Saturday, 29 December 2012

The Benefits of Losing 5% of Your Starting Weight

Lose 5% Now! Image by Alan Cleaver

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’d reached 5% of my body weight and that I was going to tell you the benefits of that. It is worth noting that the majority of the benefits I will write about depend on the amount of weight that you need to lose but are for the average person.

Reduce Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Arguably the most beneficial aspect of losing 5% of your body weight is reducing the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. This form of diabetes is common with those who are overweight and is to do with blood sugar and insulin.

Lower the Blood Pressure

Another benefit is that your blood pressure will lower. This means that you are less at risk of a heart attack or stroke, among other diseases and conditions.

Improves Mobility

You will find that you can move more by losing just 5% of your starting weight. You won’t be out of breath as much by just walking down to the shops and will be able to tackle the stairs in your house easier.

Reduces the Pains and Aches that You Feel

Suffer from aches and pains but no reason behind it? There are chances that you suffer from the pain due to the excess weight. By losing just 5% of your starting weight, you will usually find that the pains and aches reduce. As you lose 10% and more, you will notice a big difference in the aches and pains that you suffer.

Improve Sleep

You will be able to sleep better by losing weight. This is because you can breathe easier and are less at risk of sleep apnoea. By sleeping better, you will feel more refreshed and be at a lower risk of developing illnesses, including the flu and common cold.

There are many health benefits to losing 5% of your starting weight. You may also benefit by dropping a dress size, depending on the amount that you need to lose. If you have gotten this far already, keep going as you will keep gaining the benefits the more that you lose and start living a healthier life.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

4 Tips to Lose Weight This Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner, you may be worried about gaining weight. I’m planning on this Christmas being the first one that I lose weight and will be trying very hard to stay on track. Here are 4 tips to help you stay on track and lose weight this Christmas.

Cook Christmas Dinner Yourself

If you can, host Christmas Dinner this year. It is the best way to know exactly what you are eating and the amount of ProPoints in the food (if you are following Weight Watchers). You will be able to switch the full-fat options for light or no-fat and search for the healthiest desserts to enjoy after dinner.

We’re doing Christmas dinner this year because of the baby but it means I can really concentrate on everything that we have. I’m making my own stuffing so I know what is going in it and only buying things that I know are in my ProPoints allowance.

Save ProPoints for Dessert

It can be tempting to have seconds of the turkey and potatoes, but what about dessert? Avoid overeating and allow yourself to enjoy the dessert, whether it is Christmas cake, chocolate cake or your own recipe. This will also allow you to save your allowance for your drink! If you really want seconds, look for the vegetables and low pointed options instead.

Get Active on the Day

Going out and walking around could be a great way to spend your afternoon – do it before dinner to work up your appetite. This will give you some activity ProPoints to spend (or just get you active to counter your dinner) and will make you look forward to dinner afterwards.

After dinner, why not play some games that will get everyone active? These are fun and a great way to pass the time. We have a Nintendo Wii so we’re thinking about pulling that out to have some fun with the litter ones (and the big kids!).

Keep Snacking to a Minimum

One of my worst parts is the chocolates that sit in a bowl on the side for anyone to take. I eat half the bowl without realising! To avoid the problem this year, the bowl will be well out of arm’s reach and as out of sight as possible – if I can’t see it, I won’t want it. I think we’ll also have a fruit bowl with healthy snacks to enjoy.

A problem that some people have is the left over dinner on the table. Remove everything and put it out of the way. Wrap the turkey and put it in the fridge – or cut it down into smaller portions for people to take home with them!

There’s 4 simple tips to be able to enjoy Christmas without eating too much. Make this your year to lose weight over Christmas but still enjoy everything!

Friday, 21 December 2012

No Weight Loss Weeks Over Christmas

I know I haven't updated my weekly weight loss for a while. The last time I weighed in at Weight Watchers, I'd lost 3.5lbs! I was ill that week and put a lot of my weight loss down to that.

Over the next few weeks I won't be weighing in. It isn't because I've given up on my weight loss - I really haven't! - it is because there are no Weight Watchers meetings over Christmas and the New Year. I will be tracking everything I eat though and hoping for a weight loss this Christmas.

