Monday, 29 February 2016

Keeping On Track

Do you sometimes struggle to keep to your resolve to eat healthily?  Does it all sometimes seem like too much effort?  Here are a few tips to help you – hopefully one or two might be just the idea you are looking for!

Eat mindfully

Think about what you are eating and how you are eating it! Avoid just shovelling it in while you watch TV or read.  Think about the texture and the taste and really enjoy the food.  And don’t forget to chew it, not just bolt it down quickly so you can get on to the next job.

Tell someone that you are on a healthy eating journey

When the going gets tough and you just want to eat ice cream and chocolate its great if someone else knows and can support you.  Maybe you just need a reminder or a bit of reassurance.  But knowing that someone cares if you keep going at it or not makes a big difference

You are you – you don’t need to compare yourself to others

Don’t beat yourself up because someone else is thinner than you or loses weight more quickly – this is your journey.  Do your best, if you slip, don’t worry – just get back up and start again.  We all have our own unique make up and you will get to where you want to be if you persevere. 

Listen to your body – are you really hungry? 

Listen hard an learn about what your body really wants – is it just a craving because you are bored or fed up – or are you actually hungry for (proper) food? 

Plan your treats

If you are going to have a treat – plan it in – don’t make it a great catastrophe because everything is awful (or you have forgotten your lunch) – have ‘a little something’ but not a great bag full !

Use an app

Track your food – right it down on a handy app (such as myfitnesspal) – you might be very surprised to see what is happening? 

Distract yourself

The next time you reach for something that isn’t on your ‘healthy eating list’ – distract yourself – go for a walk, make a phone call, read a book , have a bath. 

Try these – let us know how you get on – and if you need more help – give us a ring – this is what we specialise in!

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Wondering why its so difficult to lose those last 5 pounds?

Those last 5 pounds
Wondering why its so difficult to lose those last 5 pounds?
Research (Pennington Biomedical Research Centre) suggests that every woman’s body is designed to be a certain weight, and getting it lower than that and keeping it there (because you want to) is incredibly difficult.
Please just pause and wonder why you want to weigh a certain amount?  Now, I am not saying for one moment that it is healthy or right to be obese (or overweight) but stressing over a few pounds here and there is not necessarily helpful.
Instead of fretting over those few odd pounds consider the signs that your body is in a healthy place:
  • Your weight remains about the same.  We all fluctuate a bit but if you are at a  reasonable weight for your height – that is where your body will naturally stay
  • When your weight is in a good range then your energy levels will be great – if you are fuelling your body adequately with healthy foods then your body will work well
  • You eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full – eating for reasons other than hunger is not going to help you to maintain a healthy weight
  • You exercise because its fun and you enjoy pushing yourself, not because you are full of guilt if you don’t
  • You are fit and healthy – your blood pressure is in the normal range  and you feel well 
  • You enjoy a food treat now and again without being wracked with guilt .

So, you may not be at some arbitrary weight that you thought you ‘should ‘ be at, but your clothes fit, you are sleeping well, you have a manageable amount of stress in your life and you fuel your body with what it needs to keep healthy.  You drink plenty of water and your body will do what you want it to do – sounds pretty good to me!

Monday, 22 February 2016

What happens to your metabolism when you eat too little?

You know the scenario; despite eating carefully and exercising loads, you have stopped losing weight.  You were doing OK – you had quite a bit to lose, but now it’s just stopped? Ring any bells?

You are wondering what’s gone wrong, what you should be doing, what you could be doing to shift those last few pounds.

Its probably due to some changes in your metabolism.  First of all, let’s look at how our metabolism works anyway. 
  • we all need a certain number of calories (energy) to stay alive and to move around.  This energy can either come from food that we take in or from our stores (fat)
  • theoretically if we eat fewer calories than we use, we should lose weight
  • and conversely if we eat more calories than we burn off we will put on weight
  • the reason that these two apparently simple equations don’t always work is because it’s a lot more complicated than it seems.
  • so – ‘eat less and move more’ is good advice, but it’s not enough on its own

Here are some reasons why;
  • its not always what it says on the tin – the food labels are not always accurate
  • we don’t always get the same amount of energy from the food that we consume
    • we absorb less energy (fewer calories) from food that has been minimally processed.  This is because its not been broken down before we eat it and is less easy for us to absorb
    • we absorb more energy (more calories) from processed food. Processed food is best thought of as partially digested, therefore, ready and easy for us to assimilate.  
    • we absorb more energy from cooked food as it is broken down by cooking and therefore easier to digest.
    • the bacteria in our gut influence how much of our intake of calories we actually absorb
  • So, we will do better if we eat a diet full of whole, minimally processed foods 
Read our next blog to find out more about energy burnt (calories out)

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Eating Well

The Eatwell Plate

The government produced some guidance back in 2007 about what should go on our plates.  The Sunday Times reported on this this week (‘The Dish’ magazine Feb 2016) and talked about the controversy that has raged over the advice given to go with this plate.  We are told that an ‘upgrade’ is due, but are expecting much more of the same. 

The low fat, high simple carb, low salt, fizzy drink approach just doesn’t work. This is why you will see the ‘Harvard Plate’ stuck in the gyms – we find this to be much more in line with current thinking.

So, what are we to do when even the government’s advice is, at best, dubious?  The same article gives some great guidelines:

• Eat foods that are as close to their natural state as possible, raw is good 
• Avoid pesticides by choosing organic as often as you can
• Avoid ‘ready meals’ with all their packaging, processing and additives.
• Cook from scratch whenever you can
• Leave the fizzy drinks – go for water – it wins every time!
• Eat fruit and veg. 
• Avoid white carbs (white bread, white rice, white pasta, sugar)

Just make sure that what you put in your mouth nourishes your body. 
‘Will this do me any good’?  (and if you’re not sure – please ask us!) 

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Karen is on week two

I asked my usual question ‘so how has your week been?’ and Karen said that all had gone well until Sunday evening. So she had stuck to her food plan and exercised as planned too.

 However, on Sunday she had come across some challenging emotions and had eaten a fish finger sandwich, chips and a chocolate biscuit for supper (after having a Roast Dinner at lunch time)

We  talked about how she resorts to food when the (emotional) going gets tough – and Karen told me that she felt awful after she had eaten it – but really importantly – she felt awful while she was doing it.  Why is this important ?  It matters because all too often I hear that ‘it felt good whilst I was doing it’ – Karen is much more likely to stop this behaviour if she doesn’t like it as she is actually doing it 

Lapses happen but they are frustrating and disappointing for you – but Karen is busy with today – nothing will change yesterday and she will be even more ready for the warning signs next time.  She worked out really hard and left the gym ready for whatever Monday chucks at her!