A few months ago I decided to take action against my weight. I spent a great deal of my time hating my physical appearance due to my weight but never actually did anything about it. I was at my heaviest about four months ago. At 5ft7 and weighing 14st5 I was medically classed as obese, admittedly only just but obese all the same.
That came as shock. I realised I was big at a UK size 16 but I didn't realise I was THAT big. I decided to get rid of the extra weight once and for all. I've spent my entire life watching my Mother 'yo-yo diet' quite extremely. Every year she gets big over the Christmas period, slims down by about May/June and then gradually puts it all back on again until the cycle starts all over again.
I was determined not to do this myself. I wanted to get it all off and then keep it off. How successful I am at keeping it off I cannot yet say as I have yet to reach my target weight (only another 7lb to go)! But dieting has proven no where near as difficult as I thought it would be!
I'd lost 10lb within my first 11 days of dieting completely healthy. Unfortunately it only really comes off that quickly at the very beginning, you soon start to slow down. Four months down I am still putting in the same amount of effort as I did when I first started but I'm only losing between 2-4lb a fortnight. Patience is definitely a virtue.
There are millions of fad diets around which tell you do all sorts of dramatic and ridiculous things in order to lose weight. Personally I think the most effective way is a calorie controlled diet and regular exercise. After all, that was working a long time before the Atkins diet came along!
I haven't followed any dieting plan. I've simply cut out of crisps/chocolate/takeaways and such and exercised a lot more frequently.
I will say, however, don't fall into the trap of thinking that because you're on a diet you're never allowed anything 'nice'. I still enjoy the occasional chocolate bar, ice cream and cake and it's done me no harm.
Meat substitutes are also good for dieting. I'm a vegetarian so don't have much choice in the matter but even if you do normally eat meat there is no harm to switching to a quorn sausage rather than pork one every now and again. It's still tasty and contains a great deal less calories!
Find a sport you enjoy, exercise is a lot easier if you're enjoying it! I find swimming is quite effective for me, it's less strenuous due to the weightlessness of the water but still very effective for calorie burning. Obviously this ranges from person to person but just 30 minutes swimming burns, on average, 600 calories.
I also started using my Wii. There are plenty of effective exercise games available for such a console and they really do make exercise a lot more enjoyable. Not to mention the fact exercising in your own living room fits around your lifestyle a lot better than having to go to the gym.
Another thing I can recommend is simple walking. If I can walk there within an hour, then I will. It's also quite relaxing and mind clearing if you listen to a bit of music or an audio book whilst doing so.
It can be a little hard at first not giving into temptation but after a while you really do get used to it. I don't really miss junk food at all now days and I have no problem walking down the chocolate isle of my local supermarket. I found that the feeling you get when you stand on the scales and see a lower number or fit into that pair of jeans you haven't gotten over your thighs in 2 years or even having friends comment on how they can see you've lost weight is a lot nicer than eating any amount of chocolate.
The exercise soon becomes a normal part of your life as well. And, as I said, if you find a sport or exercise that you actually enjoy then you find yourself looking forward to your workout rather than dreading it and putting it off!
I guess what I'm getting at is, ignore all of these fad diets, don't bother wasting your money on a weight watches class (unless the added support helps you that is) and don't think you have to live on salad for months on end. Healthy eating and exercise works perfectly fine. I've lost 3 stone in 4 months following that so the results are proven!
When you tuck into your lunch do you realise that food digestion actually begins in the mouth, not the stomach. As you chew your salivary glands secrete enzyme rich saliva which breaks down food starch into sugar and begins the process of fat digestion. The saliva itself moistens the food and helps to create a food bolus (a ball) which can then be swallowed easily. The more you chew, the more your food begins to be digested thus making it much easier for your stomach to finish the job. Under-digested food can also cause gastrooesophogeal reflux (that's heartburn to you and me). This happens when the stomach contents, consisting of food, stomach acid and digestive juices, travel back up from the stomach into the oesophagus and cause a painful burning sensation.
While you are eating your intestine is sending signals to your brain. Once it's had enough food it sends out an 'I've had enough to eat' message to the brain. When the brain receives this it activates the satiety response which is what makes us stop eating. According to the experts it can take up to 20 minutes for food to move from the stomach to the intestine, the intestine to send out the signal to our brain and our brain to put the brakes on. If we're eating rapidly we actually don't hear that 'I'm full' signal quickly enough and end up eating more than we need. This not only gives us that awful bloated feeling but can of course contribute to weight gain in the longer term.
If you eat slowly you will actually taste your food - I know, amazing isn't it! That in itself can be a pleasurable and sensual experience; savouring the flavours, textures and smells from your favourite meal, how they intermingle and work together. Not only that but you will actually start to pay attention to what you are putting in your mouth. Chowing down on a mouthful of value beefburger and chips is likely to become less enjoyable and therefore you may subconsciously effect a change from unhealthy to healthy eating.
There are reasons other than health, however, to exhort the benefits of eating slowly. In today's fast paced world, many of us don't take the opportunity to actually sit down and enjoy a meal as it should be enjoyed, and instead, treat our food as an inconvenience simply to be tolerated. To put it simply, we eat on the go. We eat at our desks, we eat in our cars, we eat standing up in the kitchen while we're waiting for the washing machine to finish. But by repeatedly doing this we are disconnecting ourselves from a very important ritual that has, for centuries, been at the heart of society. - sitting down, around the table, with friends and family and breaking bread together!
