Posted in Weight loss journey

Week 5 – The Green Tea experiment

Once again I’ve been so slack! Busy with my acting performances and rehearsals.

Weight loss to date since the previous week: 7.2 kilos

Weight loss/gain: -.400g

Total weight loss to date: 7.6 kilos

My weight loss seems to be going up and down which is a pain!

I’m finding that being variable with what you are doing will ultimately provide you with variable results.


My diet was a lot better than previous weeks. I have had a few times where I would eat out a little. I had attended a dear friend of mine’s engagement and had some lovely hor doves, the next night I had a Whopper with cheese. There were a few times where I had some treats but not as many. Although I didn’t lose enough to reach the 8 kilo weight loss mark.

Green tea consumption:

I did really well this week. I had consumed green tea after most of my meals and seemed quite second nature. Once again my average green tea consumption was around 3-4 cups per day, even if it wasn’t directly after each meal.


I’m quite proud of myself this week:

Day AM PM Yoga
Thursday 1 hour Cardio
Friday Rest Rest Rest
Saturday 1 hour Cardio 30 mins Cardio
Sunday 1 hour Cardio 20 mins Cardio
Monday 1 hour Toning 30 min Yoga
Tuesday 1 hour Cardio & 1 hour Zumba 20 min Yoga
Wednesday 1 hour Sh’Bam 1 hour yoga

This week I had really tried to commit to my workouts. This consistency did assist with the process of loosing the weight without over doing myself. Whether I can sustain this is a different story. This week was quite interesting as my consistent workouts, especially if a majority of them were cardio based, really helped to shift the weight I just couldn’t move!

As you may have noticed, this past week’s diet is not as detailed as I have forgotten a lot of what I had eaten. Ive left it to today to write this post instead of last Thursday which is quite slack. I’m really hoping that if I give this experiment another go, I will give myself a good 4 weeks.

So let’s leave it for now, until next time.

Selma Danculovic

Author of The Papakittens Adventures: Reach for the Stars

#weightloss #greentea #dieting

Disclaimer* This is in no way diet advice but our own personal journey and experience. I’m not a dietician. Please seek professional advice when embarking on any diet and/or exercise regime.

Posted in Weight loss journey

The Green Tea Experiment – Week 3 & 4 update

Yes, yes! I’ve been slack! Actually I have been quite busy last week that I honestly couldn’t spare some time to write my week 3 blog post so I thought I would just combine it with my week 4 update.

Week 3:

Weight loss to date since the previous week: 7.2 kilo

Weight loss/gain: .800g!! (YES!!! SHOCK! HORROR! And disappointment)

Total weight loss to date: 6.4 kilos

To express my disappointment is an understatement. I thought I was doing well but obviously I wasn’t. There are a few things that I think have influenced this outcome.

  1. Way too many “cheat meals”.
  2. Way less exercise than usual.

That’s it really. I guess you could call it simple math. Too many calories + too little calories out = weight gain. Right?

Green tea consumption:

I would say I would drink on average 4 cups a day. The thing is that I would not always drink them after a meal. I t would be consumed throughout the day.


Now here is the tricky part…I can’t remember. I really should have jotted down a few examples but what I remember my diet, once again, went a little awry. Why? Because, well I was slack and lacked planning. There were a few instances where I was at places where there weren’t any good carb free meals. However on my part I could have easily prepared my meals before hand and brought them with me. Did I fail on this part? Miserably! Lesson learnt? Prepare!! And don’t get too lazy!


Thursday 1 hour Zumba / 20 min Run/walk 30 min yoga
Friday 45 min Cardio/Weights 1 hour 10 min Cardio 45 min yoga
Saturday 1 hour 5 min Cardio/ Weights
Sunday Rest Rest Rest
Monday Rest Rest Rest
Tuesday 1 hour Cardio 50 min yoga
Wednesday 1 hour Sh’Bam 1 hour yoga


I have to say, when you look at what you have done, written or typed, it gives you a clear and real understanding of why something resulted in the way it did. In this case, with regards to the weight gain, I obviously ate way too much and exercise way too little that may have resulted to my weight gain. This may support the theory of calories in, calories out. When you consume far more calories than burned it may result to weight gain and vice versa. My reasoning for the weight gain is simply being compared to my previous weeks where I have lost some sort of weight I had far less ‘cheat meals’ and exercised a little more than I did this week.

