Friday, November 22, 2013

My diet + what i eat

Hello lovely bloggers,

Earlier i made a post about my exercise and weightloss, posting my before and after:

and some of you asked whether i could do a post on the kind of food that i eat.

So here it is!

I am in no way a nutritionist/health expert, but these are just the rules i follow for a healthy life style.
Now this is not in anyway a diet, its more of a lifestyle change.
Diets are unhealthy, and often restrictive, making you feel like if you go off track you need to punish yourself.

You should never ever feel guilty for eating! Your body needs fuel, so fill it up with delicious whole foods and it'll be extremely happy :) Once you learn that you NEED to eat, and not restrict, weightloss and eating clean will become a lot easier.

Its important to remember, as girls, you should never eat less than 1300 calories.
A lot of people think losing weight is about completely cutting down calorie intake to the point where they're barely eating.  It does not work.  Its counter productive as it sends your body into starvation mode. That means once you do eat, whatever your body receives, it stores as fat straight away. It also means that whatever weight you do lose from restriction, is not sustainable, and you will most likely gain whatever you lost right back.
It's all about getting a healthy balance of meals, cutting out processed foods and exercise.

Weightloss is 80% diet and 20% exercise.

I know it can be daunting, and it's quite hard to eat healthily, especially considering you can buy an oven pizza in most supermarkets for £1, whilst healthy fresh foods can set your budget back! But there are ways to budget it, i have done a post before on how i eat healthy on a budget.

How much should you be eating?
If you want to know how many calories you need to be eating in order lose weight, you need to figure out your BMR (basal metabolic rate, the number of calories your body needs just to function) which can be done here: BMR calculator. Once you've calculated this, you can see how many calories you can eat in order to MAINTAIN your weight here: Daily calorie intake calculator. For example, for my BMR i am 23, 130 pounds and am 5ft7. This means my body needs 1427.3 calories just to function. Then using the daily calorie intake calculator, i can see that i need 2212 calories to MAINTAIN my weight. As a guideline, you usually have to minus 500 calories for that in order to be losing fat. So in order for me to lose weight, i need to eat 1712 calories a day. If this seems at all confusing to you, its all mentioned on the links i provided!

Now, for how i actually eat:

I eat a diet that is high in healthy proteins, low in saturated fat, and low in carbs. 
It's what is known as a 'clean diet'.  These are the rules i stick to:

Rule 1: drink A LOT of water.  It helps to keep your body running, flush out toxins as well as flush out any water weight! Cold water is even better as your body needs to work to heat it up in your body. If your body doesn't get enough water, it stores it within the cells, meaning you hold onto to excess water weight. Your skin will also thank you for this! I would also definitely recommend drinking 1-2 cups of green tea a day.

Rule 2: Try to cut out as many processed foods as possible. This means sugar/salt/saturated fat loaded  and 'empty' foods like crisps (they have little to no nutritional value!). I know it might be easier after a long day of work to whack a frozen pizza in the oven, or even some pot noodles (absolutely awful for you), but you're not doing your body and favours.

Rule 3: Change your carb intake. This is similar to the rule about processed foods. White bread and pasta go through more process when being made than whole grains do. The 'white' carbs are refined, and are stored as fat much easier unless they are burnt through exercise or energy. Change your white bread up for brown/whole grain, your white pasta up for wholegrain pasta, and your white rice for brown rice, these are complex carbs, and take longer to digest, add fibre, and make your body work a little harder to digest them. You also don't need to be eating carbs with all your means, try to replace them with vegetables! Where you would normally have a portion of rice, try a huge portion of broccoli or any other vegetables you love.  You'll see results!

Rule 4: Eat smaller meals, and more often! I tend to eat quite a lot during the day, but with small portion sizes.  Snacking on food like almonds is not only filling, but they're also great for you! In every meal try to include to healthy vegetables, some lean protein, and if needed some carbs (but don't overload, try to fill up with vegetables instead).

Rule 5: Introduce more protein into your diet! High protein foods are the ones responsible for building your muscles. As you gain more muscle (through exercise and training), your body is able to burn more calories, so its important to build muscle and not just lose fat. It also takes a lot longer to digest than carbs or fats, and your body is able to use a higher percentage of it to turn into energy. Examples of lean proteins that i eat are turkey, chicken breast and salmon.

Rule 6: Stay away from saturated fats but try to keep healthy fats in your diet. Healthy fats come from foods such as almonds, avocados, and peanuts (peanut butter is a godsend when eating clean!). Cut out the sugary, saturated fats and stick to healthy.

Rule 7: Lower your sodium intake. As i mentioned earlier, if your body has too much salt and not enough water, it will store excess water in your cells, which means you will hold more water weight!

Here are some examples of meals i've prepared eating clean:

turkey mince lettuce wraps with cucumber, red peppers, corn, and onion. I swapped out using a wrap for the healthier option of lettuce.

Grilled chicken with spinach, tomato and whole grain rice. Dash of low salt soy sauce for taste.

Baked salmon fillet (using garlic, white pepper and dill) with grilled asparagus.

If you ever want to see what kind of meals i'm eating on a regular basis, follow my instagram. I tend to post on there a lot in terms of my intake.

Link to my instagram 

An example of a day of meals for me:

Breakfast: Egg white omelette with peppers, mushrooms, onions, spinach and feta cheese, with a cup of green tea.

Snack: Banana and a handful of almonds.

Lunch: Greek salad made of cucumbers, olives, tomatoes, lettuce, onion and feta cheese, with slices of grilled chicken.

Snack: Chocolate chip low fat rice cake and a green tea.

Dinner:  Baked salmon fillet with a side of broccoli, asparagus and sprouts.