In many cultures a meal is considered to be an extremely important social occasion. Family and friends gather round the table for hours, talking, eating and drinking. The French and the Italians, for example, take their food very seriously, savouring each course and complementing it with wine. We would do well to take their lead. Sharing a meal with friends and family is one of the most important social rituals we can observe; appreciating good food and spending quality time with the people that we love the most.
We've all been there.
In the modern world, there are so many demands placed on our time, we have so many things competing for our attention, so often the days just seem to fly away from us.
Particularly those of you out there who are parents , or are full time carers, will be familiar with the constant daily challenges of juggling work commitments with taking care of your nearest and dearest, all of which leaves precious little time for you.
Many of us hanker for that "time out " period, always waiting for that next holiday, a few weeks where we can get things sorted out properly. Maybe then we can tackle the ever growing to do list - losing a few pounds, getting in shape, getting the finances organized, finding time to get back in touch with friends and family.
So where do you start?
Here's my own story of how I finally came to sort out my weight management issues.
I've spent the last 13 years or so in the IT industry, which although financially rewarding, has meant me spending a lot of time away from home on the road. Around June last year, I was assigned to a challenging delivery project, which required me to work away two or three days each and every week, not only in the less than glamorous setting of Slough, but also in the less than comfortable surroundings of a windowless , soulless Data Centre.
So not an unfamiliar scenario, but with a little boy starting to ask questions about why Daddy has to go away, and numerous complications resulting from a lack of resources to help with the deployment, it just got increasingly harder to deal with.
Working long hours, with limited onsite catering and all the stodge served up on room service menus, meant that I got into a very bad cycle of comfort eating and corner cutting. My plans to keep up a fitness regime in the hotel gym soon drifted away without the time or the motivation to keep it going.
The impact of stress itself is so difficult to quantify or measure, but I most certainly was feeling the frustration and it was beginning to spill over into family time, returning in a drained state to those precious weekend dates.
Things eventually came to a head in late November, when after a particularly harsh week, we had a weekend of over indulgence with some good friends. On the Sunday morning I woke up with mysterious pains across the front and back of my stomach region, and initially put it down to the excesses. However over the next couple of weeks the pains just refused to shift, constantly nagging at me. In the end, I felt I had to get things checked out, so while working away, at the end of another long day, headed over to Accident and Emergency to get things checked out.
There I was, bemused and confused, not having eaten much all day, suddenly whisked into a ward as the initial results came back - traces of blood in the urine sample, high blood pressure reading, further tests needed. I'm one of the most squeamish people you are ever likely to meet, so this wasn't exactly the outcome I was hoping for. Sitting there a week before my 39th birthday, terrified of what was about to be discovered, I went through hours of blood tests and x-rays which were unable to pinpoint things any further.
The advice was to take anti inflammatories and pain killers have follow up scans and consult my GP. This in itself was more than enough of a spur to get me to get myself removed from the project ASAP and try and take back some kind of control.
So a week later, my GP did an assessment, and although he couldn't shed any more light on the mystery stomach ailment he did confirm that my BP was still running extremely high - 196/100 compared with the norm of 120-140/80. So two days before Christmas I was booked in for an ECG, cholesterol tests, the works. Once again the BP reading from the nurse was worryingly high at 188/100.
The basic message was, go and chill out over Christmas, start taking control of the diet, and see how things are in the New Year. Faced with such a stark and frightening potential reality, I'd already given up alcohol and make some fairly fundamental adjustments to my daily diet.
First step was to gradually cut back on portion sizes. second to replace all the typical christmas fayre type snacks with the likes of carrots, handfuls of almonds and zero fat yoghurts. Then it just built from there really, over time, I seemed to crave the unhealthy /fatty / sugary stuff less and less, and actively enjoy savoury snacks and fruits.
The two absolute keys things for me were , never actually feeling hungry (so slow release high fibre foods good for that) and also never totally denying anything - i.e. I could always have one small chocolate, or one bite of cheese etc, etc.
As my stomach settled down, I started to do some gentle exercise, firstly out walking in the fresh air. Luckily for me I'd built up a fair collection of home gym equipment in my garage, including a treadmill and cross trainer, so once I'd swept away the dust, being home based for a while there was plenty of time to get stuck in.
By the time I revisited the doc after christmas I'd lost 14 pounds or so, but alas the BP rating was still 180/100. He gave me the last chance saloon option. To buy a home BP monitoring kit, measure for 3 weeks , and see if it's a case of the figures being artificially high due to stress of being at the doctors or "white coat syndrome". Otherwise, I was looking at intrusive and side effect loaded tablets for the rest of my days.
Luckily for me, having invested in a larger cuff size for my newly inflated biceps, and in a more relaxed home atmosphere, the figures were much better. Gradually as the weight came down, so to did the readings, edging closer and closer to an average of 150/85. The relief of this had its own impact and when I retested at the docs it was 164/92. So tablets avoided, just one more checkup due next week, but since then I've not looked back for a moment.
