Friday, 31 January 2014

Those Crash Diets Aren't Healthy! Don't Waste Your Time!

I recently saw a message on Facebook from a friend who was asking about some new diet. Her friends were commenting saying how it was some new milkshake diet that costs £100 (don't know how often) and that the person is limited to two milkshakes a day...and NOTHING else!

I couldn't believe it when I was reading it. And people were recommending it to her.

And I'm ashamed to admit that it wasn't just that that I couldn't believe. I used to follow these crash faddy diets. I would lose a lot of weigh in a short space of time and then just pile it ALL back on and even more.

Seeing that there are still people close to me who are following fad diets, I realize that there are still plenty of people around the world thinking they work. They don't. They're not healthy. And I don't want you wasting your time on them.

Why Crash Diets Don't Work

Crash diets get you to restrict your food intake considerably. You cut out so much that it's all you think about, and it really isn't sustainable. I was hearing of people on this milkshake diet saying they were starving.

You know, I've never felt hungry while on the Weight Watchers plan, except for when it's coming up to meals or when I've forgotten to eat (it happens when really busy). I've still lost weight and I'm at a stage of keeping it off.

Another reason why crash diets don't work is you don't learn about food. You spend all this time focusing on big weight losses each week, that you forget about changing your eating habits. When you go back to eating normally, you go back to the junk and the food that got you to the size you were. All that weight--and often more--just piles back on.

Crash Diets Aren't Healthy

It's not healthy to keep losing weight and then putting it back on. Why are you putting yourself through all this?

They don't teach you new, healthy habits, and the restrictions cause your metabolism to slow down. That means you can't eat as many calories as you used to do without gaining weight.

The diets don't teach you about a healthy lifestyle either. Very few have exercise in (you don't have enough energy during the day to do any exercise) and they don't help you find ways to include all the necessary food groups. Yes, your body needs carbs and fats. You need to find out which types of carbs and fats you need.

Don't Waste Your Time on Crash Diets

Please get out of the mindset that crash diets are something that work. I understand it's hard. It took me a while to get out of that mindset. It was a friend who introduced me to Weight Watchers and my mum who said that it worked for her when she followed it. And it really does!

Don't believe me? I've included my weekly weight losses to show you that it does but I'm going to show you my before and after photos. These aren't the doctored, well placed photos. These are photos from two different time periods: my wedding when I was unhappy with my weight and when I met Patsy Kensit just before I reached my goal weight (I was about five pounds off).


I'm going to take a better one over the next few days and I'll share that to show you the full length. But I think you can really tell in my face that Weight Watchers works.

Yes, it's a slow weight loss but that's what you want. You have the time to learn new habits, change to those habits and focus on a healthy diet. Your relationship with food completely changes for the better. Your weight loss, whether big or small, stays off! I've spoken to people who have been at goal for decades thanks to the plan.

You don't need crash diets. They aren't healthy and they don't work. Please don't waste your time or money on them.

Do you follow crash diets or found ones that promise weight loss and fail? Please feel free to share the ones you've followed and want people to stay away from. Or share your story about weight loss in the comments below.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Why I Choose the Weight Watchers Diet

There are so many diets out there that it begs the question why I chose to follow the Weight Watchers plan. If you’re thinking about losing weight, you want a plan that you know will work but there are so many other factors involved.

The truth is I tried different plans. I’ve done Slimming World and I tried the Atkin’s Diet. Out of all the plans I’ve tried, Weight Watchers is the only one that I’ve found real success with. Here’s why I decided the Weight Watchers diet was worth a try when I started my recent weight loss journey on September 21, 2012.

I’ve Tried It Before

I know Weight Watchers works. I’ve done it in the past and I even got to my goal weight. By wait, I’ve had to do it again, so surely it doesn’t work? Well, between then and now, I went off track and had a baby, which didn’t really help.

Before trying it the first time it was a friend who suggested it. I then found out my mum had done it in the past and found success, so it was time to give it a try.

It’s a Liveable Plan

There’s no need to cut out my treats, like the odd glass of wine or those takeaways. The whole plan is liveable, especially since the introduction of the Pro-Points plan in 2010. This has always been really appealing compared to some of the “quick fix” diets out there.

Slimming World is supposed to be liveable but I found it really hard. There wasn’t as much freedom when it came to using up points—or syns as they’re called there.

