Tag Archives: tone up

How to choose the right New Year diet for you

January is the month when most people go on a diet spurred on by new years resolutions to lose weight and regain a slimmer figure. Most of us will have put on weight over Christmas and sadly most will not lose it. The start of the new year is a great time to decide to, at the least, shift any new festive season weight, and maybe to shift a few extra pounds as well. But how do you decide what is the best diet for you? And how can you keep motivated when your diet becomes hard?

January is ‘diet month’
Research suggests that 30 days is enough time for most of us to develop new habits. So if you tell yourself that January will be diet month this may help. 30 days is really not a long time to try something different as this brilliant (and short) talk on TED.com explains.

Decide which diet based on your habits and likes and dislikes:
We also know that people are more likely to diet successfully if you do one of the formalised diets, and especially if you have a group to go to or a way to check in with your diet and actual weight loss progress. But how do you decide from the plethora of diets out there? I am not aligned to any particular diet as I think different diets work for different people. But we all need impartial information, so, bearing that in mind here are some ideas to help you decide:

  • Think about what you find hardest when dieting. If you can’t stand being hungry or find that when you are all you think about is fattening food then go for a diet which allows you to eat as much as you want of some foods – for example Slimming World, the Atkins or Dukan diets. Remember though that which foods you can eat will be restricted. So if you are the kind of person who needs to have a taste of lots of different foods and you can cope with eating just small amounts of foods you like then choose a diet which allows this in small portions, such as Weight Watchers or many of the diets you find in magazines.
  • Think about how much weight you want to lose and how long you want to lose it over. To lose a lot of weight quickly you’ll probably need to do what’s called a Very Low Calorie Diet (VCLD) such as Lighterlife, Cambridge Diet or Celebrity Slim. I did Lighterlife and it was brilliant for me because you get counselling as well but you do need to be really committed to not eat other food and you need to think about what you will do afterwards to not just put the weight back on afterwards.
  • Think about what happens after the diet. Do you also need your diet to help you change your eating and activity habits after you finish the diet? If so think about what it is you need to change and choose a diet which will help you do this. Or it maybe you decide to mix diets – to choose a diet which is not too challenging at first to get that initial weight loss and then to change to one which will help you change your habits afterwards. You could also choose a diet which has a maintenance phase such as the South Beach Diet, or a Low Gi diet which is a lifelong eating plan.

If you need support from others choose a diet that offers a group near you and at times that suit you. Most of the big diet companies have loads of local groups.

My choice:
Well I need to shift about half a stone so I’ve decided to start with a protein and veg based diet – I’ll try the Slimming World Success Express but with no carbs to speed my weight loss for a couple of weeks. If its going well and I’m finding it possible to stick to then I’ll stay with this. If not, I’ll go back to Lighterlife and do some counseling as well to support the weight loss.

Lastly – don’t give up!
If you choose a diet and you find it’s not for you, don’t assume that you can’t diet and just give up. Instead, sit down and think about what you find hard and then look at other diets to see if they might be easier for you to stick with.

Remember everyone has bad days when dieting so don’t let a bad day be the end of yours. Don’t beat yourself up, accept you’ve had a bad day, smile and just tell yourself it will be better tomorrow.

Good luck and let us know on here how you get on!

A flat stomach with little effort? Trying out Slendertone

Is it possible to get a flat tummy without doing loads of exercises and starving yourself? In my endless quest for an easy answer to the lump that is my belly and midriff, I decided to try out a Slendertone machine.

So as we moved into summer, I started putting a very strange machine around my middle for between 20 and 30 mins a day to see if I could lose any inches and feel a bit better about my stomach.

The model I tried was the Slendertone Flex Abdominal Toner which is a small belt and cost me around £40.

Before my first session I took my measurements:
Midriff – 84cm; Waist – 79cm; Hips – 97cm.
I’d just come back from a short holiday so was hoping it might stop any post holiday tum showing on me.

What was it like?
It’s a strange machine. For a start it was a lot shorter than my tummy and midriff so I wondered if it would have enough ‘stretch’. But when turned it on, the movement could be so strong if I was brave enough to turn it up high that I’m sure the effects moved beyond the size of the belt itself. It’s certainly strong and you can definitely feel it; indeed if I turned it up too high it would, at times, feel very uncomfortable and occasionally verging on painful.

You are supposed to use it every day for at least 2 months, starting with 20 minute and sessions, moving to a maximum length of 30 minutes. Some marketing says you start to see results in 6 weeks if you do. I have to be honest and admit that I struggled to use it every day.

My habit was to use it when watching TV at night but I don’t get to sit down and watch a programme of over 30 minutes every night. So I probably managed every other day.

It’s also not very pleasant when you put the belt on. It sticks to your skin and is cold and feels wet at first. You also have to replace the pads; I’ve bought one set of replacements at a cost of around £10.

So has it worked?
Well I’m afraid to say it hasn’t worked for me. I did my measurements again this morning and there’s no much change; my midriff is a couple of cm smaller but my waist the same and I’ve put 1cm on my hips!!

I think the fact that I struggled to do it every day means it probably hasn’t had enough time to do its work and it’s more of a hassle than I thought it would be. However I also think I probably have too much spare belly for this work anyway. Given I used to be a size 22 and am now a size 10 there is no getting away from the fact that my tum is not flat and I don’t think, actually, without surgery I’ll ever get a flat tummy now. (Surgery is not something I am even willing to think about for a minute by the way). I’m sure the belt was stimulating muscles under my flab, and maybe if you are fairly slim to start with and you just need to tone up it could do the trick nicely. But not for me I’m afraid.

Maybe it’s just me and the fact I didn’t do it properly. Certainly other reviews on the net are positive. So let me know if you’ve tried one and how you got on. And if its worked, your tips for getting the most from it so I can maybe try again but properly this time…..