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.

Food & Fitness Diary

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Rosemary Conley writes October edition

Why are so many people overweight in the UK and what can we do about it?

The nation is getting fatter but follow my top tips and we can help beat the bulge.

Watch some old TV footage of the ’70s and everyone is noticeably slim. Watch any news footage of folk walking down the streets today and too many of them will be overweight or obese.

It hasn’t happened overnight. It has crept on over the last 40 years and being bigger has become socially acceptable – almost normal. If you can wear a size 14 you are looked upon as being quite slim. The goal posts have definitely changed but there are serious health implications if we carry those excess lbs and we need to make some serious lifestyle changes.

Why have we become fatter?

Some of it is down to lifestyle. Forty years ago we didn’t sit behind a computer, have a mobile phone, iPad, iPhone or email. We had to walk more – to the post box and phone box – carry our shopping home from the supermarket, walk our children to school and we only had three television channels to watch so we probably went out more. Now we can shop online for anything and have it delivered to your door the next day without even standing up from our chair. We can communicate to anyone anywhere in the word at the press of a button and in doing so we have become inactive, over- stressed and often depressed. And it just isn’t good for us.

When we get stressed we want a drink - probably several drinks. Alcohol changes our appetite and we crave higher fat food and often eat more than we would otherwise eat. We might send out for a take-away or nip out to our local restaurant ‘just because it’s easier’ but what that does is offer us more choice and greater temptation. Without a doubt you will end up eating more calories than you would have done had you cooked the meal yourself at home.

So what can we do to change our lifestyle? Here are my top five tips...

  1. Assess each day. Ask yourself if you are going to have an active or a sedentary day. If you are going to be sitting behind a computer all day, driving or sitting in meetings you need to adjust your food intake as you just won’t be burning the calories that you would if you were being more active. If you want to keep your weight loss progress moving at a reasonable pace, you need to plan some additional physical activity to compensate for not burning many calories whilst sitting down all day. Cycling to work or walking throughout your lunch hour can really help or, of course, try and attend an exercise class that evening to balance out your day.
  2. Kick the snacking habit. So many people eat high fat snacks sitting at their desk or whilst watching TV. Crisps, nuts, cereal bars, sweets, chocolates – they are all there to fatten us up between meals! We just don’t need them and whilst we continue to eat them we will always struggle with our weight. I always advocate a small piece of fruit mid morning and mid afternoon to help get you through to lunch and dinner but high-fat snacks are so destructive to your diet as they are high in fat and calories and hugely habit forming.
  3. Get active every day. Do something every day that gets you out and about: Walk the dog a bit further and a bit faster or walk on your own or with a walking buddy; go for a 15 minute jog; go for a swim; workout to a fitness DVD or your Wii Fit; play a sport. Not only will it make you slimmer and fitter it will also make you healthier and happier. Exercise is known to be incredibly effective at reducing stress and depression as well as aiding sleep and relaxation. I walk our dogs for 20-30 minutes every morning and it has transformed my fitness plus it gets me off to a very positive start each morning. I know we say we don’t have time to do fitness yet we watch on average 27 hours of television every week! We should all aim to be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day.
  4. Shop sensibly. Today we are spoilt for choice as the supermarkets offer so many different varieties and brands of every food we can imagine so it is not surprising that we are tempted! Forty years ago there wasn’t that variety available and we had to make do with what was on offer or make our own. Life was very different. Always make a list when you go shopping and avoid buying anything outside of that list, no matter how tempting the offer. Discipline is the key. I never buy biscuits or cakes, chocolate or crisps as I know I can’t be trusted. If I did buy them I know I would eat them and if I ate them I know they will make me fat. I don’t want to be fat again so I don’t buy them. The bottom line is I want to be slim more than I want the chocolate.
  5. Eat for health. Realise that nutritious food fills us for longer, helps us to stay healthy and gives us more energy. You don’t have to be a nutritionist to know which foods are healthy and which ones are not. Fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, poultry, rice, pasta, bread, potatoes, cereal are all good for us. Avoid anything that is made with a lot of fat such as pastry, biscuits, cake, pies, anything deep fried or covered in oil, butter or cream. Not only are they not good for us they are over loaded with calories which will just add more fat to our body. Cut these foods out and we are well on our way to a slim and healthy future.
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