Nothing Is Not Allowed

When I followed the Atkin’s diet I found it really hard. I hated the fact that I had to cut so much out that I enjoyed. Slimming World I found the same that I just had to cut out too much and felt forced to eat things that I wouldn’t usually.

Weight Watchers is more enjoyable. Nothing isn’t allowed, but it’s all about making the right choices and planning ahead. I can have the white pasta instead of the brown if I want. Or I can enjoy that bit of cheese without having to feel guilty.

I Will Keep the Weight Off

I’ve seen people in groups who have been at their goal weight for months and I’ve spoken to some who have been at goal for years. That’s really inspiring and I know I will do it too (bar another pregnancy or anything major happening like that!).

The one thing that I love love love is the fact that there is support after losing weight. Gold members get to attend class for free and access the online stuff at a lower price. They’re not made to weigh in each week, but it is encouraged. There is also the same support from the leader—at least that’s something I’ve found.

I’ll never not follow the Weight Watchers diet now. I recommend it whenever someone tells me they want to lose weight or whenever they ask about how I’ve done it.

Friday, 17 January 2014

How Technology Helps My Weight Loss

The Wii Fit keeps me losing weight

I never thought I’d say it, but technology helps my weight loss. No, I don’t sit in front of the TV all day and there are negative sides to my computer use, but there are bits of technology that have been really helpful over the last year and three months.

My Weight Watchers App Goes Everywhere

The most helpful part has been my iPhone and now my Android phone. I put the Weight Watchers app on both, so it would go everywhere with me. I could check the points calculation of foods while in the store or track my points from a restaurant without trying to remember everything at home.

If I couldn’t get the app working for any reason, the phone would come in handy. I can take photos with it and make notes of the food that I’ve had. It’s so much better than carrying everything around with me, like the Eat Out guide or my Tracker. If I can’t find the food I need, I’ll go on social media and get in touch with my leader.

Social Media There When I Need It

My willpower is relatively strong but I’ve had some bad days. During those days, I don’t think I’d have coped so well without technology. Being a work from home mum is quite isolating and it can be difficult to get out between orders and my daughter’s naptime, so social media is my chance to rant or escape.

I’ve used social media a lot over the last 12 months to stay on track with my diet. We have nightly check-ins to share how we’ve done during the day and there are Facebook groups to share inspiration, ask for advice and share tips. Even text messaging has been great to put the chocolate down and find something else to do!

I Love the Wii Fit!

The Wii Fit is by far my favourite form of exercise at the moment, with Zumba for the Nintendo a close second. Unfortunately, getting down to the swimming pool or out for a run is difficult at the moment. We just can’t find a time that suits all of us (we need someone there to look after our daughter).

I love the fact that I can set up a workout routine on the Wii Fit. I can choose which areas of my body to work on for the day, and do something different by selecting separate games if I do get tired.

One thing I have learnt is not to weigh myself on the thing! On the actual Wii Fit it says I’m 8lbs lighter than I really am! The scales setting on the board is just 1lb out, so I can just about deal with that.

Even though I love technology for my weight loss, I know that it can be bad. I’ll cover some of those negatives in a later post, with tips to fight them off.

Do you have any technology that helps your weight loss? Feel free to share them in the comments below!

Image credit: dpstyles

Friday, 10 January 2014

Beat Those Holiday Dieting Blues: Get Back on Track With Weight Loss

Time to get over the holiday season and get back on track

Do you feel like you’re still in a Christmas slump? You think the New Year is the perfect time to get back on track with dieting, but it’s so hard.

The holiday dieting blues are definitely here. You’re so used to the overindulgence that you can’t stop yourself when it comes to those chocolates, candy, or naughty treats. I understand your pain and I was right there with you until the 4th of the month. That was my turning point.

If you’re still struggling, here are some tips to get back on track with weight loss and beat those holiday dieting blues.

Weigh Yourself!

Be honest with yourself and find out what damage has been done. If you keep telling yourself “one more week” or “I’ll do it tomorrow,” you will just keep eating poorly and do further damage to your weight loss.

I got weighed on the 4th January. I made a change to my weigh-in day (for various reasons) and decided that it was time to be honest. It was the earliest opportunity that I could get back to a class, and I’m really glad I did. I tried to weight myself at home but the Wii Fit isn’t that reliable (it told me I’d lost 8lbs!).

Don’t delay and pull out those scales today—or get back to your weight loss class (whatever plan you follow).

