Archive | January, 2012

Over 40 – is it more difficult?

30 Jan

Yes if you’re over 40, losing weight and keeping it off is going to be that trickier than it was in your 20s or 30s.  It’s just biology but it is worth learning about that so you adapt what you do, you could get frustrated or disappointed if you do what you did when you were younger only to find you don’t get the same results?

And the main tip appears to be that the sooner you get in control of your weight the better, the older you get the harder it becomes!

There’s an article in the Daily Mail today with some useful advice which might give you some pointers.

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Goals – make them achievable!

30 Jan

I was talking about goals with a couple of friends recently, but they can be our worst enemy if we make them too big and unachievable?

When you start out with a challenge, think very carefully about what you want to achieve, you might have a big, long-term goal but how are you going to motivate yourself on a daily basis, when you’re in the gym or wondering if your weight is ever going to move?   Are there smaller things/milestones on your ‘journey’ that you can see as being achievable?

I wrote about this last year and I thought it would be useful to re-visit that post for some ideas on goal setting.  So click here and see what you think?

Killing for Crisps!

29 Jan

The challenge is now well underway, however it is proving challenging!

This week I would have killed for a packet of Sweet Chilli Sensations!  Read more about how I dealt with that on the Challenge Page!

Let’s revisit a few things

27 Jan

I’ve been writing this blog for a while now and I thought it might be useful for new readers to go back and look at some of the earlier topics I’ve covered.

There are a couple of areas that I’ve been asked about a lot recently.

Ruth Jones and James Corden at a BBC Radio Wal...

Image via Wikipedia

Motivation – what makes you want to make changes in your life, I was reading about James Corden and his five stone weight loss this week, he’s put it down to two things – the arrival of his son and the realisation that he needs to be healthy to be able to play with him in the future and a pretty fabulous new role on Broadway. He’s been big for years, his career has been pretty much built on him being a ‘big boy’ so it’s interesting to see him make what is quite a fundamental change. 

You have to want change, you can talk about it until you are blue in the face but unless you want it and therefore can commit to it then it won’t happen. All of you yo-yo dieters out there, there is more to it than buying yourself some slimfast and hoping that will make a difference? 

Of course you could just wait for a scare and be forced into action but I’m sure none of us really want it to get to that stage and for some that’s a big risk and could result in serious illness or even death.   Bit of a plea to any twenty-somethings out there who are overweight, don’t wait to sort it out, do it now, every year that passes makes it that bit more difficult.  To be blunt you will end up with more loose skin, more stretch marks, the risk that some conditions might not be able to be reversed (e.g diabetes, the younger you are when it develops the greater the risk of eye and circulation problems as you get older……you could go blind as early as your 30s or40s) and just the process of losing weight will be so much harder so get off your bum and do something now but aim to find a solution for life now, not set yourself up for a lifetime of struggling with your weight, believe me it doesn’t have to be that way!  Gentle rant over!

So have a look at this post  and take some time to think about what your motivation should be and how much you want it? 

Hunger Pangs & Cravings – for the past couple of weeks I’ve been reducing my carbs and increasing my protein intake as part of  a programme to reduce my body fat, I always thought that if I took out carbs I would crave the sugar – nope, all I think about, dream about are crisps and mashed potatoes!   I would have done almost (!) anything yesterday for a packet of Sweet Chilli Sensations!  Of course this is just my head playing games with me and if I distract myself or eat a good carb (in this case a banana solved the problem) then it does go away. I know if I stick with it my brain will start to respond in a different way but it is proving to be a lot more difficult than I’d thought. Luckily I have a lot of great support and they’ve managed to steer me away from the vending machine as the Sensations cried out to me!

Hunger pangs are the same when you start to reduce the amount you consume, your body and head are used to controlling your appetite, you’ve been giving it a certain amount, you’ve been responding well when it’s told you it needs more.  Now the tables have turned but you have to re-teach your brain the new rules, it doesn’t take long but as with pets and children you do need to be consistent and persistent!  Have a look at this post for some tips on how to get through those difficult first few weeks.

