Yearly Archives: 2012

Old dog. New tricks?

Photo by Ernst Vikne. http://flickr.com/photo/42834622@N00/3478988947

When I lost my weight on Lighterlife I spent over a year thinking about my relationship to food and working out how I would need to change it if I were to keep the weight off. Four years later I have kept weight off – but at the moment it’s more of a struggle than I think it’s ever been. And sadly, I can see some of my old food habits returning far to fast for my liking, even after all this time. So why is it that it can be so hard to change our habits with food?

I honestly believe that the answer to keeping weight off is to work out what our own particular issues are with food and then to ways to manage based on our own lives, like and dislikes etc. For four years I’ve been able to do this, keeping my weight within a stone or so of my ideal size and basically staying a size 10.

But there’s been 2 occasions when I’ve gone beyond a size 10; when I’ve had two unsuccessful pregnancies. The first was the catalyst for me developing my 21 Keys to Keeping Weight Off. After the miscarriage I started eating differently to how I’d eaten ever since losing weight, and I realised just how many changes I’d made. But after the stress of the miscarriage I was back to old habits really quickly.

This summer the same has happened and I’ve had another unsuccessful pregnancy and miscarriage. This time it’s been harder for me and my husband to cope with as many other things in our lives have not been going our way of late. So we have made a momentous decision to go travelling round the world for up to a year. We go in less than 2 weeks. At the moment we are trying to sort out renting out the house, packing up all our stuff, saying goodbye to all our mates and family. We have no idea what the future holds.

Bloody hell – we are super stressed! And guess what – I cant stop eating!

This, despite me not having lost my pregnancy/post pregnancy extra weight and having gone up a dress size and feeling terrible about how I look. I can’t keep to any diet and I’m madly veering from binging days through to fasting days. So it seems when the pressure is on, even after all this time, I’m returning to form and old habits have kicked in.

I’ve always said it’s inevitable that at times you put on weight; the question is how much you allow yourself to put on. I don’t want to be any bigger than I am now but I just don’t seem to be able to sort it out at the moment

Maybe that’s what happens at times for all of us who have ever had a weight problem – when life is tricky we go back to old habits. However I do know I can’t continue like this and I know once we go traveling I will be more active and so will start to get this under control. Maybe this is just part of understanding how I am with food and knowing myself. After all, after the first pregnancy I lost the weight again when the time was right, so I know I can do it again when the time is right. And in the meantime, I’m making sure I’m not putting on any more weight.

The thing is that we all get to know ourselves and to work out what our own tolerance levels are and when we feel able to do things about it. And to trust that we can and will. And of course, to have our own point at which we say to ourselves – STOP!!! 

I’ll be keeping people up to date on here and also on our new travel blog – www.middle-aged-spread.com – tales of mid life crisis travel, people and food (whilst not getting fat!).

2 weeks into my diet – but is it for me?

 

I’m now 2 weeks into my diet. When keeping weight off, it’s inevitable that you put weight back on. Keeping weight off does not mean not putting any weight on at all, it’s about when do you decide to do anything about it. Due to medical reasons I’ve put on nearly 2 stone more than I want. So now I’m dieting to lose this.

I’ve chosen to do Slimming World this time and I’ve now been to 3 classes. I really like the leader and the people are very nice but truth be told I’m struggling with it. All the research shows that you are more likely to succeed with a diet as part of a group. But 3 groups in, I’m honestly wondering how many more groups I’ll be able to stand……

Eating out
I had an OK week. On the Saturday I went to one of the best and poshest restaurants in the UK and negotiated a meal in advance that was OK. On the Sunday I went to a BBQ. Slimming World says 1/3 of your meal should be fruit or veg so I had a slice of cake with some salad!!!

Your ‘success’ or not is public
When I went to a Lighterlife group for nearly 2 years, your weigh-in is private. At Slimming World it’s the opposite – read out to the whole group. If you lose you get applause; maintain or add and you get sympathetic noises. And despite that the fact that generally I’m open about my weight I’m struggling with this. The first week I just maintained and I honestly felt totally humiliated at the prospect of this being read out. It felt better having a loss of 3lb read out but I was still nervous.

