Inform. Inspire. Innovate

Monday, 2 March 2015

5 week progress; weight loss tips and tricks

It took quite a lot of balls to post this photo, mainly because I was embarrassed about the amount of weight I’d put on after surgery (no one warned me of that side effect!). On the other hand, I was proud of my achievement in a small amount of time, so I wanted to share it with you all to inspire everyone else working hard at the gym/about to give up because you just want 38220 takeaways in a row (yes that’s me too!). 

Firstly I need to say a massive thank you to all your amazingly lovely comments and words of encouragement, it made me feel a zillion times better, and more inspired to keep going.

I wasn’t actually planning on writing a post about this, but so many people asked me how I did it, what’s my secret etc and I wanted to let you all in on it… – there is none. I didn’t lose the weight through any other way than the good old fashioned method – boring I know! No shakes, no fads, no extreme dieting; just little changes that for me, made a big difference.

I should say I’m not an expert in any way shape or form so don’t take what I say as gospel, it’s just my opinion and what had worked for me. I also know these are all really tiny changes, but all of them together can make quite a difference. I also know that all of these things aren’t anything new, but the old fashioned boring methods work, if you do too!

Little changes to make a big difference

Take the stairs instead of the lift
I live on the fourth floor so since about Christmas I’ve taken the stairs every single time 60 step up and 60 steps down, even when I’m coming in lugging the shopping and god knows what else in my feeble arms

Power walk
I’ve always been a dawdler, I blame it on my tiny midget legs but really I just like to walk slowly. Since I’ve started working and doing he dreaded commute into central London, I’ve become one of those people I used to despise, weaving in and out of people at the station, walking so fast it’s practically a jog. By the time I even get anywhere I’m out of breath so that’s enough to get some little calories burning right?! I have a 10 minute walk either side of the station, to and from work, so that’s 40 minutes when you add it up. 40 minutes of extreme power walking! A lunchtime power walk is always good to for those (unlike me) who actually leave their desk at lunchtime.

A little gym is better than no gym at all
Firstly let me state I was probably one of the most unfit people you’ve ever met. I used to get out of breath literally doing anything so I can hand on my heart say my weight loss isn’t from going to the gym 14 times a week doing 2 hours each time. I thought I was actually allergic to exercise until a while ago – that was my excuse anyway. I wrote a post in the past about all the excuses I make not to exercise so if you’re one of those people, check it out here!
I’ve found that results in the gym come from finding that little bit of time, and pushing myself that bit harder each time. Since working in London means I leave the house at 7.15am and get back at 7.30pm, I really can never find the time/energy/motivation to go to the gym in the evening. Take my hat off to anyone that does! So, I’ve been going at the weekend. Both days, in the morning after my standard breakfast and an episode of Gossip Girl. Even going for half an hour is better than not going at all. I keep trying to push myself harder each time – there’s a post currently in my drafts which is a fit guide for unfit people – how to push yourself harder in the gym! So I really need to finish that!

Pop Sugar Fitness is amazing
As I don’t know do any exercise in the week, I try to do an at home workout on Wednesday night. It doesn’t always happen, I usually get distracted by twitter chats or whatever else is going on (TOWIE currently!) but for when you do fancy an at home workout and can’t face the gym, Pop Sugar Fitness is THE ONE. Most of their workouts are 10 minutes long so you can basically put a programme together and mix and match to make an amazing 30 minute workout. There’s hundreds of videos to choose from, everything from stretching to high intensity cardio so there really is something for everyone. We have a Smart TV so it’s made life so much easier putting YouTube on the TV so I can work out in the lounge without having to squint at a tiny laptop screen while I’m running around the room! I talk about Pop Sugar Fitness a lot on my blog and on social media and there’s a reason for that! Results with Lucy was kind enough to give me a one month’s membership so I’m super excited to try that one too!