And the picture – chosen as it shows James with Ruth Jones who has also lost a lot of weight, they both look great at the moment and despite their careers being built on them being big and funny, they’ve been able to change. It’s worth remembering too that you are still ‘you’ whatever size you are; but when you’re big and have been for a long time it’s harder to recognise that the ‘bigger you’ might not be as happy as you think, often you only realise that once you have shrunk. You don’t have a personality transplant, you just deal with things in a different way!

2012 Challenge – Sunday update

22 Jan

Little regular update – go and have a look!

The Perfect Holiday

20 Jan

I went on a couple of trips to Italy last year – I was asked by the company who runs them – Flavours, to write for their blog.

http://flavoursofitaly.blogspot.com/

Eating out!

20 Jan

I get asked a lot about how you can handle eating out when you’re trying to eat less and better. There are general rules you can follow:

  • You don’t have to eat everything on the plate – ask if you can have a smaller portion, some places will do it if you ask.  If I go out for a roast I will ask for less potatoes for example, a carvery is good and bad, just change your mindset, just because it’s all there doesn’t mean you have to eat it all, use the opportunity to test your control!  Fill up on veg and the meat rather than the potatoes, onion rings, yorkshire puddings etc, you’re not not having them – just less!
  • Don’t treat it like a competition – at the ‘eat all you can’ chinese buffets, do you like feeling full or do you always regret it and spend the next day feeling pretty rubbish mentally and physically, was it worth it?  You could still have enjoyed your favourites, just less of them. I always visualise the size of my stomach and the stretching I may put it through.
  • Is it worth it just to over-eat? I always think as well that if I can control what I eat when I’m out, I will always be able to do it, if I can’t then eating out may have to stop or I risk my weight creeping up and I’ll be facing my old life again?
  • If it looks bad for you then it probably is. Pizzas dripping with melted cheese or the donor kebab, bit of shocking  information here, according to Hampshire County Council Scientific Service, the average kebab contains the equivalent of a wine glass full of cooking fat, and that’s on top of the salt content, the fact that the meat is coated with sugar and just as a final thing, there isn’t any good meat in it at all so the protein is almost non-existent!
Döner kebab

Image via Wikipedia

On a slight aside here, it won’t matter what else you do to try to lose weight, if your diet contains only ‘bad, fatty, salt heavy’ foods and no fruit, veg, lean meat and the essential minerals and vitamins our bodies need then you will really struggle.  It will also make exercising more difficult and less effective, you could be doing an awful lot of very little effect. It is always going to be necessary to massively cut down on these.   There isn’t any other way, even all the exercise in the world isn’t going to compensate for a poor diet I’m afraid, it is still going to lead to major health problems like diabetes, liver and heart disease. You may only see the obvious fat on your body but the fat that may be sitting around your internal organs is the real killer and the longer it’s there, the worse it is, so if you’re young and over weight act as soon as you can. The good news is that you can turn it around, it is possible to reduce it massively and with it your long-term health risks.

There’s an interesting article in the Daily Mail today showing the extremes of meals available when you eat out in the UK, in addition to the places mentioned, pubs are really bad at serving way too big portions which just increases the calorie intake and just because a meal is ‘home cooked’ doesn’t mean it’s going to be good for you.

So when you’re eating out, enjoy it but apply the same rules, eat less and better.  Take control over your food, I can guarantee you’ll begin to enjoy it more if you don’t always walk out feeling ‘stuffed’ and the rewards are fantastic.

If you’re struggling get some advice on what a good diet should look like, there is lots of information on the web, together with forums where you can ask questions and get support.  Watch out soon for a view on the different ‘diet’ plans out there, some are good, some indifferent and some pretty useless, I’ll try to look at them objectively and with some commonsense.

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