Now another 16 pounds lighter, training 6 times a week for 30 minutes or more, so many things are coming right for me. Work seems so much easier to manage, even my long standing slackness around jobs round the house has ended, finally tidying up after myself as a matter of course. I've got so much more energy for daily life now, and that feeling that my little boy won't have to worry about his daddy's health in the near future is amazing.
I think my main message here is that you have to understand your own unique relationship with food in order to get yourself in a position to tackle often long standing weight and health issues.
I was always the one grabbing the left overs, with the reputation of being greedy, go on give Paul a bit extra.
But somehow I managed to turn my love of basically all foods to my advantage.
The way I turned it around was to say, ok if I like all kinds of foods, why not simply select a healthy subset of those foods and make those the centerpiece of the diet.
So for example I really like spinach, oily fish, wholemeal bagels, high fibre cereals, salads, fish, brown rice, porridge, so just buy a load of those in.
I swear when the Tesco delivery man dropped it off it looked a bit like the after table Gillian Mckeiths programme. But like I say, just the healthy ones that you like.
The portion changes come about by avoiding stacking the plate high in the first place. And there's all kinds of little tips and tricks I've learned. Drink half a pint of water before a meal, eat an apple around 15 minutes before - it really does work at cutting down your appetite.
Without question, in the end , exercise really has a huge impact on losing the pounds, but I've got to a point now after 3 months that the good habits are so ingrained, I think even if I stopped exercising at the worst my weight would stay within 1 or 2 pounds of its current levels.
The benefits just keep coming as well. More energy for life, more confidence, more time. There is nothing more precious than your own health, and I for one am never going to let it get neglected again
I'm at my lowest weight since the 1990s and I've never felt better. If this review inspires just one person to make those changes , I'm a very happy man - please come back in a month or two and tell me all about it!
I've always been overweight. I was a big kid and got bullied for it. I carried on putting on the weight through my teenage years and into my early 20s. This was due to having a sedentary lifestyle and enjoying my food too much! Eventually, after much begging I was allowed to have a puppy. At that stage I was at my biggest - a whopping 22st.
Benji came to us on January 2005 and I started playing and walking with him. Losing weight never entered my mind until after having him for a year I got on the scales and found I was 20st 7lb. One and a half stone lost in one year just by walking a bit and playing! In 2006 I got serious, I started watching what I ate and doing exercise dvds as well as walking further. I kept this up for two years, when I met my boyfriend in late 2007. My weight floated between 15st and 16st for the next two years while we were doing up our house ready to move in.
Six months after moving in together I realised I had put on half a stone, I was eating like a pig and doing no other exercise but walking Benji. Time to change! I started counting calories, sticking to 1800 a day and got the old dvds out (as well as buying some new ones and Wii Fit Plus). In three months I lost two stone and have just two more to lose. Everyday I write down what I have to eat and make a note of the calories which I've now reduced to 1500 a day. I'm hovering around the obese/overweight BMI category now and saving furiously to get loads of new clothes when I'm at my goal weight.
At 22st I was probably heading for diabetes, heart attack or worse. I was lonely, never had a boyfriend, didn't go out at all, just sat and felt miserable. Losing weight gave me the confidence to go out more and talk to people, I met my boyfriend and we're now living together and very happy.
I was a size 26 at my biggest, I'm now a 16/18. My ultimate goal is to be a size 14. Just being able to buy clothes from any shop is incentive enough. Big girls don't have much choice and larger sizes are often much more expensive than smaller cothes, stuffed away in the corner of the shop.
There's no need to join weight loss classes, spend loads of money on meal replacement drinks or going to the extreme of have a gastric band. Losing weight by counting calories is easy, low calorie/fat meals can be cooked for the whole family even on a budget. I can even have chocolate as long as it is within my calorie limit.
A typical day for me goes like this:
Breakfast - sweet cereals (Frosties etc.) with unsweetened soya milk (150 calories)
Snack - banana or breakfast bar (100 cals)
Lunch - Sandwich (300 cals) Weight Watchers yoghurt (50 cals)
Snack - banana/Kit Kat/breakfast bar (I usually snack 2/3 times in the afternoon) (200-300 cals)
Dinner - fish or chicken with rice and veggies (400-500 cals)
Evening Snacks - low cal jelly with ice cream, biscuits, fruit (250 cals)
Which takes us to around 1500 calories a day :)
I walk Benji for nearly two hours most days, walking at a pretty fast pace to burn more calories. Every day I try to do 30 minutes of exercise, either an aerobics dvd or Wii Fit Plus. I'm looking forward to going for longer walks in the summer. I'm pretty busy every day with housework too which helps to burn calories. Even writing reviews helps as typing can burn 100 calories an hour :D
It might have taken me five years so far to lose eight stone but it's coming off. I hope this is the year I will reach my goal and finally find peace with my body. I hope you've enjoyed reading my review, thanks for taking the time to have a look.
