It’s coming up shortly to the time of year that all slimmers dread: Christmas.
Just as holidays mean a break in routine, so does Christmas, with the added factor that so much of this celebration revolves around food.
I am going to consider food and exercise separately when looking at how to manage over the Christmas period.
I think there are four strategies when dealing with food. Some will cause more weight gain than others, and as long as you realise the consequences of each action and are prepared to accept it, go for whichever one suits you.
- Stick to your healthy eating plan completely. Ignore any extra treats, carry on as usual.
- Stick to your healthy eating plan but build in treats you have planned for.
- Go all out and enjoy yourself. Forget about the healthy eating plan.
- This is very similar to 3. Go all out but decide for how long. Maybe just Christmas day and Boxing Day, or all of Christmas week.Each strategy has its merits and problems. Be realistic. Can you stick to your plan entirely when others are eating their body weight in chocolate? If you go all out, can you regain control without doing too much damage? How will you feel if you get on the scales and you have put on half a stone?
Many people have time off over the Christmas period but this does not automatically that extra exercise can be fitted in. Gyms and clubs close or run skeleton services. Families visit. You find you have a lot more to do than if you were at work! And for people who have no time off, all those things apply too! Again there are different strategies you can adopt to get you through this period.
- Stick to your routine in its entirety.
- Keep doing aspects of your routine but at a reduced volume, or making changes to it.
- Put your feet up and forget about exercise until the New Year.
Once again each has its merits, although if you combine no exercise and lots of food, you may be undoing a lot of your good work, as well as starting the New Year feeling rough. There are many factors to consider and family is a huge one. Going out for a run as Christmas dinner is being prepared may not be your smartest move, but an early run on Boxing Day may not disrupt the household at all.
As for me, I plan to keep to an exercise plan as much as possible, but I know that it will be affected as many classes have been cancelled over the Christmas period. And for food…my plan is to go for what I want but for a few days, and certainly not until the New Year. I would like to start 2014 feeling fit and healthy!
Have a wonderful Christmas.
All the best,
My week in numbers:
1 1/2lbs off
4 runs (including 1 parkrun)
1 body pump class
1 body conditioning class
1 zumba class
My week in words:
You could have knocked me down with a feather when I stepped on those scales. I was convinced that I had gained weight. Real life meant I missed aqua and metafit and it also meant I went out for three meals. Yes three! So I was convinced that I had gained weight.
Whether it’s a reprieve for one week only, I don’t know. But I did stick to the plan for the rest of the time and haven’t indulged in treats apart from the meals out. And I did what I could in terms of exercise. So I will see next week, but what amazes me the most is that I am gymming and slimming in December!
All the best,
After Saturday’s weigh in disappointment , I knew I should shrug my shoulders and feel confident that as I was doing the right things the weight would come off this week. Or read my musings on keeping on the wagon. But I didn’t. It was hard to keep motivation high when I didn’t feel I was achieving anything. So I slipped off the wagon.
The saving grace was that it wasn’t a big fall. To date (Thursday afternoon) I only slipped off on Saturday and got straight back on Sunday onwards. And I ignored the three large bars of chocolate that my mother in law has bought for me and went straight for…mini bags of maltesers, cereal bars and iced gems! Not good but not as bad as it could have been.
So this week if I have put on I will hold up my hands up and say I deserved it. And if I have lost weight, I will admit being totally bemused by it all!
All the best,
No I don’t mean Glee or repeats of The Golden Girls, but at the moment my guilty TV pleasures are the weight loss shows. I find when I am “in the zone/on track/in control/in the groove” or whatever you want to call it I enjoy these programmes. However when I am not-I don’t really want to know them!
The three (I can hear my husband’s THREE from here!) shows I am currently watching are Downsize Me, Fat (or Obese): A Year to Save my Life and Fat Families. All have their merits as well as their weaknesses but the aim is pretty much the same: take an overweight person (or people in Fat Families case), show them what they are doing to their body, encourage them to change by improving their diet and increasing the amount they exercise and showcase the results.
And the results are generally quite good. Especially for A Year to Save My Life, as they had, well, a year. They are given a personal trainer for several hours a day and in FF and AYTSML several pieces of exercise kit. They have access to dietician and diet sheets. As well as to the inspirational trainers that assists them.
One of the best things they do is really show what being overweight does to your body. And Downsize Me goes further and invites a “Crash Test Dummy” or an ordinary, usually fairly fit person to live on the diet that the overweight person has existed on. Some of the changes to their body are remarkable (although I do watch all these shows with a hefty dose of scepticism at times.)
What I would really like to see is if a year or two down the line have they maintained their weight loss? Have they lost more or have they gone back to their unhealthy ways? And there are the odd returning programme in FF and DM. The results are mixed, no-one shown went back to being as large as they were, but some had put weight back on. And some had done extraordinarily well.
So despite my cynicism and the flaws in the programmes, I do find some interesting points. It’s a reminder of what being overweight is doing to your body and how shedding even a few pounds and getting more active can help. I find it fascinating to see the causes of overeating tackled, and some people can pinpoint a reason. I also love seeing how the coaches emphasise the mental side of things as that is an area I am finally realising its importance. And most of all I just love watching other people’s successes (in the main) and take heart from them.