Cut down on the processed stuff
I’m a sucker for a nugget. My parents used to say I’d turn into one whilst constantly telling me how full of crap chicken nuggets were – err as if I cared! But, since I started making my own nuggets with fresh chicken and breadcrumbs, I’ve never looked back, they’re so much better for you and they even taste better. After having the fresh ones twice a week (at least!), I bought a pack of goujons from Tesco and genuinely didn’t like the taste anymore! I’m not ready to give up my junk food, but there’s always a way to make food that little bit healthier. My recipe on homemade chicken nuggets can be found here

This one is easier for me than probably most people because I like my food dry, but think about the amount of creamy sauces and dressings you add to your food. I love a curry, Indian flavours are just amazing, but instead of having a Chicken Tikka Masala with lots of creamy sauce, I marinade my chicken in spices and chicken tikka paste then grill it. It’s so much better for you and still has amazing flavour when you add the right spices. Do you need all that mayo/salad cream/creamy sauce? My cupboard is stocked up with so many spices and flavours to add to grilled chicken.

Change up your snack drawer & make your own snacks
I’ve always been a big snacker, it was definitely my biggest problem when it came to trying to be good. I love anything that’s bad for me so I decide to make a healthy(ish) snack drawer for when I had those cravings. Now I make homemade breakfast bars (currently writing a recipe post) and have crackers, dried fruit and nuts, yoghurts and low sugar jelly at the ready. I even find homemade breakfast bars with a few chocolate chunks in are enough to cure my chocolate cravings.

Don’t have dessert straight after dinner
People have always told me to try this and I’ve always thought it was a myth but it’s genuinely true! Whenever I have a meal, I instantly crave something sweet, like massive cravings. I used to give in all the time having sweets, chocolate, anything sweet I could get my hands on. Recently, when those cravings hit I distract myself with twitter/Netflix for half an hour to see if I’m still hungry after my dinner goes down. I have to say, this one completely surprised me, but 90% of the time, I don’t actually fancy anything after about half an hour. Clearly the food has had time to digest and I realise I’m not actually still hungry. If I am though, I usually have either a yoghurt or cereal bar – they’re sweet but not too naughty! Better than a Twix anyway…
Pre plan meals

Luke and I have started to pre plan meals for the week on a Sunday night. It means that when we go shopping we buy things for a reason and not just grab all the junk food because we don’t know what we’ll have for dinner that week. I always take lunch to work to resist wondering the many Camden shops buying everything and anything that I fancy! On the most part, I’ve found that when the food isn’t in the house, I don’t really care that much, but when it’s there I crave it. I keep giving in to cravings of junk food in the supermarket because it all looks so amazing, but I get it home and think, why did I actually buy that?! Moral of the story – be stricter with what you buy!

Don’t give up a food group
It’s true what they say when you try and give up something, you crave it. It’s true with me any way! There’s a reason we have food groups in that little triangle we were taught a zillion times at school. Cutting carbs, yes. Not having any carbs, no! You’ll end up feeling drained and moody with massive headaches.

Pinterest is your friend
There’s SO many healthy food ideas on Pinterest you could keep yourself occupied for hours. Healthy food can be nice – and fun to make!

Turn every day chores into a bit of cardio
As I don’t have much time for the gym any more, when Luke is at work and I’m cleaning the house or hanging out the washing I’ll be blasting the music channels and dancing around the entire house. Yes it makes things take double the time, but it’s double the fun and I’m actually worn out by the end! Cue bed time and Gossip Girl!

Buddy up
Working out and eating right is so much easier when you have a friend onboard for motivation. I have Jade (you can see her beautiful blog here) who motivates my lazy arse when I just want to stay in bed on a Saturday morning!

Sorry there’s not some magic solution to losing weight and keeping fit, but these are just the small ways I manage to keep my fitness plan and eating sustainable. I’ve seen oh so many friends on these fad diets, losing an insane amount of weight quickly though crazy methods but as soon as they get back to ‘normal’ the weight piles back on! That’s not what I want!

