“Eighty percent kitchen, twenty percent exercise.”
That’s the old adage often bandied around when asked how to lose weight. How true it may be is up for your own interpretation, as there is a school of thought that thinks the 80/20 rule means eating healthily for eighty percent of the time, and indulging for twenty percent with no referral to exercise.
What I believe to be true is that: a) it’s not about losing weight, it’s about losing fat and building muscle to help change your body composition; and b) the best way to change your body is to utilise tools from both a nutritional point of view and an exercise one.
My basic routine is monitor my food intake; making sure I get a good balance of protein, carbs and fat, while working to a calorie deficit. This may sound funny given the size I was; but I’m a forgetful eater, so tracking my food helps me remember to eat. I very rarely feel hungry; and can go for most of the day before realising I’ve not had anything.
Exercise wise; I weight train in my own home gym (currently 4 times a week), and attend tai chi once a week. However; this post isn’t about me telling you my way is the best way, or that it fits everyone. It fits me; and I’m getting results in MY body, which what I want.
I guess the biggest difference between now and my previous attempts is my mindset shifted, and I stopped thinking about being on a diet trying to lose weight. Instead my aim for the past several years has been to change my lifestyle; and lose fat whilst building muscle.
Yes, there have been ups and downs, especially over the past 18 months. Family issues, lack of motivation, sinking into the darkest recesses of my mind have all been obstacles in my way. Add the fact it took me years to get where I was; and the amount of fat to lose, I’m not going to magically fix myself in a few months. However; like riding a bike, I never truly forgot what to do because I had begun to engrain it into my life.
That’s why last weekend; after having got another fridge (finally!!!) and loading up on fresh fruit and vegetables, I got my daughter helping me out in the kitchen. Pickled coleslaw, chilli jam, banana bread, and pickled cucumber to name a few of the things we put together. You see; changing my lifestyle means I’ve been changing the whole family lifestyle as well.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an ogre. There are no “bad” foods. We still go out for meals, and the kids still get treats. It’s simply some foods need to be moderated a little more than others, and I’m trying to teach my children how they can make better choices for themselves. I don’t want to see my kids to suffer healthwise as I have, and the easiest way to do that is to teach them now.
Plus; with all the social activities and clubs they have going on, and their preference for technology when they are in the house, it’s actually nice to be able to spend time creating yummy foods together as a family.