Nutrition

6 Ways For Mums To Lose Weight & Keep It Off This New Year! :)

It's that time of the year again, feeling guilty about overindulging on mince pies, chocolate, and far far too much alcohol! We all do it, especially us mums, combining Christmas & motherhood is a lethal combination! Wine or chocolate (or both) is often consumed in LARGE quantities to get us through the festive (but let's be honest stressful) period!! Then just as we all start to reduce our alcohol and food intake BAM we are hit with the excesses of New Years Eve!!

Jeans now have become a teeny bit tighter than before, depressing if you'd worked hard to lose those pounds before Christmas to get into that beautiful, sparkly black dress!

Waking up on New Year's Day with a thumping head, kids demanding attention and that feeling of dread, remembering that today is the day (along with the majority of the population) for starting some crazy diet! Whether you've opted for the Cayenne Pepper Diet, the Apple Diet, the Cabbage Soup Diet (definitely the yuckiest of all) or God forbid, calorie counting (Calorie counting actually drove me insane, hunger and maths definitely didn't go well together!) they all are restrictive when really all we want is something to fill us up quickly to take away the affects of the night before! Most 'diets' involve eating teeny tiny portions, depriving yourself of important nutrients & to be quite honest making us mums damn right miserable & grumpy! To add insult to injury, after completing the diet many mums end up putting the weight back on & often more!

This cycle of yoyo dieting can go on for years, combine this with motherhood; weight creeping on through pregnancy, then the postnatal struggle against the bulge, followed quickly by the constant bombardment of yummy children's snacks & finishing off our little munchkins left overs that a quick fix often seems like the answer.

Society conditions us to believe losing weight involves putting ourselves through hell but it doesn't have to, thankfully, understanding the cycle of yoyo dieting & emotional eating has enabled me as a nutritional councillor and yoga/fitness trainer to help my clients realise the problem & take control of their eating & maintain a healthy weight without the need to constantly "diet".

Now I can't giving you a miraculous weight loss tablet however, if you want to lose weight, the best tip I give clients is to change their mindset first. Your goal isn't just to lose weight but more importantly to keep the weight off. As soon as you acknowledge and accept this your view on weight loss will change for good, after all we can't sustain those crazy diets forever can we? Therefore, if you want to slim down and remain that weight for life your diet must be sustainable, fullfilling and enjoyable, for example swap triple fried chips for jacket potatoes.

My 6 top tips for achieving a yummy lifelong "diet".

1. There Is No Rush

Remember  how long it took you to get to your present weight, therefore don't give a deadline as this can be depressing if don't make ideal weight and encourage you back to those crazy diets.

It is far more important to take longer to get to ideal weight and keep if off than fall back in to yo-yo dieting trap again.

 

2. Don't Make All The Changes At Once

Ensure the changes are small to start with, for example eat a good breakfast to start the day, reduce your portion sizes or introduce 2 more pieces of fruit/vegetables every day.

Start with cutting out just one or two of your bad foods/habits each day, this will make it easier to make changes longer term. The problem with diets is that they often cut out everything at once making it painful and miserable as you feel deprived and hungry.

 

 

3. Ask Yourself If You Are Happy With The Changes

Do what you enjoy and what suits your lifestyle, as you want to encorporate these changes for the rest of your life.  If you love healthy salads, great eat them regularly, if not, don't force yourself to eat them every day as it will be unsustainable for life and you may feel more inclined to rebel and eat junk food.  Instead make healthy changes you are happy with. The same goes for exercise, don't convince yourself you will run 5 miles every morning for the rest of your life if you don't like running instead think about a walk each day or a swim or something you could see yourself doing regularly and enjoying.

 

4. Have Compassion For Yourself - There Will Be Slip Ups!

A lot of diets are really strict, therefore allow yourself some compassion if you slip up. The change in your eating patterns and behaviour is often quite dramatic so allow yourself some slack. Remember just learn from it and move on.