Making sure 1/3 of my plate was fruit or veg!!

It’s a whole life change
Having spent so long thinking about why I got fat in the first place, and reading the research about how what we eat as children effects our weight later in life, I’m struggling with the fact that there are loads of kids at the class who seem to all be eating sweets, crisps and other processed foods; I’ve not seen any eating fruit, or raisins or carrot sticks for example. And so I find it frustrating that some of the excellent messages the leader is giving about healthy eating and this being about a whole life change don’t seem to be cascading down to the kids. Maybe I’m being unfair or just haven’t noticed; I do hope so.

Bodies are so unpredictable
Hearing how people have done and then they talk about the week they have had it’s also so clear how the human body is so unpredictable. Some people stick to the plan and put on weight; others eat all sorts and still lose. Time of the month really effects me and it all leaves me feeling a lot that weight is not the best judge as it seems so arbitrary; how our clothes feel or how we feel about ourselves I think are much better judges.

But despite all this I think the group is working
I sat in the group making notes surreptitiously on my phone for this blog, noting how I don’t feel motivated by competitions even if it seems to work for others. And then she announced that I was Slimmer of the Week!! And guess what – that has felt pretty motivating after all!!! And if I’m honest the public nature of the weigh-in is having an effect. This morning I’ve been on the scales and my weight is slightly up so I’ve said no to going out to eat this evening which I probably would have done if there was no group to go to.

Horses for courses
Ultimately, although I’m finding this hard, it is making me think and it is changing my eating habits. And I can’t argue with the thousands of people for whom it works week in, week out.

I think it’s a case of horses for courses. What suits one person doesn’t always suit another. And what suits you at one point in your life may not be the right solution at another. The trick is when anything doesn’t motivate you or you find it feels ‘heavy’ inside, stop. Don’t just give up. Maybe it’s just not for you and no doubt there is another way for you.

Sometimes when keeping weight off you just have to diet…..

 

I’ve been ill recently and as a result I’ve not been following my own advice about eating, eating what I ever I fancy without thinking. I’ve been scoffing bread which I normally don’t have a problem at all only eating occasionally, and wolfing down cheese which again I don’t normally eat. Dunkin’ Donuts have been calling me, as have a few too many cakes and crisps. Add to that some pizzas and a few take-aways and basically I’ve put on about 1½ stones (21lb or just under 9kg) in a the space of a few weeks. If I ever needed proof that my ’21 Keys to Keeping Weight Off’ work it has been how quickly I’ve put weight back on when I stopped following them! Time to go on a diet. 

So now time for action….
Key 18 ‘Accept your weight and size will go up and down’ is all about this. How it’s inevitable that we put weight back on. The question is how much and when do we take action to re-balance? All studies of people who keep weight off long term find that they have a way to keep a check on their weight and they have ways to re-balance when needed. I do that all the time.

But now I’m facing a far bigger challenge. All my clothes are too tight and I reckon I have gone up a dress size to a 12. I still look OK (being over 40 my face probably looks better), but the hardest part is I feel terrible. So, for me, I need to not just cut back a bit, I need to proper diet.

Instead of just using meal replacements at home, this time I have decided to join Slimming World and lose the weight more slowly by eating normal food. Another dieting fact – people who join a group are far more successful than those who go it alone – so I’ve signed up for at least 6 weeks of the group and last Wednesday went to the first session.

My only other experience of diet groups was Lighterlife with whom I lost nearly 8 stone. This group was very different – not better or worse – just different. I took to the leader straight away. She is really knowledgeable about the programme and I loved the way she challenged people in the group about their eating – quite direct but also with a smile in hour voice. One woman who had not done so well blamed it on going to the seaside (exactly where I’d been and also piled on the pounds to be fair). The leader asked ‘why does going to the seaside put on weight?’ The woman admitted with a laugh it was not going to the seaside but her eating choices whilst there. And we were given recipes for puddings which suited me fine! The women were all really nice but as with any weight group I suspect there are some who are more serious, and some more able to make the necessary changes needed than others. My challenge will be to not let others inability to keep to the programme make me worry that I wont. I know I can ; I have since then except a mate’s BBQ yesterday where the cake got the better of me. But at least only a small slice (or two).

