I couldn’t resist that heading, because it always sounds too good to be true. But, is it?
My answer is: No. Here’s a brief preamble…
In July of 2015, I re-embarked on a simple mission of making daily breakfast smoothies for my family, to up our nutrient intake. This was a direct result of my bestie encouraging me to get back into the smoothie habit (I’d been out of it for some time, and my then lifestyle of working in hospitality wasn’t very conducive to good eating habits). A secondary result of this renewed habit was unintentionally becoming more aware of the actual ingredients and their nutrients, which made me rethink a lot in terms of what we eat and the effect it has on our bodies. So I started making a few other small changes here and there.
AND THE WEIGHT JUST FELL OFF ME.
I lost almost 10kg in under 3 months.
With. Zero. Effort.
I have a small confession to add at this point – I’m what’s known as an ectomorph.
The ectomorph can be easily spotted in any weight room. They are often below the average weight for their height and have a skinny appearance. Ectomorphs tend to have very high metabolisms and often complain of relentless eating with little to no weight gain.
Yup. I’m that skinny girl that got teased relentlessly at school. Much the same as the overweight girls, just opposite. And if you think that me hearing, “OMG, you’ve lost so much weight!” is less offensive than an overweight person hearing, “OMG, you’ve put on so much weight!” – you are wrong.
Back to the point, though. That being: Zero Effort Weight Loss. Results Guaranteed.
I’m selling you something here, so let me be clear about that, because you will have to spend money. BUT, it’s pretty much the same money that you spend every day/week/month on your grocery shopping. Just with a few small changes. What I’m selling you is healthier eating habits. What you will get in return is weight loss – whether that’s your target or not.
This is how I did it.
- Daily raw food and superfood smoothies.
- Cut out all refined sugars.
- Eat brown rice instead of white, wholewheat pasta, wholegrain bread, and so on.
- Eat more raw food meals.
- Eat more plant based meals.
- Eat healthier snacks between meals.
These are all VERY EASY things to implement into your daily life. I mean, you have to shop, prepare food and eat anyway, right? And with so much focus on healthy eating these days, there’s zero extra effort in finding the right ingredients. I saw a quote the other day that went along the lines of, if they call it the “health food” aisle in supermarkets, what is the other stuff they’re selling?
Here’s some more info and tips on the above six points…
1. Daily raw food and superfood smoothies. Here are some raw food smoothie basics to help you out if this is something new to you. To make life easier, I chop all my smoothie fruit and veg and freeze it in one cup portions which I just grab out the freezer every morning. Blitz it all and brekkie is done. You don’t even need any special equipment – until I was gifted a nice blender, I was using my trusty old food processor, and when that broke, my stick blender.
2. Cut out all refined sugars. My reasons for cutting sugar out of my diet were from a health perspective, but this is a big culprit if you’re trying to lose weight. This doesn’t mean you can’t eat anything sweet ever again – there are so many natural options available to replace sugar with (and yes, you will find some of them in your supermarket’s “health aisle”). My preferred ones are natural raw honey or organic coconut sugar. You can also make healthy sweet treats at home, and here’s a super quick and easy recipe for Chocolate Nicecream (‘nana ice-cream): To your blender add 6 chopped bananas, 4 tablespoons raw cacao powder, 200ml coconut milk or other non dairy milk, 1 tablespoon honey. Blitz and freeze and you can satisfy a sweet craving by just reaching into the freezer!
As an aside on dairy… This is something I’m also trying to cut out of my diet. Again, there are a number of options for substitutions, such as nut milk, vegan butter and vegan cheese, all of which can be made at home with ingredients that are easy to find. And again, my reasons are health based. This is what it comes down to for me…
3. Eat brown rice instead of white, wholewheat pasta, wholegrain bread, and so on. It’s just a matter of switching to the healthier options – another example is sweet potato instead of regular potato. There are also other yummy types of food in this category such as quinoa and couscous.
4. Eat more raw food meals. Get creative with things like salads and wraps. A Google search for “easy raw recipes” will give you loads of results, like this one. I try to do “raw ’till four” and then have a cooked meal in the evening.
5. Eat more plant based meals. Once you start eating healthier, you might find, as I did, that your body copes less well with meat based meals. This doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy family favourites such as bolognese and mac ‘n cheese, you just have to substitute meat for plants. An added bonus is that it becomes more budget friendly!
6. Eat healthier snacks between meals. Probably the easiest go-to options, especially when you’re not at home, are nuts and fresh fruits. You can even make your own trail mix with your choice of nuts, seeds and dried berries, all easily available. Guacamole on crackers is always a winner, and for a sweeter option, one of my current favourites is organic nut butter spread onto slices of apple.
These small and easy changes in your diet WILL contribute to weight loss. Exercise also helps, although I wasn’t doing any while all the weight was falling off me. Bear in mind the difference in our metabolisms as well, so each person’s results will vary, that’s perfectly normal. I’m no nutritionist, so you also need to take into account any pre-existing medical conditions or allergies that you may have. For example, a friend of mine who’s recovering from cancer is now also going for healthier dietary options, but has discovered that spinach isn’t good for his kidneys.
Most of all, have fun with it! I’m really enjoying discovering new ingredients and recipes that were previously outside my comfort zone, and reinventing the old classics, while knowing that I’m putting the GOOD stuff into my body.
As Pixie says, “Every meal is a chance to heal!“