Friday, 29 January 2016

Do you go mad at the weekend?

Have you been ‘good’ all week? Are you now about to blow it all by eating everything in sight and drinking yourself under the table Friday and Saturday? OK – maybe you’re not that mad – but the weekend starts Friday evening with a take away (far too tired to cook after a week at work?) and of course, a bottle of wine, after all, you haven’t touched a drop all week.
Then Saturday is brunch day and why shouldn’t you have as much as you want – you were careful at breakfast and lunch Monday to Friday weren’t you? Then you get a bit peckish when you are out shopping, so a quick sandwich and a piece of lush cake, ‘cos that’s your Saturday afternoon treat isn’t it?
And Saturday evening is the one evening you can go out to a restaurant and what is the point going somewhere nice and having a boring salad yet again – you had enough of them all week didn’t you? And of course you have a few drinks – you can lie in Sunday can’t you?
And Sunday comes so you might as well enjoy yourself because you are back at work on Monday and you’ve messed up your diet anyway. And Sundays are about a big roast dinner aren’t they? ~And a few chocolates and some tasty evening snacks. A drink or two slips down well – and then you can start to ‘be sensible ‘on Monday again?
Sound familiar? Don’t get me wrong – we all need a bit of ‘down time’ – but the skill is managing it.
Go for good enough. Don’t even try to be perfect all week – if you do, you are bound to freak out at some stage. Go for the best you can. Don’t obsess – eat healthily, make every calorie count and keep portions small
Forget the food rules – rigid rules lead to break out – if I am told NOT to have simple carbs ever then I eat chocolate and toast white bread. If, however, I ‘chose complex carbs whenever possible’ I will have sourdough and not resent missing the chocolate
Play safe on your cheat day. If I set up one day of the week to ‘cheat’ on then I go over the top (because obviously that is what I had to do) – now I just say that on Saturdays I can make different choices if I want to.
Don’t be a child, food isn’t about ‘good’ and ‘bad’, it’s not about ‘being naughty’ – it’s about choice and it’s about YOUR choice. You have all the knowledge and information that you need to eat healthily what to do – you make the choices for yourself.
Just stop ‘rationalizing’ – you don’t have to eat more on Saturday because you resisted chips on Wednesday. You don’t need a whole bottle of wine on Friday night because you haven’t had any all week. You don’t ‘deserve’ a cream cake because you had a busy week. Your body needs good fuel to run well, every day of the week.

Just remember – YOU are in charge of what you eat – no one is telling you what you must or must not do – your choice – its up to you – that way there is nothing to rebel against!

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Karen's Weight Management Journey

I’ve known Karen for several years and in that time she has gone from over weight to ideal weight and back again (and again!)

Well, Karen has reached that tipping point again – at 5’3” tall and weighing 12 stone her BMI (Body Mass Index – height to weight ratio) is 29.8.  A healthy BMI is in the range 18 to 25 and obese starts at 30 – so this really is the time to do something about it! Karen is trying for her second baby and knows that getting her weight down will help her to conceive – so there’s a real incentive. 
With a weight measurement of 39” Karen has a 1 in 10 risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the next 10 years, so more reason to start eating healthily and move more.

We have worked out a plan together and we want to share her journey with you.  We will blog about her progress, about what goes well and what are the tricky bits.
We would really like you to help please.   We will let you know on facebook every time we blog – please feel free to comment (in a friendly, helpful way!) – we need all the encouragement we can get!


Monday, 25 January 2016

Get those cortisol levels down

We know that being continuously stressed gives rise to high cortisol levels which in turn make it really hard to lose weight.

Here’s a few hints to help you to reduce your stress levels;

1.       Try sitting down to eat – concentrate on your food – don’t eat on the run and absent mindidly whilst watching TV. Give yourself a break – make food important – taste it and enjoy it!

2.       Take a minute to think.  Just pause and breathe for a minute.  Count to one hundred – try it!

3.       Get outside – go for a walk, take 5 minutes for some fresh air – get outside everyday.

4.       Be creative – find a hobby, make something, do some colouring

5.       Make your surroundings as lovely as you can – it might be tidying up or using some essential oils

6.       Be kind to yourself

7.       Get some sleep

Sunday, 24 January 2016


Cortisol is our stress hormone and as such, can have a big impact on our weight.
When the level is within the optimum amount for our body, cortisol is great.  (According to Dr Libby Weaver in her book ‘Accidentally Over-Weight’).  Cortisol converts into cortisone and dampens down the effect of inflammation in our body, helping to get rid of feelings of pain and stiffness.  In the right amounts cortisol also buffers the effect of insulin therefore helping us to burn body fat for energy and maintain stable blood glucose levels. 

