They’re a couple of really cool acronyms you can use to help
you eat healthy and keep weight gain at bay.
We need to drink and eat less:
C – Carbonated drinks
R – Refined sugars and carbs
A – Artificial sweeteners, colours and Alcohol
P – Processed foods
Have you considered what you are putting in your shopping
trolley lately? Unless you have chosen a ‘clean’ diet, the produce you buy from
the supermarket today is loaded with refined sugar, colorants, additives,
preservatives and artificial flavours. The impact of all of these ‘loaded’
foods is that we, as a nation, are eating far too many calories; not enough
foods in their natural state; packing in excessive amounts of refined sugar and
carbs and causing our bodies to be overwhelmed by toxins. The body does a great
job of protecting itself from the harmful side effects of a modern diet by converting
the extra calories into fat; eliminating or absorbing toxins into cells; and
releasing more insulin to deal with sugar spikes. But this coping mechanism has
its own pitfalls – increased incidences of diabetes, the hardening of arteries,
weight gain and chronic disease. Eating
a ‘clean’ diet might seem a bit puritanical, if that’s the case there are easy
changes you can make to have a ‘diet’ that promotes health and weight loss and
reduces the stress food can place on our bodies.
Instead of eating so much C.R.A.P. we could exchange some of
these unhealthy foods, with these alternatives:
F – Fruits and veg
O – Organic lean proteins
O – Omega 3 fatty acids
D – Drink enough water
Try making a few swaps at first; it’s not always easy to
change your diet completely because old habits die hard. Our brains tell us it’s
the right thing to do, but we are somehow drawn towards the C.R.A.P. (I’ll write
about food addiction another time). But fitting in a minimum of 5 fruit and veg
a day is at least a good start and of course drinking more water.
Let me know what you find challenging about changing your
diet and I’ll make some suggestions in another blog. I look forward to your
It was a popular song in the sixties, and one we sing to
ourselves subconsciously every day, perhaps the words have been rearranged
slightly to ‘sweet for my sweet tooth and sugar in just about everything’. Our
love affair with sugar started in the fifties but was really ramped up in the
seventies with the reduction in cost to manufacture processed foods and sweet
treats. In particular, the food industry found a way to mass produce a cheaper
source of sweetener for our foods (high fructose corn syrup – HFCS) foods became
much sweeter (yummy) and because the products were cheaper to make the portion
sizes got bigger too.
We are 3 stones heavier today than our counterparts were in
the fifties; this is because of the huge increase in daily calorie consumption
combined with a more sedentary lifestyle. Sugar has a great part to play in
this weight gain. It’s in our cakes, biscuits, savoury snacks, breads, sauces, salad
dressings, toppings, pizzas and soft drinks; the list goes on – just about
every processed food.
Too much sugar causes weight gain, diabetes, cavities,
increased hunger, high blood pressure, an impaired immune system, liver damage
and risk of cancer. I’ll stop there because I’m not trying to give you or
myself nightmares. No one is saying we have to give up sugar all together, a
little of what you fancy is o.k. the trouble is according to studies the
average person in the UK consumes 238
teaspoons of sugar each week and this is way too much. “A draft report by the
Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) says sugar added to food or
naturally present in fruit juice and honey should account for 5% of energy
intake.” (BBC News June 2014 - Call to halve target for added sugar). Interesting right?
Let’s all make a promise to ourselves to cut down on our
sugar intake. This is one New Year’s resolution that will be worth keeping.
If you haven't watched this informative BBC documentary, it's worthwhile:
Do you have a special occasion coming up; need to lose 6lbs
fast? Here are a few handy suggestions that I discovered.
Step one, clear out all the junk from the food cupboards, all
the food that sabotage your good intentions. Donate the canned and dried goods
to a food bank and do your bit for charity at the same time. Get rid of all the
‘bad’ things in the fridge then go to the supermarket and restock. Here are a
few suggestions for your grocery list:
3. Any and
4. Any and
5. 8 oz.
9. Special K
10. Skim milk
11. Brown rice
oatmeal (not the sweetened packaged kind though)
14. 3 servings
15. Low fat
These foods can form the basis of your diet, now sit down
and write out a diet plan for the next seven days. Plan your breakfast, lunch,
main meal and snacks for each day, being organised is part of the success formula.
Because you have gotten rid of the junk, there’ll be no Plan B and no cheat
Step 2, factor in some exercise. Walking is a great low
impact form of exercise. Get yourself a pedometer or an app on your phone or
iPod that will measure the number of steps taken. Try to walk at least 10,000
steps each day, it may seem like a lot but here are some ways to fit it into
Don’t take the easy option when parking for work
or to go the store. Parking at the far end of the parking lot or a few blocks
away will do you good.
If you take the bus or train to work, get off a
few stops before your destination and walk (if this is practical and safe).
During the spring and summer months I would walk six miles to work, it’s really
easy, trust me!
Don’t rely on the escalator or the lift
(elevator), take the stairs. You’ll have great legs in no time at all!
Take time to meet face-to-face with colleagues.