The most important thing for me, though, is to remember it’s not a failure that I’m having to go back to a weight loss group. I’ve been ill and I needed to relax my eating habits for a while. I’ve just put some weight on, that’s all. I’m not a failure, or worthless, or a loser. And now I feel better, I’m getting back on top of it.

So if you are ever in the same boat do not feel bad or blame yourself. Accept it, love yourself and just decide to do something about it. 

Lets just hope my resolve shows on the scales at my first group weight in………

 

Love your holiday and still watch your weight!

So, its holiday time again. I love summer holidays, but they can be a mare when it comes to managing my weight. And spending hours in shorts and a swimsuit isn’t good for my mood if I feel I’m bigger than I want to be. But at the same time, a holiday is not a holiday if I cant enjoy myself and food and drink is such a massive part of that. Some people even lose weight on holiday! So here are my top tips for having a great holiday and still watching your weight.


1. Got a smart phone, get an app!
My last holiday was in Portugal. So before I went I bought a translation app that could work without WiFi or 3G. I put in a load of phrases to be translated into Portuguese to help me ask for my food how I want it. So phrases like ‘Please cook in as little oil as possible’ or ‘Please do not put cheese on top’ made it really easy to order brilliant food.

2. I’ll manage the day so I can enjoy the evening….
Having lovely meals out and a fair few glasses of red wines is all part of a holiday for me. So I manage my breakfasts and lunches then I don’t worry about the evening. I took some sugar free muesli with me which I had with fruit for breakfast. I booked self catering so I could make my own lunch. When I’m not self catering I’ll buy salad stuff each day. Drink lots of water during the day and you’ll be set up nicely to enjoy your evening out.

3. Don’t compare….
Bad habit on holiday No 1. Looking at other women and thinking how much slimmer they are then me. The reality is always that some are, some aren’t. And so what?

What’s important is that we all feel good about ourselves and learn to love ourselves as we are. Remember no one else can be you. So what if they are a different size or shape?

4. When eating out still make sensible choices….
Some things are better to chose when eating out and managing your weight. Click here for a guide.

I’m a real pudding girl and holidays are no exception. In Portugal often I’d go to the ice cream stall and choose some fresh fruit covered in dark chocolate. Lovely. And I used the little freezer compartment in the fridge in our room to freeze some fruit to eat in the afternoons rather than ice-lollies. And of course I kept a nice stocked fruit bowl in our room.

 

Even with the most rubbish equipment you can still cook your own

5. Beware the all you can eat buffet….
The truth is that going all-inclusive or to all you can eat buffets everyday on holiday is going to make it really hard to manage your weight. So if you are all inclusive or going to all you can eat buffets, still try to watch what you eat and still bring your own more healthy alternatives. Use a small plate, only put small amounts on your plate at a time, take a break between going back to fill up your plate, and drink lots of water. Don’t eat just because the food is there. 

 

6. Stay active….
Even if you are going for a total chill-out holiday by the pool, its still possible to keep up some activity. Swim as much as you can and walk everywhere rather than getting lifts or a bus; in the sun its lovely and there’s nothing nicer than walking home in the sunset after a great meal and evening out.

If you can and its your kind of thing, go dancing to dance off your evening meal. And if your on holiday with the right person then remember that getting active in the bedroom uses up lots of calories; even more when its hot!!

7. Be grateful for all you eat and drink…
I believe that how we feel about things effects how our body responds. I’m convinced my body deals with food better when I feel good & not worried about what I’ve eaten. So be grateful for everything you eat or drink and for your brilliant holiday. Before you eat think about how good the food you’ll have is for you. Be determined to enjoy everything you eat and drink and to have a brilliant holiday.

x

Lovely fat free lemon cake

Its my husbands birthday today. Last night we went out to celebrate and had the king of curries. So today its cake time – but cake without the fat, and with the sugar and flour reduced.

Here’s a lovely recipe for lemon cake, ready to eat in less than half an hour and no chocolate anywhere in sight!!

Ingredients:
3 eggs
50g golden syrup or agave
50g equivalent of sweenener (I used splenda)
2 lemons (ring and juice)
50g ground almonds
50g self raising wholemeal flour
1/2 – 1 tsp baking powder
Lemon curd or marmalade

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C or gas mark 6.

