• 25Mar
    Categories: Journal entries Comments Off on 10 things you need to know about losing weight

    I recorded this programme a while back but only watched it yesterday, full of renewed resolution to lose weight – my New Year’s resolution never really started with all the chocolate and cake still around! I found it so helpful, already aware that I need to focus more on exercise anyway as my diet isn’t too bad. Also I’m not giving up all the goodies, would rather increase my fitness levels by being more active instead.

    The full programme can be seen on You Tube in 5 parts, the first is here and I do highly recommend a look.

    If you haven’t time to watch the videos or want a handy summary, here it is:

    1. DON’T SKIP MEALS.  If you do, your stomach shrinks with becoming empty and triggers the hormone ghrelin. This hormone travels to the brain and activates an area which will then make you crave high calorie foods to compensate!
    2. DECREASE YOUR PLATE SIZE.  If you change your plate size from 12″ to 10″ then you will eat an average of 22% less food without even noticing it.  Very often we just eat what is there.  It takes time to register you are full up so it’s also beneficial to slow down your eating speed too.
    3. COUNT YOUR CALORIES.  We all know this, it does work.  Often though we do not accurately monitor calorie intake, it’s so easy to forget that smoothie (which could be nearly 300 calories!) or believe a fruit salad has far less calories in.
    4. DON’T BLAME YOUR METABOLISM.  Most people’s metabolism is normal and this will not be affecting your ability to lose weight.
    5. PROTEIN STAVES OFF HUNGER PANGS.  Proteins such as lean meat, eggs, beans and fish switch off the urge to eat by firing another hormone, called Peptide YY, into the brain so we get the “full” message.
    6. SOUP KEEPS YOU FULLER FOR LONGER.  The programme had a fascinating study where they fed two groups of people the same meal – the first group had the meal on the plate as normal along with a glass of water and the second group had this same meal blended along with the glass of water into a thick soupy consistency.  Those who ate the soup took far longer to feel hungry again and scientifically this was shown by scanning their stomachs at regular intervals – there was food in the second groups stomach long after the first lot were feeling hungry again because theirs were empty!
    7. THE WIDER THE CHOICE, THE MORE WE EAT.  This is hard-wired into our brains.  Being faced with a buffet table is a bad idea!
    8. LOW FAT DAIRY FOODS HELP YOU GET RID OF MORE FAT.  Another interesting one.  Low fat cheese, crème fraiche, yoghurt, cottage cheese and skimmed milk will help you lose weight because the calcium somehow binds to fat when it’s excreted so takes some fat with it.
    9. EXERCISE GOES ON BURNING FAT, EVEN WHILE YOU SLEEP.  You may only initially lose what seems like a few calories from walking but in actual fact there is an “after-burn” so you’ll continue to benefit by losing more calories for hours after.
    10. SMALL CHANGES TOWARDS BEING MORE ACTIVE WILL WORK.  I’m a great believer in making small changes because they are the ones easier to stick to and therefore guarantee a result, just over a slightly longer period.  If you do make the effort to be more active, you will notice the difference (as long as you don’t eat more too!).

    I hope sharing this information will be helpful to you.  I use some great scales which chart your weight (obviously!), BMI and fat/lean mass ratio which I find a great motivator – if you want more motivation then you can share these results on Facebook or Twitter!  Don’t forget to give yourself a little treat for reaching a target and remember taking a longer term view really helps.  Good luck.

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