Why your diet is never going to work!

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

Why your diet is never going to work!images

You’re about to embark on yet another diet so you can be fit, healthy and slim for that bikini in a few months time.  But in your heart of hearts you know you will be miserable, moody and hungry.  And more importantly you will fail.

So let me share some secrets with you as to why you will keep on failing unless you change your approach

  • Portion control – Put it simply many of us eat too much even on a diet.  You have more control over what you eat at home but what about that quick latte on the way to work because you didn’t have time for breakfast; a large skinny latte could have up to 130 calories, add a ‘healthy low fat’ muffin and that’s another 340+. Or that sandwich from the supermarket at lunch time; an egg mayo could have upwards of 400 calories.  You may decide to meet friends after work for a low cal drink (or two) and a small bowl of pasta – where’s the harm! A small slimline gin and tonic will set go largeyou back a meagre 56 calories.  But restaurant portions are getting bigger and they are served on bigger plates or bowls so it is hard for us to judge the true amounts we are eating; a bowl of Prezzo’s  Penne con Salmon (light) still has a whopping 800 calories, a shared garlic bread will add 140 calories a portion and that sprinkling of parmesan is about 60 calories.  By now your one slimline G&T has morphed in to a large glass of house red (170 calories) so you decide to share a dessert (it would be rude not to!) half a portion of ‘healthy’ lemon Torte is 225 calories.

So in total on your diet you have some how managed to consume over 2,300 calories in one day.  Impressive!

  • Mindless eating – how often do you sit at a table to eat your meals?! When we sit in images front of the TV, laptop, tablet etc we are distracted and often do not register what we have eaten and therefore when we are full.  The signal from our stomach to our brain to say STOP takes about 20 minutes but if we are distracted we tend to eat faster, so that signal doesn’t get through until we are well into that unnecessary pudding.  How often have you been surprised when you look down at your plate and realised it is empty?
  • Stressed out – if you are stressed, anxious or worried then you are more inclined to comfort eat.  This is because being stressed can produce a hormone called ‘cortisol’, which can release glucose in to your bloodstream, promoting a hunger response thereby increasing your appetite.

So if you are not mindful of portion control then your weight may go up this will make you stressed and you will eat more!

  • Snack attacks! – Be careful what you snack on. Carrot sticks and hummus or rice cakes with wholenut peanut butter may be a better option than the low cal snack bar which could be full of refined sugars that your body processes very quickly, so it may not fill you up for long.  A small portion (28g) of unsalted nuts maybe a better option
  • IMG_5040What are you drinking? – Both alcoholic and soft drinks contain an abundance of calories.  Stay hydrated with water; not only will it quench your thirst but it will stave off hunger pangs.  A ‘healthy’ shop bought smoothie could have as many as 250 calories and up to 5 teaspoons of sugar.  Even though a can of diet drink has only a few calories latest research indicates that the artificial sweet taste prepares your body to expect calories and when they aren’t forthcoming your body craves food and your appetite could increase
  • Lack of sleep Scientists believe that if we don’t get enough sleep it disturbs the levels of two specific hormones leptin, which lets you know when you are full and ghrelin, which stimulates your appetite.

So put very simply the more you sleep the less you eat!

  • Are you eating enough?! This may sound odd but even on a diet you do need to consume enough calories to meet your bodies needs.  You can work this out on imagesvarious website to get you Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which is the calories you consume at rest.  But you may think you’re eating only small amounts and should therefore lose weight but as previously mentioned it is not just about portion size its also about what you eat.  For instance a flimsy cheese croissant, which is gone in seconds could have 340 calories.  Compare that with a medium sized jacket potato and a large salad with balsamic vinegar all for 300 calories.  Not only are you eating less calories but more fibre which will leave you feeling fuller for longer
  • 11701046_10207112983767058_664974267398185262_nAre you a couch potato? – Moving more (it doesn’t have to be structured or an expensive exercise class) not only burns calories but releases endorphins which can enhance your mood and make you feel good. The Government recommends at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking every week, and  muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).

Next week I’ll blog about the things you can do that won’t sabotage your weight loss goals but help you to lose the pounds permanently!

Is your friend naturally skinny – Probably not!

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

Is your friend naturally skinny – Probably not!

You seem to eat the same but you put on weight and she doesn’t.  These 10 skinny secrets might explain why!

