Friday, 26 April 2013

4 Weight Loss Snack Ideas to Beat the 11am Munchies



It’s 11am and you have the munchies! Panic‼!

No, you don’t need to panic! You can have a snack and still lose weight – trust me!

Too many people start to struggle when they’re hungry. There was something lately in the news – and on This Morning – that the British people love a biscuit with their cuppa. It’s so true!

When I go to the coffee shop, I’ll usually have a muffin or small slice of cake. When I have my 10am cuppa, I’ll have something to eat with it – and same with my 3pm cuppa.

The trick is learning how to deal with it and not letting it affect your weight loss. You can lose weight and have a treat! You can lose weight and snack! You just have to pick the right things, track and eat in moderation.

Wondering what to have? Here are some of my favourites:

A yogurt with some bran flakes

I like the crunch so I’ll have a Mullerlight yogurt and add some bran flakes. Bran flakes are a great low fat/high fibre option and it only takes a few to flesh out that yogurt. I’ll sometimes mix a few pieces of fruit in too, depending on my breakfast.

The best thing about the Mullerlight yogurts is that they come in so many different flavours. It’s really easy to capture a craving I’ve got at 11am, whether I want some Turkish delight or want to keep it simple with mandarin or vanilla.

Chopped vegetables and humus or salsa dip

Chop up a few vegetables, like carrots, celery and cucumber to have with low fat dips like salsa and humus.

There’s so many different vegetables that you can add with these, including broccoli, cauliflower and tomatoes.

I snacked on these throughout my pregnancy – for some reason this was my craving – and loved the fact that they were so filling. I only needed one carrot chopped up and a couple of cherry tomatoes and I was set until lunch time.

They’re also really easy to take to work or college if you need them.

Crisp bread/crackers with soft cheese

I’ve already said that I love snacks with a crunch so crisp bread (like Ryvitas) and crackers are a favourite with a bit of soft cheese. I’ve been known to eat them for lunch too instead of bread for a sandwich!

I love the different flavours that you can get – at the moment it’s the one with the seeds (in the green packet).

They work with many toppings and are much better for you than bread. Of course, it depends on the type of diet you’re one (but I don’t agree with those that cut out all the carbs).

Mixed Nut and Dried Fruit

If you need something really easy to take to work with you, why not pack a small tub of mixed nuts and fruit. You can get the packets from the supermarket or even do your own mix and match to suit your tastes.

Nuts are full of fibre and burn energy slowly so just a handful will give you enough energy until lunch time!

There are plenty of snack ideas – and you can even have chocolate! I have plenty of Weight Watcher chocolate bars that I have for a snack (I let myself have one per day) and I also buy flapjacks, muffins and chocolate now and then.

As long as you track everything and eat in moderation, you don’t need to cut out your favourites or your snacks to lose weight. If you do go overboard, get more exercise in!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Weekly Weight Loss Week 26

I lost a pound this week!

To be honest, I thought I was going to gain weight so I was really happy.

We went to the zoo on Saturday and took our own picnic but ended up eating a bit too much -- especially with the Chinese takeaway that evening.

Anyway, either I made up for it afterwards or was good leading up to it (I did track my food but rarely track the activity that I do since I don't like using the points).

My goal for this week:

I don't often do this but I have a goal that I really want to reach this week. I would love to lose 2lb this week.

Why?

That will get me under the 12 stone barrier. I've not seen under 12 stone for a couple of years so I really really want to see it this week!

But I'm not doing so great at the moment -- I went over my daily points allowance yesterday after an unplanned trip to McDonalds (the car needed fixing). I'm back on track today though and haven't used up many of my weekly points yet so there's still time. Plus, I did earn three points walking around while waiting for the car. Not all of the time was spent waiting in McDonald's!

Longer term goal:

I have another goal to lose 4lbs over the next three weeks, which will take me to 35lbs lost in total since starting to lose weight! That will be an amazing goal on it's own.

After that, I can really start looking at my end goal.

So, how is your weight loss going? Don't be shy and share your experience! I don't bite!

