Vegan ≠ healthy.
Especially in a confectionary shop.
And whilst you should feel better about choosing a vegan treat, your health is priority.
This may seem weird coming from someone who sells sugar for a living. Surely, I should be encouraging you to consume as much as you can in return for your hard-earned money? That’s how business works, right?
I’m here to tell you the opposite.
Pre-2020, I was overweight, unfit, and didn’t like my body. When New Year hit, I lost 4 stone in 7 months. This wasn’t on a vegan diet (I wasn’t considering it then), but it did encourage my newfound love for certain vegetables, like mushrooms.
Now, my treats form as part of a balanced diet. When I want a treat, I want it to be worth it. I don’t want to scoff a pizza or a chocolate bar because I’m stressed. I want scrumptious, mind-blowing treats that make all my hard work worth it.
This is where my advice comes from. It comes from a person who used to mindlessly eat sweets and treats without appreciating what I was tasting. Today, I want you to slow down, invest, and appreciate the experience of confectionary.
To help you earn that treat, I’m sharing 5 ways that helped me when I started my weight-loss journey. As always, this is for informational purposes and you should always seek advice from a professional before making any changes.
Diet helps weight loss more than exercise
Think of your body like a car. It doesn’t matter how big your engine is, if you put rubbish in, it will perform like rubbish.
If the thought of losing weight or just being healthy overwhelms you, just focus on your food. In those 7 months, I hardly did any exercise. I didn’t go to the gym, but I did try running for a short period of time. Running probably encouraged fat loss, but it wouldn’t have been enough to lose the entire 4 stones.
By focusing on your food, you can plan your treats ahead to give you something to look forward to. (See Tip #5!)
Take the stairs
Just walk more. Instead of focusing on hitting the gym at 6am or blocking out an hour in the afternoon for yoga, find opportunities in your everyday life.
Taking the stairs is a great example.
Before deciding to lose weight, I used to happily wait for the lift at university to get to my lecture. As soon as January hit, I walked past the lift and bombed it up the stairs. These little changes every day add to your total calories burned. You can’t miss them, whereas an hour in the gym is easy to skip after a hard day’s work.
I loved when I started to take the stairs without a second thought. For me, it showed how far I’d come from being out of breath to feeling a burst of energy.
Ditch alcohol and fizzy pop
I challenged myself to have zero alcohol and fizzy pop for 30 days. I love real ale, which is basically liquid bread, and so became a massive no-go for my carb limit.
Fizzy pop is okay in small quantities, but I used to drink at least 2 litres of cola a day. It didn’t make sense to be drinking so much if I was trying to lose weight. For those 30 days, I switched to squash and black coffee (which I now love).
It doesn’t have to be alcohol or fizzy pop you drop. Find something you wish you didn’t consume and drop that. After the 30 days, I walked away feeling more sense of control. I still drink cola, but only in small quantities (unless I’m having a really bad day). As for alcohol, I’ve started to appreciate real ale even more, especially when I’m having them once in a blue moon.
You may not want to drop your mild addictions at the beginning of your road to healthy journey. Changing too much at once may cause you to switch back harder. Know yourself before making the decision.
Get your sleep-in order
My partner used to work as a restaurant and bar manager. She worked late and came home even later. Staying up for her return home only made me hungrier and caused me to snack more.
There are two positives when you control your sleep.
When you’re tired, your willpower is weakened. I become more prone to ordering a late-night pizza as my partner was driving home. Or maybe I’ll pop down the shop and grab another 2-litre bottle of cola.
This weakened willpower counteracts your hard effort in the day to control your calories. Don’t waste your effort. Go to bed at a reasonable time. Today, I try my best not to eat anything past 8pm with the idea of going to bed around 10:30-11pm. As a rule of thumb: if it’s past 10pm and I’m hungry, I have a glass of water and go bed. There’s no point eating more and piling the pounds back on.
The other side is routine.
By dictating when you sleep, you can set times for when you eat. By putting an hour window for when you have breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack (if you have all), your body knows when you expect food. As a result, it doesn’t convert every food you consume into fat in a mad panic that you’ll never eat again. It also means your body will burn off fat for energy use as it doesn’t need to store it anymore.
Plan your treats
You can have bad days. When I was losing weight, I had a few. Stressful day at university and I’ll come home and order a 16” pizza.
But when you treat yourself often, that’s when you have a problem. That’s when your treat turns nasty and harms you more than you think.
To plan your treat, set a frequency and budget. I used to set £25 for a single takeaway each month. Now, I’m more relaxed and have the same budget for two takeaways a month. If I’m honest, I often break this rule and need to get back on track.
But, by having a budget and a date to look forward to, you become more disciplined. I resisted plenty of chocolate bars and cake from the university shop because I knew I would be having that giant pizza at the end of the month. If I was desperate, I grabbed a pack of walnuts to snack on as a healthy alternative.
Having that vision and treat to look forward to keeps you motivated. And honestly, after withdrawing from something for long enough (cola for me), you stop wanting it so much.
This sounds ridiculous from a bloke who sells sweets and chocolate for a living.
But my vision isn’t for you to walk into my store and buy 7 chocolate bars, 2 sharer bags of crisps, and 800g of sweets.
I want you to buy one chocolate bar (or your preferred treat) that you’ll love and be excited to try. One chocolate bar that is better than any supermarket option. One chocolate bar that you can’t find anywhere else.
I want Alleway’s Confectionary to be the place where your treat becomes worth it.