Everyday, women are blasted with photos of skinny, tall women; there a sections in many of our magazines on how to lose weight - especially how to lose lots of weight quickly. It really maddens me that everyone expects women to be super skinny without an ounce of fat on them. I don't know about you, but I let out a sigh of relief when I saw the photos of the plus size models on the runway over summer this year (2009). I felt like I'd taken off that tiny dress that I expect myself to fit into, I could finally relax. I thought those models looked amazing, much better than the usual skeletons you get. Since seeing those photos in magazines, I have stopped starving myself in the hope that I'll be happier with myself. As a young woman, I have tried many diets. I was on one diet that I could only eat a carrot, tuna and two dry crackers for dinner and other not very filling meals. I also went on the Special K diet, it lasted 3 days as I could not stand the sight of Special K after that. I bought loads of different types, but I couldn't force myself to eat anymore.
I have decided that I don't want to lose weight - well, I do, but I don't want to force myself to do something that's only purpose is to rid me of my extra weight. A much healthier way of losing weight is to have a healthy lifestyle; eat healthily, exercise and don't decide to completely cut out your favourite cake or chocolate! I think before, I wanted to be like the stick thin models you get on the catwalk, but I've now realised that that's not beautiful; the curves of love handles are beautiful, big thighs are beautiful (and supposedly more healthy than the skinny ones) and a bit of a rounded belly is more beautiful than a super toned six pack. It's much more important to be healthy, than just to be your target weight. A size 16 woman could be much more fit and healthy than a size 8, size doesn't matter! Lifestyle does.
I actually turned vegetarian which has helped me have a better diet as I'm trying more vegetables and actually cooking my own meals from scratch, whereas before I would shove some chicken nuggets in the oven. I think taking a bit more time to think about what you're eating is the key to healthy eating. The more often you do this, the easier it will become and eventually it will just be second nature to you.
Tip #1: Don't go for the easy route - start cooking things from scratch, then you'll know exactly what goes into your food. And you never know, you might actually enjoy cooking! I know it's hard in this busy world to be a kitchen goddess, but there many ways to cheat in the kitchen and when you start cooking, you'll figure them out.
Tip #2: Never go shopping when you're hungry - You've probably heard this a million times, but it's true. You'll just pick up things which you want to eat just now, rather than the good healthy stuff! Always take a list with you and stick to it, that way you'll be buying what you need rather than what you want.
Tip #3: Online grocery shopping - I know this means less exercise, but online shopping is a God send for people who want to watch their weight. At the supermarket, you're much more likely to pick up stuff like your favourite chocolate biscuits and never put them back on the shelf. Whereas with online shopping, you can see exactly what you have in your shopping basket and you'll see that packet of chocolate biscuits, you'll think 'these aren't good for me, I should put them back' and with one click, they'll be gone!
Tip #4: Make meal plans - I do these every week, on the Sunday I'll sit on Asda.co.uk with my cookbook next to me writing down what meals I'm making and adding the ingredients to my baskets online. If you make meal plans, you'll be less likely to say 'I can't be bothered cooking tonight, I'll just throw some crap in the oven/get a takeaway' and you'll need to use up the food you bought for that meal.
Tip #5: Never starve yourself - I know it seems like the quickest way to lose weight, but it's not. It has been shown that people who eat less, don't actually lose more weight. Also, if you skip a meal in the hope of losing that extra pound, when you have you next meal you'll just be craving carbs. I work 12-9 on a Saturday and only have breakfast and lunch, so when I get home at 9 for my dinner, I just want to pig out. I'll eat tonnes of chocolate and won't feel good about myself. So, never skip a meal!
Tip #6: Never restrict your favourite things - I eat a lot of chocolate, I love it and I know that's probably the reason I put on so much weight. Everytime I try and give up chocolate, I just want it more and then eventually give in to the craving usually having double what I would have had if I hadn't stopped myself having it. Everything is good for you in small doses, so if you're used to having a packet of crisps every day, just limit yourself to one a week. Or give yourself half a bag, twice a week.
Tip #7: If it's not in the house, you won't eat it - If you buy a family pack of Walkers every week when you're living by yourself, don't. If you keep a stash of biscuits in the house 'incase visitors come over', don't. If you have a bar of Galaxy under your bed, get rid of it! Honestly, this is the easiest way to lose weight, stop snacking on junk food. Buy breadsticks and tasty dips to keep hunger at bay, keep some carrot sticks in the fridge for when you're feeling a little peckish and maybe use the fruit bowl for storing fruit instead of the junk in your house!
So, these are all the tips I have for eating healthily. These are tiny lifestyle changes that will make a big difference. Try not do them all at a time because you'll just make it harder for yourself. Do it gradually so it's not that big a difference and you won't feel like you're forcing yourself to do it.
I was scared of this word too, but it's OK, it can be fun. Similarly to healthy eating, the tiniest changes can make a huge difference.
I found this a wee while ago, it's a BMR calculator and it works out how many calories you'd burn if you stayed in bed all day;
My BMR is around 1300 calories, so if I want to maintain a constant weight I just have 700 extra calories to burn (if I eat my full 2000 calories worth of food). But remember, that's if you stay in bed all day, which I tend not to. So even the smallest action such as walking around, doing housework, will burn loads of calories.
Tip #1: Walk as much as possible - I don't drive, but I know many people who do drive who drive everywhere. Even if it's just round the corner. So just getting out the car to go places will make a big difference. If you take the bus, get off a stop earlier than you would and walk the rest of the way. I take the train a lot, there's a train station just a little way from my house, but I walk to the next one which is about a mile and a half from my house. Doing little things like that will make you a healthier person.