 

5. Get Your Family/Friends Support

Support from family and friends, especially at the start is vital. Talk to the people you live and eat with and explain why you are dieting and why it is important for you to lose weight and become healthier. Hopefully, they will be more inclined to help you and will hopefully start eating similar foods (or at least hiding the rubbish they eat from you so as not to tempt you) and positively encourage you.

External help may also be a good option, knowing you can recieve advice, reassurance and support from a local group is a valuable tool on your weight loss journey.

 

6.  IGNORE "No Pain, No Gain"

As you are looking at long term weight loss rather than a quick fix, the "No Pain, No Gain" rule definitely does not exist. You need to avoid the painful feeling of missing out at all costs otherwise you wont sustain your long term goal, instead focus on what you like that is good for you. This also applies to your fitness, never push yourself so it hurts, this is all about life changes and sustainability, it has to be doable for the long haul!

Good Luck, I hope this helps :)

Till the next time

Catherine xx


Like this article? Subscribe to my monthly newsletters for more blogs :)

Superfoods To Combat Common Post Natal Complaints

SuperFoods To Combat Common Post Natal Complaints

If you are postnatal the chances are your currently surviving on cold tea, soggy shreddies & eating pureed parsnips? (I'll never know why I always made so much puree?) Now, lets be honest, trying to keep up with your hungry newborn or weaning your baby is hard, you are probably just about functioning, albeit in a haze of nappies, washing & overwhelming fatigue! Stumbling to the local Costa to meet your new NCT friends for coffee, where you all inhale the largest piece of carrot cake whilst discussing how to lose your baby weight and the joys of constipation & fatigue!

Therefore, I do appreciate, preparing healthy, nutritious meals comes a long way down the to-do list for many new mums, especially when sometimes finding the time to get dressed is a challenge! (I taught early morning postnatal spin classes where mums & babies used to come in their PJ's!!)

However, postnatal cooking doesn't need to be time consuming or complicated, just continue to eat a good-quality diet just as you did during your pregnancy. Generally, it is recommended to have an extra 500 calories if breast-feeding, or if you are anemic or recovering from a cesarean delivery, you may require special nutritional management so check with your GP or midwife.

So what foods are great for helping combat these common postnatal concerns & what lifestyle changes should mums realistically try a make?

Constipation

Constipation is a common and unpleasant post-natal complaint. The following advice can help relieve it:

  • Get some form of daily exercise, such as walking.
  • Make sure you have adequate dietary fibre. Bran muffins, high-fibre cereals, and lots of fruits and vegetables are good fibre choices. (Be sure to increase your fluid intake as you increase your fibre intake.)
  • Drink to fulfill your fluid needs. 8 glasses a day is generally recommended-drink even more if you are  breastfeeding.
  • Drink four ounces of prune juice on an empty stomach followed by several cups of hot water, decaffeinated tea, or other hot beverage.
  • Avoid the regular use of laxatives. If you use a laxative more often than every third or fourth day, you may have problems moving your bowels without the use of the laxative.
  • Try fibre-containing stool softeners such as Meta-mucil, Fiberall, and Fibercon. They can help relieve constipation without the problems associated with laxative use.
Dealing With Fatigue
  • Let your family and friends help you by doing laundry and other household chores :)
  • Avoid caffeine to improve your rest and sleep.
  • Restoring Your Iron Reserves - Some women learn they are anemic after childbirth. If your doctor prescribes an iron supplement, you need to help your body absorb it. To do this, eat a meal that includes a food rich in vitamin C when you take your iron supplement. Excellent sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, tomatoes, baked potatoes, and steamed broccoli. It also helps to include a food that contains iron.
  • Egg yolks can be an excellent source of iron, but you should limit your intake to three to four a week.
  • Food sources of iron include lean red meats, organ meats, spinach, egg yolks (limit to three to four a week), and cream of wheat. Avoid taking your iron supplement with any significant source of calcium because calcium interferes with iron absorption. Calcium sources include milk, yogurt, cheese, and antacids. Since low-fat dairy products are of significant nutritional importance, don't cut these out altogether; include them in meals other than the ones that accompany your iron supplements.
  • Protein and Complex Carbohydrates - Complex carbohydrates (Wholemeal bread, pasta,  rice , potato, Quinoa) increase serotonin levels in the brain.(which helps regulate moods) The best ways to fight fatigue through diet is by eating mini-meals throughout the day in order to regulate your blood sugar.

