HOW I LOST 20 KILOS IN 20 WEEKS
posted on 8/01/2013 4:30:00 AM
UF: You’ve always struggled with your weight and have tried multiple times to lose weight – why was this time different?
LB: Absolutely – I’ve tried every yo-yo diet there is! I think what made this time different was that it was the first time I’ve actually specifically tailored a way of eating to my body. Also, because I was listening to my body it was more about feeling good than getting a number on the scale. So I think the fact that I had a different mind frame compared to the past also played a huge role.
UF: How did you go about designing this specific way of eating?
LB: I started off by doing some research into the Paleo way of eating and took a lot of that on board but decided there were still a lot of foods that true Paleo’s won’t touch that I will still eat. Things like quinoa and buckwheat and a bit of yoghurt here and there because I find these foods agree with me. For me it came back to listening to my body and honing in on that.
UF: Let’s talk about the 20/20 Diet. If you had to sum up your approach to eating in one sentence what would it be?
Two things: food is here to nourish us and to share and celebrate with the people we love.
UF: What are your personal diet non-negotiables?
LB: I stick to dairy, gluten and sugar free. When I say sugar, I mean the white, refined, feral stuff – dates are fine, honey is fine, maple syrup is fine. And I avoid anything that comes from a packet if it reads more like a chemistry class than a food label! Whole foods are what our bodies thrive off at the end of the day.
UF: Ok, so do you advise all people to avoid dairy, gluten and sugar or is that a particular intolerance of yours?
LB: I advise all my clients to really listen to their body. Some people are fine with dairy, others can tolerate wheat quite well – it’s all about tuning into what your body is trying to tell you. As a general blanket rule, I think that wheat is quite hard for the body to break down and I take all my clients off it.
UF: Carbs. It’s a minefield topic, particularly in terms of weight loss. What’s your take?
LB: We need carbohydrates – they are our primary source of energy, even when you are losing weight. Otherwise you go loopy and your serotonin drops! So I’m pro-carbohydrates, but if you’re worried about losing weight just don’t go mental on carbs at nighttime.
But in saying that, I eat sweet potato probably four times a week for dinner. It’s all about picking complex carbohydrates – such as sweet potato, quinoa, carrot, broccoli and pumpkin. I eat these more now that I am in a maintenance phase of my diet, but I ate all of these during the diet phase too.
UF: The king of Paleo blogs, “Mark’s Daily Apple”, lays out the foundations of Paleo eating by saying that dietary fat should be our primary source of daily energy and carbs should only be used to the amount needed to provide glucose to the brain. Do you agree?
LB: In a Paleo diet: definitely. When you’re sticking to a Paleo diet your carbs are reasonably low – that’s why it works for fat loss. Paleo’s eat a lot of coconut oil, animal lard, organic butter and other rich sources of fat. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that; it’s a great source of energy!
But I think different people thrive off different things - fat can be hard for some people to digest and for the body to break down - while I know that my body thrives off carbohydrates. At the end of the day if you are eating whole foods your body is going to know what to do with it.
UF: As a nutritionist, do you advise supplementation and vitamins for the average person?
LB: If you are eating whole foods then you are going to be getting a broad spectrum of vitamins and if your digestive system is in check you’ll be absorbing them properly. But vitamins and supplements are phenomenal when your body is placed under stress. Whether you’re not sleeping, have a cold or are just feeling run down, there are so many amazing supplements to help you! But ultimately, the ideal lifestyle is that we can naturally have the body in homeostasis (balance) through good food.
UF: Are there any supplements people keen to lose some weight can take to help them along?
LB: When I was losing weight I took green tea extract because there have been a lot of studies showing that it helps this process by speeding up our thyroid and detoxifying our liver. Carnitine can also help by getting your body to use fat for energy. There are loads and loads and loads that you can do!
UF: You call yourself an ‘exercise freak’ – what type do you do?
LB: I try to start the day with some form of exercise, my big three are Bikram yoga, walking and running. I love my yoga; it’s my freedom time! I also love to standup paddleboard in the summer and I want to learn to surf this summer. If it’s fun and something new – I’m there!
UF: What does your average day look like?
LB: Every day is so different but there’s always some form of exercise, some form of amazing food, some emails, some form of interview and some form of writing or filming. All these different parts scatter throughout my day!
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