All the best,
Last week I waxed lyrical about the benefits of group exercise sessions. And today I am singing the praises of the slimming group.
It has taken me numerous weight loss attempts to come to the conclusion that I need the support of a slimming group. I can’t do it on my own, no matter how much I convince myself. For me, my greatest weight loss successes have happened when I have attended a slimming club. It doesn’t suit everyone, but I like the weigh-in, the structure of a plan and the support.
I try to stay at my Slimming World meetings but as it clashes with parkrun and often my children’s commitments I am unable to every week. But even if I quickly pop in to weigh, I know I am always assured of seeing a friendly face, can share how my week was with someone, and catch up with friend’s successes. And when I do stay I draw inspiration from other members, whether it’s their weight loss, ideas, understanding or just the realisation that I am not alone, there are others out there fighting the same battles. My Slimming World group feels like a wonderful comfort blanket and I am grateful to them all for what I have gained from it. So if you are struggling alone remember the Slimming World’s motto: “When you’ve had a good week, the group needs you. When you have had a bad week, you need the group.”
All the best,
I don’t know about you but sticking to a healthy eating regime after years of pretty much eating what I want is tough. Don’t get me wrong, I love fruit and some of the meals I’ve cooked do not taste like they are low fat, and are incredibly full of flavour, but I feel like I am missing something (which I am, lots of calories, lol!)
So here are 5 of my current favourite treats. Treats that won’t break the calorie bank and give me something to look forward to! And all for under 100 calories.
- Freddo bar
A small chocolate bar that is 95 calories. Perfect for any chocoholic to enjoy without too much guilt. A friend of mine has one a day and woe betides anyone in her family that takes her Freddo!
2. Special K Biscuit moments
A handy little pack of two biscuits that are chocolately in the middle. A lovely little treat that are 98 calories for the two biscuits.
3. Iced gems
One of my favourite treats from childhood and also from adulthood. A fabulous bag of biscuity loveliness that are only 99 calories. Yum! Yum!
4. Special K cracker crisps
Every so often I fancy something savoury. And these hit the spot. 86 calories a bag they are tasty and won’t ruin your healthy eating. And they are fab with a dip! Sweet Chilli is my favourite flavour at the mo.
5. Pink and Whites
My current favourite. This marshmallow sandwiched between two wafers brings joy with every mouthful. A treat that feels so much naughtier and only 50 calories each piece. Divine.
So what are your little treats? Care to share? Whatever they are, enjoy them!
All the best,
There is a very simple equation to weight loss which is you need to burn more calories than you eat. If you eat more calories than you burn you will put on weight. Very straightforward in writing, but in practice…not so much.
So burning even more calories than usual will help to lose more weight. This is why exercise is encouraged so much, as it is an excellent way to burn those calories. However it can for some people be counterproductive as after their run or exercise class they reward themselves with food, thus sabotaging all their good work. So I thought it would be interesting to see how much certain foods ‘cost’ in running terms.
I have worked out the calories burned using the Runner’s World calorie calculator based on an 11stone runner running at 6mph. Heavier runners will burn more calories, as will faster runners.
A small glass of wine: 10 minutes.
A Cadbury crunchie bar: 16 minutes
Starbucks tall classic hot chocolate with whipped cream whole milk: 24 minutes
Greggs Triple chocolate muffin: 49 minutes
Dominos chicken feast personal pizza (all of pizza): 53 minutes
1x chocolate hobnob: 8 minutes!! Yes one really is 8 minutes running!
So next time you are tempted to reach for a snack, just think how much running it would take to burn it off. Then maybe you would think twice! I certainly will!
All the best,
We all do it. Eat healthily for a while and then have a bad day, then two, then several weeks later we have put back on all the weight that we had lost and even worse feel as guilty as hell, and have lost any self-confidence and motivation we gained. I’ve done it, many, many times, and maybe you have done it too. So let’s think how we can clamber back onto the wagon as soon as possible, and maybe, even use it as a learning experience (yes really!).
- The first and I think most important thing is to draw a line under it as quickly as possible. It’s happened, accept it and move on. Get back on the wagon ASAP, don’t wait for Monday or your next weigh in. Do it now. If you don’t then a bad day will become two, then three and more.
- Don’t beat yourself up or brood over it. You’re human, you make mistakes. We all do. Put it behind you as quickly as possible. Think positive.
- Be honest with your support system. Tell them you are having a hard time. They will want to help you. Let them.
- If you have bought any goodies during your off the wagon stage get rid of them. Not in the back of the cupboard, mind. We know what will happen to them at some stage…
- Remind yourself why you are trying to lose weight. Go back and read your aims and goals and make use of any motivational tools you find useful.
- Think of falling off the wagon as a way to learn about yourself and improve your new lifestyle. You might identify some trigger points and once identified you can plan to avoid them again or recognise how to manage with them. Use the experience to your advantage.
All the best,