Tip #2: Don't go it alone - If you want to take up an exercise class, do it with a friend. You'll be less likely to give it up if you have someone with you who you don't want to let down. Also, do an exercise you like. Don't just go to a class which claims to make your more fit and toned etc, go to one you like. Do swimming, dancing, trampolining! Don't decide to take up a number of classes at the one time either, it'll seem too much like hard work.
Tip #3: Housework! - Hoovering, dusting, scrubbing floors, everything helps you burn calories. It's not such a bad thing doing housework now, is it?
Tip #4: Set yourself targets - If you want to just be generally healthy, decide to get out the house three times a week for a walk. If you want to be super healthy, join a running club or another sport you enjoy and take part in competitions. So go for a 3k, then a 10k and keep going until you reach the level you want to reach.
I don't have very many tips for exercise because it really is the tiniest things that can make a difference in your health and fitness.
Don't go on these silly diets that force you to eat nothing but carrot sticks and cardboard for three weeks. Yes, you'll lose weight, but only for those three weeks. As soon as you stop doing it, the weight will pile back on. You need have a healthy lifestyle, you need exercise and you need to stop eating rubbish. That is the only way that you'll have the figure you want.
Also, don't force yourself to be something you're not. Don't think that losing weight will make you become a size 0, 6 foot super model. It won't. Just aim to be a healthier, fitter you!
As the New Year looms, I'm sure there will be a lot of people out there saying they will lose weight. Well, don't say that. Say 'I will be healthier' and try and do some of the things I've described above. You'll be much happier with yourself, believe me! And it's so much easier to do than never eating carbs, etc.
After years of suffering from disordered eating and what was diagnosed as EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified), I have finally found a way that to lose weight, be healthy and become fitter too. This is something that some of you probably already do, but I felt that I should share this with you all as it has helped me lose a steady 1.5-2.5lbs every week.
Basically, I have a binder (you could use a notebook too) within which I keep a very detailed account of my weightloss journey, exercise, stats, food and calories, and motivational things. This may sounds obsessive and annoying to have to update all the time, but it really isn't. If I cant get hold of my binder at some point during the day, I'll type whatever I need to put into it into my phone and update it at the end of the day.
Now that all sounds easy enough if you're organized, but what if you aren't organized? Well here's how I managed to organize mine...
At the very start of the binder I have my rules (these will differ from person to person), goals and a few motivational quotes. One quote (song lyric actually), I've found that helps is "anything that's worth having is sure enough worth fighting for, quittings out of the question, when it gets tought gotta fight some more".
On the next page I have a table with 6 columns and 21 rows. Each row gets filled in every Friday after I've weighed myself. The columns are Day, Date, Weight, Change (+/-) and Total Weight Loss. Under this table I have glued in two 'before' pictures and there is a space underneath for my 'after' pictures to go once I've reached my goal.
Upon turning the page, you'll find a divider, this states that the next few pages are all related to week 1. The following pages are then worksheets that I made and fill in.
Everyday I track the day, date, how many bottles of water I've drank, cardio (in minutes), strength training (in minutes), food, calories, total calories and notes. The notes section is where I write a detailed account of the workout I've done that day, why I've binged if I binged that day, how I feel after eating certain things, etc etc. This is just so that I can understand myself and my relationship with food better.
At the end of every week, I fill in yet another worksheet I made. This one requires the day, date, weeks completed, weight, change (+/-), total weight loss, total cardio (in minutes), total strength training (in minutes), waist (inches), waist loss (inches), hips (inches), hips loss (inches) and then there is a space for new pictures at the bottom.
This gets repeated every week and each week has a new divider.
At the back of the binder are some more dividers. One to take you to healthy recipes, one for workouts, one for inspirational articles and one for motivational pictures (don't worry, this is things like clothes I want to buy etc, not scary skinny girls).
Well, now you all know that I'm obsessively organized when it comes to weightloss but this is the only way that I've found that works for me. I've been doing this for a month now and have lost 9lbs as opposed to the few months beforehand that I had no specific routine.
Hopefully this will help you in someway if you have trouble with weightloss, if anyone would like me to email them the worksheets that I fill in, please let me know and I'll be happy to pass them on.
Disclaimer: I am in no way condoning obsessive behaviour when it comes to your relationship with food, exercise and calories as this can lead to more serious circumstances, some people just need strict routine in their lives. If this helps just one person, my job will be done.
Thank you for reading :).
Weight loss is a very emotive issue. Every one has their favourite method for loosing weight. I favour the common sense approach to weight loss. If you want to loose weight you must EAT LESS and EXCERCISE MORE. Have you ever seen an overweight person in a famine, no matter how big boned they are!
These are some very simple rules they don't cost any extra on your shopping bill. That's the easy bit, the hard bit is doing it. If you are used to eating a certain amount of food each day, you will feel hungry when you try to cut down. Try these tips to help counteract this.
1 Before you eat your meals, drink one or two full glasses of water. This works because sometimes when you think you are hungry, you are actually only thirsty. Also the water makes you feel full up very quickly so when you eat your meal you will be satified. The water is good for you and will help rid your body of toxins etc.
2 Don't make really drastic changes to your diet- you won't stick yo it, and if you do, you will pile the pounds back on when your diet finishes.