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Weekly Weight Loss Week 25

My apologies for updating this so late -- and for no post on Friday. It's been a very hectic week and I'm trying to catch up as we speak.

This week I lost 1/2lb.

But it's "only" 1/2lb, so many people complain about. Yes, it may not sound like a lot but it's a loss! It's also the bad week out of four that I have so I'm expecting a better weight loss next week (as long as I stick to my plan)

Last week I kept track and I'm doing the same this week. The bad thing is that even though I've been eating healthily, I think I've eaten too much! We went to the zoo on Saturday and took out own picnic but it was difficult to keep track of EVERYTHING. I've tried and think I'm okay but we'll see on Tuesday...

How has your weight loss been? Did you have a good week or are you struggling to get back on track?

Friday, 12 April 2013

Weekly Weight Loss Week 24

So, after a week of feeling like I was struggling with my motivation, I wasn't expecting much at the scales. Instead I managed to lose 1.5lbs!

I was so happy to see the figure and it's pushed me back into tracking and makes me want to lose more weight.

I'm not going to go through my "what I did differently" because I mentioned last week how I was struggling with my motivation. I'd lost track of everything I was eating and just couldn't stop snacking.

What I'll Do This Week

I'm already back on track. I know everything I've eaten and make sure that I'm not going over my propoints. I'm also focusing on getting more activity back into my day - not too hard with a nine-month-old who is starting to get on the move!

I'm also back to creating delicious meals so I enjoy losing weight again. This has always been a problem, especially when it comes to lunch. I need something that won't take too long to make but is still delicious. So far it's been tuna and sweetcorn with pasta and soups - as the weather starts to get warmer, I'll move onto more salads and pasta dishes.

How are you doing? Have you been back on track more or do you need another push to get the motivation?

Social Media and Weight Loss: How Social Media Helps You Lose Weight


Lose weight with social media. Image by Stuart Miles/Freedigitalphotos.net

Social media can help you lose weight. I’m joking, right? Wrong!

I’ve found social media helps me with my weight loss and I’m going to tell you just how in this post. Just to make it clear, the only social media I use a lot are Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

1. Offer motivation when you least expect it
It’s really easy to lose motivation when you’re trying to lose weight. Sometimes you won’t even realise that your motivation is slipping.

When you follow weight loss pages on social media, they help with motivation. I follow Weight Watchers online and get a daily dose of success stories that make me think “I want to be like that”. My goal is to become one of Weight Watchers’ success stories one day.

2. Delicious recipes to try out
Sometimes it’s just hard to lose weight because you’re bored of eating the same things over and over again. Losing weight doesn’t need to be about eating salad all the time and missing out on your favourite treats but buying recipe books (that you don’t end up using) gets expensive.

There’ll be various people who post delicious meals on their social media pages. A friend may have tried a delicious meal that they’ve shared or a blog you follow may have a new dessert that you may want to try.

You may just find great ideas to make changes to your regular meals.

3. Daily tips to help with weight loss
People regularly post weight loss tips – just check out this blog for some ideas! When they post them, they’ll often share them on social media sites.

I follow a variety of weight loss pages on Twitter that share weight loss tips on a daily basis, whether it is changing snacks or for exercise.

4. Motivation from friends and family
I find that one of the best parts of social media and weight loss is the motivation from friends. I regularly post how I’m doing and it really helps me remain motivated and push to try and lose the next week.

This also offers a great way to compete with friends, which also helps with motivation. A little competition is often healthy but as long as you lose weight healthily.

This doesn’t work for everyone – there are some people who have saboteurs on their social media sites.

I’ve also found that there always seems to be a race to lose the most weight, which isn’t necessarily healthy. Losing a lot of weight quickly – over a long period of time – isn’t good for the body. I’ve already talked about this in the past. Constantly losing more than 2lb per week is not recommended by health and weight loss experts.

So, social media can help your weight loss efforts! The next time you see a credible weight loss program on Facebook or Twitter, start following them and get a daily dose of weight loss motivation.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Weekly Weight Loss Week 23

This week I gained a pound - but I'm still at the 2st mark!

I was a little annoyed but there's nothing I can do about the weight gain - I just have to try and get it off this week.

