Week 1: The Four Golden Rules of Weight Loss for Newbies



Eight days ago I started eating clean and exercising twice a week. I lost 2.3kg; and I still eat carbs.

This is what I have learnt after Week 1. Every single one of these points are important and completely life-changing for me, so I am hoping it helps someone else who is trying to get healthy but doesn’t know where they are going wrong.

1. Portion Size

This is what I believe has been the biggest problem in my life and past eating habits. My portion sizes were too big! Let me explain. The correct portion size of uncooked oats is 45g. Yes, 45 grams only. When I first made it, I was shocked. I thought I would starve on day 1. It looked like one quarter of what I normally eat. But I was pleasantly surprised that I was actually satisfied after eating it. Not full or stuffed, but I felt good and didn’t feel that I needed more.

2. Timing of Breakfast

This was something I knew but with three kids and a school run I just did not take it seriously these past few years. I end up getting the kids off to school then putting my baby down for a nap and having a quiet breakfast at around 10am. But this means that my body (metabolism) doesn’t start working until then. Big no-no. I was told by my PT that I need to have breakfast (very important!!) at around 6-7am everyday, and I could have a snack with my coffee at 10am.

3. Starchy vs Non-Starchy Vegetables

Did you know you can be buying the wrong veggies??!! No, I’m not saying vegetables are bad but some have more starch (carbohydrates) than others. So if you are having a meal of chicken with potatoes, butternut and sweet potatoes, you are eating too much starchy vegetables. You only need about 45g of those and you can fill your plate with unlimited “free veg”. Free vegetables are baby marrow, spinach, bok choi, kale, onions, tomato, cucumber, lettuce, carrot, mushrooms, brussel sprouts, eggplant, green peppers. You can really make a great side dish with these and they fill you up.

4. Prepping snacks and meals

You need to eat every three hours to keep your blood sugar constant. A snack can be a cup of fruit, 2 ryevita with tuna, a few nuts, a protein bar (check ingredients!), or just a banana. Make sure you have enough snacks prepped and ready.

Siham Arieff
Siham Arieff

Siham is a wellness writer, stroke survivor, mom of 3 and coffee lover on a health and fitness journey who recently relocated back home to Cape Town, South Africa.

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