1. Grate the lemons to get all the rind and squeeze to get out the juice.
2. Separate the eggs into two bowls.
2. Add the sweetener and syrup to the yolks and beat until thick and creamy.
3. Beat the grated lemon rind, lemon juice, any lemon flesh, the almonds and flour into the yolk mixture.
4. Beat the egg whites until they are stiff.
5. Fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture with a metal spoon taking care not to over mix.
6. Put into a ready greased tin. I used one but you could use two small tins.
7. Bake for about 12 minutes if in one tin (reduce to about 8 to 10 if in 2 tins)
8. Turn out sponges & cool on a wire rack.
9. Cut the cake in half if only one, then spread some lemon curd or marmalade in the middle and then place one half (cake) ontop.  If you want, sieve some icing sugar over the top of the cake.

10. ENJOY!!!

 

 

The best ways to enjoy the Easter holiday and still keep weight off

Holidays and big occasions can always present challenges when you are watching your weight. And Easter can be particularly difficult if you have any chocoholic tendencies! So what’s the best way to have a fab Easter but not pile on the pounds?

1. If you want to eat chocolate eat the right kind! Go as dark as you can!!
Many nutritionists credit dark chocolate (not milk, sweetened or white, but dark chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa, preferably 80% or 90% cocoa with being a ‘fat burning food’. (Fat burning foods are foods which cause a reaction in your body which means that your body uses many of the calories in the food in processing it.) But it won’t surprise you to hear that these fat burning properties are only in moderation and so you do have to watch how much you eat. However chocolate is also a low GI food, with much documented research into the beneficial effects on health and mental health, not least as a source of iron. Research seems to suggest that a small amount of dark chocolate cdoes not cause the sugar spikes caused by other chocolate; it may even help to regulate insulin and help to keep you feeling full for longer when eaten after a meal. Indeed, scientists have found that eating a couple of squares of dark chocolate at a snack can mean you eat 18% less calories at your next meal.

So when you buy your egg or chocolate bar, check the cocoa content and make sure you go for at least 70%; more if you can. Lindor even do a 99% bar.

But remember, in moderation is the key. I’ve tested it out and even for me who can eat chocolate for ever couldn’t eat too much of really dark chocolate as its so rich. So maybe moderation is easier than you think!

2. If you are eating milk or white chocolate, go easy….
I know, though, that there are load of other chocolates around. For me, every year I have to have at least one Crème Egg; its just ritual. Plus I love Cadbury’s Mini-Eggs. So I have bought one Crème Egg and one small bag of Mini-Eggs. I will savour, love and enjoy them. But I’ve decided that’s all this year.

3. Make your own Easter cakes…
Yesterday I bought my Easter hosts some wonderful looking cake from Betty’s in Harrogate. It looks amazing- full of dried fruit and marzipan. I may have a small amount. Or more likely I’ll make my own version using sugar substitute or natural sugars such as honey and maple syrup and brown flour. I even can make a sugar free marzipan – here’s my favourite recipe; I just swap the sugar with splenda.

 4. Get active!
Try and work off any extra chocolate or cake by joining in a kids egg hunt. Check the web for activities near you, or if you have children in your life offer to organise an egg hunt – that way you have the activity of both hiding the eggs and also helping the kids to find them! One person I know will be dressing up as an Easter bunny this weekend for a hunt they are organising in their local park. Even better as he’ll be so hot in his suit he’ll be bound to sweat off a bit extra!

4. Expect a sugar slump afterwards….
If you do eat lots of chocolate and cake, expect you will probably have sugar cravings in the days afterwards. So when they come, just know what they are and decide in advance not to give in.

4. And lastly – just have a lovely Easter.
Enjoy yourself and enjoy your food.

Peg xx

Staying positive when life is crap

Earlier this week I have had a major setback in my life. The week then seemed to just go from bad to worse. I didn’t get a job I wanted, I had a horrendous expereince travelling, I put on weight even though I’m on a very low calorie diet. I’ve started worrying about money and haven’t slept very well. I even managed to get bitten by something when I was in a café and have been in pain since. And, all of this has come after a very difficult few moths following a house fire. But despite all this, I am feeling OK. Actually I’m feeling even more than OK and I’m looking forward to next week. Because even when life is really really crap it is possible to try and make yourself feel a little bit better.