The lesson learnt:

I just need to be more mindful of what I eat and exercise a little more. Especially breaking it up a little. Rather than exercising one long work out for over 1 hour at a time I should consider breaking up the workouts and have two 1 hour work outs.

Let’s see how it will all progress.

Week 4 update:

Weight loss to date: 6.4 kilos (24/07/2014)

Weight loss/weight gain this week: – .400g

Total loss to date: 6.7 kilos

*Recent update-

Weight loss to date: 6.4 kilos (24/07/2014)

Weight loss/weight gain this week: – .400g (24/07/2014) + -.500g = .900g

Total loss to date: 7.3 kilos!!

I have finally lost the .800g I had gained a couple of weeks ago plus lose .100g! Phew! I feel so relieved!

Green tea experiment:

Once again, my tea consumption has been consistent. I would drink on average 3-4 cups per day. This week however I have noticed I would drink most of my tea shortly after most of my meals which in comparison to my previous weeks, is far more consistent.


Over the course of the week I did quite well although I ate quite a few slices of white bread over the weekend. It was my fiancés’ birthday party and we had a BBQ (love a good BBQ). At the party I have a slice of caramel cheesecake and some lollies. I also had a few handfuls of potato chips and a small serving of chips. I had quite a few bowls of potato salad. I also had a couple of glasses of soft drink (which is something I don’t usually do but really wanted to indulge). I also had a Hungry Jack’s whopper with cheese. Surprisingly, the Whopper wasn’t that great. It tasted bland, which is surprising, as those burgers tend to taste amazing!

Over the past few days since Monday I have been eating quite well. I have had to go out and have brought my lunch with me. I also ate far less ‘cheat meals’ compared to what I had consumed the previous week.

Lesson learnt: Once again, just be more mindful with what I eat. Have more discipline and control over what I eat for each meal. Consume more vegetables and some fruits regularly (which I have done more so this past week)


Thursday 1 hour Cardio 45 min Cardio/weights
Friday 1 hour 25 min Cardio 15 min Cardio 1 hour
Saturday Rest Rest Rest
Sunday Rest Rest Rest
Monday 1 hour 15 min Cardio
Tuesday 1 hour 15min Cardio 1 hour Zumba
Wednesday 1 hour Sh’Bam 1 hour yoga

As you may have noticed, I didn’t do as much yoga as I would have liked. Surprising enough, I did almost a similar amount of exercise as last week and yet I still lost weight. Hmmmm interesting…

This week fared quite well. I think the weight gain from the previous week gave me a good shift kick up the butt and made me more mindful of what I consume and what I should be expending. Good old Melbourne is in the heart of winter and it’s absolutely freezing. I tend to want to hibernate and not want to work out. Even my energy levels are quite low. Nevertheless, Ii have a goal! To lose weight!!! Let’s keep it up!

The reason I added the update above is because I was suppose to post this blog update on Thursday. It had been quite hectic so I thought I would wait until a calmer moment (a lovely Saturday morning here in Melbourne) to post it. Out of curiosity I wanted to see how much I weighed and was relieved to find out I have lost what I gained and a little extra. It has been a tough emotional week the past week. I’ve hit a crossroads and felt confused about a few areas of my life. Last night really settled my nerves and confusion about a certain area of my life, my acting venture. I’m involved in a play and we had our home performance in Coburg at the Coburg courthouse on Thursday night (hence why I was hectic and mind was preoccupied) and last night in Macedon at the Mountview theatre where we are competing in their ‘One act play’ festival. Those performances, especially last nights’ performance, really gave me a clear understanding as to why I act and want I’m pursuing a career within that industry; because I LOVE IT! I will continue on with my acting endeavours because it is truly my soul food, my outlet; my dream. Performing as an actor makes me happy. It makes me a happier fiancé, a friend, a family member. When that occurs it makes relationships just that little bit stronger and everlasting. That is what life is all about. LIVE your life; don’t just live your life.