3 Get yourself a smaller diner plate. It really does work. You will automatically get a smaller portion of food but, pyscologically you will not feel hungry because you have eaten a full plate of food.
4 If you have a really unhealthy diet, only make small changes to the way you eat. Start to grill instead of fry. Use Oven chips instead of deep fried. Add a bit of salad or vegetables to each meal. Add a bit of fruit to each meal to satisfy a sweet tooth.
5 Add a little gentle excercise increasing it all the time rather than kill your self at the gym, and then never go back. Excercise with friends, you're more likely to keep it up.
6 Pat yourself on the back each time you manage a small change, it all mounts up. At the very least your health will improve as you make the changes.
I am currently on a 'diet' and trying to loose weight to get my nice bikini body of 2007 back with me.
I used to be a size 10 before starting uni, and I really enjoyed being this size. I could eat anything, and wouldnt put on weight. Since starting uni nearly 3 years ago, this all changed.
Suddenly in the space of 3 years I have gone up to a size 14, from drinking, eating takeaways, and not walking anywhere or doing much real exercise apart from dancing in a club.
This year I joined the university gym. It was £50 for a year, and allowed me to go to classes for free. I went to aerobic every week, sometimes twice, and this seemed to tone me up but not let me loose any weight.
I had been getting a weekly bus pass, because I didnt like walking home in the dark. Since the easter holidays I have only got the bus a few times after nights out or when bringing back food shopping. It really makes a massive difference. I can feel all the muscles in my legs toning up, and if you walk quite fast you can raise your heartrate and it feels like exercise!
Now my food. I hate salad, I could never just eat salad everyday with nothing sweet. I have the worst tooth for anything unhealthy. I love cheesy chips, chocolate, walkers senstations, mash and gravy, cheese sandwiches, dominoes pizza and chinese takeaway.
So what I have done to stop myself craving these things is by buying healthier alternatives like goahead bars, and always taking one with me, and having a box of them at home.
I also have a bag of raisins at home and these are great for munchies when I get back from a night out.
I find cooking really boring, but I know that homemade meals are better for you. So I buy tortellini, and have it with green beans and make a small portion. This can also be eaten cold so I take a tupperware box to uni for lunch and this stops me buying junk from the machine.
Alcohol is another very bad thing for putting on weight. I have drunk a lot more than usually recently because of it being my 21st birthday, but am going to lay off it for the sake of my performance exam at the end of may.
If I do drink this year I have opted for vodka and orange and gin, as they have a lot less calories than beer and cider.
I try to take a bottle of water with me everywhere, with all the walking Im doing I find I really want to drink more water. I just refill my bottle at uni or at home, and this also saves me money.
I bought a pair of scales last year, and try to weight myself once a week, as then you can see a difference, rather than everyday where it doesnt change.
The hardest thing is when your mates are all going to the takeaway and they come back with meals that smell amazing. To try and get over this when they are sitting there noshing chinese, I wip out my tub of soup or preprepared pasta and put it in their microwave. It fills me up, tastes good and stops me thinking about their meal.
Another tip Ive found helps me loose weight easier is to not eat anthing after 8pm. That way just as Im falling asleep I get hungry and then hopefully overnight my body is using all that fat up.
If you get a good nights sleep and eat a small breakfast like a bowl of cereal and a cup of tea with no sugar then your metabolism is working right through the day, and you wont crave junk food later. By having breakfast I dont feel I need anything until lunch.
Good luck with your weight loss. Just follow these key things:
Eat smaller portions
Drink plenty of water
Walk everywhere you can
Go to aerobics
Have healthy food with you to stop you buying junk
Get lots of sleep
Stop eating before 8pm
I've tried so many of the fad diets and failed miserably. I went to weightwatchers and successfully got to my gold after a few months. The book showed how many points each food typically was. Having looked through the book I knew what was considered "good foods with low points" and what was "bad foods with high points". I left weightwatchers and have never gone back. I just keep an eye on the foods I eat. Below are some tips I go by;
- Don't deny yourself anything! If it's considered high calorie then have it in moderation and be good the rest of the day or week. when you start denying yourself things then that's when it gets hard.
- Make sure you eat less but often. I have a yoghurt and glass of milk or cereal & milk for breakfast, a small snack in the morning, a small lunch, a small snack in the afternoon and a proper dinner.
- Snacks may be a piece of fruit or a meringue nest (very low fat), a couple of marshmallows, or a piece (not a bar) of chocolate or sugar freejelly (which is incredibly low).
- When I go out for dinner with friends I either order a starter and main course or maincourse and dessert. my husband usually gets 3 courses so if need be I can try a bit of his. (Also saves money - which can be spent on clothes!)
- I don't have much time to exercise with 2 kids but I walk them to school when the weather permits.
- I try to make sure that the food we have for dinner is varied and exciting.
- I have cut out diet fizzy drinks and feel less bloated and have more energy.
I hope that a few of my tips help you.
I recently read a very interesting article regarding calcium and it's positive effect on weight loss.
When starting a new diet it seems like common sense to cut down on dairy products as they have a high fat content.
But what if the calcium in dairy could actually help to burn fat?
Some studies are actually showing this to be true.
There are two ways in which calcium could achieve this.