For me, feeling good about life and me is completely linked to my ability to manage my weight. If I feel rubbish then I am less likely to make good decisions about food because I can feel I’m not worth it. I’m more likely to think I should ‘treat’ myself with calorific food or a real blow-out. Plus I tend to stay in more and have less energy. And that again makes me want to eat more sugary food which, of course, is a vicious cycle because it actually makes me more sluggish. Keeping weight off is as much about how we feel as it is about the food we eat.

So how can you feel better when things are really hard? Well here’s my top 10 tips.

1. Allow yourself to feel sad or down. Have quiet ‘me’ time if that’s what you want, cry and get it out. But after you have, tell yourself its time to change how you feel.

2. Do it gradually. Don’t expect to feel positive overnight. Go for small steps and know each time you feel a bit better you are moving forward.

3. Smile and think of nice things, no matter how small or insignificant to help you feel better. Last thing at night is a great time.

4. Make a list of all the things that are good in your life, no matter how small. When you feel down get out your list. Keep adding to it.

5. If your initial response to a difficult situation is ‘chocolate’ or ‘take away’ or similar, just stop and think before you eat it. Think about it they will probably actually will make you feel worse. Instead, eat good foods, like blueberries, that make you feel fantastic.

6. Treat yourself and be proactive. If you know you are facing a tough situation plan something nice to do afterwards or to have the support you need ready in place. Treats don’t have to cost and don’t have to involve food. Try a lovely long bubble bath or a walk, or a great bunch of flowers. Remember taking exercise releases hormones that make us feel better too.

7. Think about the things you love in life and put them around you. Put on some upbeat music or watch a film you love that always makes you smile. Looking at art or images that you like produces brain hormones which make you feel happier. So really look at pictures you have on the wall or at photos of people or places in your life. Even have a scrap book of images you love to look at when times are tough.

8. If something goes the wrong way for you try not to be bitter and angry. As hard as this can be, when we are, it is generally only us that suffers. Instead, try to look at situations in a different way. Do a ‘that feels better exercise’. Write down what you are feeling about the situation and then do a tick, x or ? at the end of each statement to see if it makes you feel worse, neutral or better. As you start to find ideas that make you feel better keep going. Smile and you will find that you soon start to feel a little better.

9. Have an action plan for how you will move forward. Steps can be very small and achievable and this will help you not feel ‘stuck’.

10. Ask for help; it’s not a failure, in fact it shows strength. Ask your friends, family and colleagues, and seek professional help if this is what you need.

Lastly, remember there are always good things that happen even in the midst of rubbish if you look for them. A few months someone stole my husband’s golf clubs. I said before we buy some new ones let’s ask people on Freecycle if they have any they need to get rid of. So a few weeks ago I posted the request. No response initially, but this week we got an email offering us a set that were even better than the ones that were nicked. He’s been on the driving range this morning and it’s put a big smile on his face. No matter how rubbish some things can be, remember there are always nice, good people in the world.

Have a great week. Peg xx

Binging when dieting? – Why, oh why, oh why?

 

As February starts I realised my new year diet has simply not been working. Not surprising as I realised I’ve actually been binging this January. So not only have I not been losing weight, I’ve actually put a little bit of weight on! I know I can diet when I’m motivated so why have I found it so hard to lose weight this January? And how am I going to get back to good habits?

Some of us just struggle around food…
We all have different reasons why we struggle around food. Do you live to eat or eat to live? Me, I love eating. I just don’t have an ‘off-switch’ and I like to just eat and eat and eat. What I’ve learned over the last 4 years since losing nearly 8 stone in weight, and keeping most of it off since is that I will just keep on eating unless I actively manage my food and make deliberate decisions about when to stop. I also have other strategies, particularly making sure that if I want to stuff my face I do it on food that doesn’t matter – like fat burning foods and calorie neutral or Low GI foods.