Enjoy breakfast – Your friend very rarely skips breakfast.  A study by the National IMG_3797Weight Control Registry (NWCR) confirmed that people who have lost weight were 80% more likely to keep it off if they ate breakfast.  Their daily calorie consumption was no more than people who didn’t eat breakfast.  Why not try scrambled eggs on wholemeal toast or my favourite eggy bread for a protein rich start to the day, or a bowl of porridge with a sliced banana and some blueberries on top to keep you full until lunchtime

Portion control – Have you considered how much you or your friend eat at each meal?  Simagesupermarkets, restaurants and café’s are going large!  For instance packets of crisps are now often sold as 50g grab bags rather than the smaller (and now rarer) 25g, restaurant plates and bowls are bigger so we are eating more when we eat out, and how often are you only offered a large latte when you order a coffee.  Upselling is a common practice in food outlets the classic being ‘do you want fries with that’!  Learn to say no and only eat what you need.

IMG_5039Alcohol – The same goes for alcohol; a standard glass of wine is at least 175ml or maybe even 250ml (or a ⅓ of a bottle).  If your friend orders a small glass of white wine and you have the largest and over the course of a night out you drink 4 glasses each.  She will have consumed 15 ½ units, over 1100 calories or the equivalent of nearly four burgers.  It would take just under 2 hours of running to burn off those calories alone

That compares to your four large glasses which is 28 ½ units, over 2000 calories or the equivalent of seven burgers.  It would take 3 hours 20 minutes to run off those calories

Take your time – We live in a fast paced environment; we text, email, instagram, fast forward commercials and we eat at a much quicker rate than we use imagesto and with lots of distractions.  How many times have you seen someone driving a car whilst eating a burger, or takeaway drink?  It is time to slow down and follow the wise words of our grandparents; chew your food slowly, put down you knife and fork in between mouthfuls and eat at the table.  Why is this so important?

It allows the ‘I’m full’ message to go from our stomach to our brain so that we stop when we’ve had enough and we don’t overeat.  Next time you go for a meal with your skinny friend notice how slowly she eats and match her pace

80/20 rule- This is about applying healthy eating principles 80% of the time and being imagesmore relaxed 20% of the time.  In reality that could mean whenever you go out for a meal 80% of the time you don’t have a pudding, but 20% of the time you do.  The theory behind it is that if you try for 100% all of the time you will fail but be a bit more realistic and you are more likely to stick at your healthy eating goals.  I bet your skinny friend doesn’t always have 3 courses when you eat out, or maybe they only have a small glass of wine with their meal.  It might be a good idea to follow their lead

 

imagesBe mindful – Does your skinny friend often refuse a biscuit because she is simply not hungry? This is called eating consciously; being aware of how hungry you are and stopping when you feel satisfied.

 

imagesEarly morning exercise – You and your friend might both have gym membership or enjoy an outdoor power walk but does she do most of her exercise in the morning?  If you exercise before breakfast you could burn 20% more fat.  Some people assume that if you exercise in the morning you will feel hungrier throughout the day and therefore your overall calorie intake goes up but this is not always the case.  Justine Jenkins, Director Vitalitybootcamps and a Health & Fitness Consultant (vitality bootcamps) said “I promote eating a smart breakfast -high protein then you can train at a high rate and not fatigue like you would if you have fasted whilst still benefiting from fat loss”.

Cook more - Cooking at home puts you back in the driving seat of calorie consumption.  Not only have you chosen the ingredients but you can also choose the portion size.  A homemade tomato based curry has far fewer calories than the creamyIMG_2807 korma you might have picked up from the takeaway.  The salmon sirfry that you created is far more nutritious than the sweet and sour version from the local Chinese restaurant.

Read food labels – The nutritional information on food labels will give you a clear picture of the calories, fats and sugars as well as the main ingredients.  It can help you to make an informed decision as to whether or not you buy it.  For instance if you bought a fish pie ready meal you’d like to see ‘fish’ as one of the top ingredient but you may not be quite so keen to eat it if the dish only contained 14% fish.

Buddy up – Eat out with your skinny friend and follow her lead.  She might order soup as a starter (often a lower calorie option and it fills you up), with her main she may skip the chips and ask for a salad with the dressing on the side.  And order a sorbet or fresh fruit salad for dessert, or miss it altogether if she is full.  Watch what she drinks too; does she avoid the sugary and calorie laden cocktails and instead orders a small glass of wine with a glass of water

Nottm Post WinterGet some advice – If all of this is just too much to take in then why not contact me for a FREE 20 minute consultation and I can take you through it step by step and also help you to make healthier food choices, so that you and your skinny friend will soon be able to swap clothes!

07946 301338,  @SH_nutrition, susan@nutrition-coach.co.uk

What have you got to lose?!