Hey hey! It's been a while since I wrote “What I Like This Week” and I'm telling you, there has been so much to love lately. First up, our sweet Levi (who is sort of FOUR weeks old today!). He's already growing too fast and oh my god he's irresistible. Just pure sweetness and the sun. Before having it, I had this idea that going from 1 child to 2 feel easier for me than 0 to 1 and so far it's true. It's busy and chaotic here, for sure, and there are a lot of logistical challenges to be solved all the time, but emotionally I feel so calm, so much more prepared and able to care for and love these two boys. Anyway, it's 4am now and my little guy needs to hold on so I'll be back later this week with more 🙂 Work a little bit each day on his birth story. I hope you are doing well!
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Losing weight is never easy and there’s no one tip that’s going to change that. However, it doesn’t have to be as complicated a process as many of us make it, like counting every calorie or stripping our diet of entire food groups while trying to follow aggressively restrictive diet plans.
Instead of adopting a radical or all-encompassing approach, try adopting a series of healthy habits and making them an integral part of your eating routine first. As these habits start to become ingrained, you may well find that losing weight and, crucially, maintaining a saine weight become natural to you. And you’ll get to keep on eating carbs throughout.
Losing weight is never easy and there’s no one tip that’s going to change that. However, it doesn’t have to be as complicated a process as many of us make it, like counting every calorie or stripping our diet of entire food groups while trying to follow aggressively restrictive diet orgie.
If you’re not sure what those habits could be, then we have advice from the experts to help. We have nutritionist Orla Hugueniot and constituer footballer John Barnes from Public Health England’s Better Health campaign, which aims to help people lose weight, plus other dietitians and registered nutritionists sharing tips that have worked for the people they’ve helped to lose weight.
You don’t have to try to take on all the tips at once. In fact, we’d definitely advise against trying that, because you’ll overload yourself and may lose motivation. Pick a few that you think you can manage to start with, then keep coming back and adding more into your lifestyle.
“Time and again, patients say to me that they are disappointed that they have ‘only’ lost a pound in a week, ” says George Hamlyn-Williams, principal dietitian at The Hospital Group. “The reality is that one pound ( 454g ) of fat equates to around 3, 500 calories. This means that over the week the pound was lost, they have eaten on average 500 kcal less per day – a massive achievement ! It’s so easy to eat or drink an additional 500 kcal – two standard 50g parcs of chocolate would do it. However, to eat 500 calories less is much more difficult and to be consistent with it is even more challenging – so give yourself a break and pat yourself on the back if a pound comes off. Remember, if you keep going, that’s 52lb ( 21. 5kg ) over a year – over 3½ stone ! ”
“Often in clinic, if someone wants to lose weight but is not getting a good night’s sleep, I won’t begin by talking about food, ” says dietitian Nichola Ludlam-Raine. “We talk about getting the sleep right first or they’ll be fighting a losing battle.
“The research shows that if people are chronically sleep-deprived they consume more kcal the next day. When you are sleep-deprived, the hunger hormone called ghrelin increases, which means that you genuinely, physiologically, feel more hungry. Your brain function is also impaired so that you’re less likely to be able to resist high-calorie, palatable foods. Also your energy level and your motivation are going dip so you’re less likely to want to prepare a healthy meal.
“Ideally, go to sleep before midnight, get between seven to eight hours a night, and stick to consistent bedtimes and wake times – even on weekends. Ensure your bedroom is dark, not too hot, not too cold, and ideally keep screens out of the room. Watch your caffeine intake – with your last cup of tea or coffee 4pm at the latest – and alcohol intake. People think alcohol helps, but actually it leads to restless sleep. ”
“If you’re mindful of portion sizes you can say goodbye to calorie counting, ” says Kerri Major, a registered dietitian and SENr sports dietitian, and author of The Dietitian Kitchen. “It can be useful to look at the recommended portion size on food packaging and see what you’re eating in comparison with this.
Additionally, a portion of fruit is one piece of whole fruit, like a banana, or one handful ( approximately 80g if you have scales to hand ), and Major advises aiming for three portions of dairy or dairy alternatives a day. “Portion sizes of dairy vary depending on the product, ” says Major. “Again, I recommend checking the food label, which usually indicates an appropriate serving size. ”
If you want to make portion control that little bit easier, Hugueniot suggests using smaller plates, and then dividing that plate up by food group. “Make sure that half your plate contains vegetables or salad, ” says Hugueniot. “The other half should be protein and carbohydrates. ”
Increasing the amount you cook for yourself will make you more aware of what’s going in your food and help you avoid high calorie and fat counts, especially those from unexpected places. Also, cooking is fun ! If you’re not sure where to start in the kitchen, saine recipe boxes can be a big help.
“You could try doing your own burgers, ” says Hugueniot. “Add chopped kidney beans, some chopped onion and an egg to the leanest beef fine you can get, grill it and serve with salad – making a much healthier meal than a traditional burger and chips. ”
“Snackotage” is a word we just made up ( although it’s probably a trending hashtag by the time you read this ), but it sums up a problem that can ruin many diets – too many unhealthy snacks that sabotage all your good work at meal times.
“Try to make sure you are eating meals at regular times, with healthy fruit and veggie snacks in between, and drink plenty of fluids, ” says Hugueniot. “This will help stop you snacking on unhealthy foods, and keep you more full during the day. The best snacks are those containing veggies, but if you’re having packaged snacks go for those with around 100 kcal and stick to two a day at maximum.
“Healthier snacks include : fresh fruit, low-fat and lower-sugar yogurt with fruit, plain rice cakes or crackers with lower-fat cheese, unsalted nuts and seeds, veggie sticks with lower-fat dips such as reduced-fat hummus and salsa, malt loaf, fruit loaf or a currant bun, crumpets and scotch pancakes. ”