The best mini-meals are those that combine complex carbohydrates and protein:

  • High fibre cereal with milk
  • Yogurt with sliced fruit topped with almonds, walnuts, or pecans
  • Chicken salad on whole wheat toast
  • Hummus and whole wheat pitta bread
  • Dried fruits, nuts, and seeds
  • Porrige with raisins, nuts and oats
  • Vitamin B3 - Niacin, also known as B3, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays an essential role in energy metabolism. Increase your intake of foods like beef, pork, died beans, chicken, and fish like mackerel or salmon to get vitamin B3 in your diet.
  • Vitamin E - This antioxidant increases energy and stamina. Fill up on almonds, asparagus, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, and olives
Depression
  • Zinc - Zinc is important in supporting different processes in the brain and body. Lack of zinc in your diet can lead to irritability and depression. Good sources of zinc include eggs, fish, turkey, oysters, beef, wheat germ, and yogurt.
  • Vitamin C - Vitamin C deficiencies have shown to be linked to depression. Get your vitamin C from citrus fruits, broccoli, green leafy vegetables (especially kale), tomato puree, peas, raspberries, spring onions, and turnips.
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids -  Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown in numerous clinical studies to combat depression as well as bi-polar disorder. Add servings of omega-3 rich fish like herring, sardines, tuna, and salmon to your diet. Walnut and canola oil are also excellent sources.
  • Calcium - Adding servings of calcium-rich foods may help ward off depression and anxiety. Your best bets for calcium are yogurt, cheese, sardines with bones, milk, salmon with bones, sesame seeds, or calcium-fortified juices.
  • Folic Acid- Research from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts found that levels of folic acid (folate) were much lower among people suffering from depression than in people who were not depressed. Folic acid is plentiful in avocados, leafy green veggies, grapefruit, black eyed peas, orange juice, and most fruits. It is important to avoid food that will zap your energy like alcohol, fats, caffeine, white flour products, and simple carbohydrates like sugar, honey, or sugary soft drinks. Remember to include healthy snacks between meals or eat five or six mini meals each day. In addition, keep yourself hydrated as one of the largest causes of fatigue is dehydration.

So mums, to help with those common postnatal complaints remember keep it simple and choose nutritious foods which require little or no preparation. Snack on fresh fruit, raw vegetables, natural unsweetened yogurt with raisins & granola & just grill your meats and fish, so much faster to prepare than casseroles & who knows you may even be able to eat it whilst it's hot!!

Let friends and family help you by providing nutritious meals during the early months after childbirth, freeze some of them so you can pull them out of the freezer for use on stressed out or suer busy days.

Nurture yourself, (you are always looking after your family) so take a moment & sit down to eat & enjoy your meals, even if on your own. Eating on the run or standing to eat makes you feel you have not had a meal; this habit contributes to fatigue and may even contribute to overeating. It's also not very good for your digestion. Place your baby in a swing or in an infant seat so your hands are free. If your baby needs to be close to you, an infant backpack or sling is helpful. Or you may wait to eat until your baby's quiet time or when she is asleep.

Remember, foods alone can't  relieve fatigue or other post natal complaints it is a good-quality diet combined with sleep and gentle exercise & great nutrition, but food is a great place to start!

Good Luck xx


Like this article? Subscribe to my monthly newsletters for more blogs.

Nutritious & Delicious For The Whole Family

I've just returned from a weekend of eating delicious, raw vegan food, on a wonderful yoga retreat in Devon.

I'm really keen to try and incorporate a lot of the recipes and ideas in to my families diet, however, the obvious problem is ........how will I get my three children to be as keen?

I think subtlety is the key! And maybe a few white lies!!!