Good luck to all those losing weight over Christmas and I will see you all in the New Year. I will keep this blog updating though over the next few weeks with tips and tricks to lose weight.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

New Approach to Weight Watchers

So, Weight Watchers has changed. When I heard about this change happening a couple of weeks ago, all I could think about was “oh no, not again!” Weight Watchers UK changed just two years ago to the ProPoints plan. I found out about the changes at my meeting on Tuesday and was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn’t a change as such – there were just new tools being added and I got a new folder that makes it much easier to keep my Weight Watchers life together.

New Tools – Not Very Helpful for Me

These new tools involve taking a new approach to Weight Watchers. It involves making a few simple changes to habits to help with weight loss and knowing the things that sabotage the efforts to lose weight. Why does this not help me? Well, I’m in the mindset of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” (remember me telling you about that last week). My current way of working at the plan works! I have “pig out night” on a Tuesday after my weight in and then get back on the plan on a Wednesday all the way through to my weight in the next Tuesday.

I’ve lost weight every week that I’ve started Weight Watchers this time and until I stop losing weight, I’m not going to change. If I make a change, there’s chances that I will put on weight instead because my metabolism and body will have to react to that change. But there are other reasons…

Avoid the Sabotages

I know that cheese is my downfall when it comes to losing weight. I love it and if I start eating it, I just want more. But that doesn’t mean that I’m going to cut it out of my life completely. If I do that, I know that I’ll want even more of it. So, I have it in the house and allow myself it – as long as I track it. Now the new approach seems to be that you take away anything that causes a downfall to weight loss. So, for me, that would mean putting the cheese where I can’t see it or not having it at all. It would mean never going down the cheese aisle at the supermarket.

These tricks just aren’t possible in real life. Supermarkets change their layout on a regular basis. They do it so they make money because people can’t be bothered looking everywhere for something. When something along those lines was mentioned at my meeting, my leader said to send the other half in instead. My husband can’t drive and our nearest, cheapest supermarket (and the one that I prefer to shop in) is a 30 minute drive away on a good day! I have to go. The way around it for us is to have a shopping list and stick to that – we don’t venture off that list, mainly to save money.

Apparently that is me already using the new approach though…

The new approach is coming into full affect at the start of 2013 but if you are part of Weight Watchers already, you will get to find out all about it within the next week or so. How are you finding this new approach? Does it work for you?

Friday, 7 December 2012

Weekly Weight Loss Week 10

This week I lost another pound! I reached my first stone and I have to say that I feel so much better.

To celebrate my weight loss, I went out and bought a new dress - well, my husband bought me a new dress for a wedding that we are going to next week. It felt great to walk around stores and try on new clothes but being able to opt for a smaller size than I could just five months ago after having my daughter. I even managed to pick dresses that were just slightly bigger than I used to fit in and ended up with a size 12! The same size that I was before having my baby! That surprised me even more and definitely put a smile on my face.

What Did I Do Differently?

Nothing different this week. Remember last week when I said that I don't fix something that isn't broken? Well, I'm definitely not changing this. I will keep going until I stop losing weight - which I know I will do at some point as I'm bound to hit a plateo. But, I'm ready for that whenever it happens and know changes that I can make.

What Will I Do This Week?

The same thing that I have been doing the last 10 weeks - yes, 10 weeks already! I will keep sticking to the plan and tracking, although I've been a little slack with tracking this week and need to get back on it. I've been walking around more and earned 4 activity ProPoints so far this week. I'm planning on the Wii Fit and Zumba getting out again this weekend when I have a spare minute.

I'm not going to make my goal of a stone and half off my Christmas but I'm very happy with getting to my stone mark. I also have just one more stone to go until I'm at my pre-pregnancy weight and then I can concentrate on getting to my goal weight, whatever I choose that to be.

My new goal is to lose 6lb, which will get me to my 10% goal. I'm hoping I don't put on too much at Christmas and New Year and will get this over the next six weeks, which will get me to 15th Jan 2013 (I can't believe this year has gone so quickly!). Wish me luck!

