That’s a wrap folks! The 28 day programme is complete but really it’s just the beginning! StealthHealth isn’t a diet in the sense that it begins and ends, my hope and intention is that the 8 Key Concepts will initiate a process of long lasting change, in both the way you think about health and weight and in how you approach food and eating.
StealthHealth is not primarily concerned with weight loss although it’s highly likely that if you have weight to lose you will. If you cast your mind back to DAY 1 my initial weigh-in was 59.3kg and this morning I was 57.2kg so that’s a 2.1kg loss (which is just over 4.5 lbs in old money) but more importantly I feel better – I’ve got bags more energy, I’ve been exercising more, I’ve been sleeping really well and I’m in a much better frame of mind generally.
I’ve loved writing this diary every day and interacting with you all, thank you for your messages, comments and emails, so much so in fact that my next thing is going to be some ‘case studies’! I have enlisted 3 lovely midlife guinea pigs (I’m sure they won’t mind me calling them that) who I will be coaching through the StealthHealth programme over the next 4 weeks. I’m super excited to see how StealthHealth can be applied in real life, adapting it to people’s individual situations and fine-tuning the Key Concepts so they can be applied whatever your circumstances.
Talking of real-life examples, I went out with my lovely friend Cinders last night who I haven’t seen for a while and she looked FAB - positively glowing - and she had lost the best part of a stone! High five Cinders. She said that StealthHealth has really helped her make that mental switch to a healthier lifestyle and she was finding Eating with Awareness key to her success. And on that note I thought it might be useful to provide you all with a quick summary of the key messages from the last 4 weeks:
STEALTHHEALTH CHEAT SHEET
(click here for a printable version to print out and stick on the fridge)
THE 8 KEY CONCEPTS
Breakfast is Best: Start your day with a satisfying, healthy breakfast or, if you aren’t a breakfast fan, just make sure the first meal you eat each day is nutritious.
Eating with Awareness: Don’t just eat, think! Are you really hungry? What does your body need? Perhaps you are just thirsty? Eat consciously not mindlessly.
Nutri Foods: Eat mainly foods that are nutrient dense and in their natural state/unprocessed. Check labels - if there are ingredients you don’t recognise, avoid.
Carb Sense: Carbs are an important part of a healthy, balanced diet. Favour healthy carbs – fruit, veg, wholegrains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds.
Calorie Awareness: If you wish to lose weight think about the relative calorific values of the food (and drink) you are consuming. You only have a set amount of 'food spend' each day so use it wisely.
Volume Control: Look at the quantity and relative proportions of the foods you are eating. Plants should make up the majority of your plate (along with some lean protein and some healthy carbs).
Light Days: If you are trying to accelerate weight loss 2-3 Light Days a week will help. Aim for around 1000 calories on a Light Day.
Food Strategies: Understand your weaknesses and plan for them. There is no need to cut anything entirely from your diet unless you have a medical reason for doing so, but Food Strategies can help you manage cravings and make better food choices.
Stick to drinking water: It’s healthy and has no calories! Juices, smoothies and lattes will quickly add up.
PLAN: Do a weekly meal plan and shop accordingly, give your ‘food day’ a bit of thought each morning and spend a few minutes thinking breakfast through the night before (prep some veg for an omelette, make some overnight oats …)
So there you have it, StealthHealth in a nutshell! In terms of this blog going forward I am absolutely keeping going and my aim is to post 2 or 3 times a week with useful content on health and food matters and some easy, healthy recipes to keep things interesting in the kitchen. I’d love eventually to put everything into a book – a kind of healthy eating, lifestyle, weight management, recipe book if that makes sense, but I need your help! If I can get this blog to fly then a publisher will be easier to find so please recommend StealthHealth to all your friends.