It’s so hard to find healthy food out there!

I find sticking to my diet program pretty easy for 2 reasons;  1)  because the program I follow is delicious and very filling, I’m seldom hungry and 2) because the lifestyle I lead doesn’t mean I’m surrounded by temptation.

BUT ………!!!!    Oh my goodness I struggled over the Easter weekend.    I spent the weekend with my sister and her 3 children.    At my home it is just my husband and I so there is difference no 1.   Children in the house, all of whom are constantly hungry and it feels as though one meal leads straight into the next one.   My poor sister is constantly either planning, shopping, preparing, cooking or cleaning up from food!!!   Then of course there were the chocolate eggs!   Loads of them and loads of sweets all day every day!

Difference no 2 was that we took the girls on a few outings and everywhere we took them, there was literally nothing healthy to eat!   It was all fizzy drinks, ice creams, sandwiches, pizza, chips, fish fingers, chicken nuggets all with tomato sauce.  Continue reading “It’s so hard to find healthy food out there!”

Please don’t tell me what to do. Just listen.

When I was in my twenties, people used to gravitate towards me to tell me their problems. I had this huge sense of inadequacy that I didn’t know what to say or if what I was saying was right until my mother shared some wonderful words of wisdom. She said “People don’t want your advice. We all have an intuition or an inner knowing about what to do. Our biggest gift is to have someone who really listens and hears, who encourages that person to express themselves freely and unconditionally and then to sit with them as their solution becomes their reality“. Thank you Mum.

When I look back on my life, the people I treasure the most are the ones who have really listened to me. Some of them I’ve never seen again but the gratitude is always there for the positive impact they had on my life in that moment.

Help! I feel completely out of control!

When I have my first chat with potential clients about losing weight, the most often heard sentiment is “I feel completely out of control”.

There are very few other parts of us that can have such an overall impact as being overweight. It’s as if being overweight becomes this cloud that affects every part of our lives; our performance as a parent, our performance in work, our social life, our emotions. Everything!

So it’s understandable that we pin so much hope on losing weight because we know that as the weight comes off, everything else improves and our sense of control over our lives normalises. The problem is that when you are feeling so overwhelmed, you can’t see the wood for the trees and even changing your eating feels too big and too frightening.

I recommend finding a good coach who can help you see the bigger picture, release the emotion and help you set a little goal to get started. Knowing somebody is 100% there for you and wants you to succeed can make all the difference in finding the energy to make that start.

You need time to Recover from illness and surgery.

Over time, I have come across many clients who have had surgery whilst on their weight loss journey, some anticipated and some a total surprise.   One thing that is pretty consistent with them all is the impact it has on them afterwards.

Almost without exception, they all find themselves very weepy and down about 4 weeks after the op.   They talk about just not feeling themselves, feel overwhelmed, somewhat down and depressed and that life feels too much let alone the diet!

I’m no medical expert but I suspect this has to do with anaesthetic. Continue reading “You need time to Recover from illness and surgery.”

Are biscuits controlling your life?

Of course by biscuits, I could just as easily be talking about Haribos, chocolate or ice cream…. or any other “goody” that you feel you cannot live without.

It may sound silly and trivial to talk about a biscuit ruining a person’s life but honestly, the relationship between us and food can be incredibly powerful and should not be underestimated.

I recall a client I had once who would diet beautifully all week but on Tuesday night’s would undo it all by having tea with a few biscuits.   This went on for weeks and weeks.  Continue reading “Are biscuits controlling your life?”

What will it take to get you to change?

This is quite a frightening statement when you compare it to “I am a Comfort eater“.    It feels like you have to give up being who you are to become who you want to be.   

In a way that’s exactly what needs to happen.

Many of us go for years expressing how unhappy we are with our weight.   One day we wake up and realise we’ve been saying the same thing for 10 years but not done anything about it.   Why?    Because we have not become “uncomfortable” enough with our body, with our health and with our life.

You know the saying “You have to reach rock bottom before you will take action to change”.   It’s so relevant here.

It seems that it’s only when we become ill, when the doctor tells us something that really shocks us, when we lose our partner to a “thinner, prettier” woman, when we see that photo at the family wedding, etc that we suddenly become willing to change.