So for breakfast today the health stakes were definitly up'd in my house, no more sugary cereals causing energy slumps, irritability, frustration and other long term problems instead we were are all on porridge, but not any old porridge!

Obviously leaving behind these sugary cereals in favour of cold porridge would have been a step too far but I did manage to encorporate wholesome yummyness in to everyones bowl, without anyone knowing!

How?....

1) Last night I soaked porridge oats in almond milk before using them this morning, the soaking activates the enzyme content of the grain, therefore increasing the protein content and making the porridge easier to absorb and digest, it will also lower its glycaemic index.- No one noticed this change!!

2) To further increase the protein content I mixed the oats with quinoa, which is really high in protein, high in calcium and a gluten free grain. - I only used a little today as I thought they may complain but I intend to add more each day!

3) To make it super healthy use any nut milk such as macademia, which has lots of essential fats and zinc, rather than dairy (especially if your children are phlegmy!!), I used almond milk today which is another great source of calcium.

 I must confess I told my 5 year old that it was a special Devon milk from the special Devon cows! She happily ate all her porridge! (If I had said it was a nut milk I don't think she would have even tried it!.)

4) I added strawberries, raspberries & goji berries this morning for a blast of beta-carotene (an anti-oxidant) and they looked yummy and colourful!

5) I also added a handful of mixed toasted seeds to add more protein, calcuim, magnesium, vitamins A, B-complex, D, E and K, zinc, manganese and omega 3 & 6. (Again I lied and told my youngest they were her favourite nuts chopped up!!)

6) To sweeten it up (rather than the gallons of honey they normally have) I added a mix of frozen fruit, fresh fruit and dried fruit. -Delicious.

Suprisingly, they loved it and it kept them full for ages - Almost until lunchtime!!

I am now mindful of ensuring my whole family eat healthier, my intention is to try and include one or two new foods each week and regularly use them throughout that week, why not try this too :)

Yesterday's lunch was also a success ..... fingers crossed the enthusiasm lasts!!

 

 

Good Luck, I hope this helps :)

Till the next time

Catherine xx


Like this article? Subscribe to my monthly newsletters for more exciting blogs!

FUSSY EATERS

FUSSY-EATERS.jpg

Does this image look familiar? 

Fussy is the understatement, I hear you cry! He wont eat green or red coloured food, food which touches other food on his plate, he wont eat hot food, food that has been cut, ...........the list goes on doesn't it!

I bet you have tried all the tricks in the book; making shapes with the food, making aeroplane noises, having pretend names for the different foods, but nothing seems to work.

 

It gets embarrasing doesn't it? When he is on a play date, or at friends, especially at Grannies, when she has spent hours producing wonderful replica's of what ' Mummy' used to eat!'

But more than embarrassing, it's really frustrating and at times worrying, you spend hours trying to make a meal which you know is good for him and have even carefully adapted it to look like a train in the unlikely hope he may actually try something new!

Naturally you worry, is he getting enough food and enough of the right food?

The official NHS Guidelines suggest we should be more concerned about what our children eat over the course of the week rather than what they consume on a daily basis and only to worry if they are not active, growing and gaining weight. The NHS recommend children eat something from each of the main food groups (carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, dairy and fruit & veg) and obviously not too many treats!!

According to the NHS guidelines, it is normal for toddlers and young children to be very fussy and have irrational fears about certain foods, their advice is to introduce new foods gradually or re-introduce foods slowly that they have previously disliked.

So we spend an extortionate amount of money on food which regularly ends up in the bin, when we feel guilty about wastage so we finish it off rather than seeing it wasted.

I understand, my oldest son was that fussy child too!!

He lived on frubes for years, I think I probably turned into a master chief with all the different meals I prepared for him, God knows how much food was thrown in the bin - maybe thats why our dog loves him so much!! Or maybe that's why I put on so much weight - I didn't like to see it all go to waste!

For my son, the real break through was when he started growing his own tomatoes & potatoes, slowly he became more willing to try other produce we had grown. (nothing fancy just basic garden veggies!)