Cortisol levels change over the course of the day and the right levels help body function.  Cortisol is designed to be highest in the morning and helps you to wake up and be full of energy.  Cortisol levels drop during the day.  By about 10pm the levels are at their lowest and they stay there until about 2am when they begin to rise, ready for the morning rush.  (That’s why the old adage of sleep before 12.00 being more valuable comes from). 
If cortisol levels become consistently elevated above normal then changes in the body occur.  Blood pressure rises, cholesterol rises and a resistance to insulin develops.  Insulin resistance is one component of metabolic syndrome which increases the likelihood of type 2 diabetes.  Your body becomes insensitive to insulin and sugars are no longer correctly metabolized, leading to sugar cravings and weight gain (especially round the waist)
Cortisol tells every cell of your body that food is scarce (it’s part of your survival mechanism) and therefore slows down your metabolic rate.  A slow metabolic rate means that you burn body fat far more slowly so that you can survive this perceived period of famine.

High cortisol levels encourage fat storage especially round the waist so that if you suddenly need to mobilize fat (the old ‘flight and fight’ it is there ready for you).  And because cortisol tells your body that food is scarce – you are tempted to eat every time you see food.

So, keep exercising, make every calorie count (eat as healthily as you possibly can) and deal with your stress!   Get some down time and some sleep! 

Monday, 18 January 2016

5 reasons to lose weight

5 reasons to lose weight
So we know that losing weight will help to lower your risk of diabetes, cancer and cardiac disease. But did you know it will help with loads of other health related issues too?

The heavier you are the more likely you are to develop osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease leading to cartilage loss and the gradual destruction of the bones of our joints. Eventually it’s like two rocks grinding together – painful and stiff. When that happens you move less because it hurts, then your joints don’t get loaded so the muscles weaken, then the cushioning goes, then the strength goes – then you move even less! – Basically – less weight you carry around – less pressure on the joints – less trouble. Many of my clients report less pain and more mobility once they become more active and drop their weight
You will sleep better. Many overweight people suffer from sleep apnoea. The upper airway collapses while you sleep, cutting off the oxygen pathway. So you stop breathing while you sleep – over and over again. Exhausting (and dangerous!) . You need sleep to lose weight and you need a good oxygen supply to sleep well. If you have fat blocking your airways you are making good sleep very unlikely
Things will begin to taste much better. It seems that overweight people start to favour sweet things (its not known if excess body fat changes tastes of tastes change your appetite) and the cycle really gets going. Studies show that by losing weight the craving for sweet thins reduces. You might even start to like vegetables again!
Your immune system will work properly again. If we have too much fat our hormones get out of balance and things start going wrong. What happens? Well, too much fat can release large amounts of immune chemicals and over time this high exposure can interfere with the body’s ability to spot and stop actual outside infections. That’s one of the reasons you get so many colds!
Your chance of surviving surgery (and childbirth) is much higher. If you are fat you are a high anaesthetic risk (its harder to intubate you – get a breathing tube in). You have a higher risk of the sutures bursting and higher risk of infection

So – even more reasons to eat healthily and exercise more!

Friday, 8 January 2016

This weeks headline – so important that it even featured on Radio 2!

UK researchers are carrying out a trial to see if exercise therapy can help men with prostate cancer.
The Sheffield Hallam University team, backed by Cancer Research UK, have a hunch that physical activity can help the body stop tumours from spreading.
They are asking 50 men with prostate cancer that has not yet spread to put the theory to the test for 12 months.
They hope to show that aerobic exercise is a treatment in its own right and should be offered on the NHS.
Half of the men will have weekly supervised exercise sessions, while the other 25 will only be given information about the benefits of exercise for cancer patients.
We have worked with Prof Thomas, oncologist (author of ‘Lifestyle and Cancer’) and regularly help people on their cancer journey to exercise effectively. Studies have shown that exercise increases and enhances survival for people with cancer as well as prevention. (Macmillan ‘Move More’ campaign, )
If you, or someone you know, might benefit, tell them about what we offer. We have staff with additional qualifications in Cancer Rehabilitation waiting to help.