The thing is that change is frightening for everyone.   We like things to feel familiar and be predictable even when they are not good for us.   There will be things that we have to give up and we worry that we won’t be able to manage.

My advice would be to find someone to help you.   Find a coach who can inspire you, raise your belief in your capabilities and who can give you a safe, proven plan to follow.     Commit to seeing that person at the same time on the same day every week for at least 8 weeks to help you develop and stick to boundaries which sub-consciously will help you stick to boundaries with your food.

The Motivation for most people to lose weight and keep it off starts as Discomfort – feeling awful, not liking the way you look, feeling ill, no energy, not sleeping well and feeling unhappy.    The good thing is that Discomfort very soon changes.   Small positive things start happening quickly and very soon, discomfort motivation will be replaced by excitement motivation.

If you keep procrastinating, you’ll never get there.

Are you a procrastinator?   I have a little plaque that says “Please help me not to put off until tomorrow what I should have done the day before yesterday”.    Hmmmm.    It affects people who need to lose weight a lot!

What is it that you are waiting for?

  • A time when you have no functions coming up?
  • A time when you are stress free?
  • A time when your parents are not ill?
  • A time when you have no holidays planned?
  • A time when the kids have left home and you have more time for you?
  • A time when you feel better?

The truth of the reality is that there will never be a right time.   There will always be obstacles in your way.    You can never clear the time ahead to provide you with what you need.

If you are feeling unhealthy and unhappy, the very best time for you to get started is right now. Continue reading “If you keep procrastinating, you’ll never get there.”

Did you spot the not so deliberate error with my Discipline?

Think about this logically.   If you have 3 stone (20 kgs) to lose, it’s going to take at the very least 3 months to lose it.     What are the chances that there will be days when you don’t feel like staying on track, are distracted by friends, family and events, days when you feel a bit meh or sick, or days when  work or the kids make you so stressed you want to eat a house?

Very high huh?

In the beginning, you will have less days when sticking to your program is a breeze than difficult days.    So what do you need to succeed?

Discipline.

Discipline is about being really organised.    The chances are you are feeding more than just you so you not only have to think about you and your dieting needs but also the rest of them who, no doubt, will be wanting to eat all sorts of things that you can’t!   I recommend to my clients that they make life as easy as possible!   Stick to cooking meals where you can select what you are happy to eat and let the family have their usuals.   ie.   you have meat and above ground veggies, they can have the potatoes and gravy as well.   You have the bacon and eggs, they can have the hash browns and toast too.

Discipline is about planning.    You not only have to plan your food, what you and the family will be eating for each meal and therefore what food to buy, you need to plan for emergencies and unexpected events too.    Always have bottles of water in the boot of your car and portable food with you for the times you may be stuck at a hospital appointment for too long, for when a colleague brings cake into the office, for if the car breaks down.   Always have something safe to keep you going.    If you are going to a restaurant, google the menu in advance and check to see that they will cater for your needs.   Figure out in advance what you are going to say to your mother at Sunday lunch when she insists you eat the pudding she has spent so much time making “especially for you” (whilst telling you that you need to lose weight!!).  Think about how you will handle the time in the hotel when at the business conference.    The more you can plan in advance, the more you are likely to stick to your program and keep the weight coming off.

Discipline is about Keeping on Keeping On.     I can guarantee you that your weight loss will not go as anticipated.   There will be times that you are surprised at how much you lose and times when it seems frustrating slow.   The body does things in its own time.   Learning to be disciplined is about dealing with the varied emotions in an emotionally mature way and keeping going no matter how tough it gets, no matter what nasty comments are said to you, no matter how disappointed you feel.   You simply get up tomorrow and keep going.

Discipline is about Doing things you Never thought you Could or Would.   Anyone who knows me personally knows that I am “allergic” to exercise.  Since my knee ops at 27 and the fibro pain that has accompanied it started, I have dreaded exercise because a) it’s painful and b) if I do too much (and it’s very hard to know what too much is), it causes a fibro flare up which takes ages to go.     I also know logically that if I want to be as healthy as possible, I need to exercise so I started very gently with power assisted exercise.   I cried the first time I did it because in my head, I thought I would never be able to do exercise again.     Think about some of the things you feel you could never give up; drinking milk in your tea, having wine every night or at least every weekend, not having dessert after Sunday lunch, not stopping at McDonalds on a long trip.   You won’t believe how great you will feel and how much it will benefit your weight when you cut it out of your life.

