Last week I jumped on the scales for the first time in around 18 months.
When it comes to the scales I’m just as prone to major freak out mode as anyone else. As much as I know I’m on the light side of a healthy weight. As much as I know it’s about your body composition not some pesky little number. As much as anyone else would not notice any difference in the way I look.
Despite all that, when to my mortification the number was the highest I’ve ever seen it… I freaked out!
I actually don’t think this is a bad thing. In fact, I recommend feeling a huge amount of discomfort with just a little change in whatever means you use to measure your body composition IF (and the ‘if’ is important) …’if’ it inspires you to take action.
If you’re quick to course correct you have so much less course correcting to do.
In today’s show lets chat:
Vanity Kilos: How to lose the final few pounds.
These are the steps I implemented last week to shift 1.7 kilos in 3 days. Simple, sustainable, non restrictive steps that moved me from “freak out Kate!” to “calm and confident Kate.”
Before i share the steps I have a couple of caveats. My advice today presupposes that:
One: Your current eating strategy prioritizes primarily one ingredient whole foods.
Two: Your exercise routine prioritizes lifting heavy weights consistently.
Those will always be my highest bang for your fat burning buck keys for any body composition goal.
Onwards with, 3 steps to blitz Vanity Kilos and lose the frustrating final few pounds!
One: Sneaky Snacks.
When we’re talking those final few vanity kilos it’s going to be fairly likely that your main meals are pretty on track. If you were still caught in the cycle of processed crap-o-la and regular fatty, salty takeaway and skipped meals that lead to over demolishing…. well you’d likely have more to lose.
Personally it’s the sneaky snacks that were setting me back.
An extra cafe bought almond flat white here (most days!) and a protein powder hot salted caramel drink there (several most days!) and I found myself sneaking several snacks between each meal.
Even though the actual snacks were low’ish caloric density “lots of lows” still add up right?! And beyond that, I think it’s important to give your digestive system time to metabolize food with decent breaks between more injections of calories. Although the concept of intermittent fasting is too restrictive for this little emotional eater I absolutely see the value in giving your body a break from the constant assault of food.
The mindset to cultivate: Mindfulness with the huge delicious, nutritious meals you enjoy every single day. Take your time. Chew rather than vacuum (Yes, I’m absolutely talking to me!). I’ve heard this advice and discounted it before however it really does work.
Focus on and appreciate the abundance of great food you get to give your body.
Two: Tempting Trigger-foods.
Again, in the matter of vanity kilos your tempting trigger foods – those ones that once you start you just can’t stop – are likely fairly nutritious foods. Mine are nuts. Both my fav roasted nuts which I keep at work and deploy the ‘running tally’ strategy with (more on that soon) and also increasingly the nuts I keep at home for cooking.
As healthy as nuts are, they are also super high caloric density. Whatever your tempting trigger foods are I recommend either buying only the portion you intend to eat in that sitting or if that’s super inconvenient keeping that food at a location you’re less inclined to demolish at. For those of us that need even more help to win at the discipline game, The Running Tally is when you know how much of something you should eat in a day and a week and then roughly track that intake and over-consuming today means eating a little less tomorrow.
This only works for me if I buy the amount once ONLY in the week and when it’s gone it’s gone until I buy it next week! That means I enjoy gleefully large portions at the beginning of the week and disappointingly NO portions at the end of the week.
The mindset to cultivate: Brutal honesty with what works for your body, what really is a portion size and why you keep eating well beyond that portion size. If you don’t jump on the scale a little more regularly than every year or so (!) it can be easy to kid yourself you’re “getting away with” the big portions of “healthy” trigger foods. Focus on how you’ll feel after you’ve eaten something rather than just getting caught up in the mindless moment.
Three: Caloric Creeping.
Although I don’t recommend counting calories as I don’t see it as sustainable or necessary I do think it’s important to have an awareness of the higher caloric density foods in your regular eating routine. Most often (aside from nuts and seeds) these will be non one ingredient foods.
For me, it’s home made pesto and hummus and also store bought coconut yoghurt.
Have you ever found yourself at the fridge just flattening off the hummus bowl with a fork? Again and again and again?! Perhaps you have portion control when adding a sauce / dip to your meal and yet later you’ll find yourself digging in for a second round? I never do this because I’m genuinely hungry. It’s generally just some sort of procrastination tactic or even an almost unconscious habit.