Selma Danculovic

Author of The Papakittens Adventures: Reach for the Stars

#weightloss #greentea #dieting

Disclaimer* This is in no way diet advice but our own personal journey and experience. I’m not a dietician. Please seek professional advice when embarking on any diet and/or exercise regime.

Posted in Weight loss journey

Green tea experiment – Week 2 update:

Weight loss to date 6.6 kilos
Weighed myself on Thursday 10/07/2014 around 8 am
Weight gain: +.100 grams
Total: 6.5 kilos *

*Now here is an interesting turn of events. I worked out in the afternoon for an hour combining Zumba and a bit of running. I then weighed myself when I got home around 8pm and I had lost .600g. (subtracting from the original 6.6 kilos weight loss to date since last week.)

Total weight loss to date: 7.2 kilos!

So which weight loss figure should I choose to go by? The obvious would be the .600g weight loss, which now tips me towards the 7.2 kilo weight loss mark!

Let’s get back to my journey shall we? This week didn’t fare so well in terms of eating and exercising. At some point, even with weight loss!

Last Thursday I was on fire! I fit in two separate 1 hour sessions. I did one cardio session in the afternoon followed by another 1 hour Zumba session in the evening. I also managed to fit in 40 mins of yoga. The next day by late afternoon I felt so sick with flu symptoms! I did manage to fit in an hour cardio workout but could barely get through it. It went from bad to worse. Since last Friday until today I have been experiencing the dreaded flu. Although for the past two days I have 95% recovered I still have that lingering 5% percent.

On top of that the lovely time-of-the-month came and is nearly gone. Yes, yes TMI! But I do need to include all of the intervening variables. When I get my period I tend to put on a kilo or two and tend to hold onto it for a few days after.

Another variable was my diet. Let’s just say I failed miserably. For the most part I ate soup. But I did also include this amazing chocolate hedgehog cake I made and “could not do without.” (I’m being completely sarcastic here. I could do without it. My defences were down on so many levels. Yes, yes! I’m weak!) I also had rice on a number of occassions. When I’m sick I crave carbs. Full stop! I don’t want any protein-rich foods (i.e. eggs, meats etc.) I often would feel sick eating them so I just gave into my cravings. The body wants what the body wants right? The interesting part was when I did eat rice and potatoes my body felt replenished. So I researched this phenomena and it appears to be a known fact. I’ll try to summarise my understanding. Your body burns up more energy whilst you are sick to combat the flu. Carbohydrates are it’s preferred choice. Huh, go figure. So I don’t feel bad. In fact, I feel that I’m on the road to recovery.

So in mentioning all of the above,on another note here was my workout.

Day AM PM Yoga
Thursday 1 hr Cardio 1 hr Zumba 30 mins
Friday 1 hr Cardio
Saturday 1 hr
Sunday 1 hr
Monday Rest Rest Rest
Tuesday 50 mins Cardio/Weights 1 hr Body Combat
Wednesday 45 mins

Green Tea intake:

For the most part I would have at least a cup after each meal. I did however been consume green tea sporadically. I did have at least approximately 4 cups a day give or take.

The past couple of days I have included white rice into my diet (in small portions.) From Sunday –  Tuesday. I also had mostly homemade chicken and sweet corn soup. I also craved sugar and had some homemade hedgehog cake. On the weekend I had a small packet of peanut M&M’s. I also had a mini bowl of chinese food as well as 2 slices of meat lovers pizza. For the most part I had soup. I just couldn’t stomach a lot of my usual solid foods. My diet went awry!

Drinking the green tea along with copious amounts of water really aided in the  the recovery process.