1) When in the intestine calcium joins to that fat content forming a thick soap like substance that cannot be absorbed into the body, so is therefore passed through as waste.
2) Calcium also helps your metabolism to stay at it's normal rate while dieting. When you restrict your calorie intake your metabolism slows down to compensate. This is why people become frustrated that they are dieting but not seeming to lose any weight.
The RDA (Recommended daily allowance) of calcium for an adult is 1000mg.
The findings in the studies bout calcium and weight loss are interesting so maybe adding some low fat yogurts to your diet will actually be beneficial.
I've found that the best way to stay feeling healthy is to keep active and drink plenty of water. There are many fad diets that can help you lose weight for a short amount of time but very few of these are sustainable and some can be damaging in the long run. I think that a lot of celebrity role models for those that wish to lose weight may be thin but are often not in good physical shape in terms of strength and muscle tone and in fact it would benefit their health to be a bit bigger but more athletic in shape. I think it is important when embarking on any attempt to change your body to consider the realistic limitations and think about the areas you would like to work on. If you want to lose a bit of excess fat all over, running is a great way to get rid of it and is good for strengthening your cardiovascular system so you don't get out of breath so quickly. Running might seem like the last thing you want to do after a long day at the office but I've found it can be really energising. I really enjoy going out for a run when it is cold and dark and windy as it really refreshes me and stops me feeling miserable about the weather. Finding a good workout video is also a fairly inexpensive way of getting into shape. I have a Nell McAndrew one which is really good for cardio and core strengthening exercises. Dancing is also a great way to tone up as you are using different sets of muscles at the same time plus it is really fun and doesn't feel like exercise. I have done salsa, ballroom and street dance and enjoyed them all. Most people don't drink enough water so make sure you stay well hydrated to help your body work as efficiently as it can.
It's incredibly important to remain fit and healthy. With today's junk food and lazy lifestyles more and more people are suffering the effects of ill health.
----What Exercise Does for You----
Exercise keeps your heart healthy. As it's a muscle exercise gives it a great aerobic workout, (which keeps you...well, alive basically!)
Exercise improves flexibility (so the next time you reach for the baked beans from the top shelf of the kitchen cupboard you won't do your back in. )
Exercise also improves balance and strengthens muscles. (You'll be carrying an elephant over a tightrope in no time).
Exercise makes you feel good as it releases endorphins which are a natural mood-lifting hormone in the body. (You can finally put away the Prozac!)
Finding time to exercise can be hard when you're busy with work and family. One solution is to multi-task! Cleaning the house can actually burns loads of calories. Refer to the list below and enjoy "working out" at home. Put on some music and you'll enjoy it even more!
----Burn Calories While you Hoover----
Over 193 calories are burned in one hour! Dance whilst you hoover your carpets and cleaning will be fun not a chore!
Sounds laborious and boring but this task will burn 180 calories- there's your motivation to have sparkling windows (and you'll finally be able to see the sun again!)
Burns the same amount of calories as hovering, 193 calories, (as if you needed a reason to mop up after the kids...cat...dog...partner)
---Washing your car----
Not only will your car start to resemble a car again (instead of a lump of metal covered in dirt!) but cleaning the car actually burns a whopping 234 calories! That's a brilliant reason to wash off the "clean me" note on your car and return it to showroom appearance.
This burns a huge 288 calories and is by far the best way to shed those pounds! The great thing is not only will you be burning calories but you could also end up with a garden Alan Titchmarsh would be envious of!
Make the household chores burn even more calories by running up and down stairs and vigorously cleaning and tidying - you'll reap the benefits twice over with a lovely house and a fit self.
I suppose everyone is now regretting those extra mince pies or the roast potatoes basted in honey, the extra Roses chocolate before bedtime or the attempt to drink up the EU wine lake in the interests of European harmony. Well here are a few ideas to lead a healthy lifestyle.
My first bit of advice is to try and exercise first thing in the morning that way your body will burn up the fat that was stored over night rather than merely focusing on that days calorie intake if you exercise at night. Most gyms open early in the morning and a quick 40 minute work out before work sets you up for the day ahead.
Take a fruit salad into work for your breakfast as well to stop you eating those dodgy pastries or unhealthy fried food from the local cafe. I always exercise at least four out of five mornings in the week and I vary what I do so I do not get bored, in the evening I maybe do two exercise classes at night and one at the weekend to also have a calorie attack at night as well, Saturday is my day of rest and maybe a nice meal.
I avoid eating anything after 19.00 in the evening and try to eat any food well before then, that way when I'm sleeping my stomach also gets a rest as it does not have to digest food.
Combining exercise with a healthy diet is the best way to take care of your body and lose some weight.
This is a dangerous time of year when it comes to gaining weight, lots of rich food and larger portions as well, more reasons to go out and celebrate which often means an increased amount of alcohol consumption and add in the fact that most work places become full of boxs of sweets and cakes. This time of year is not good to lose weight either the cold weather makes it harder to make the effort and also when it is cold your bodies natural reaction is to store energy by loading up the calories. So here are my tips for helping with the weightloss and eating healthy.
The first tip is to try and cut out the grazing between meals, this is the realkiller time when all those nice things are around you but they go straight to your hips and thighs. If you have to graze then opt for fruit, it will be a lot healthier and provide protection against flu bugs as well.