I’ve also learned that when I allow myself free-reign I lose all boundaries and can’t stop. Before Christmas I made some very, very calorific Florentines (they had 3 bars of choc in and a whole packet of butter). The idea was to take them to the family we were visiting over Christmas. I did take them places but guess who ate most of them? Piece by piece, I just couldn’t stop. The same on Christmas day – I kept eating till I was almost sick!!

New year diet resolution just not working…
I believe that when keeping weight off you have to occasionally re-balance as it’s inevitable you put some weight back on – particularly at a time like Christmas. But even going on my little catch-up diet on 1st January hasn’t stopped me from eating too much! I bought a new Hypnosis book and CD (The Hypno Diet) and have been listening every morning. It is telling me to reduce portion size. So a week ago, totally in the name of research you understand, I went to the most difficult place of all for me – the all you can eat international buffet! I was determined to follow my own advice on how to manage the buffet. Did I? Of course not and I ate and ate until no more could go in.

Back in normal life, I’ve been trying to keep to Slimming World. But sadly, the ‘free food’ concept has not helped – I’ve been eating fruit no-stop even when I am full, let alone hungry. It may be fruit but too much is starting to tell. And worringly, the hypnosis CD is not at this moment helping me.

Taking action…
So I’ve decided I have to take action
. And that is the key for us all I think. If a diet or how you are with food isn’t working, take some time to really think about what it is that isn’t working. A food and activity diary for a few days will help you see what needs to change.

1. Work out what isn’t working.
For me clearly I’m binging and I’m allowing myself to binge on foods I wouldn’t normally have.

2. Think about why it’s not working.
Is it comfort, is it just habit. Why are you feeling less able to make good decisions with food than normal? For me, I have had a lot of disruption at home over the last couple of months and I know I am on the verge of major change in my life. Is it so surprising this might make me want to comfort eat?

3. Work out what you can do to change these habits.
The answer to this one is different for us all. Maybe its just about changing what you do or a routine – for example if you are eating too much rubbish whilst watching TV, maybe try not to watch TV for a few nights or sit in a different seat. Or maybe you need to decide to follow a different eating pattern, eating different foods.

My solution…
For me, I know I need to shift some weight as I do each year (this time about a stone) and I need to stop the binging. So I’ve gone back on Lighterlife Lite for a few weeks. That way I don’t eat food at all during the day (you eat food replacement packs) and what I do eat is strictly measured. Then when I’ve lost the weight I’ll follow a programme to get me back to eating sensible amounts. Sounds drastic but for me it works.

What works for you…
Of course that’s the thing – what works for one person doesn’t always work for others. But once you have found what works for you, stick with it. Take it hour by hour if you have to do, or day by day. Take all the support and help you can from friends and family. And just love how you clothes feel better each day.

Follow the ‘21 Keys to Keeping Weight Off’…
And once you are back where you want to be, well remember to check out my 21 Keys to Keeping Weight Off to help you stay there.

Let me know how you get on.
xxx

Quorn – brill for dieting and to keep weight off

When it comes to your new year diet or if you want to keep weight off, quorn is simply brilliant. Really versatile, it can be made into almost anything you would normally make with meat. And best of all it is really very low fat, low GI, high in fibre, high in protein, keeps you feeling fuller for longer, is fat burning and very low calorie. So all in all, a brilliant diet and weight maintenance food.

If you haven’t been converted yet, read on…..

What is quorn?
Quorn is a micro-protein, made by adding oxygen, nitrogen, glucose and minerals to a fungus called Fusarium venenatum which is described as being like mushrooms and truffles. Many quorn products also contain eggs. Quite disturbingly it was originally used to make material and animal feed! However it was quickly realised that because it has a good texture (some say its like it has been ‘knitted’) it is possible to shape it into various formats. By adding flavours it’s made into a meat-free alternative for everything from chicken fillets to fish fingers; from sliced deli-ham to a meat free pate.

What can you get…..
Quorn products which are great for slimming and watching weight include:

Need to be cooked:

  • Mince
  • Sausages
  • Chicken style pieces
  • Chicken style fillets
  • Beef strips
  • Swedish style and Italian style meatballs
  • Burgers
  • Pepper steaks
  • Lamb steaks.

