YoYoing weight? Short lived weight loss? Can't lose enough/any weight? We've all been there. But what you really need is sustainable, achievable weight Loss.
We've all looked at the scales, obsessively hoping to see a magic number that will make us feel happy - only to be disappointed yet again that we've put on weight instead of it coming off! Again!!! So we look around for a weight loss solution and a new workout regime to get our teeth into to kick some firmness into our butts. And we repeat cycle - time and time again.
What you really need is Sustainable, Achievable Weight Loss and in this article I will lay out the basics of how to achieve it.
The UK is in the grip of an obesity epidemic, and it is not just limited to the adult population; we have one of the highest levels of childhood obesity in Europe. (1) Childhood obesity has significant consequences for children’s physical and mental health and wellbeing.
So what is going wrong?
Our diets have changed over the years, with a massive increase in sugar consumption and our activity levels have decreased. There is also a huge amount of information in the media ranging from what to eat and what not to eat, what the latest fad diet trend is and which celebrity is endorsing it, what the latest diet pills are, how many calories you should be eating, and how to remove all fats from your diet. Something is clearly not working as the figures speak for themselves. In 2016 26% of adults were classed as obese which is a 15% increase since 1993. In 2016/17, 1 in 5 children in Year 6 and 1 in 10 children in Reception were classified as obese.
In general there seems to be a big focus on exercise which I totally agree is necessary as part of a healthy lifestyle but exercise is not the answer to weight loss on its own. The food you put in your mouth is the biggest cause of weight gain not the lack of exercise. I think this message is very often overlooked and one of the reasons why most people cannot lose weight and keep it off. That doesn’t mean you should give up the gym but instead exercise should be incorporated alongside dietary changes.
Food is fuel for the body is petrol is to a car and we all know what happens when we put diesel in a petrol car and vice versa. By putting the right food in your body you nourish it and you give it the right fuel it needs to work correctly. If you restrict it and you replace real food with artificial diet food, artificial sweeteners, low calorie meals, missing meals or bingeing on the wrong foods, your body will not work properly. You will end up sluggish, tired, lethargic, crave sugar and white bread/pasta. You will be unmotivated and surprise, surprise by the 3rd week in January you will have given up all your new year’s resolutions as it feels just too hard.
Very simply to lose weight you have to reduce the SUGAR & CARBOHYDRATES as carbohydrates convert into sugar in the body. Your body does need sugar (as glucose) provides a very important function in your body since your cells require energy to survive and glucose is usually the preferred choice. However, our diets have become so flooded with sugar and we are just eating too much. Excess sugar in the body is converted to fat and the favourite place the body likes to store it is around the middle. Over the years there seems to have been a big focus on FATS and it is FAT that makes you gain weight. Excessive fat will cause weight gain but the biggest cause of weight gain is SUGAR. To be clear here is my list of SUGAR/CARBS:
White refined sugar/honey/agave/maple syrup and all products made with these ingredients.
GRAINS – such as pasta, bread, rice
Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes
High sugar fruits – grapes, banana’s, tropical fruit.
I am not suggesting to remove them entirely but to limit them. Advice below on what constitutes a portion and a typical day.
My 10 top tips for weight loss:
Reduce the SUGAR – you will not achieve weight loss without reducing sugar. CARBOHYDRATES – choose complex carbohydrates such as oats, brown rice, quinoa and for lunch and dinner these should form ¼ of your plate only.
REGULAR MEALS – Regular meals = 3 meals per day and 2 snacks and yes you will lose weight by eating this often. Eating the right food regularly ensures that your blood sugar stays balanced and this really reduces cravings. If you miss a meal your blood sugar drops and you body craves glucose which is sugar. You will have a really hard time making a healthy choice of what to eat when in this state.