What I’ve noticed is that when I really push myself with my workouts during the colder months I tend to be prone to catching the flu. In August 2013 I caught the flu three times. What I had noticed back then was that when I increased my workouts in duration and intensity I would get sick and now it’s happening again, very strange indeed. So this time around, I would like to be consistent with my workouts. I will aim to slowly incorporate and increase my workout duration and intensity instead of pushing myself to absolute limited by over-training.

So what’s in store for week 3?

Who knows? I will just keep going. I hope I lose the weight that I tend to hold onto whilst that ‘time’ comes about and then some. I will keep you posted. 🙂

Selma Danculovic

Author of The Papakittens Adventures: Reach for the Stars

#weightloss #greentea #dieting

Disclaimer* This is in no way diet advice but our own personal journey and experience. I’m not a dietician. Please seek professional advice when embarking on any diet and/or exercise regime.

Posted in Weight loss journey

The Green Tea experiment. Week 1 update.

Total weight loss to date: 6.6 kilos

Total weight loss this week: .500g I had gained + .600g = 1.1 kilo weight loss.

So here we are, another week has gone by.

*The results above a based on yesterday’s results. I had weighed myself on an empty stomach (as I didn’t have breakfast). I also worked out for an hour prior to weighing myself. I had completely forgot to weigh myself today and to date I’ve had a meal and snack.

So here is the interesting part. On the first day of drinking green tea after every meal (and then some) I weighed myself the following day and lost a whopping .700g! Whether that was water weight or not, it was a surprising result!

Throughout the week my weight went up and down.

Workout regime: 

Day AM PM Yoga
Thursday 1 hr Zumba 30 mins yoga
Friday 1 hr Cardio 1 hr yoga
Saturday 1 hr & 20 mins Cardio/weights
Sunday 1hr Cardio/weights
Monday 1 hr Cardio 30 mins yoga
Tuesday 1 hr Body Combat 45 mins yoga
Wednesday 1 hr Cardio 40 mins yoga


I ate reasonably well. I stuck to my diet for the most part. I did indulge a few times. I had a kebab on Saturday for lunch, I had a chicken roll with small chips for lunch on Sunday, I ate a few freddo frogs and last night for my beloved’s birthday I had a handful of hot chips with my meal and a slice of a delicious (and well worth the indulgence) Jamaican baked cheesecake (chocolate) from The Cheesecake Shop. Amazing!

Green Tea consumption.

On average I think I consumed around 4-6 cups a day! Yes that’s a lot! I would often use the same tea bag to make two cups. I found the tea was quite potent.

There you have it. I’m quite pleased with the results thus far. The weight loss could be based on water weight but I’m really not complaining. Up until now I have been experiencing some difficulty with losing the weight I gained back whilst in Hawaii and a little bit extra. One thing I’ve noticed is that consuming green tea after each meal does help to reduce the bloated feeling. It would be interesting to see whether I will achieve similar weight loss results within the next week. Only time will tell…

Selma Danculovic

Author of The Papakittens Adventures: Reach for the Stars

#weightloss #greentea #dieting

Disclaimer* This is in no way diet advice but our own personal journey and experience. I’m not a dietician. Please seek professional advice when embarking on any diet and/or exercise regime.

Posted in Weight loss journey

The Green Tea experiment

For a long time now I’ve heard of so many wonderful benefits of green tea.

  1. Full of antioxidants
  2. Assists in weight loss in conjunction with a well balanced diet and regular exercise.
  3. It apparently has anti-viral and anti-bacterial agents.
  4. Helps to reduce bad cholesterol.
  5. I could seriously be here for days. There are so much more, but you get the idea right?

An effect I could most certainly see is that it does have a somewhat high caffeine content. So if you are quite sensitive or even weary about that, you have been warned.

What I really want to focus on is #2. Surprise, surprise eh?

