Eating Healthily while not feeling deprived!

October 12, 2010

Many people ask me, “How did you lose all your weight after your pregnancy?” My response to this is often a referral to the fact that two months after the birth of my baby I was dreadfully ill and then had to eventually have my gall bladder removed. So, after that I was on a diet of apple juice and jelly. In all honesty, though, that is not the only reason I believe that I have kept the weight off.

As I mentioned before, I had my gall bladder out but that was not the only fun that happened. After being dreadfully ill for quite a bit of my pregnancy they announced that I had “gestational diabetes”. This was a huge wake up call for me. You would think that I was a big drinker and eater, overindulging any chance that I got. The opposite was true.

Gestational Diabetes occurs during pregnancy as insulin is “blocked”. I won’t bore you with the exact details but what it can tell me is that, partly because of my genetics, I could quite likely land up with type II Diabetes in my later years.

What I did not understand, which I do now, is that the way I was eating was contributing to my “illness”. What a blessing it was spending thousands going to a Dietician (I can say that now in retrospect). I gained knowledge that will help me for the rest of my life and I want to share it with you for FREE!

The first thing that I learnt (and I believe the most important) was…

  1. You must not feel like you are starving yourself
    I know you hate the word diet. That word alone can send many women running. The truth is the word diet has been warped to mean something COMPLETELY different than its intended purpose. Whether you like it or not, you are on a diet right now. The foods you currently eat make up your diet plan and I am sure that if sat down and wrote down everything you might feel a bit concerned.My Dietician had to deal with me, a pregnant woman, concerned about her baby’s growth and development (Not easy!). She made it very clear that I should not feel deprived. What happens when we do feel deprived? You know…we have a moment of weakness and …well, you know the rest. The truth is, there is no need to feel this way, unless of course if you are extremely overweight but then I would recommend seeing a registered professional.
  2. Making little Changes, starting will GI
    Okay, now is where we come to the “real juicy meat” of this article. By simply making sure that you eat often and Low GI foods, you will probably start losing weight immediately. Those two things may appear to contradict themselves. Low GI is supposed to give you more energy, right? So, why would you need to eat often?Eating Low GI (Glycaemic Index) foods enables you to have energy all throughout the day instead of in little bursts. Eating often will help you to kick the hungry feeling and you will not eat as much in the day. Below is a table of foods (in South Africa) which have a Low GI. Study it carefully. You will be shocked! I thought I was eating healthily.At school they give you all the food groups and tell you to eat from each, etc. Eat fruit, drink milk, a little meat but they don’t  explain things as I think they should and if your parents don’t teach you, you will never know!
LOW GI (0-55)
Eat most of the time
Eat in moderation
HIGH GI (70 and above)
Try to avoid, or eat after strenuous exercise, or when blood sugar levels are low. Try to combine with low GI food.
Low fat/fat free milk (plain and flavoured), Low fat/fat free yoghurt (plain and sweetened), Low fat/fat free custard (sweetened and unsweetened), Low fat ice-cream (sweetened and unsweetened)
Pronutro: wholewheat (original and apple bake), High fibre bran, Bokomo Fibre Plus, Fruitfull All Bran Flakes, some muesli (check the packaging), cold mieliemeal, oat bran (raw), digestive bran.
Strawberry Pops, Pronutro (original, banana, strawberry, chocolate and honeymelt), Tasty wheat, Corn Pops, Frosties, Chocos, Shredded Wheat, All bran flakes, Mieliemeal – reheated, Oats (Cooked)
Weetbix, Nutrific, Maltabella, Puffed wheat, Rice Crispies, Cornflakes, Special K, Toasted Muesli, Oats (raw), Instant Oats, Cooked Oat Bran
Provita, Seed Loaf, Pumpernickel, Any bread made with lots of whole kernels,
Rye bread, Ryvita, Crackermates ‘lites’, Pita Bread (wholegrain)
All brown, white and regular whole wheat bread. All bread rolls and anything made with plain cake flour. Rice Cakes, Snack Bread, Cream Crackers, Water Biscuits
Legumes (all dried and canned beans, peas, lentils, pea dahl, baked beans and butter beans), boiled barley, barley wheat, crushed wheat, bulgur, buckwheat, pasta (must be 100% durum wheat/durum semolina), sweet potato, mielies/corn, brown rice, wild rice
Sweet Corn (canned and creamstyle), Basmati Rice, Arborio rice (for risotto), baby potatoes – with skin, cous cous, samp and beans
All boiled/mashed/baked and fried potatoes, Instant and two minute noodles, samp, mielie rice, millet, pasta (normal wheat flour), polenta
All deciduous fruit i.e. apricots, cherries, peaches, plums, pears, pears, apples, etc.
All citrus fruit i.e. oranges, naartjies, grapefruit
Strawberries and other berries, kiwi and grapes (watch portions!)
Tropical Fruit i.e. banana, mango, paw-paw, pineapple and litchis
Dried Fruit: sultanas, dates, raisins (again watch portions)
Watermelon and Sweet Melons
Dried Fruit Rolls
Beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onion, mushroom, cucumber, lettuce, marrows, peas, peppers, tomato, etc
Beetroot, spinach, marog
Carrots and Carrot Juice, pumpkin, Hubbard Squash, butternut, parsnips, turnips
(everyone’s favourite)
Fructose – not more than 4 tsp a day, sugar free sweets, sugar free jam (St. Dalfour – love it!), Homemade low fat popcorn
Digestive biscuits, low fat oatmeal crumpets, low fat biscuits, bran/fruit muffins, pancakes containing oats/oatbran. Raw honey, jam, sugar
Sweets – boiled and jelly type, Marie Biscuits, Most Cakes and Biscuits, Commercial Honey, glucose, maltose
Sugar-Free cold drink, Lipton ‘lite’ Iced tea, ‘lite’ flavoured mineral water. Diluted juice of Low GI Fruits (1-2 glasses per day – drink water instead)
Juice of Intermediate GI Fruits – only 1 glass of Diluted juice, Regular cool drink, cordials and soft drinks
Sports and Energy Drinks eg. Energade, Powerade and Lucozade


  1. Dilute your fruit juice
    As you may have read above, you need to dilute your juice. Think about how many fruits it takes to make one glass. You would not normally eat as many as you drink! Dilute it with water and drink water or tea when you get thirsty once again.
  2. Add a protein
    Did you know that when you add a protein to a carbohydrate it generally slows down the release of energy, i.e. if you eat a protein such as cheese with a carbohydrate such as bread – you automatically lower the GI?

I hope this will help you a little bit on your way to a healthier “diet” and lifestyle. Remember, do not use this information to replace a professional’s opinion. If you need help – find it!

Good Luck!

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