PROTEIN IS KING – protein is a vital part of our diet and it is responsible for making you feel full for longer and slowing down the release of carbohydrates. Protein breaks down into amino acids which are vital for good functioning of the body and must come from your diet; they cannot be made in the body. All meals and snacks must include protein. Good protein sources are: Fish (white & oily), chicken, eggs, pulses, beans, tofu, quinoa, nuts & seeds are the best choices. Meat should preferably be organic and not eaten every day.
FRUIT – fruit provides a great selection of vitamins but should be consumed with caution due to the sugar content of some fruit. Best sources are berries (such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries- look in freezer section for frozen berries out of season), plums, grapefruit, oranges, pears & apples. Avoid bananas, grapes and tropical fruit and fruit juices.
WATER –being dehydrated can lead to cravings so ensure you have sufficient water during the day will help. 1.5-2 litres per day.
PLATE – be careful of portion size and put on the plate the food at the beginning of the meal instead of sharing plates on the table as it is hard to monitor what you eat. ¼ of your plate should be protein such as a small chicken breast, ¼ of your plate can be carbs (as listed above) and ½ non starchy vegetables so not potatoes, sweet potato etc.
MINDSET – you can only achieve change if you do something different. Why do you want to change? How do you feel right now? What are your goals? It can be helpful to write this down and to refer back.
MINDFUL EATING – it is very easy to eat on the go and the body doesn’t even register what you are eating so try to take time out and sit down and eat. Do not eat in the car, when working at your PC or watching TV.
EATING OUT – yes you can eat out and you don’t have to choose a salad. Don’t go for a buffet option or sharing plates as it is impossible to control portions.
CRAVINGS – in the first few days you will have cravings so be prepared for this and know that in a few days you will feel different and start to feel better. When you take out the junk it is amazing to see how awful you actually felt before without even realising it.
5 DAYS – try this for 5 days and I promise you will start to feel better. Side effects of a diet like this are increased energy, feeling full after meals but not overfull, less sugar cravings and better sleep.
SUPPORT – work with someone who can help. I offer a range of packages and specialise in weight loss. I have struggled with my weight in the past and I know the challenges and how to overcome them.
What would a typical meal plan look like?
Breakfast – porridge with ground nuts and frozen blueberries/raspberries
Snack: 5 oatcakes and Houmous
Lunch – medium chicken breast with salad and quinoa (portion is a cupped handful) in a olive oil and vinegar dressing.
Snack: apple and 10 almonds
Dinner – fillet of sea bass with 4 small crushed new potatoes, steamed broccoli .
Unlimited water and herbal teas during the day.
What I offer:
Full nutritional consultation (75 minutes) to discuss all areas of your health including emotional health. I look at your diet, nutritional deficiencies, family history, medical history so I can tailor the plan to work around you and what you want to achieve.
7 day menu plan
Healthy eating guidelines
Continued support to help you through this process.
“I saw Rosie as I’d been attending Slimming world for a couple of years and despite being able to lose 4 stone, I still had a long way to go and felt like I’d reached a plateau. I was also entering the menopause and wanted to help reduce the symptoms without resorting to HRT as advised by my GP. I saw Rosie and immediately felt at ease. She listened to all of my concerns and produced a plan for me to follow. 3 weeks later I had lost half a stone, my energy has increased, I am no longer craving sugar and I feel full after each meal but not in a bloated, heavy way. I can’t thank her enough and would recommend her to anyone”.
“Rosie was instrumental in changing my relationship with food. I’d been on every diet going and was so sick of not being able to lose weight and keep it off, it seemed to rule my life. Rosie looked at things differently and there was no mention of calorie counting which I found surprising but it worked. Aside from losing 1 stone, I have increased energy and genuinely love the food she suggested. It has also inspired my love of cooking which had taken a hit as I had got so obsessed that everything I was eating was causing me to put on weight so I’d just given up. I recommend her to anyone.”
National Obesity Forum. 2015. Childhood Obesity: The scale of the problem. http://www.nationalobesityforum.org.uk/images/stories/ PDF_training_resource/in-depth-childhood-obesity.pdf (accessed September 2015).