If you were wondering what the deliberate error title is all about, it’s because for the first time since I started this blog, I missed putting up a post at 8.30 am my time for 2 days in a row.   A lack of Discipline!    Ok, I haven’t felt very well but just like dieting, I need to push past that, push myself out of my comfort zone, get back on the horse and be a good example!

 

 

 

Some interesting facts about sugar, carbohydrates and diet.

Here are a few interesting facts about sugar and carbohydrates which hopefully will help you figure out how to use the information to help you lose weight.

There are 56 different types of sugar.    Most of the names end in “ose”.

Our bodies get their energy to survive from two sources; sugar (or glucose) and fat.   If you decrease the amount of sugar going in, the body will convert the fat on your body to energy.

Sugar is generally measured two ways – in calories (or energy) and in sweetness.  Sweeteners have calories but because their sweetness level is so much higher than sugar, you need far less to get the same effect and so the amount of calories becomes negligible.

When you read a nutrition label, it usually shows Carbs first and just under says “of which sugars” and another reading.     Carbohydrates are made up of sugar, fibre and starch.    The combination of the 3 is known as Gross Carbs and just the sugar is known as Net Carbs.

Sugar is not an “essential” nutrient.   We don’t need to eat it every day because  our bodies get the right type of sugar from our vegetables and fruit.    It can also convert protein and the fat on our bodies into sugar.

Our bodies only need 4 grams of glucose (which is a sugar) in our bloodstream at any time to live.   Anything over that will be stored as glycogen … or converted to fat!

Nature was incredibly clever when she made natural sugar.   She combined it with fibre as in sugar cane, fruit, vegetables, sugar beet etc.   The fibre is essential to stop the body being flooded with too much sugar.    It’s far better to have sugar in its natural form with the fibre than separated as in refined sugar and fruit juices as the body can’t cope and will eventually cause illness.

The lactose in milk is a sugar.   You may be shocked to know there is less lactose or sugar in full fat milk than in low fat.   There is less sugar in cream than in milk!   It’s the combination of fat and sugar together that makes you put on weight.    If you are a coffee or tea-aholic and drink milk in it, try cutting that milk out for a week and see what happens to your weight.

In any food manufacturing process, when they reduce fat, they increase the sugar content because fat = flavour.    This is why low fat yoghurt is usually very high in sugar.

When you read food labels, the most important thing to check is the sugar level.   If you want to lose weight, don’t eat anything with more than 10 grams net sugar per 100 grams, preferably keep it below 5 grams.

On a keto diet, they recommend you stick to less than 20grams of net carbs (sugar) per day.    On low carb or Banting they aim for about 30 grams of net carbs a day.    A banana has 31 grams of net carbs.

Next time you are shopping, pick up a ready made diet meal and check the amount of carbs and sugar.  Remembering what I’ve said in the paragraph above, I think you may be surprised.

I am constantly shocked that people think we actually need carbohydrates to live … in fact the government even tells us that.   Yes we need carbs but not the refined ones.   Think about the caveman or cultures like inuits or the masai in Kenya (who are famous for long distance running).   Cakes, sweets, biscuits, bread, fruit juices etc were never part of their diets.    They survived, and thrived, on meat, milk, blood, roots and berries.   We were designed to get the glucose we need from fruit, vegetables and protein.   If you don’t believe me, try it for two weeks.   I’ll wager you will lose weight and feel fantastic!

https://blog.virtahealth.com/why-dont-need-dietary-carbohydrates/

What you stop may be far more helpful than what you start.

There have been a few series on TV where they will have say 20 people and put each of them on a different diet apparently with the aim of seeing which is the best diet.

Whilst it’s a fun idea, it can never be accurate for loads of reasons; men and women don’t lose the same way,  each person’s health is different at the start, you can’t guarantee people stick to the diet, etc etc etc.   There are simply too many variables.

There is something else that has really made me think about the comparison; is it about the diet that people start doing or is it about what they stop doing? Continue reading “What you stop may be far more helpful than what you start.”