Does it really aid in weight loss? Now, I’ve tried a lot of diets in my time. Pills, soups, shakes, omitting a lot of the nasty junk foods and the like but tea? The thing is this, the operative word is ‘assists’. You as the dieter will still need to adopt a well balanced diet (what that may mean to you) and take part in regular heart-thumping, muscle- crunching, positive-vibe giving exercise.

So what’s the dealio? How will this all ‘go down’? Sorry for the slang. When something is all ‘suss’ (suspicious-oh dear I’m translating lingo now) well I tend to get all ‘sleep with eye open’ ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer’ like. I think I’ll stop now. Now back to what we were talking about.

Aha! yes! Green tea and its’ weight loss properties. Now if all of the above (and I’m sure there are many more fun facts) is true, then my experiment may work to some degree.

So how will I go about this?

I will still continue on with my diet and exercise regime. Although I have been slightly slack with my workouts compared to how I was prior to my trip to Hawaii almost a couple of months ago. Over the past few weeks or so I tend to be averaging, in terms of working out, around 5 times a week and sometimes twice-a-day. It’s not my usual 6 times a week and sometimes twice-a-day workouts.

For this experiment I will try my hardest to note the exercise I’ve done. I will try to summarise my diet. I truly hate writing down what I eat. It’s tedious and a tad bit all-consuming. So I’ll give you more of an ‘idea’ of what I’ve consumed…’overall’. Gosh I’m lazy!

I will aim to have at least a cup of green tea during/after my 3 main meals. If I have more, then that’s a bonus.
I will aim to do this for the next 6 weeks. (To start off with.)

That’s it!

So how will I correlate whether green tea has ‘assisted with’ my weight loss?
Listen, I have to admit. Over the past couple of weeks. Well since I posted my article on reaching a 6 kilo weight loss. I had put on around half a kilo. It goes up and down but seems to hover around that point. I have been eating reasonably well. Although my exercise is a little less, my workouts are still a decent amount in terms of duration and intensity. If the green tea could aid in shifting what I’ve gain plus more (stressing the point more so, with diet and exercise) then everything will be coming up Selma (and we don’t mean my weight :-/ sorry it was right there! I just couldn’t walk away from a zinger line.)

Now come to think of it. I’ve also started incorporating high intensity workouts like running regular. I wonder if that has anything to do with the inability to shift more weight? It could be that and, you know, once-a-month came and gone. I tend to hold on to weight when that occurs. Who knows what it could be?

So in saying that. If I still continue with my diet. Increase my workouts slightly and incorporate the green tea, it shall be interesting to see  how it will all go. 6 weeks may not be enough though but 6 weeks may be enough to see some shift, however small that may be.

I’ve started consuming some green tea today. To date I’m on my first cup. It’s only around 11 am Melbourne time. I’m at home today so that helps. It may be a little different when I’m out and about. The key, I think, is to keep it simple. Just stick to a few simple rules ( as per above)

Let the experiment begin!

Selma Danculovic

Author of The Papakittens Adventures: Reach for the Stars

#weightloss #greentea #dieting

Disclaimer* This is in no way diet advice but our own personal journey and experience. I’m not a dietician. Please seek professional advice when embarking on any diet and/or exercise regime.

Posted in Insight & perspective

What do you owe?

I thought I would take you on a more, I guess you could say, an insightful journey. I’ll try anyway. Something came to mind a while ago and has always lingered. I’ve always wanted others’ opinion on this and what better way to receive it is via a blog post.

The whole notion of giving back and helping one another has always intrigued me. Yes, the act of giving is humbling and fulfilling in varying degrees. What I’m intrigued with is the give/take and vice versa equation.

What I’ve noticed, with a perceptive microscope, is the following,

‘When you continuously take from something or some being and not give (back) in return, the universe will somehow take what it’s owed to balance the ratio.’

The disclaimer* It may not necessarily be of equal value. It may even be unrelated.

This bold statement is not scientifically proven nor is it a fact. It’s most certainly interesting to ponder. It’s simply a thought, nothing more.