How have you been doing with your weight loss? Are you on your way to goal? Don't worry if you're struggling; maybe you can let me know and I'll see if I can give you some tips to help.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Weekly Weight Loss Week 9

This week I lost 1lb. I'm just 1/2lb away from my first stone! I was gutted to see that I only had a half to lose for that stone but it just makes me more determined to have a good weight loss this week.

What Did I Do Differently?

Not much actually. I think I have found something that works for me and I'm going to stick with it for now. My motto is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" so I am sticking with that. All I can really do is increase the amount of exercise that I do and look at ways to make my life healthier as well as helping myself lose weight - may that should be my next goal!

Baby group has become a regular thing for my daughter and me and we (well I since she is in a buggy) always walk down. This is a good 15 minute walk away and we tend to have a wander around the high street afterwards. I tend to gain 1 activity propoint every Friday now, at least.

What Will I Do Next Week?

It is a case of sticking to something that is working. I have noted a cycle and this week is likely to be a "bad weight loss". Every fourth week, I tend to lose a small amount so I'm going to try really hard to make sure that I do stay on track and do not put weight on - usually water retention. I know the week after that I will lose weight, as long as I stick to the plan, but I really want that 1/2lb to get my stone.

Four Weeks to Christmas

Well, just over three weeks to Christmas Day. At the moment, I'm completely off my plan on getting a stone and a half but I'm going to keep that goal there - you never know, I might have some great weight losses over the next few weeks. However, a big goal that I have is to be able to fit my engagement ring back on to sit with my wedding ring. Last Christmas I had to take it off due to swelling in pregnancy and I haven't been able to get it back on. I've got the majority of my other rings back on so hopefully, I'll be able to get it off the chain around my next this week.

How is your weight loss going? Are you on track for Christmas?

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Weekly Weight Loss Week 8

Week eight of my weight loss brought some surprising results. I lost 1/2lb.

Why is that surprising? I honestly thought I was going to put on weight after the week I've had so just staying the same would have been good; losing just 1/2lb is excellent for me. However, it has put on a lot of pressure to lose 1.5 stone from where I started by Christmas.

What Did I Do This Week?

I have to admit that this week was a stressful one and I eat when I'm stressed. I attempted to keep my snacking to healthy options but there were times when only chocolate would do. However, I made sure that everything was tracked so I knew how badly I did.

I kept the exercise up this week and got out more with my daughter. The Pedometre Plus is great to show me how much moving around I actually do - surprisingly much more than I thought, especially with the running up and down stairs.

What I Will Do Next Week?

Next week (well, more like this week now!) I will keep on tracking and not rely on comfort foods when I have a stressful day. So have I have been good. I've dipped into my weekly points every day but I've pointed everything I've eaten and made sure that I do not blow my allowance. Today is probably the only day that I will not dip into my weekly points after choosing lower pointed food and going back to having fruit and yogurt for my breakfast.

I will also get out more (when the weather is nice!) and do more exercise. The Wii Fit has been on most days and I've been out with the pushchair two days, easily building up my Activity ProPoints. This has given me more leeway if I do end up eating a little too much but if I don't dip into them it will help me lose weight quickly.

How is your weight loss going? Good luck to all those who have goals for Christmas. I have a wedding to go to on the 15th of next month and will be shopping for a new dress soon, so hopefully I'll be in a size smaller than some of the ones in my wardrobe!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Weekly Weight Loss Week 7

I'm a little confused how I'm on week 7 when my Weight Watchers book says week 8 - I must have missed a week somewhere. If so, I'm sorry! I'll stay on track for now.

This week I lost 2.5lbs!!! While the weight loss is great, I'm more excited at the fact that I've reached my second goal - losing 5% of my initial weight. I'm going to include a post on the benefits of losing 5% of your initial weight later this week.

How Did I Do It?

Instead of focusing on the benefits of losing the weight, let's talk about how I managed to get there. By the way, my total weight loss is 12lbs so far!