Let’s all motivate each other to keep on track!!

Love Lauren xx


  1. I'm so glad you posted this - I am on a 5-week kick to get fit before my holiday. I've said it every year for about 5 years now but this time I am determined!! You have done so well - you look great! x

  2. Those photos are amazing - you can SO see the difference!
    I've been doing literally everything that you included on your list and whilst I've seen a small difference over the past month, it definitely isn't as much as I had hoped! I think my next step is to downsize my meal portions a bit!

    Great post. Super motivational and includes some great, healthy and achievable tips!
    Hannah x

  3. congratulations! you can see such a huge difference in such a short space of time :) i can't wait to try and lose some weight after doing nothing but gaining since being at uni,

    Bethan | Thought from Beth x

  4. Your progress is amazing! I'm trying to loss weight atm, this was so motivating.

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  7. Wow! Well done! You've achieved so much in only 5 weeks. Incredible and you look great! :D I've got the sweetest tooth ever so I've piled on 5kg in the last 5 years. Although I'm still happy with my body, I'm trying to do some of the things you suggested as an attempt to lose at least a couple kilos and stay healthier. I'm trying to walk more and faster and also cutting down on junk food and replacing it with healthier stuff like fruit, nuts and adding more veg to my diet. I think it's already working and I feel more energetic too. :) x

    Renata | Speaking Beauty UK

  8. I'm so glad you did a post after seeing your amazing pics on Twitter. What a fab achievement girl! Such huge results in such a short space of time. I've been seriously lagging with trying to get in shape but you've completely inspired me to get my arse in gear! Thanks for sharing your tips and the pics - it's a ballsy move. Huge high-fives xxx

    Kirsty - Effortlessly Excessive

  9. You look amazing! Well done! xx

  10. You look fab hun! Now personally, I don't think you had anything to worry about posting the first pic because you were still in good shape, but I do find that being shorter, even 1 lb can make such a difference to how you feel and it's so much harder to shift too! I also love that your post is telling the cold hard truth - fads just don't work, you just need to be boringly sensible... Most of the time! Well done xx

  11. Great tips here and your results are amazing! Good job!!

    Definitely agree on, "don't give up a food group".. I'm not much of a sweet food kind of person but sometimes I just want a bit .. I was visiting my in-laws who tend to restrict and hide their chocolate and such .. I found that I craved it much more and ate more of it when it was available. Not good -_-

    Ree // Coffee with Ree

  12. Babe! You have done so well and such fab tips. I'm trying to do similar things myself, change up the snacks and get on my 10,000 steps a day! xx

    Jasmin Charlotte | UK Lifestyle Blog

  13. So inspiring! Good for you, for posting picture! you can look back for inspiration as can a lot of others. I will definitely be using some of your tips soon :)

  14. This was so great to read, you look incredible! Massive well Done! Xx

  15. Great tips I also use pinterest. Another good tip is to use the toilet as far from your desk when you are at work. I work on the 3rd floor and I use the toilet on the ground extra exercise and you didn't even realise it!

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  17. There never is anything magic to losing weight/staying in shape - but MASSIVE WELL DONE TO YOU! Especially so soon after your surgery - really inspirational. Popsugar fitness is the absolute ONE yes. So So So agree. I do a workout in between hour revision session during exam periods and it makes me so motivated when I'm sat inside doing sod all other than revise,eat,sleep,repeat!

    little miss fii || Fii x

  18. ah this is so impressive!! I've been slowly losing weight over the last couple of years and I'm so close to looking how I want to, but it's not easy so this post has really motivated me! Thank you for sharing :)
    Dei x

  19. Wow! You have done amazing! Your figure is gorgeous! Great tips too, I never knew that one about not eating straight after dinner, I always have a sweet craving but am going to try your suggestion instead now, thanks hun!

    Anna xx

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  21. you've done fantastic! Well done =)
    You've got some really sensible tips too!


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