The mindset to cultivate: Think of you and your body as a team and know that sticking to your planned meals and snacks without calorie creeping is accelerating your towards your goal. Whatever your goal is. Always choose the most supportive and positive language when referring to your body. Rather than “fighting your body” and “restriction” and “starvation” think “working together” “fueling” and most importantly focus on what is sustainable long term.
Unless you’re losing this final few pounds just for a special event and you’re totally cool with them creeping straight on back then it’s vital to chose the upgrades that you can imagine sticking to long term.
Here are 5 more rapid fire tips so far as Vanity Kilos: and How to lose the final few pounds.
- Drink more water. Both to avoid eating when you’re actually thirsty and because your body will just function better.
- Find a tea you love that you don’t add milk or sweeter to.My fav is liquorice tea.
- Increase your incidental exercise. Our bodies were built to move and everything counts. It’s amazing how easy it can be to sneak out movement from your routine. It can be tempting to think “the bus is quicker” or “does walking even count?” I’d ditched my second long walk of the week because I’d convinced myself it was more important to be working than walking. However actually walking in a really effective time to either calm and recharge OR to brainstorm / plan those things you feel you need to be working on. I often practice my live videos while walking – hopefully since I have my headphones in people might think I’m on the phone though very likely they think: “there’s that crazy chick again!”
PLUS the 2 I didn’t do:
- Moderate your alcohol intake. From a purely body composition point of view alcohol is a vice that canbe worked into your weekly routine however here are the considerations I follow: Choose the lower carb versions. Like spirits straight or mixed with mineral / soda water and myself personal fav, red wine. Deploy the running tally strategy where you have a set amount you consume in a week and you don’t go over it. Never let alcohol consumption be at the expense of high value food. Eating might have been cheating in our early 20’s however now eating is all about the valuable (and enjoyable) fuel we’re feeding our bodies! Ensure your food choices while drinking are on plan. By on plan I just mean, what you know works for your body before the alcohol lowers your inhibitions and standards! Because alcohol is a toxin and your body will metabolize it as a priority it’s much more likely that poor quality (refined fatty carbie) food you consume while drinking will be turned to fat and stored as fat.
- Incorporate High Intensity Interval Training.Short high intensity exercise – the stuff that you can’t talk during and that lasts for between 5-20 minutes – is a really effective way to blast fat without causing you to derail your exercising efforts by over consuming carbs after you finish. It also keeps your metabolism elevated for up to 24 hours after you finish in the same way that high intensity weights training does and moderate or low intensity cardio does not. Personally I find HIIT super UNfun. I forced myself to do it for years and then when I went vegan I decided to see if I could keep my results without keeping HIIT.
I can, easily… as long as I’m also in control of: One: Sneaky Snacks. Two: Tempting Trigger-foods. Three: Caloric Creeping.
If you think you can handle 5-20 minutes HIIT to help you lose the final few pounds then certainly give it a whirl. I go into more details in show #079: High Intensity Interval Training. My caution here is that from a purely results point of view if your food needs improvement then you’ll get way more return on effort invested for prioritizing that first.
However as with everything health it comes down to what is sustainable long term for YOU and a big part of that comes with asking yourself: “How does this measure up so far as the discipline needed versus the results enjoyed?”
With the vanity kilo strategies, I don’t personally favour like: intermittent fasting / zero alcohol / HIIT, the discipline they require just does not make them worthwhile for me right now. It might change.
To get actionable today: Do you have any sneaky snacks that has become an unhelpful habit? Or perhaps: Do you have any tempting trigger foods that need to be evicted from the house?
That’s it for today in Healthification. Thank you for sharing this time with me.
The Healthification podcast is proudly bought to you by my FREE ‘Easy Vegan’ plan. It took me 25 years to transition from a meat eater to a happy, healthy, non-judgemental Vegan! You can do it in just 3 days with my simplified ‘easy vegan’ plan! Get the fit, strong, and healthy plant based body you deserve… while avoiding ALL the mistakes I made along the way!
Till next time, remember Creating a body and life you love is Freedom. (If this ex-carb queen, non genetically gifted, naturally uncoordinated vegan chick can do it – so can YOU!!!)
If you liked ‘Vanity Kilos: How to lose the final few pounds‘ you’ll also like: 7 Day Easy Vegan Plan
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