Selma Danculovic

Author of The Papakittens Adventures Reach for the Stars

#paleosuccess #primal

Posted in Uncategorized

Breaking up with my excess weight is so hard to do.

Just LIFE getting in the way

This is interesting. As a writer I tend to write a bit and then think, ‘wow! this is a brilliant piece!’ Mind you it’s often 3am or so! I keep telling myself I’m not that tired but really who am I kidding? If my keyboard inflated into a pillow my head would drop like lead straight onto it!

So what I then do is I tend to save the piece, then months later refer to it and think, ‘what on earth was I thinking?!’ Now, I don’t know if what I’ve just posted below will be ‘one of those instances’ but I figure, I really should have published it a couple of months ago when I first wrote it, also it’s better late than never.

Meh, I will leave it up to you to decide. I first wrote this on the 17th of March 2014. Another reason as to why I decided to post it today was…

View original post 585 more words

Posted in Weight loss journey

Back to the tried and true. (Weight loss to date: 6 kilos!)

Weight loss to date: 6 kilos!

I have finally reached the 6 kilo weight loss mark about a week ago!! Woohoo! To some people this may not be much, but to me, it is an incredible win!

So I had officially arrived back from my trip to Hawaii on the 12th of May. Before I continue I would also like to break the news that I’m ENGAGED! My boyfriend of almost 9 years had proposed on my birthday (May 2nd) in Hawaii! Yes, yes, I know! It took me weeks to announce it but I just had to tell my family and close friends before I announced it to the wonderful, wide, internet world.

<Cue praise, then love followed by complete and utter feel good, top-of-the world kind of vibes. Then end scene.>

Let’s continue shall we?

So when I had arrived back it took a good week, no wait, I’m sugar coating it. 10 days or so to get my head back in the weight loss game. Jet lag came and went, I had a nasty cough and it felt like the dreaded flu-like symptoms hovered over me like a nightmarish demon but like a nightmare, it ended.

See I don’t tend to lose weight quickly and require an intense and committed workout and diet regime. I had put on a couple of kilos while I was in Hawaii (no fault but my own). So upon my return I had to lose that weight plus lose a little bit more. Now we are back in business!

On the workout front

So within the second week back from the holiday I started getting back to my gym routine but it was definitely a sloooooow process!

I could give you every excuse under the sun, which may welcome sympathy but the truth is I just really could not be bothered. I felt drained and just plan ol’ lazy. Despite all of this laziness, I just went through the motions and thought ‘well this is better than nothing’. Rather than not going at all, I just recreated new temporary goals. One was to continue working out even if I wasn’t going as hard core about it. I did this for a couple of weeks until my interest was raised. Also, I had only worked out between 4-5 times a week as opposed to my pre-Hawaii workout regime which was on average 6 times a week and often than not, two sessions a day.

The Sunday pass (2nd June), I took part in the MS fun run. Last year I had only walked it. This year I decided to take part in the 5km run. And I did. My run time was 34:05. During my run I had stopped to walk around 3 times which is a lot less then the other runs I had took part in previously. (I’m quite proud of that). I had decided at the start of this year that one fitness goal was to tale part in 5 x 5km fun runs. This is my second.

So this week has begun, it’s Wednesday and I have worked out yesterday and today. I had my ‘rest’ day on Monday. This week will be a 6 day workouts with 4 of those days being a ‘two-workouts-a-day’ regime.  Also, over the past two weeks I have slowly introduced yoga back into my workout (which is most welcomed as my muscles are screaming for it!) This week I’ve scheduled 6 x 30 minute sessions, to date I have completed 2.

Food, glorious food!

The diet was a little rocky when we returned. On our holiday we took splurging to the next level. Burgers, hot dogs, sweets, pizza, cheesecake, rich foods! By the end of the holiday we craved salads. I remember we finally got into The Cheesecake factory and had the slice of deliciousness in front of me but all I wanted was grilled chicken breast and salad.