In the next couple of days, i will be providing some recipes that i like to follow :)
I hope this post helped!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My workout routines:

Hello lovely bloggers,

Recently i was asked to make a post about my fitness regime. 
Since my break up, i have lost a fair bit of weight, mainly due to a combination of working out and my diet (with a little bit of stress weightloss in there too).

Height: 5ft7
Starting weight: 61kg/135 pounds
Current weight: 57kg/125 pounds

To give you an idea of my journey, here's a before an after:

I'm not going to lie, it was hard work, and it really is more of a mindset/lifestyle than a diet.
I've written about to stay healthy on a budget and about previous weight loss/diets on my blog as well. 

But for this post, i'm going to show you more of an example of the workouts i actually do rather than my diet. I will be doing another more in-depth diet post though.

YOU DO NOT NEED TO JOIN A GYM TO LOSE WEIGHT.  All the weight i've lost has been done in my own bedroom, or out running round parks. 


HIIT:  This stands for high intensity interval training.  For me, this is the most effective form of cardio. Not only is it known for burning fat quickly, but its incredibly efficient. Unlike going for a 45 minute jog, you can burn the same amount of fat in 20 minutes through this type of training. Its designed to be a short cardio session, but training yourself in intervals. A great example of this is if you run often.  Running for 1 minute as fast as you can, and then taking a 30 second break continuously for 20-25 minutes is much more efficient than simply running at an even pace for 40 minutes. There are so many different forms of HIIT training, but the ones i follow are ones that can be done at home.  So no need for a gym! They're quick and will kick your butt! 

The main workout video i use is this:

I only do this work out 3-4 times a week, with rest days in between. Mainly because HIIT is quite intense, and it would be too harsh on your body to be doing it every day. Your body needs rest days.
On days that i do not HIIT train, i stick with lower intense cardio such as walking (i walk EVERYWHERE) or i'll go for a quick, relaxed run round the park.

That being said, i tone every single day.

In terms of toning, it takes a tiny portion of my day to do.  I'll often do it just after waking up.

The main areas i focus on are my abs, and my lower section.  As someone who is pear shaped, i need to focus on my lower body because its where i store all my weight as opposed to the top.

My average toning workout compromises of this (I've included videos for ideas):


- 50 crunches
- 60 side crunches (30 on each side)
- 40 reverse crunches
- 30 leg raises
- 40 bicycle crunches (20 on each side)

Legs and bum:
- Squat challenge every day
- 20 plie squats
- 20 sumo squats
- 40 fire hydrants
- 40 donkey kicks
- 3x 30 second wall sits

Even though i don't focus that much on arms, i still do some of the toning exercise for them.
I have rounded shoulders so in order to bring them back, i've had to strength my back and stretch out my chest.  
If you have bad posture like me, i would DEFINITELY recommend this video, its helped my shoulders dramatically:

As for arm workouts, these are great:

Like i said earlier, you do NOT need a gym membership in order to lose weight. You just need motivation and a good, clean diet.
My next post will be on foods i eat, foods i avoid, and a couple of healthy recipes for clean eating :)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

YSL Touche eclat Foundation + Review

I know i've been MIA for almost 3 months now, but unfortunately this year has been so tough on me that my blog had to take a back seat! 

But, i am back now, and with a review on my all time FAVOURITE foundation.

The Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Foundation.

RRP: £29, shade BD 40
Described as "Yves Saint Laurent adopts a leading edge technology that transposes the magic of this legendary highlighter into a foundation to achieve the same illuminating result for the entire face. Yves Saint Laurent introduces LE TEINT TOUCHE CLAT. A bold, unique formula to target shadowy areas and define contours. Infused within a weightless fluid, the light of Touche clat foundation targets shadowy areas and highlights the contours of the face. Free of opaque powders, its perfecting texture evens the complexion and helps conceal imperfections, while enhancing your skin's natural beauty." (Debenhams website).

It really does all these things.  I feel like whenever i wear this foundation, my face just glows and looks incredibly healthy.  

I personally suffer from quite dry skin, so for me, this is perfect. Its moisturising and it doesn't settle in any fine lines in the face. Honestly, since using this foundation, i cannot going back to using any other, which is bad for me because at £29 a pop, it does hurt the bank balance!

Foundation on the far left, as you can see, i like YSL products heehee.

Now down to the nitty gritty:

Coverage:  I feel that this foundation for me personally, gives a light to medium buildable coverage. I have generally clear skin so in terms of coverage, its great for me.  Maybe avoid it if you're looking for something higher coverage, although it is build able. For me, it just looks like my natural skin but much better! i love the natural look it gives.

Skin type: If you have dry skin ladies, this is for you. I have such bad luck with foundations in terms of them making my skin look dry or cakey, but this is just the perfect consistency. However, if you have oily skin, i would avoid this as it may only make you look shiny. It also contains SPF 19 to protect your skin!

Finish: The finish is a radiant and dewy finish. I know some people prefer to be more matte during the winter but i personally love the dewy look all year round. This foundation gives me a healthy glow, even in this harsh Welsh weather.

Colour match: For me, BD 40 'Beige' is THE perfect colour match for my skin.  I would definitely recommend going to a counter and getting colour matched because for £29 a bottle, you don't want to get the wrong colour. My skin is naturally very warm toned, and i find most foundations come up too pink on me, but beige is the perfect warm tone for me.

Pros: Gorgeous, natural finish. Dewy, radiant. Very easy to blend and buildable. 
Cons: At £29 a bottle for 30ml, its pretty expensive to continue buying, and its not great for oily skin.

wearing the touché éclat foundation
Have you tried the YSL touché éclat foundation?