Mark Hopkins and David Watchorn of Elwell Watchorn & Saxton LLP were appointed Joint Administrators of Rosemary Conley Food & Fitness Ltd on 3rd of Feb 2014. The Joint Administrators manage the affairs, business and property of the company as agents and act without personal liability.

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Get the calorie balance right in your weight-loss plan - or you run the risk of your willpower waning.

My Amazing Inch Loss Plan has worked incredibly well for those who followed it, but it’s important to move to a more generous calorie allowance after week four. Here’s why…

“I’ve learned that having a taste of the foods I love – just occasionally – satisfies my cravings. This way I stay slim”

The reason why my Amazing Inch Loss Plan is so effective in the first four weeks is that it gives you significantly fewer calories than your body uses, while the extra exercise I ask you to do burns additional calories. Furthermore, your motivation is high when you start out on a new diet, and you are able to find the willpower to stick with this very strict 28 days because you can see the end – just a month away.

Very quickly you feel loads healthier and see the inches disappearing fast (and have tangible proof if you use a Magic Measure to track your progress). That’s not surprising because you are feeding yourself healthy food and exercising regularly, which is just what your body needs and loves.

By the end of the month you feel ecstatic at the results, so it’s understandable that you might want to carry on at this rate, eating the lower calorie allowance – but here is where I have to hold you back. If you continued to eat so few calories, you’d soon find that your taste buds, and your willpower, collapsed. Suddenly that fish and chip shop would smell particularly attractive, that pizza would be hard to resist, you just couldn’t ignore that giant chocolate bar ... and why not have that extra glass of wine? And we don’t want that to happen!

Temptation

The problem arises when you ask your body to be unrealistic in its challenge against temptation. We are human. Life gets in the way of dieting. Stuff happens. We are not robots that can be programmed to not want certain foods. We do want them, and will have them, and nothing will stop us wanting them. The only way to accommodate that craving is to have small quantities of the foods you love – occasionally.

I love chips, crisps and Pringles. If I eat them often, I will become fat. I really don’t want to be overweight again, so I compromise. I eat a few chips from my husband Mike’s plate on the rare occasions he eats them, I indulge in a few crisps at a social gathering (too many actually!) and I now only buy a small tub of Pringles, and only on holiday. I’ve learned that having a taste of the foods I love – just occasionally – satisfies my cravings. This way I stay slim.

When I was in my early 20s, I went on a diet and reduced my weight to around 7st 10lb. I looked great, but to maintain that new weight, I had to eat so little that, after six months, the willpower bubble burst and I ended up gaining 2 and a half stone! That experience taught me the importance of eating sufficient calories to satisfy my appetite and to include a few of my favourite foods so as not to feel deprived, and yet be able to hold on to enough willpower to stay slim. That became the fundamental philosophy behind the diets that I created for others.

Your personal Inch Loss Plan

After your strict four weeks on the Amazing Inch Loss Plan (which includes Part 1, the Fast Track Fortnight on 1,200 calories a day, and Part 2, the 14-Day 1400 Plan on 1,400 calories a day), it’s time to progress to Part 3 – your Personal Inch Loss Plan. I’ve called it personal because the calorie allowance I recommend relates to you, as an individual, taking into account your age, gender and weight.

This calorie allowance is equivalent to your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the number of calories your body burns just to stay alive and keep functioning. You need these calories to ensure your body receives sufficient nutrients so that you can carry on losing weight at a healthy level until you reach your goal. You can speed up your rate of weight loss by doing more activity and physical exercise, but it’s important to have enough food to satisfy both your psychological and physiological needs. As you lose more weight, that calorie allowance will reduce because there will be less of you to feed, but, for now, just stay with the recommended number of calories for you, and trust it.

Continue to use your Portion Pots, and avoid snacking between meals except for your Power Snacks. Keep high-fat treats to no more than 100 calories a day, or save them up for a bigger treat. If your allowance permits, you can have a couple of hundred calories-worth of alcohol each day or an additional treat. Use your Magic Measure once a week, even if it’s just a quick measure to see if you’ve shrunk a bit since your last measuring session. I use mine instead of scales to monitor my progress – or lack of it!

You can always return to the Fast Track Fortnight after a holiday or a period of overindulgence, but it would be wrong to stay on it permanently unless your personal calorie allowance determines that you should – for instance if you are over 60 and not very overweight. In this instance, exercise is really important so that you can eat a little more on occasions yet still maintain your progress.

After the initial, high-intensity “lose a stone in a month”, aim to lose 2lb a week and realise that if you do, you could shed over 7 stone in a year! Now tell me that’s not going some!

After the first four weeks on the Amazing Inch Loss Plan:

  • Check your BMR by looking at the chart in any of my cookbooks, at the back of the Amazing Inch Loss Plan book or in your New Member’s Pack issued at our classes.
  • Continue to follow the diet plan of 200 calories for breakfast, 300 for lunch and 400 for dinner, plus your 2 Power Snacks and your 450ml milk allowance. Use any extra calories for a larger Power Snack, or for additional rice, pasta or potatoes with your meals (remember to use your Portion Pots for accuracy), or for a pudding with either lunch or dinner.
  • Limit high-fat treats to 100 calories a day, or 700 calories in one week.
  • Women are allowed up to 200 calories for alcohol (and men 300 calories).
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