A strange thing happened then, as his interest in food grew (still limited to tomatoes and potatoes, but it was a start) I stopped worrying so much about what he was eating at each meal , as I took less and less notice of him at meal times, not overly praising him for a tiny nibble of something or getting stressed if he hadn't touched his food he slowly & carefully started to try new foods.

Looking back, possibly it was all about attention (mixed with a little fear of unknown foods) as soon as I stopped responding to his demands for attention and just got on with eating my food and so did his younger sister, without a squeek, he started eating!!

Now, I must say, there were other techniques I believe really helped too, we went shopping together each week and he chose his basket of food  (Not treats!), it was mainly veg and fruit he ate, never meat. So I also took him to whole food shops where I pretended nuts, seeds, dried fruits were really special/naughty foods and he soon wanted to go there all the time and scoop up his own selection which he nibbled at throughout the day, a particularly useful trick to get protein in to fussy eaters! I also avoided huge supermarkets as the choice seemed to overwhelm him.

My two daughters have never had any problem with food, eating pretty much anything I put in front of them!! Whereas my son, even now at 12, still only eats fruit, veg, dairy, cereal, pasta, fish & nuts. He hasn't had refined sugar in well over a year (no sweets, biscuits, chocolate etc.) his only treat is the odd packed of Prawn Cocktail flavoured crisps!!

Infact, this blog has really highlighted to me that Ben only eats whatever I eat! I'm Veggie but have always cooked meat for my girls, whereas Ben has never enjoyed meat, always favouring a plate of veggies with nuts and seeds sprinkled over it, or maybe a boiled egg!

Over the years Ben's eating has always been a bone of contention in my family, however, as he has never enjoyed meat, processed or sugary foods, and his diet is very healthy, nutritious & balaced, why rock the boat making him conform to eating traditional childrens foods such as sausages, chips etc.which he detests?

I hope this helps as over the years Ben's eating has caused my whole family to worry, however, he is by far the healthiest, nutritionally conscious and most physically active of us all!!!

Top Tips For Fussy Eaters

Ensure your child sits with you at all mealtimes and talk a lot, so it's not just about the eating

Get their friends over or siblings friends for mealtimes so they see other children eating

Don't give them too many snacks & tactfully ask Grandparents/friends the same!

Give them time - may just be a slow eater - Try and arrange tea so you have time

Children's taste change so keep trying foods

Don't use food as a reward

Give small portions

Try not to feed them too late as tiredness and real hunger can cause tantrums

Grandparents for many work wonders, as often they have more time to sit and relax over a meal with your child, and children often want to impress them.

Good Luck, I hope this helps :)

Till the next time

Catherine xx


Like this article? Subscribe to my monthly newsletters for more my latest blogs :)

Top 10 foods To Eat During Pregnancy

Eating whilst pregnant can be tricky with so much information out there. Here's some advice from the best nutritional experts on their top pregnancy foods. You don't need to like or eat them all, but pick and choose your favorites to give your pregnancy a nutritional boost.

Eggs

"It's amazing what you get in one egg for only about 90 calories," says Elizabeth Ward, dietitian and author of Expect the Best, Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, and After Pregnancy.

In addition to more than 12 vitamins and minerals, eggs contain lots of quality protein, which is essential for pregnancy.

"Your baby's cells are growing at an exponential rate, and every cell is made of protein," Ward explains. "Plus, as a pregnant woman, you have your own protein needs."

Eggs are also rich in choline, which promotes your baby's overall growth and brain health, while helping prevent neural tube defects. Some eggs even contain omega-3 fats, important for both brain and vision development. (Brands that have omega-3s will probably state it on the label. Look for DHA-enriched eggs because those contain the most beneficial form of omega-3s.)

As for the egg's bad rap about cholesterol? Not warranted, says Ward. It turns out that eating saturated fat does much more damage to your cholesterol level than eating the cholesterol naturally found in food.

And while eggs are high in cholesterol, they're also relatively low in saturated fat, with only about 1 1/2 grams per egg.

"Healthy women with normal blood cholesterol can consume one to two eggs a day as part of a balanced diet low in saturated fat," Ward says. But if cholesterol is a concern for you, substitute egg whites for whole eggs.

