After I turned 35 I realised how difficult it is to stay in shape. Basically I started putting on weight while eating the same things I did all my life. But while in my 20s the weight was falling off me, now it's a different story. I remember my Mum used to tell me how difficult it is to lose weight in her age (or once you are in your 40s and 50s) and now I can understand what she meant. But after a while, I discovered there's a way of staying in shape, as long as you are smart with what you eat (and best thing, you won't have to starve!)
These are 10 rules of staying in shape:
1st rule: Stop eating before you feel full. I like to put the plate away while I'm still slightly hungry. I found that before when I ate until I was full, after about 20 mins after the meal I felt like bursting. So perhaps the food needs to settle in your stomach before you realise you had enough. This rule definitely makes me lose weight quicker.
2nd rule: Eat breakfasts rich in proteins. Porridge, boiled eggs, cottage cheese, dark bread sandwich with cheese or muesli with milk. This way you stay fuller for longer, protein gives energy for the day and allow burn fats quicker.
3rd rule: Don't snack between meals. Not even biscuits with your tea or a yogurt. Any snacks allowed are fruits and veggies (apples, bananas, carrots, tomatoes etc.)
4th rule: Cravings... If you really crave something, wait until your main meal, and eat just a small chunk of it (like half a Snickers bar as a dessert after lunch).
5th rule: Eating Out. Very difficult to navigate through it... When dining out, choose meals that are low in calories, no Italian meals, like lasagna or pasta. Stick to salads, boiled vegetables, fruit bowls as desserts. Go for things baked over fried. Opt out of mayonnaise or oil dressings. Jacket potatoes instead of roast ones. Go to Chinese restaurant instead of Indian. And eat slowly, with smaller chunks. Maybe engage in a conversation with other diner, so you'll be focused on talking and forget about the food.
6th rule: forget about big dinner! In Poland where I'm from, our main meal is in lunchtime, and evening meal is a small supper. It's never good to eat a heavy meal late (or 4 hours before going to bed). Remember to make your last meal of the day something light but filling, like a yogurt with a bowl of fruits or a salad with no dressing. Never eat anything after 6pm.
7th rule: Drink plenty of water. I personally don't like cold water, so I tend to drink 4-5 cups of tepid boiled water.
8th rule: avoid carbohydrates: potatoes, pasta, rice and white bread. This evil stuff will sit in your belly and hips for-ev-er!
9th rule: exercise! I know you thought you'll get away without it, but... Even doing crunches everyday will speed up your metabolism. Try doing between 30 and 100, as long as you do it everyday.
10th rule: Motivation. Before reaching for a snack, think twice: do I prefer 2 minutes of food pleasure or a lifetime pleasure of looking fab? For me it works (almost) every time :) And have a strong defined goal you want to achieve, that's the best way to help you shed pounds and stay in shape!