Deli food ready to eat:

  • Sandwich meats – ham, chicken, beef, turkey
  • Fajita strips
  • Roasted fillets
  • Tikka fillets.

There are loads of other products too but not all are low fat or good for slimming. For example the bacon and Southern Style Burgers taste great but have more calories (though they are still relatively low calorie). And many of the ready meals or products can actually be quite calorific. So you need to check those carefully.

Really easy…..
Two great aspects of quorn which make it even easier to use are that it keeps quite well out of the fridge for a day or so if you are having food on the go. So I will often make a packed lunch/tea of deli products and a tub of salad.

Also you are OK to defrost and re-freeze. So even if I make a meal with frozen quorn I often re-freeze the cooked meal to have when I need something quick and easy.

Good on diets…..
Quorn should fit well with your diet. On Slimming World mince and pieces are superfree foods; on Weight Watchers  basic quorn products are low in Pro Points. It is also a low GI food so will fit with your low GI diet. Just check your particular diet for more details.

You do need to cook slightly differently though…
Believe me, if you slightly adapt how you cook quorn you can give it to unsuspecting meat eaters and they will often not know. The trick is to use more liquid than with meat and add in some additional flavours such as herbs and spices, marmite, Bisto, balsamic and other vinegars, Worcester sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce, lemon juice, stock cubes or bullion etc.

A note of caution…..
However there is a note of caution with Quorn. Some people are violently allergic to quorn and it is thought this is linked to people who are allergic to certain fungi. I have a friend who will be really sick within hours of eating any quorn – tough for him as he is a mainly veggie! Although its believed the numbers of people allergic are relatively small, if you are new to quorn and you are ill after eating it (or if you get ill after eating a lot) then maybe you are one of those people.

So what are you waiting for? How about trying quorn soon in….
Bolognaise, curry, chilli, lasagne, stir fry, pasta sauce, with couscous or rice, sausage casseroles, cottage pie, roast dinner, fry-ups, steaks on their own with salsa and salad, meat loaf, paella, risotto, Thai curry….

Staying motivated when dieting

It’s sad but true that many people fall off the new year diet wagon by 14thJanuary. So if you are on a new year diet, or trying to keep weight off, and you are finding it hard to stay motivated, read on. Staying motivated can be a challenge but it is possible. So here are some tips to help you keep motivated and keep on track with your new year diet.

Courtesy of Will Merydith

  1. If you do go off course don’t give up or think that means you cannot diet. Just accept you wobbled a bit and decide to get back on track from this very moment. Don’t beat yourself up – instead concentrate your energy on keeping on with the diet in future.
  2. Remember that most people don’t lose the weight they put on each Christmas. So year on year it just piles on. So its important if you want to lose the weight to try and shift it right away.
  3. Have you lost any weight or bulk at all in the first two weeks? Smile and feel positive as you think about even the smallest amount that you might have lost.
  4. Write down all the reasons why you went on the diet in the first place. Keep this list to hand and add new ones as you think about them. When you are funding it hard look back at the list.
  5. Think about all the food on your diet that you do love. Smile as you think about them and the fact that you can eat them on your diet. 
  6. Remember a diet is not for ever. Take it one small step at a time. You don’t have to conjure up motivation for the rest of your diet – just the next few hours or day.
  7. Join in with group activities, go to classes, call on your friends, do a hypnosis CD, download an app to help you monitor your weight and food. Take inspiration from others. That’s what Fiona who regularly contributes to my Facebook page does; she recomends Dietgirl. Do anything that will help you keep on track. 
  8. Visualise your end goal – how you will look when you reach your target weight. Get out photos of you the size you want to be or get a picture of someone else and put your head on it so you have a positive image to concentrate on. Make this your phone home screen or computer desktop and smile and feel positive everytime you look at it.
  9. Up your exercise – even little things like doing  a short 10 minute walk or a quick swim can make all the difference. Exercise makes you feel better and helps to supress appetite. And obviously it burns off calories too!
  10. Lastly – if you are finding the diet you have chosen really hard work, have a good think about whether it’s the right diet for you. If you want some hints about this have a look at my last blog post.

So good luck. And keep us updated about how you are doing or sharing any other motivation tips you have.
Love your body and love yourself.

Peg x