Need more convincing? Eggs are cheap, easy, quick, and versatile. When you're too exhausted to cook a full meal, a couple of hard-boiled or scrambled eggs are just the ticket.

Salmon

 

Not only is salmon rich in high-quality protein but it's also an exceptionally good source of omega-3 fats, which are good for your baby's development – and may help boost your mood. And unlike swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish, and shark, salmon has low amounts of methylmercury, a compound that can be harmful to your baby's developing nervous system.

Just remember that even for salmon and other low-mercury fish, such as canned light tuna and pollock, the FDA recommends eating no more than 12 ounces per week to avoid ingesting too much mercury.

Beans

 

Navy beans, lentils, black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas … there are so many to choose from. Beans contain lots of fibre and protein & can be delicious & fill you up for hours! For veggie's, vegans & mums who have a low protein rich rich diet, beans are fantastic but they are also great even if you eat lots of protein as they have lots of fibre. Fibre is vitally important during your pregnancy as your gastrointestinal tract slows down, increasing your risk of constipation and hemorrhoids. Fibre helps to prevent and relieve these problems.

In addition, foods that contains fibre tends to be rich in nutrients. This is certainly true of beans, which are good sources of iron, folate, calcium, and zinc.

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes get their orange color from carotenoids, plant pigments that are converted to vitamin A in our bodies. Although consuming too much "preformed" vitamin A (found in animal sources, such as liver, milk, and eggs) can be dangerous, carotenoids are a different type. They're converted to vitamin A only as needed, so there's no need to restrict your consumption of vitamin A-rich fruits and veggies, says Ward.

Sweet potatoes are also a great source of vitamin C, folate, and fiber. And like beans, they're inexpensive and versatile. It's always worth cooking up a little extra and saving them to slice up later as a snack.

Popcorn and other whole grains

Yes, you read that right. Popcorn is a whole grain. Clients love it when I tell them that!  Whole grains are important in pregnancy because they're high in fibre and nutrients, including vitamin E, selenium, and phytonutrients (plant compounds that protect cells). But don't stop at popcorn: There are lots of other whole grains out there, from oatmeal to barley. Fluffy, nutty-tasting quinoa is definitely one of my favorites. Whole grain quinoa is easy to make and is very high in nutrients, particularly protein, making it a superfood itself.

Walnuts

"Walnuts are one of the richest sources of plant-based omega-3s," says dietitian Kate Geagan, author of Go Green, Stay Lean. "A handful of walnuts is a great choice for an on-the-run snack or an addition to a salad."

While plant-based omega-3s don't provide much of the DHA that will benefit your baby, they're still good for both of you. Walnuts are also a good source of protein and fiber.

Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt typically has twice the protein of regular yogurt, making it one of Geagan's favorite pregnancy foods. And any kind of yogurt is a great source of calcium, which is vital in a pregnancy diet. If you don't take in enough calcium, the limited amount you have will go to your baby, says Geagan, depleting the calcium in your bones.

Remember, the goal during pregnancy is to make sure you provide everything your baby needs without sacrificing your own health and nutrition. Calcium will help keep your own bones intact while laying down a healthy skeleton for your baby.

Dark green, leafy vegetables

Spinach, kale, Swiss chard, and other green leafy vegetables are loaded with vitamins and nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and K, as well as the all-important folate. They've also been found to promote eye health, Geagan says.

Lean meats

Meat is an excellent source of high-quality protein, says dietitian Karin Hosenfeld of North Dallas Nutrition. "Look for lean meats with the fat trimmed off," she says. "When buying red meat in particular, look for cuts that are around 95 to 98 percent fat free."

Beef and pork stand out among meats because they contain choline in addition to protein, says Ward.

Don't eat deli meats or hot dogs, though, unless they're heated until steaming hot. There's a small risk of passing bacteria and parasites, such as listeria, toxoplasma, or salmonella, from the meat to your baby, says Mayo Clinic obstetrician Mary Marnach.