Do not have that fried breakfast that you would not normally have, instead opt for a slow energy burning cereal like porridge that will release energy over time and make you feel full for longer. Think is is boring add some honey or a banana to sweeten it up.
By all means enjoy a couple of roast potatoes but cut them big and keep the skins on, the larger they ar the less oil they soak up and the skins contain the nutrients, also make horse chestnut stuffing as it is healthier. Finally when it comes to Christmas dinner strip the skin from the turkey as this removes a layer of fat and remember carrots are one of teh few vegetables that does not lose goodness when you cook it.
Go for a brisk walk or run every morning so that you get some exercise over the holidays, don't wory about looking silly as most people are asleep in the morning and will not see you wheezing around the local streets.
Finally ejoy the festive period but remember that extra mince pie is another 30 minutes on the exercise bike in the gym in January.
So if you are reading this you are probably wanting to lose a few pounds and maybe you have already been on various diets already.
So what is my secret?
No it isn't eat this or that or even to tell you I'm a trained nurse which I am so follow this plan because it doesn't work long term.
Do you know what does? - and that is to tell yourself you are never going on any more diets.
That's it sell your diet books and give yourself a piece of serenity in your life to enjoy every moment without the burden of being on any regime. There is only one certain thing and that is death so we want to enjoy life along the way. Yes we want to be healthy but no we don't want to be miseries. My grandmother lived to be 102 years old and she never dieted or ate any diet foods at all. She did however live a life which had time and space for reflection and for herself and she didn't live in today's fast moving world. So without going back to Victorian days how do we keep weight off?
So what do we do then?
No we don't eat to excess anymore, yes we eat healthily but there is no denial more the concept of self pampering.
First of all I would like to recommend two books:
French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure by Mireille Guiliano
Stopping: How to Be Still When You Have to Keep Going by Richard Carlson and David Kundtz (Paperback - Aug 1999)
If you can get these from the library you will enjoy them both and they are also available on Amazon.
I am planning to write reviews on these books soon in their own right but for now I shall refer to them just to give you an idea of where my ideas for losing weight came from.
Both these books are about the enjoyment of life and about one thing which in the UK we have lost and that is the ability to stop. It is almost seen as a sin to just do nothing at all. This is my philosophy.
Make time for simple pleasures especially for eating. Try to make simple home cooked meals but don't be too ambitious as none of us have lots of spare time but try not to gobble food down. Make proper meals and sit down at the table for all of them. Don't rush them and have times in your day when you literally just stop what you are doing even if it only for a minute and then carry on. So much eating to excess is caused by the body not really knowing how much food it has taken in so if you slow down you will become much more aware of this.
Try to buy food in season. It is cheaper and fresher. Now it's autumn there are wonderful harvest things in the shops like squashes you can bake and apples to stew. Try to include but more importantly to enjoy fruit and vegetables. Get to know your greengrocer if you can. Take time to look at the vast array of things you can buy. Did you know that in January you can buy wonderful new potatoes from Cyprus which taste so fresh? They have a wonderful brick red skin caused by the warm sun. Buy lovely curly lettuce and try watercress for the iron and vitamin content.
Try to buy bread each day. There is nothing nicer than bread straight out of the oven. Don't eat very much of it just be sensible.
Include chocolate in your diet but buy the 85% cocoa and eat little squares.
Try not to eat ready made meals every day.
Try to include more walking in your life -you don't need a gym just walk to buy some bread and leave the car at home. Try to be just that little bit more active.
You don't have to give up your favourite foods or drinks but you have to rediscover the joys of eating them in moderation. It isn't necessary to give up butter or cheese but it isn't healthy to eat them to excess. Keep your portion sizes smaller than you normally have of most foods which you feel are the ones you have a tendency to overeat.
Make a nice cup of tea in a cup and saucer and stop for a few quiet minutes to savour it. Don't rush for that mug and biscuit every time. You'll be amazed how calm you feel. I have seen squirrels and hedgehogs in the garden doing this and have felt great peace watching my cats sleeping on the armchairs.
Don't do two things at once. You know watching telly and eating dinner is not going to help you keep slim.
Buy yourself a lovely treat if you can afford it. Some ideas I do include buying a Lush bath bomb-in the summer they make a beautiful one called "Chelsea Garden" where you can simply soak in a bath of summer flowers. They also do a lovely blue bath treatment called "Blue skies and fluffy white clouds" which is very relaxing.
When you stop and stare you will start to notice wonderful things again and the weight will gradually begin to come off. I have and I have lost weight and kept it off. It's no diet just a change in philosophy. I hope you can see this too before you start another plan with a start and an end.
Some final thoughts buy a pair of scales to weigh yourself which have decimal points so for instance they will tell you you are 9 stone 11.5. Then only weigh yourself once a month. It doesn't matter if you only lose a tiny amount but it is encouraging to see little falls. Please don't weigh yourself every day or every week life is too short for that level of obsession and there are so many fluctuations. Remember you are not going to start and finish anything so you just need a little reminder once in a while to see yourself walking down the sunny path to health and freedom from diets and excess weight.
French women enjoy sitting in a café doing nothing else but enjoying the moment.
I hope you will too!