We spend so much time in a sedentary position. The occasional walk across the
office is good practice.
Take the dog for a walk, if you don’t have a dog
borrow one. I used to have a morning stroll with my neighbour’s 2 Yorkshire
Terriers before work.
Go walking before dinner; this should help
reduce your appetite.
Join a walking club; try www.meetup.com for some interesting groups.
Step 3 should be easy but most of us fail in this area. You
need to drink more water, try to drink at least eight 8oz glasses of water each
day. You may need more hydration if you work out a lot. Spread your water
intake throughout the day to make it easier. Your tea and juice intake counts
towards your daily total but remember sugar and diuretics are counterproductive.
In summary eat healthily, walk more and drink a substantial
amount of water. It might seem like a challenge but it is possible to be
disciplined for a week and the reward is great – goodbye to some unwanted
It’s easy to make small changes that will have a BIG impact
on your fitness level and overall wellbeing.
Start with gentle exercise, go for walks, play tennis with
the kids or join a dance class. If you have not exercised in a while, your
fitness coach will always recommend a check-up with your GP (doctor) just to
make sure there are no underlying medical concerns that will affect your
ability to exercise. Whether you choose to go it alone (using books or videos)
or use a personal trainer or join a gym there is always a programme that will
be fun, motivating and rewarding for you.
In conjunction to exercise, look at small changes you can
make to your diet like cutting down on sugar, reducing or eliminating greasy
fast food (find healthier alternatives when eating out), cutting down on
processed foods, drinking more water, eating more fruit and vegetables and periodic
healthy fasting or juicing.
Getting fit is not all about exercise or food though, getting
more sleep and reducing stress can also aid in staying healthy and fit.
If you want to know some great tips for getting fit,
download the FREE eBook below.
Have you ever struggled to lose weight? Don’t give up hope,
although many of us have come to the conclusion it’s a losing battle, it is NOT
an impossible feat! By following some easily implemented tips you’ll soon be
saying goodbye to those unwanted kilos. Is it plain sailing? Well no, losing
weight requires planning, discipline, commitment and work – the determination has
to start and end with you. If you are serious about losing weight and you’re
ready to follow a sensible eating plan, get moving and change your mind set you
will lose weight, and more importantly keep it off.
Dieting can sometimes feel perpetual. Yo-yo dieting or the
annual New Year’s resolution can have us back at ‘square one’ over and over
again (but we’ll cover the psychology behind weight loss or gain another time).
What if we could lose weight and maintain it FOREVER. If you’ve not signed up
to the RSS feed of this blog or for our newsletter do so today to learn about the
lifestyle changes you need to make to WIN at weight loss. Ignore the fads, forget
about starvation and eat the food you love. Discover what really works. Start
today with these 3 tips and follow this blog for more:
1. Maintain focus – We used to say ‘all you need is
willpower’ but willpower only comes into play when you are feeling deprived or
ready to throw in the towel. Maintaining willpower is the wrong emphasis,
telling yourself you can’t have a particular food, usually results in you
dreaming of ‘it’ all day long (ever been there?) and setting yourself up for
failure. Having focus is the opposite of willpower – focus on why you want to
lose weight; what are the benefits; what is the end goal? And how will you feel
when you get there. Once focussed you will be thinking about the positive
aspects of your weight loss plan. Something as simple as pinning an old photo
of yourself at your ideal weight or someone you admire to your mirror and
reminding yourself of your goal every time you see it could bring about some
big mental changes.
2. Get moving – Of course it is possible to lose weight
without exercise by cutting calories. But you’ll achieve a greater success and healthier
body if exercise becomes part of your life (check out one of our blogs about
exercise benefits). You don’t even have to join a gym, try walking, cycling,
jogging, dancing, Zumba, boxing, gardening or taking up a sport you’ve always
wanted to try – the key here is that it must be something you enjoy or you won’t
stick at it. Just start somewhere. Get moving! Each extra activity equals more
3. Effort - Yes, weight loss does take effort. The truth is
the more effort you put in the more you’ll lose. First of all set a few goals –
a big goal could be dropping a dress size or losing 25 kilos in x-number of
months and smaller goals to keep you motivated could include how much you will
lose in month one. Then set yourself a schedule to exercise; plan your meals
and snacks (to avoid eating unhealthy foods during those ‘emergency’ moments); gather
some simple weight loss tools (bathroom scale, tape measure, food diary etc); create
a log to keep track of your progress; and get yourself a cheerleader who will
encourage you, attend a class with you and share in your success; also give
yourself non-food related rewards when you achieve your milestones.
I hope you found this interesting and remember I am here to
support you. If you’re in the Bristol One UK or surrounding area, why not schedule a workout
(the first one is FREE) or diet consultation – telephone/text Sharon on 0771
Sharon is a certified personal trainer who specialises in Kettlercise, Hatton Academy Boxing for fitness and HiiT training. She offers a unique one-to-one or small group session which includes weight loss management, all in the comfort of your own home. Contact Sharon on 0771 615 1416 to find out more.