Colorful fruits and veggies

 

Eating plenty of green, red, orange, yellow, purple, and white fruits and vegetables ensures that you and your baby get a variety of nutrients. "Each color group provides different vitamins and minerals," explains dietitian Jodi Greebel, owner of Citrition, a nutrition counseling service in New York.

Hosenfeld points out another advantage of eating across the fruit and veggie spectrum: "During the later stages of pregnancy, the baby 'tastes' the foods you eat through the amniotic fluid," she says. "So if you expose your baby to a variety of healthy fruits and vegetables in the womb, you'll increase the chance that your baby will recognize and accept those flavors later on."

I hope this blog has given you some ideas to inspire a delicious, nutritious & healthy way of eating during your pregnancy.


Like this article? Subscribe to my monthly newsletters for my latest blogs :)

6 Ways To Take The Pain Out Of Losing Weight

Is weight loss, the bain of your life? As a teenager it was definitely the bain of mine.

Perhaps like many of you, I tried some crazy diets, The Cabbage Soup Diet was perhaps the yuckiest!

Do your diets involve eating very small portions, depriving yourself, making you hungry, grumpy and having no energy to function? Do you work really hard to get the weight off only to feel more depressed when you put it back on!

The problem with dieting is that we are conditioned to believe losing weight involves putting ourselves through hell but it doesn't have to be.

As a yoga teacher, personal trainer and nutritional adviser the most important tip I give clients wishing to lose weight is to change their mindset first. Your goal isn't just to lose weight but more importantly to keep the weight off. As soon as we acknowledge and accept this our view on weight loss can change for good, after all we can't sustain those crazy diets forever can we?

Therefore, if you want to slim down and remain that weight for life your diet must be sustainable, fullfilling and enjoyable,

My 6 top tips for achieving a yummy lifelong "diet".

1. There Is No Rush

Remember  how long it took you to get to your present weight, therefore don't give a deadline as this can be depressing if don't make ideal weight and encourage you back to those crazy diets.

It is fare more important to take longer to get to ideal weight and keep if off than fall back in to yo-yo dieting trap again.

2. Don't Make All The Changes At Once

Don't try and make too many changes all at once.

Ensure the changes are small to start with, for example eat a good breakfast to start the day, reduce your portion sizes or introduce 2 more pieces of fruit/vegetables every day.

Start with cutting out just one or two of your bad foods/habits each day, this will make it easier to make changes longer term. The problem with diets is that they often cut out everything at once making it painful and miserable as you feel deprived and hungry.

3.Ask Yourself If You Are Happy With The Changes

Do what you enjoy and what suits your lifestyle, as you want to encorporate these changes for the rest of your life.  If you love healthy salads, great eat them regularly, if not, don't force yourself to eat them every day as it will be unsustainable for life and you may feel more inclined to rebel and eat junk food.  Instead make healthy changes you are happy with. The same goes for exercise, don't convince yourself you will run 5 miles every morning for the rest of your life if you don't like running instead think about a walk each day or a swim or something you could see yourself doing regularly and enjoying.

4.Have Compassion For Yourself - There Will Be Slip Ups!!

A lot of diets are really strict, therefore allow yourself some compassion if you slip up. The change in your eating patterns and behaviour is often quite dramatic so allow yourself some slack. Remember just learn from it and move on.

5.Get Your Family/Friends Support

Support from family and friends, especially at the start is vital. Talk to the people you live and eat with and explain why you are dieting and why it is important for you to lose weight and become healthier. Hopefully, they will be more inclined to help you and will hopefully start eating similar foods (or at least hiding the rubbish they eat from you so as not to tempt you) and positively encourage you.

External help may also be a good option, knowing you can recieve advice, reassurance and support from a local group is a valuable tool on your weight loss journey.

6. Ignore "No Pain, No Gain"

As you are looking at long term weight loss rather than a quick fix, the "No Pain, No Gain" rule definitely does not exist. You need to avoid any pain at all costs otherwise you wont sustain your long term goal.

Good Luck, I hope this helps :) xx