As mentioned in the previous post  I had put back on a couple of kilos. With regards to losing what I had gained, it had been such an up and down process. Since nearly a week ago I have finally broken through the 6 kilo weight loss mark. What I had noticed is that even though I didn’t exercise as much as I would usually like I tried my utmost hardest to stick to my diet. As mentioned in the previous post, I had mentioned to stick to 1-2 cheat meals. Over the past weeks since I had arrived from Hawaii I had approximately up to 3 cheat meals a week. This week I’m really trying to restrict it back down to 1-2 cheat meals. So far, so good.

What I had noticed was regardless of whether I had exercised ferociously or not, as long as I stuck to a healthy diet, I somehow lost some weight.  That and a consistent exercise program. Oh and of course, focus and determination.

Anyway, until next time…

Selma Danculovic

Author of The Papakittens Adventures: Reach for the Stars

Disclaimer* This is in no way diet advice but our own personal journey and experience. I’m not a dietician. Please seek professional advice when embarking on any diet and/or exercise regime.

#paleo #lowcarb #sugarfree #dieting #success

Posted in Weight loss journey

Motivation in the form of a trip to Hawaii.

So I have arrived back from Hawaii after a much needed holiday with my darling.

Prior to our holiday my boyfriend and I decided to go on a diet to lose a ‘few kilos’ just to look and feel a little more ‘fitter’. Through some hard work and dedication we achieved a combined weight loss effort of approximately 12 kilos (he lost a little over 7 kilos, I lost a little over 5 kilos).

Now you must be wondering how we did it? A magic pill? A vibrating belt strap thingy wrapped around our waist and hips while standing there and doing , well, nothing? I’m sorry to disappoint you but it was just good old fashioned HARD WORK!

Diet, exercise and determination! Yes I sound like a broken record. You’ve heard it all before, what’s new right?

It started off when we invited a lovely lifelong friend over for dinner. She always looks fantastic but what I had noticed in this instance was that she had a bit more of a bounce in her step. She had mentioned she had recently embarked on a, what I would refer to as a somewhat ‘sugar-free diet.’ She went on to explain what that exactly involved. I’ll paraphrase what she had mentioned.

  1. The obvious was to eliminate adding sugar to your diet. That’s easy, no sugar in your coffee and/or tea. This is something that I took to quite easily like a duck to water.
  2. To eliminate complex carbohydrates such as rice, bread and pasta. Oats are allowed and so are sweet potatoes however I find that I eat sweet potatoes sparingly and I’m not a massive fan of oats. It’s best to limit these to a few times a week.
  3. No cakes, biscuits, ice cream, chocolates, custards, basically all sweet treats.
  4. Yogurts with sugar (Greek Yogurt is preferred).
  5. Eat fruit and vegetables. Reduce the consumption of the following fruits and vegetables such bananas, pumpkin and carrot although I do eat these and I will explain my reasons later on. The preferred fruits are pears, berries and kiwi fruit (just to name a few.)
  6. You don’t need to count calories.
  7. Dairy is allowed. It’s best to go for the full fat option as opposed to the skimmed variety as these options tend to have added sugars.
  8. Eat regularly.
  9. Drink plenty of water.
  10. No soft drinks.

These are some of the many pointers.

As mentioned in a previous post, my boyfriend and I had previously embarked on a Paleo/primal/low carb diet early last year. We had a small amount of success. We teetered off and gained most of it back.

So whilst my friend was still there my boyfriend went out and bought some Greek yogurt, berries and walnuts. To tell you the truth, I didn’t enjoy it at first spoonful (I acted like I enjoyed it) and I didn’t think I could continue on. But I had decided that come Monday I would give it a go. The only difference is that I decided to tweak it slightly.

So that’s where the watered down Paleo/primal/low-carb/sugar-free diet began.