I tracked everything that I ate - including the takeaways and the chocolate - and did more exercise. The Wii Fit has been pulled out and I do it as much as I can. It's not a lot (two or three times a week) but at least it is a start. I'm having fun with it too. My Zumba disk will be pulled out later today, providing that the wee one decides to take her naps when she needs them!

We've also started to encourage nap time to be in the cot upstairs. I put my daughter in her cot, even though she's awake and leave her with her music playing. It means a few trips up and down the stairs through the day, especially when she decides that she wants to fight her sleep, but there is a benefit of running up and down the stairs a lot.

Just the tiniest bit of extra activity helps to burn the calories. I've got a Weight Watchers Pedometer Plus too, which now counts my steps and the amount of activity points I earn throughout the day.

What to Do This Week

Ok, I've actually posted this a little later than usual so it should be what I've been doing this week. Again, it's all about tracking and increasing my goal weight.

I've developed a new goal to work towards. Since Christmas is 6 weeks away (or was on Tuesday when I had my weigh-in) I've decided that I want to lost a stone and a half from my initial weight. I'm 12lbs in so I want to lose another 9lbs in the six weeks. That is possible and I should be able to complete it in the six weeks. it works out to be between 1lb and 1.5lbs per week.

How are you doing with your weight loss? Hopefully you are seeing the results that you have wanted to and are on your way to reaching your goals.

Good luck and keep going!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Tips to Setting Goals for Weight Loss

Set sensible goals for weight loss. Image by Alan Cleaver

When you start losing weight, you need to have goals to reach for. Weight loss goals will give you something to work towards to help you stay motivated, even when you feel like packing it in after a bad week. Here are some top tips on setting your goals for weight loss.

Make Them Challenging

Having goals that are too easy will not give you the push that you need. You have to have a challenge so that you feel the achievement once you have reached it. You don’t need to have a goal each week, this is probably excessive and will not be as challenging. It is worth setting goals for each month.

Be Realistic

It is easy to set a challenging goal that is simply not realistic or healthy. When setting goals, bear in mind that a healthy weight loss is between 1lb and 2lb per week. Setting the goal to lose 10lb in two weeks is unrealistic and not healthy. It will be difficult to reach that goal in the first place, and you will feel like you have failed by not reaching it, and it will be difficult to keep that weight off afterwards. Slow and steady is always better than a quick weight loss.

Set Clothes Size and Measurement Goals Too

It is easy to be stuck on the idea that you need to lose x amount of lbs each week. However, it is difficult to know whether you will look good at a lower weight. I recommend setting goals for clothes sizes and measurements. I have a long term goal of getting into my size 12 (pre-pregnancy) jeans. This may not be my end goal but it is the current long term goal. Once I get into that, I will make the decision on whether I need to lose more weight or whether I look good.

It is worth remembering that muscle weighs more than fat – that is when you put fat and muscle together of the same size, the muscle will weigh more. By doing exercise, you will build muscle and you may see the figures on the scales slow or increase. Take your measurements and set goals that way as you will still see figures drop that way.

Set Short and Long Term Goals

A long term goal for weight loss is something to reach for over the period of six months to one year. However, it is easy to lose track of your weight loss by having this long term goal. You need to have short term goals along the way. I tend to have goals to reach 7lbs every four weeks or so and, between those, have goals to reach 5% of my initial weight and then 10% of my initial weight. This gives me milestones along the way.

I also set dress size goals between my weight loss goals. My weight loss goal for Christmas is to drop two dress sizes – I have already lost once since starting my weight loss after pregnancy. My goal for Easter is to drop another two dress sizes and by the summer I would like to be in my size 12 jeans.

Make Changes to Goals as You Go

There are times that you will struggle to reach a goal. You may have a bad week; your goal may have been unrealistic; or you may have lost track. Not reaching a set goal can make you feel like a failure. This is not the case; it just means that you need to look over your goals and make a few changes. You may find that you need longer to reach your goals or that you need to lower your weight loss challenge.

At the same time, you need to look over your goals even if you are reaching them. After a while, they can feel like they are too easy, which will lead to losing the motivation to continue. Keep your weight loss goals challenging but realistic at the same time.