What Happened...

I blame Easter but it was really my fault for not trying very hard to control myself when it came to Easter eggs, chocolate, and Easter Monday lunch with the in-laws. I lost track and just couldn't get back on top of it with just one day to weigh-in.

I decided to go and see how it would go and then work on getting it off.

This Week Isn't Going So Well..

I think I need a kick to get my mind back on the track of losing weight. I've just lost track again and I can't seem to get back on it.

It's not helping that we have a load of Easter eggs still in the house but that's not the reason for gaining weight...It's my mentality.

I'm not lacking in motivation - I know where I want to be and I'm determined to get there - I'm just struggling to stay on track and stop letting personal things get in the way.

I'm going to try and get back on track at the weekend and then see how I do on Tuesday. I'll deal with whatever the scales tell me and then go from there.

Maybe I need a little chat with my leader and really set a proper goal to help focus...

How is your weight loss going? Don't be shy and share your positives or negatives.

Tips for Losing Weight After Pregnancy

Lose weight after pregnancy sensibly. Image by Africa/Freedigitalphotos.net
So, it’s Fitness Friday – as I’ve started calling it – and it’s time to focus on losing weight after pregnancy. I’ve finally lost my pregnancy weight and I wanted to share some insights and how to lose weight after pregnancy sensibly!

It’s taken just over six months to lose the weight and this is a good amount of time – after all, it took nine months to gain it, right?

For the record, I still have a lot of weight to lose but that was weight I already needed to shift before getting pregnancy back in September 2011.

·         Lose no more than 2lb per week: I hate seeing all these diets that tell you that you can lose a stone in a month – actually, I saw a diet on Facebook the other day promising two stone in two weeks!

This is not a healthy way to lose weight and will do nothing for you in the long term. You may lose two stone in two weeks but will you really keep that weight off?

These “quick fix” diets cut out so many calories and so many nutrients that you’re not healthy. They put your body into starvation mode and it starts to cling onto as much fat and calories as possible. You end up losing muscle!

That’s not the way you want to go. It’s healthy of lose weight slowly and it’s easier to keep off! You change your eating habits for the better.

·         Make sure you get your nutrients: whether you’re breastfeeding or bottle feeding (your choice – I won’t judge), you need to make sure your getting the right nutrients. It will take longer to lose weight if you’re breastfeeding because your body holds onto the extra fat.

If you want to know, I opted for bottle feeding after two weeks of breastfeeding because my daughter wouldn’t take to it. I did find it much easier to lose weight but that didn’t mean I didn’t have to focus on nutrients.

You will be doing a lot of running around for the baby and will be tired all the time (in the first month or so anyway) so your body needs as much help to refuel as possible.

This will also help to battle against postnatal depression, where a lack of nutrients has a part of play.

·         Take your time to get into exercising: the last thing you want is to injure yourself. Exercise is good for you but take your time to get into it!

Depending on the type of birth you had, you may have to wait six weeks before you can get back into exercising. I had a c-section and stupidly opted to go for a three hour walk to register the birth of my baby a week after getting out of the hospital. BIG MISTAKE‼! It hurt, I was tired and I just wanted to curl up with a big, unhealthy takeaway – and it didn’t do my stitches much good either.

Let your body get used to exercise again to help avoid injury. You could start with just going out for a walk with your newborn before getting back to the gym.

·         Don’t compare yourself with others: it’s really easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself with others – I did it! I figured if they could lose the weight just as quickly, I should be able to too!

It doesn’t work that way – everyone is different. There are people (annoyingly) that can lose the weight instantly but there are others who will find it takes months to lose the pregnancy weight.

Another thing: don’t compare yourself with people who haven’t been pregnant! I started comparing myself with friends who were just losing weight for their wedding or didn’t even have weight to lose and my husband had to keep reminding me that I had a very good reason to be overweight but I was getting there with it!

The best thing to do is look after yourself. You need to remain nutritious while losing weight after pregnancy. Don’t just straight into – your baby and your health are more important. The general rule is that it will take just as much time to lose it as it took to put on!