I will write another blog post about the full benefits of cannabis at a later date, but for now lets focus on weight loss!)
I have been smoking cannabis regularly for around three years, and in that time my weight has (naturally) fluctuated from around 12 stone to 8.5 stone. When I started smoking I was at my heaviest I've ever been at 12 stone, and it was shortly afterwards that I noticed without trying, weight started to fall off me. My weight then proceeded to drop, until eventually it hit the seven stone mark, by which point I decided it was time to make an effort to put some back on. It's worth mentioning that during this time I was making a lot of changes to my life, along with going through a lot of stress and turmoil, which was certainly a huge factor, so it's difficult to say exactly how much of this weight loss was entirely down to smoking weed. However I noticed the weight loss before any of the other changes, and I absolutely notice the difference to my waistline now if I don't smoke for a week or two. As a new stoner, I get the munchies, during which time I eat a lot. I'm talking buffalo on feeding season. I'm like a sperm whale, opening its giant mouth and swallowing everything in its' path; food, ocean debris, live humans- the lot. Which one would assume would lead to me putting on weight rather than losing it, right? Well I found that the days following smoking weed (regardless of the volume of my munchies), my portions would be much smaller, I wasn't ever really hungry, I didn't get hunger pains or cravings, and I generally wasn't that interested in food. Some might suggest that this is because I was in a food hangover after binging on all that food the night before, but I even tested my theory out by not munching post smoke, and my results the next day were the same. After really racking my brain to decipher a solution other than my smoking, I started to really dig. The more I thought about it, the more I realised that out of the many, many stoners I know; very few of them are overweight. I noticed that many of the stoners I know who have smoked weed since their early teens, all seem to struggle to put on weight (but are not necessarily underweight.) I wondered if maybe the tobacco in the joints they smoke kill appetite? But there were similar stories across the board for people who smoked bongs, used vapourisers and used tobacco substitutes. I took to the internet, and wasn't surprised to discover that weed smokers are more active, have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and that smoking it regularly reduces weight gain by around one third. A study done on mice which brought the same conclusions, determined that the science behind it is partially in the gut. You see in your gut you've got all these micro-organisms which are responsible for the way your food is digested, your health and whether or not you gain weight. The THC in cannabis was found to change the ratio of weight-promoting microbes in the gut, which led to a healthier weight (but made no changes to the already healthy weight mice). It was also found that a compound present in cannabis (CBD) can block some of THC's effect on appetite, which presumably as cannabis and its compounds remain in your system for around seven days, would explain the resulting loss of appetite. So it turns out my suspicions were true, and there's even science to back it! And while I wouldn't suggest taking up smoking weed full time as a weight loss plan, one joint in the evening before bed time (as is my routine) will have the adequate desired effects, aswell as aiding a blissful, deep sleep. Unfortunately I can't help you with the sourcing of this practice, as this purely healing, life enhancing plant is still illegal in this country, I can however suggest trying CBD oil for its similarly profound all-round benefits to health.
You can buy yours here at: https://www.hempbotanics.com
4. Making small changes to your diet. If you've read as many diet books as I have, you've probably read this sentence a bazillion times, but there's a reason. A radical overnight change in diet is hard to stick to, which as you know inevitably ends in a monumental "giving up" moment, usually involving a ten thousand calorie binge followed by a time for plan B strategy change. When I began changing my diet, it was due to the health benefits, and as I noticed my overall health improving, so did my waistline. This I believe is the best strategy, as your health and proper nourishment is the most important thing for you as a human. Listen to your body, understand what it needs; if bread makes you sluggish- try cutting it out. If dairy makes you break out, try eating less of it. If beans make you fart, swap them for peas. The changes you make should be unique to your own inner health, and it's only through trial and error that you will learn what that is. I tried one by one cutting out all foods that are reputably bad for you to measure the effects that were having on my body; including wheat, gluten, sugar, processed foods, carbs, dairy, meat, and nuts. I discovered that indeed some of these foods my body hadn't been dealing well with, while some of them I shouldn't be eating at all. I now eat a healthy vegetarian diet, with very little dairy, eggs or bread, and swap most of my simple carbs like rice and potatoes for complex carbs such as quinoa, sweet potato, beans and vegetables. I swapped my cows milk for almond, swapped the sunflower oil for coconut, and the Lurpack for Violife. Depending on my work times, I also usually eat my portions backwards, having my biggest and most carby meal first thing, and ending the day with small portions and no carbs. That way I am fuelling myself accordingly for the day ahead of me, and ensuring I have adequate energy for the tasks I have planned. I now look and feel, how I have always dreamed, whilst still eating food that I love. And if you think this can't work for you because you love unhealthy food too much; then sorry kid, but we just ain't on the same page.
Overall what led me to my healthy weight was no miracle overnight cure, and rather years of trial and error, researching and listening intently to my body. If you're looking to cheat your body into a size smaller, you've certainly come to the wrong place for advice. As long as your head and your heart are happy, your body will follow. And the most important thing to remember is that no matter how much weight you lose, you will never be 'perfect', because it's your flaws that make you who you are and make you beautiful, so embrace them for all the world to see. The most endearing look is being comfortable in your own skin!
Happy nourishing Humans!