Meal Planning Mondays and my weight loss challenge

Happy Monday everyone! Probably the least popular day of the week historically but today I’m looking at it with a fresh new perspective. It’s the beginning of the my chapter, and who doesn’t love new beginnings!

For the last year I’ve been on a bit of a downward spiral. I started a new job and the first six months were beyond stressful. I always knew the world of City law was going to be intense but the 70 hour weeks, lack of sleep, fruit and vegetables and normal social interaction was seriously, seriously tough. It was no surprise that all the late night dinners and unhealthy snacks during the working day led to me piling on 11lbs (the equivalent to roughly 5 kilos)! This was particularly bad considering that I was already at the top of my healthy weight range as it was.

Then...
Then…

After those tough 6 months I moved on to the next stage of my training and things eased up. My hours were better, I was seeing my friends and family much more but best of all I had time to cook in the evenings again. Most people would have taken this time to get their weight and health back in check. I however went from having nothing to having it all. Every waking second I could be cooking and eating, I did. Every weekend was an excuse to go out for dinner and drinks, or to throw a dinner party, or order a takeaway.

6 months on and I have added another 7 lbs (just over 3 kilos). I am now comfortably in the “OVERWEIGHT” category. At 24 this just isn’t acceptable. Whilst I’m not happy with my appearance the way it is, what’s worse for me is just how drastically I have seen my health change. But the thing that makes me saddest is how my overindulgence has cost Jon his health too.

BMI Calculator

For those of you who are brave and curious…

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Weight loss Challenge

So how the hell am I going to turn this around?!

Starting from today (I am typing this with a sweaty, post workout glow) Jon and I have set ourselves some goals.

We want to lose 14lbs each in 8 weeks. That’s roughly 2lb a week and hopefully achievable. We are kind of all or nothing people so we are cutting out the snacks, fizzy drinks and take-aways and I’ll be cooking low calorie dinners with sensible portion sizes. On top of the healthy eating regime, we will also be doing half an hour of exercise a day (except when work doesn’t permit and we are in after 10pm.)

Now...
Now…

Because the old ways are often the best ways…we are keeping a star chart! That’s right…two twenty four year olds with motivational star charts. Our reward at the end? If I lose a stone, I get to hire a VW Camper for a ten day holiday around the South West this summer. If Jon loses a stone? We’ll be heading to a festival of his choice!

And of course we’ll be looking damn sexy by then and hopefully feeling a lot fitter and healthier in general.

With our goals squarely in focus, I’ve done my best to put together a low calorie meal plan for the week. We are out at the weekend so we have to make sure we are good in the week to mitigate any damage that might be caused at the weekend.

The Plan

Monday – Low calorie Chicken Soup

Tuesday Slow Cooker Mushroom Stroganoff served with kale and tenderstem brocoli

Wednesday – Whole roasted cauliflower (recipe coming soon)

ThursdayLentil Lasagne

Friday – working late, dinner at work.

Saturday & Sunday – eating out in Nottingham

What are you planning on eating this week? Do you struggle to find time to cook healthy meals too? Perhaps you’ve got some low calories, quick and easy recipes you’d like to share – I’d love the inspiration!

18 comments

    1. Thanks Kerry! I think portion control is going to be a big thing for me. Considering limiting myself to just a bowl of food rather than a huge mound on a large dinner plate. Plus more exercise should kick me back into gear!

      1. I think that really does work! I try to put food on my plate then take some away – that whole thing about it taking 20 minutes for the message to reach your brain that you’re full!

  1. Oooh that sounds clever. I definitely need to trick my brain! I’m hoping that having a set goal will really help too. I’m going to be gutted if I don’t get my holiday in a VW Camper 😛

  2. Best of luck – your meal plan sounds delicious. I’ve got quite strict about portion sizes and it is surprising – my husband ALWAYS complains that I’m being stingy but then always concedes that he has had enough at the end! Creating bulk with veggies helps – I always grate courgette through pasta pesto for example which doesn’t massively impact on the flavour or appearance but does add bulk.

  3. I really appreciated this post! Good luck on your challenge and yes, mindful eating and healthy recipes are on my mind too… I love to make kale and white beans… provides lots of vitamins and protein without meat or lots of carbs. Sauté garlic and hot pepper flakes, throw in strips of kale… Then add a can of drained cannelini beans (white beans) and mash everything around a bit til beans get a little brown. Take off the flame and top with toasted breadcrumbs (old Sicilian trick) and some parmigiano cheese…. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on top and enjoy a big bowl!!!
    Buon appetito!!!

    1. Thanks Lia! Wow that sounds fantastic!!! We always have kale and canellini beans in the house so I could easily throw that together one evening 🙂 I’ll put it on my menu plan next week 😀 x

  4. Wow, you’re so inspiring! The Hairy Dieters helped me realise that you can cook nice meals with a few changes that are healthy…I just need to cook them more…all the best with your journey, what a great idea to set proper goals 🙂 xx

    1. Thanks Alice! I have a picture of a BW Camper on a beach pinned to my wall above my desk at work for extra motivation 😉

      Hairy dieters are fab, I’ve used their recipes previously but unfortunately Jon is veggie and they love their meat. Still they are pretty inspirational 🙂

      Thanks for your kind words! Xx

  5. Work related weight gain is the bane of my life!!
    I’ve managed to keep a lid on it this year, partly through taking up running which I now really love!

    I like reading your meal plans, especially the veggie ones as I’m always looking for ways to cut down on the amount of meat we eat at home.

    Have you tried konjac noodles and pasta? My hey are pretty good and an easy way to cut out carby calories.

    I’ve also managed to totally remove bread from my diet which, I think helps loads!

    xx

    1. Ah Jules I’m glad someone else feels my pain! Well done on cutting out bread though that’s pretty impressive. My other half lives off of the stuff (probably another reason that he’s piled it on) so there’s a lot of temptation in my house. I hadn’t heard about the noodles though i’ll have to give them a try. Maybe they’ll make it to the blog in the coming weeks :-p x

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