Thursday, 28 August 2014

Reviewing the 5:2 diet

"Lady Measuring Weight Loss" by sattva
I've just finished writing this article on how my version of the 5:2 diet is working for me - I know it is a diet and I say diets don't work but this one is a change of lifestyle and I think that is why it is working for me. I've lost a stone already and more important feel much better about myself. Anyway I wanted to share my thoughts with you guys.
The 5:2 Diet: Finally a Diet That Really Works? 

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Weight Loss: Weight Management: Become a Savvy Eater

'love peppers' photography by annmackiemiller

Become a Savvy Eater

The trick to losing weight and maintaining your target weight lies in becoming conscious of what and how you are eating. We are all guilty of not really paying attention when we are eating - we watch TV, we read a book, we eat at our desk while surfing the net. More often than not that results in over eating. We don't allow our stomach to tell our brain "that's enough". We really don't give our body the respect it deserves, if you allow it, it will tell you what is enough.

So now is the time to start changing your habit from just stuffing your face to slowing down, appreciating the food and paying attention to your body. These simple tips on how to do that will go a long way in recognizing your own strength, your own ability to control your eating.

First of all - sit at a table to eat. I don't actually have a table so I use the other side of my desk to where my computer sits. Note I am not sitting facing the computer. Don't watch TV, don't read, don't use the computer. The aim is to give eating your full attention. I confess, I did/do find it boring. The temptation is to bolt the food just to get on to something else but that actually defeats the purpose. This flows nicely into the next point....

Slow down your eating, chew it thoroughly and allow your mouth to enjoy every mouthful. Swallow every mouthful before your fill your fork for the next one.

After several weeks you might find you are not actually enjoying what you are eating - that is your body telling you it doesn't need that particular food at this time. Some call it intuitive eating and it is certainly something you let your body learn over time. I think you will be surprised that certain foods tend to be less appealing over time.

Both of these will allow you to learn to recognise when your stomach is full. Gradually your stomach will shrink so you will be eating less naturally.  If you are not sure if you are full on not, wait a few minutes and then decide. It is amazing how just leaving it a few minutes will make you realise that yes, your stomach is full.

Pay attention to portions. We tend to eat at least double the amount we need at any one time. If necessary eat smaller meals more often rather than one huge meal. There are lots of places on the internet you can find out what constitutes a portion. I was lucky enough to get a set of Rosemary Conely portion pots from a friend. They are in different sizes and are great for measuring out portions especially of dried foods like cereal. You can also find fun portion plates if you don't trust yourself. I know I was shocked at the difference between the size of the portions I was eating regularly and what was a recommended portion for a health adult.

But the easiest thing is simply to cut your usual size meal into two and you probably won't go far wrong. You may need to eat again in a couple of hours but that is ok provided you are paying attention to your over all daily intake.

In another post I'll take a look at what we eat. The old saying, 'you are what you eat' is just as true today as it ever was.

For you convenience I've included links for both the UK and the USA to these products. I am an Amazon affiliate and will earn a small commission if you buy from these links.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Start Losing Weight Today

'inspiration' photography by annmackiemiller

Let's Get Started

Something like half the population want to lose weight. It is never easy and we can use all the encouragement we can get. Which is why I'd like to give you a few tips to help you get that flat belly you dream of. The article will show how to get started, give you helpful tips on losing weight and on keeping it off and on programming your mind for success.
I've been a health professional all my adult life and now 'at a certain age' find weight management much more difficult than it was 40 years ago. What I have learned, is more than following fad diets, the trick is to CHANGE your diet habits. They say it takes six weeks to change a habit, so follow these tips on weight loss and healthy eating for at least six weeks then tell me if you have seen a difference.

Get in the Mood - Become Body Conscious

Your mind set is vital when you start and for me it helps to set things up in a sort of formal way - it shows ME that I am committed to making a change and want to chart my progress to give myself a boost as I go.  There is no need to jump right in, let's prepare ourselves first. Pick a date ahead, a week from now probably works, for when you are going to seriously take control of your diet and lifestyle. Between then and now here are some things to be doing and thinking about. 

What you Need to Get Started on your Weight Management Plan

photography by annmackiemiller
What you need to get started:
  1. one notebook and pen
  2. one tape measure
  3. three pieces of string
Bet you would never have guessed a successful diet started with a piece of string. I don't ever recommend anyone weighing themselves except as a very loose guide. Often if you are dieting you replace fat with muscle which actually weighs more. Besides which, weighing yourself too often sets you up for disappointment if you don't see much difference.
Instead, I recommend you to measure yourself once a week - only once a week and make that at the same time of day as you do expand more during the day. So if you measure yourself in the evening, and then repeat it the next week first thing in the morning, you are the only one you are fooling.
You are going to use the notebook as a journal, you can add anything you like into it but include your weekly measurements and weight if you want to do it that way.
At the start of the week - measure your bust, waist and hips with a piece of string cut to each area. As the weeks go on you can reduce the size of your pieces of string. I confess I also measure with a measuring tape but you don't have to.
notebook by nuttikit at

Keeping Your Journal

Start with a fresh page in a notebook or diary or start an on-line blog. It helps to write things down.
First of all:

  • list the reasons why you want to lose weight.
  • list a typical day's diet - be honest. If necessary take a day and just note everything you eat from drinks and snacks to main meals. Sometimes it helps to set it all in perspective. Be sure to include the size of portions you take. For example, you might have a full dinner plate of stew, potatoes and carrots. It is important to note the size of the plate you are using.
  • during the day and evening, note down what makes you want to eat and at what times. Can you perceive a pattern? For example, are you snackish when you watch TV in the evening, or in the afternoon and so on? Include all drinks.
  • note down what time you eat or drink first in the morning and what time and what you have last thing at night. All we are doing here is becoming self-aware, or more conscious of our eating and drinking patterns.
Now to Start:
  • looking in a mirror - take a measurement of your bust, your waist and your hips and note them down. NO don't avoid looking in the mirror - you really want to know what you look like now, not hide from yourself. 
  • with your first piece of string - measure it round your bust and either mark it with a marker or tie a knot in it.
  • with your second piece of string - measure your waist and mark it with a marker or a knot
  • with your third piece of string - measure your hips (include your derriere) and mark ii.
You can use your diary to put down any thoughts you have, for example, how you feel when you look in the mirror. An important part of improving your health is improving your own self worth

.Food Diary:
  • a food diary is a really good idea to show exactly what you are eating every day. You may be surprised at how all the calories mount up. I know I was. So for a few days - 
  • write down everything you eat or drink during the day
  • use an online calorie counter to calculate the number of calories in each.
  • also make a note of how you felt before you ate it and how you feel afterwards. This is all to get you used to listening to your body and hopefully will help you become more conscious of food.

That's probably enough to get started with. So see you later... 

Welcome to YOUR Life in YOUR Hands

Welcome to the new blog - I'm Ann and I have been working in health related occupations for over forty years. Over time I want to share with you some insights that work best for me.  I firmly believe the one person you can rely on when it comes to your health and well being is yourself. You just don't believe it yet.

Here I hope to give you the tools to take charge of your life, to make it work for you. Yes take advice and help where it is appropriate but don't abdicate your own responsibility and your own power to someone else.

Topics will be as varied as weight loss and weight management, nutrition, meditation and self care.