When a friend came to me and asked ‘I just don’t know why I’m not losing weight? I’m being really good with my food – yes, I know I drink too much – but aside from that I eat really healthily. I don’t know what to do’.
This is not an uncommon cry for help so my advice was to ask my friend, Julie, to write down everything she ate and drank for a week. I told her not to try to be good, ‘just be yourself, but record everything’.
A week later Julie brought me her record of her food and alcohol consumption. Yes, she was eating healthily and yes, she should have lost weight. Alcohol-wise, yes she was right again. She was drinking a lot. I worked out the units she was drinking exceeded 30. The government guidelines suggest a maximum of 14 a week.
I enjoy a drink too and so I thought I would calculated how many units I drank. To my shock it was 24.5! And that was over four days as I don’t drink on Saturdays, Sundays or Mondays. It was a real shock! I had no idea.
It was a week later that I met up with Julie and I said that I would join her in trying to cut back. The following week I weighed Julie and she had lost 2 ½ lbs which was fabulous. For me, I found a new formula too. I found a pretty little glass jug in my cupboard, (one I use on those rare occasions that we have visitors and I need to serve cream for dessert!) and decided that this would be my ‘wine jug’. So, on each of my ‘drinking nights’ I pour out half a glass of white wine and then fill my little jug to the point where it shapes into the neck of the receptacle. And it works.
At around 5pm I come out of my office and Mike (my hubby) and I sit down together, enjoy a drink and chat over the activities of the day. I sip my wine, top it up from my little jug, and when it’s empty, that’s it. No more. As a result I am drinking one less bottle of wine a week! I tell myself that this has to be good for me on all levels and so far, so good!
The problem with food and drink is we get into habits. Bad habits. I scoop out my portion of muesli with my blue Portion Pot each morning but it would be so easy to just pile it up a bit. For my lunch if I’m not having my prawn pots which are all measured out, it is most likely that I will have a round of wholemeal toast with a poached egg. Or shall I have two today? And put a bit of cheese on the toast? It is so easy to just eat more!
Sometime Mike and I have a curry with rice and naan bread for our evening meal – my hubby’s favourite. I don’t have a big portion but, ‘that naan was so nice, I’ll just have a bit more’, and so the battle goes on.
You will, I am sure, relate to all of the above. We are all utterly normal and we enjoy our meals and our glass of whatever. We just have to sometimes take stock of what we are actually doing.
I recently did a few radio interviews on this exact subject and my suggestion was that everyone should write down what they ate and drank for a week, being really honest with themselves. After doing that, examine it. Think about it. Look at the areas that if you were at school the teacher would draw a big red line around! I honestly believe you don’t need to be a brain surgeon or a dietician to realise where you are going wrong. Maybe it’s that KitKat mid-morning. A packet of crisps in the afternoon? A few nibbles in the evening. A biscuit with your coffee. Endless seemingly innocent treats that mount up to cause you to gain weight, or at least prevent you from losing it.
I follow these golden rules which are actually very simple:
1) Eat three meals a day 2) Avoid snacking between meals 3) Cook without fat and eat low fat foods 4) Moderate your alcohol intake 5) Cut your portion sizes by 20% 6) Eat more vegetables 7) Do something active every single day, even for just 15-20 minutes. 8) Avoid eating takeaways or dining out too often 9) Exercise with a friend – it’s more fun. A dog is a friend! 10) Only weigh yourself once a week.
Here at Rosemary Online we have inspirational success stories and a vast variety of diets for you to choose from if you want a structured eating plan. We have lessons on how to cook from our ‘Your Creative Kitchen’ videos from Sarah and we also have recipe videos from Dean showing you step-by-step ways to cook our incredible library of healthy recipes. There is something there to satisfy all tastes.
We have exercises for everyone and all you need to do is log on and follow them. And when you do, how do you feel? Better! Happier! Fitter! Slimmer! Healthier!
Try to understand and acknowledge what you do now. Ask yourself, ‘What are the small changes I can make to instigate a very big difference for my health and fitness in the future?’ It is so worth the effort as it will reap enormous rewards – for YOU!