It’s not about me, but about my mom. She’s always been pomp, always loved to eat and hated sports, but now, she decided to lose weight after fifty, as she understood that she will feel more comfortable in her body.
I thought she was just lazy by nature. But she was always unhappy with her weight, and of course, she tried almost every diet out there to lose weight.
Since then she tried different things over and over again. Low carbs, no sweets, eat half, nothing helped. Sometimes a kilo went down, but because of hunger and cravings she couldn’t keep the diet for more than 3 days.
Nevertheless she was grumpy all the time. I like cooking at home, since I work in home office and she was just frustrated because when she came back from work, everything was smelling inviting, but she couldn’t eat
She also tried sports now and then, but as a lazy sack that she is she couldn’t hold out for longer than a few weeks.
When she lost weight, everything was fine and good. A kilo tumbles every week and she had a sense of achievement. But if she wanted to keep her dream weight, she had to think long-term, if not lifelong. At this point she asked for my help.
I researched waiver diets or radical diets (like no carbs), but this fell out for her. She loves bread and pasta and will never want to take them out from her menu.
The same goes for sweets. She can’t do without sweets for the rest of her life. No way, that would be hell for her and us. She always has a bonbon in her pocket.
That’s why I “improved” her diet a little here and there. A radical change from one day to the next doesn’t work for her. She is just too much of a creature of habit.
I also accepted this challenge because due to her extra fat she began to have spine problems and her feet started to deform. These caused pain and she was easily scared of adopting a healthier lifestyle to lose weight.
It is certainly not easy to lose weight in the long term. But on the contrary. It’s sweaty, sometimes painful, and sometimes you just hate everyone wearing size 36 without having to do anything about it. But life is not a dream concert and we pummel just have to do more to be slim. The superfluous kilos don’t come from anywhere!
She felt like she’s just changed internally over the past year. She’s more positive, in a better mood and now she wants to change her body accordingly.
So common for others and yet so unreachable for her: beautiful clothes. So far she had only worn clothes that make her feel as slim as possible or simply the pants that were available in her large size.
No matter how things fitted her, the main thing is that she was fitting in. She wants to wear clothes that she finds beautiful, knee-length skirts, colorful pants and summer dresses.
All of her old clothes made her look like a grandma and made her feel unsexy.
She no longer feels guilty. Her best friend has transformed from chubby to Wonderwoman in 2 years.
30 kg of fat down and 15 kg of muscles up. And when she walked beside her on the streets she could see how younger men were turning their heads and looked at her friend.
At some point it just clicked in her head. All by itself. She didn’t think “You start tomorrow, but now have a cup of ice cream first“, she just did it.
When she asked for my help and accepted to change her diet and started doing sports, she was pretty helpless at first. So was I! What is healthy? What should she eat? Everyone tells you something different.
I read in a magazine that you should eat more nuts and dried fruit and in the next issue of the same magazine nuts and dried fruits were the worst thing you could put in your mouth.
In the end, everything boils down to a simple, secret recipe.
Healthy eating and exercise
Her principle in nutrition: why should she eat it if she doesn’t like it? What does it help if a stick of celery has negative calories, but she gets a gag reflex when she has to eat something like that?
I heard this many times, as many as I can’t even count them.
My problem is that she loves sweets and delicious food. She was too much of a connoisseur to refrain from eating food that she likes.
For example, she could never do without bread. No way. Funnily enough, I managed to completely determine here not to eat chocolate/everything that contains cocoa for 4 years.
But she wouldn’t want to do that for a lifetime. So how can I improve her diet without giving up the pleasure that it brings for her?
She can’t stand carrots, so she won’t eat them. So I managed to cook meals that suited her taste.
The body simply needs the energy and the longer it runs on the back burner, the greater the craving becomes. A few green leaves without dressing at noon never filled her up, so she eats the salad with eggs and chicken or a light fish with rice.
Changes in the diet
No more white bread. Whole grain bread just tastes better and fills her stomach longer.
Candy yes, but only once a day. Instead of a full hand of bonbons, there were only 3 in her pocket.
I know that when she ate the piece of cake from my birthday, there was nothing left for her in the evening. If she still felt the need for sweets, I gave her a nectarine or made her sweetened tea.
Whisk in vegetables whenever possible. Surprisingly, she found out that a cucumber and tomato salad with goat cheese can be delicious.
The only thing she’s always done right: having plenty of water. For her, that comes naturally, not for me. She drank 2 1/2 to 3 liters of tap water and 2 cups of coffee a day.
At some point she started that and found her drinking rhythm. If I don’t drink enough water, I notice it on my headache. I simply can’t drink naturally the necessary amount of water.
She found it annoying to count calories from the chia seeds puree, so I did this for her. I just want her to have a healthy and natural relationship with food without having to think much about it.
Some say you can only lose weight by writing down every meal. Keeping count didn’t help me help my mom in any particular way because she was always hungry.
Instead, I tried to prepare healthier meals. Sometimes she lost 10 pounds in 2 weeks, and sometimes nothing happened for a month, but I felt good about her motivation and she lost weight in the long term.
Healthy dishes examples
During the week I put on the table a maximum of one slice of grain bread with half a liter of water in the morning. This fills her up until noon and is quickly “prepared”. At the weekend she loves my banana pancakes.
Sometimes I prepare salads with meat, which I also like very much. Or fish that I would never cook only for me, because I don’t like it that much, but she loves it.
Same, meat with rice. Sometimes, I just prepare a plate of Italian carbonara, which is her favorite dish. Nowadays a salad with grains and a warm vegetable side dish is the easiest meal to prepare.
I just make sure that it is not too fat or heavy, otherwise, she would fall asleep right away. It is nice that she works close to home and she has the advantage to come and eat what I cook instead of buying something from fast food.
In the evening:
- tomato and cucumber salad with goat cheese or mozzarella, honey and sesame
- avocado salad with fried eggs
- tuna and avocado with coleslaw salad
- steak with sour cream
- fish with beans and fried egg
At work, she rarely eats anything between meals. But when she gets hungry, she has a packet of unsalted nuts and raisins in her closet and eats a small portion of it.
At noon she comes home and eats warm food, so this is just to keep her going for a little bit.
At the weekend she sometimes likes to eat a sliced banana with a teaspoon of peanut butter or my French bread and a bit of cheese and tomatoes next to it.
She needs to eat without a guilty conscience. That’s why I came out with the term Cheat Day on which she can eat unhealthy things. That’s why from time to time I take her out on ice cream or a piece of liver with cheese.
The result: She lacks nothing and she doesn’t feel like she’s on a diet. Losing weight takes time, but she has time and can (theoretically) continue this diet until the end of her life.