Friday, 31 July 2015

Think Eating Less Will Help You Lose More Weight? Think Again!

I say it all the time to my Weight Watchers members: you need to eat to lose weight. It’s so true.
Trust me when I say I’ve tried eating less to lose more weight. I’ve tried exercising more and not eating extra to see a bigger weight loss. Both times I’ve failed. Either I’ve hardly lost anything, or I’ve gained weight.

The simple trust is, your body needs food. It needs energy to get through a day, and that energy comes in the form of calories.

That doesn’t mean you need to overeat. To lose more weight you still need to create a calorie deficit. We’re all in agreement there! You can still do that when you eat more.

What Happens When You Don’t Eat Enough?

I’m sure many of you are doubting my logic here. Eating less will mean you lose more weight, right? I mean, anorexics don’t have a problem being overweight.

Well, this is the difference. I’m talking about short term goals. Anorexia is an eating disorder that I’m not going to get into—I’m not qualified for that. What I am going to say is that this is long-term damage to the body.

When it comes to the short-term, if you don’t eat enough your body starts to panic. It thinks it won’t get enough energy, so starts storing the calories it does have. Your metabolic rate slows down, and that means you start gaining. This happens whether you exercise or don’t to lose more weight.

You need to eat the basic number of calories (or pro points in terms of Weight Watchers) that your body needs.

How Much Do You Need to Eat?

The NHS recommends 2,000 calories for women and 2,500 calories for men on a daily basis. That’s actually quite high, but does factor in someone doing 30 minutes of exercise, 5 days a week.

Based on experience, my body needs no more than 1,800 calories per day just to break even; to stay the same. So I need a little less than that. WebMD has a great table to give you a rough idea of how manycalories you’ll need.

You only need to eat 500 fewer calories a day than your body needs to see a weight loss of around 1-2lb per week. That’s not actually that much, is it? Put it in perspective of food, beans on toast (with two slices of bread) is around 300 calories!

Surely with that logic, you can eat less and lose more weight.

Well, this is the fun part. I’m really sorry that I can’t remember or find the source now, but I read somewhere that the body needs 1,200 calories at a bare minimum to lose weight. This sounds about right, since you can cut your calorie intake by 500 calories a day to lose 1-2lb per week. If you eat anything less than that, the body is going to start panicking.

Why Isn’t Exercise Working?

Surely if you exercise, you’ll lose more weight, right? Well, again it all comes down to eating enough. You’re burning more calories, so you run the risk of creating too much of a deficit.
It’s important to eat healthy, nutritious snacks if you’re going to exercise. Some ideas include nuts, fresh fruit (especially bananas) and some pasta dishes.

With Weight Watchers, you earn pro points for all the activity you do. Track it all and work out just how many you’re earning. If you earn more than around 40 pro points, you will want to consider eating more to lose more weight.

Food is your friend; it’s all about choosing the right food. You do need to eat to lose more weight. Starving yourself isn’t just unrealistic and unhealthy, but is actually halting your weight loss.

Are you struggling to lose more weight? Please leave a comment in the blog and I’d love to help you out. You can sign in as anonymous or put a fake name if you’re worried about people seeing your weight loss struggles.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Why Weight Watchers Filling and Healthy Foods Are So Good For You

If you follow the Weight Watchers plan, you will have heard all about Filling and Healthy foods. If you don’t, you’ll be wondering what they are. Don’t worry, I’m here to help. Along with that, I’m going to share why they’re so good for you and why you should focus on them as part of your diet.

What Are Weight Watchers Filling and Healthy Foods?

In short, these foods are all highlighted green on all Weight Watchers products, whether in the cookbooks, on the app or in the little pocket guide you got when you signed up. They’re higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates in most cases, and break down in the body much slower than other types of food.

Some examples include fruit and vegetables, lean meats and wholegrain pasta.

So What’s So Great?

Weight Watchers Filling and Healthy foods are simply better for you than others. Because they break down slower, they may you feel fuller for longer. They STRETCH your pro-points budget.

By feeling fuller, you don’t feel the need to eat as much. You’re less likely to snack on chocolate, and more likely to feel satisfied after a meal.

Even if you’re not following the Filling and Healthy plan on the Weight Watchers diet, you should include them in your meals.

Why Focus on Filling and Healthy Foods

To start with, the fact that you feel fuller is a great reason to focus on them. You’ll eat less, so you tend to lose more weight.

They’re also healthier options for you when it comes to meals. This isn’t just because of the protein vs. carb factor, but the fact that they have less fat and more fibre. They’re full of nutrients that your body needs, including water. Just think about all those juicy fruits and the nutrient-packed vegetables that you can have on the plan.

For those following the pro-points plan, they also tend to be lower in pro-points. This is great for those who want to add more to their meal, but don’t have the allowance to do so. The majority of fruits and vegetables are zero pro-points. Think about how much you could fill your plate by adding them to your meal! You can easily have guilt-free, healthy desserts and treats!

I love Weight Watchers Filling and Healthy foods. The next time you’re looking for something to stretch your budget, look at your list of options. There are a lot of healthy and tasty choices to make.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Why Aren’t I Losing Weight Anymore?

I said a few weeks ago that I wasn’t actively losing weight anymore. I know for a blog that is all about weight loss, it possibly led to a number of questions. How can I have a blog about weight loss if I’m not losing weight?

Well, to be honest, I haven’t been losing weight properly for a while. I reached my goal weight in December 2013 and I’ve been actively maintaining that since then. Does that mean I can’t support others in their weight loss journeys? Of course not! I’m a Weight Watchers leader and support people on a daily basis. This blog is another way of doing that.

But I also said that I wasn’t tracking properly anymore, and there is a reason for that.
I’m currently 14 weeks pregnant with my second child. Those posts where I wasn’t feeling so great were due to morning sickness. It was terrible, but I’m not going to get into that. I’m going to explain why I’m not actively losing weight/tracking my food.

During pregnancy we shouldn’t lose weight; unless a doctor has recommended it and that is in a handful of cases. Really, I just want to gain the recommended weight gradually, and I’m doing that at the moment. So far, I’ve gained 8lbs. The recommended weight gain for someone within a healthy BMI is 25-35lbs. That means I can gain another 20-25lbs before I have to worry too much, and that should happen over the space of the next 26 weeks. In fact, if this pregnancy is anything like the last one, the last two to three weeks I’ll be so big that I won’t want to eat and will probably lose a bit of weight!

So, what am I doing during pregnancy?

I am still keeping an eye on the food I eat. The main focus is to continue eating a healthy and balanced diet. It was a struggle during the first trimester, but I feel much better now.

From this week, I may go back to tracking some of the food I eat. It’s not about pro-pointing, but about just watching that I don’t use the “eat for two” excuse. There is no need to eat for two. In fact, my calorie intake doesn’t have to increase until the third trimester.

I’m also going to get back to exercise this week—well, next week with the amount of work and my anti-natal appointments this week (not an excuse; I genuinely don’t have time). I have a pregnancy workout plan to get on with (created by a qualified personal trainer) and am really looking forward to getting started with it.

I’ll keep writing on this blog. With being a Weight Watchers leader, I’m still doing classes and I’m still supporting others in their weight loss journeys. That means I am still here to support you.
I just wanted you to understand why I’m not losing weight right now. Trust me, once the baby is born (due middle of January) I’ll be back on it as soon as I can.

By the way, I'd like to add that this is the 201st post on this blog! Wow!