Start as You Mean to Go On

There’s no time like the present to start tracking what you’re eating. Even if you haven’t weighed yourself and can’t because your class isn’t for another couple of days, starting right now will really help.

Be honest while you track. Write down everything, just like you did last year. You know it works, so why doubt that it’s going to help you with the holiday dieting blues? It’s going to be hard to start with, but once you get back into the habit you will find it easier.

Get the Healthy Food Back In

You’ve probably gotten rid of most the Christmas and New Year treats by now. If you do have any left, it might be worth giving them away or breaking them down into smaller treats that you can enjoy at the end of each day.

Now it’s time to focus on that healthy diet. Go out to the shops and get all the healthier foods back into your fridge and cupboards. If you have the healthy stuff, you’re less likely to want to just grab and snack on the bad stuff like you probably have been doing.

I find that making a plan is the best thing. We tend to plan out the type of meals we’re going to cook each night. It doesn’t always work out but at least we have the ingredients for them—and we’re less likely to spend money on takeaways.

Get Back Into the Exercise Habit

Exercise is great for beating the post holiday blues. In fact, it’s highly recommended by health practitioners. Exercise boosts the happy hormones in the brain, so you don’t feel the slump after the holiday season as much. Of course, it’s also great for your weight loss.

Two to three weeks isn’t enough to get you completely out of practise. However, if you’re new to exercise, start off slow and build it up.

How did you get over the holiday dieting blues? Do you have other tricks that worked for you?

Image credit:  Loren Javier

Friday, 3 January 2014

Stick to Your Weight Loss Resolutions

Have you make weight loss resolutions today? I have. My resolution is to maintain my weight loss from last year.

Now, hands up how many of you have made weight loss resolutions in the past and ended up gaining weight. I’ll put my hand up because I have. It was only last year that I made a resolution that I stuck to.

Why? Because I finally put a plan in place to make sure I did lose weight.

Making New Year’s resolutions is the easy part. Sticking to them is the hardest. But with some planning and strategizing you will get there. Here are a few tips to stick to those weight loss resolutions and see a lighter, healthier and happier you in 2015.

Make Your Weight Loss Resolutions Detailed

Who decided their resolution was simply to lose weight? You don’t care how much you lose, but you just want to shed some of those pounds. That’s a common one but it’s not making it easy for you to stick to.

If you lose just a pound you’ve met your resolution, but that doesn’t mean you’re happy or that it’s what you meant. You need to set a detailed resolution. How much weight do you want to lose by the end of the year? Do you just want a drop a few dress sizes instead of setting an exact figure?

You may not know exactly how much weight you want to lose, but you may have a general idea. Is there a photo that reminds you of the weight you want to be? Maybe you have health goals that you want to reach. Whatever they are, having a detail resolution is the best place to start.

Set Small and Realistic Goals

Now, that big weight loss goal is going to seem hard. You may look at it thinking it’s simply not possible. Well, this is where this next step comes in.

It’s time to split that big weight loss resolution into smaller and more realistic goals. Last year I choose to split the goals into every seven pounds (half a stone), and between them I had goals like my 5%, 10% and a healthy BMI. It gave me something to celebrate every few weeks, which kept me motivated to keep going until I reached my final goal just before Christmas.

However, make sure your goals are realistic. You’re not going to lose 10lbs every week. It’s not healthy and it’s not possible to keep it off in the long run. Aim for a 1-2lb weight loss on average each week. Some weeks it’s going to be 1/2lb and others weeks it may be 3-4lb, that’s fine as long as it averages out over time.

Make a Plan

Plan ahead to see your weight loss resolution through to the end. There are different types of plans that you can create, including a meal plan and an exercise plan.

Of course, you need to stick to it once you do create it! It’s really easy to look at it one day and not feel like sticking to it. That just makes it easier to give in the next day and the day after. Be strict with yourself. Remember this is more than just sticking to a resolution. It’s about getting to a thinner, healthier and happier you.

Hopefully, those three tips will help you stick to your weight loss resolutions. Along the way, you may find something else that helps you.

Here are a few tips from last year to help you lose weight this year.

By the way, not sure if I'm just talking rubbish? Here's my before and after photo to show that Weight Watchers does work:
After losing weight. December 2013

Before Losing Weight. September 2012

Did you find anything that helped you stick to your weight loss resolutions last year? Why not share your tips for others below. If you failed to stick to them last year, share your thoughts and feelings if you want.

Image credit: Alan Cleaver