If you’ve been following me on my social accounts lately you might have seen that I’m on bit of a weightloss mission. My weight has been something that’s been an issue for me for a long time now. When I was a teenager I gained a lot of weight, mostly through making poor choices, and the fact that I had a McJob for 5 years. I lost a bit of it during my early twenties, but there’s still quite a lot I’d like to lose. Just before Christmas I joined Slimming World, and I’ve managed to lose half a stone now. It’s not just about losing weight, but I’ve been trying to focus on eating healthier, and picking the right things to feel healthier on the inside.
Recently Holland & Barrett launched a campaign to help people improve their health by swapping foods with healthy alternatives. They teamed up with a nutritionist to create a meal plan using some of the wholefood products available from Holland & Barrett. The plan was created for a week, made up of your three main meals, as well as a mid-morning snack, mid-afternoon snack and a dessert. It seemed pretty easy for me to follow, and I especially liked that I could have snacks throughout the day and a healthier dessert, as I’m the sort of person who’s likely to fail if I completely deprive myself of something.
As part of the plan I’ve been making sure I’ve been starting the day with a healthy breakfast. In the week I’ve been making overnight oats, made up from 40g of rolled oats, 125ml of oatly milk, and 100g of no dairy plain dessert the night before, and then in the morning topping with fruit, linseed, and manuka honey. Then at the weekend I tried experimenting by making greek yogurt pancakes made by whisking 2 eggs, 40g oat flour, 100g yogurt, and 2tbsp of honey, then cooked in coconut oil and served with yogurt and berries. I think out of the whole plan the breakfasts have been my favourite, and they’ve really helped to keep me full during the morning at work.
Some of the other meals have included scrambled egg cooked in coconut oil on rye bread, spaghetti bolognese made with lean mince and wholemeal spaghetti, and yogurt topped with fruit for a dessert. Not only have the meals been great, but so have the snacks. I’ve been having a handful of cashew nuts, bounce balls, Nakd bars, and even quiona chips and dark chocolate drops. What I’ve found great about the plan is not once have I felt hungry. I’ve got slightly peckish between meals, but that’s where the snacks have come in really handy. And by having healthier alternatives to crisps and chocolate, I’ve been able to have some of my favourite snacks without being unhealthy. I’ve gained a new love for cooking with coconut oil, not only does it make my food taste lovely, but it’s so much healthier than using oil. I’ve also loved using manuka honey, and cacao powder, both of which are great additions to my morning overnight oats.
So did the plan make me feel healthier? Yes. After a few days I found I had so much more energy, I wasn’t as hungry as I used to be, and I was sleeping a lot better at night. I also didn’t crave as much ‘rubbish’ food and sugary snacks as I used to, probably because I was much more in control with my sugar addiction. So as well as feeling better and healthier, did I lose any weight on the plan? I actually lost 3.5lbs during the week I followed the plan, which just shows making a few healthier swaps such as rye bread, wholemeal pasta and cashew nuts, can make a difference. Although the week of me following Holland & Barrett’s nutritional plan is over, these are things I’d like to continue in my diet from now on as I feel so much healthier!
*Products and plan provided to me for an honest review