So here are the tweaks. My boyfriend and I implemented the above points but we allowed the following:

  1. One or two cheat meals per week not full days. The idea of this is when you allow yourself a full day to eat anything you wanted you could easily consume more than what’s required. That than could result to regaining what you had lost (by eating less and/or exercising off) previously. Also, your meal tends to taste a lot nicer therefore you have an appreciation of what you are eating even if it’s just good ol’ fish n chips.
  2. When we prepare steaks, chicken breasts (without skin) or any other cuts of meat we do like a little flavor so we allow ourselves to include some gravy or barbeque / tomato sauces. (We try to control the amount.)
  3. We do eat bananas, pumpkins, carrots, peas, corn and other starchy fruits and vegetables. My reason for consuming them is because I’m quite active with relation to going to the gym regularly. My gym workouts tend to vary in intensity so I do need those extra carbohydrates to fuel my workouts. I do however limit the amount of these types of foods daily.
  4. P.S. Don’t get me wrong  we occasionally fall of the wagon but we try our hardest to get back up on again.

These are only a few tweaks. I’m sure there are more.

Now while embarking on these new diet changes it wasn’t all sunshine and lolly-pops (obviously no lolly-pops). The first week or so, my boyfriend and I felt lethargic at times (well, I got hit the worst. My boyfriend? Not so bad.) I would often stay in contact with my friend. She would ensure me that it was normal. The key is to continue to drink a lot of water and to eat small regular meals (protein rich with veggies and the like -paraphrasing of course.) I found that this transition from my old way of eating and readopting this new way was a very slow progression but after a couple of weeks my body began to get used to the changes. This phase tends to vary amongst people. Just be aware of it.

Blood, sweat and tears? No just SWEAT, SWEAT and SWEAT!

You’ve heard it all before. Exercise is very important. It truly is. For a number of years I had embarked on so many weight loss ventures. Regardless of the amount of time I put in I would lose a little then it would creep back on and then some. This is what I had found worked for me this time around.

  1. Workout 5-6 times a week.
    1. I would usually workout 6 times a week on average. The sessions would go around an hour at a time. I would incorporate weight training and cardio work (skipping, running on a treadmill, X trainer, stepper, stationary bike etc)
    2. I increased my sessions a few times a week where I would attend the gym twice a day.
    3. The key seems to be consistency and variety (I.e with exercises, intensity etc)

I started this diet and exercise regime around mid March 2014 and finished it by late April 2014. My boyfriend had only started working out towards the end of the time frame a few times a week for around 45 minutes – 1 hour at a time. Most of his workouts were cardio based. Although he didn’t workout regularly he did lose the weight, however (now here is a disclaimer) he tends to lose weight quickly (if he puts some effort) but on the same token he can put it straight back on if he is not careful.

Now where to from here?

We had arrived back from our holiday a couple of weeks ago. Both my boyfriend and I had put on a few kilos during our holiday but to date we have lost most of it. I have ever so slowly gone back to our diet and exercise regime. My boyfriend hasn’t gone back to the gym but he too is slowly incorporating the diet, we had previously embarked on, back into his life.

Last week I went to the gym 6 times (1 hour – 1 hour and 15 minutes) each time. This week I will be visiting the gym 4-5 times. I will aim to add two extra sessions onto two of those days. I also have a 5km MS charity fun run I will be competing in this Sunday.

I guess my next goal is to continue what I had done to lose the last 5 kilos and aim to lose another. Let’s see if it will work this time around.

We have had quite a few slip-ups but all in all we are slowly getting back on track. We are finding it a little harder to stay motivated as I guess we don’t have a tropical island to visit as our first mini goal/incentive. What keeps us going and learning from our mistakes is staying focussed on our major goal of losing the excess we have accumulated over the years and to change our damaging eating habits we had adopted. It takes time and trial and error but I guess if we work together we will get there.

Selma Danculovic

Author of The Papakittens Adventures: Reach for the Stars

Disclaimer* This is in no way diet advice but our own personal journey and experience. I’m not a dietician. Please seek professional advice when embarking on any diet and/or exercise regime.

#paleo #lowcarb #sugarfree #dieting #success