Smorgasbord Health – Top Tips to getting into that bathing costume.

smorgasbord health

This post was prompted by some of the headlines that are starting to appear in the women’s magazines as they bring out their summer editions..Get a Bikini Beach Body in Six Weeks!!!!

In reality to do this successfully you are going to need a lot longer than six weeks.. in some of our cases it might even involve surgery.

gorilla

The post was also prompted by the fact that in a few weeks I shall be swimming in a public pool again for the first time in years. No longer can I saunter out to the pool wearing a rather decrepit faded costume that tries but fails to contain my lumps and bumps. I need to trim a little of the fat before I show myself to the world, and whilst I embrace my fuller and more mature figure, there is still a smidgen of pride left that prevents me from saying ‘I am what I am.’

I do envy people who can let it all hang out and even remove every stitch of clothing in the process. But, us lesser mortals are probably eyeing up the crash diet shakes and bars in the pharmacy right now and wondering how we can get a stone off rapidly.

Please do not do that.. Many of the meal replacements have unhealthy amounts of chemicals, artificial sweeteners (that the body reacts to in the same way as sugar) and cost an arm and a leg.

Instead I am going to be following my tried and tested method of shedding 10lbs in the next month.  If you are interested in losing a few pounds before the summer really gets going or just want to revamp your diet and lifestyle a touch.. then here is Top Tips to getting into that bathing costume (one piece at least – in my case the bikini would definitely take a great deal longer and require surgery!)

It is very important that you do not starve your body into submission or deprive it of all the nutrients it needs to be healthy. Instead take a long hard look at what you are currently eating and with the help of these tips, make some sensible and easy to keep to changes that will help you lose weight and become healthier.

birthday suit

Weigh yourself on some new scales. Most people underestimate how much they weigh by quite a bit. If people weigh 15 stone and have no scales they think they way 12 stone. You need a place to start so that you can set realistic targets. Most people expect to lose too much in the first week or two and are then disappointed when they fail to do so. 2lbs of body fat per week is absolutely healthy and if you lose more than that you are in danger of losing muscle. The body would rather sacrifice muscle because it uses up far more calories to fuel – if you lose this muscle you will find it very difficult to get back. You will lose excess water the first week which might give you a boost, particularly if you have reduced your salt intake or processed food intake but after that aim to lose 2lbs per week. Remember that 1lb per week is still 52lbs lost in a year.

Once you have established how much you weigh, you then need to write a food diary for 14 days of everything you eat and drink. At the end of 14 days you will have a good idea just where you might be overdoing it. Apart from our weight, we also underestimate how much we are eating – usually by 1000 plus calories per day. Most of us know deep down what is unhealthy or healthy in our diet and if you find that more than 25% of your diet is rubbish then you need to alter the balance. Nobody is saying that you should never have a burger or an Indian takeaway but once a week is enough. Also if you know that you are going to be indulging on a particular night then schedule in extra exercise on the day before and afterwards. Do not starve yourself though – you can eat lighter by eating salads and fruit but make sure that you are still eating breakfast and lunch with some healthy snacks otherwise your body will whip the takeaway right into storage.

Reduce your salt intake. You should not have more than a level teaspoon per day or 6 grams. If you eat a lot of processed foods you will be consuming far in excess of this. Sodium is essential for our bodies to keep a correct water balance (so too much can cause water retention and can represent several pounds in extra weight) it is also necessary for nerve impulse transmission and prevents your blood from becoming too acidic or alkaline. However, take in too much and not only will it cause weight gain it can also drive your blood pressure too high. Look at the labels on the food and your mineral water currently in your cupboard and fridge and see how much sodium is in 100gms. Multiply by 2.5 which will give you the salt equivalent. So if a Pizza has 8400 mg of sodium you would times that by 2.5 giving you 21000mg of sodium or 21gm of salt which is 3.5 teaspoons or 3 times the recommended salt intake.

You will be horrified if you do this exercise with both salt and sugar. You will see on most labels that it has carbohydrates of which are sugars in grams. Divide that number by 4gm which is equivalent to a teaspoon and see how much your favourite treat contains. Remember a chocolate bar contains 16 teaspoons of sugar. The recommended daily intake is 10 – and there is going to be more in all the food you eat throughout the day – even in savoury food. 3.5 teaspoons in a serving of chunky pasta sauce.

Think in the terms of one. This applies to the individual – you are responsible for your own health and lifestyle. You would not be happy if someone was popping in and out of your bank account or your home every few minutes and dictating what you spent your money on or what television programme you watch. Yet, we allow food manufacturers to dictate what we eat – we expect the medical profession to pick up the pieces when we become ill with lifestyle related illness and we do not take responsibility for the one asset that is truly ours. If you want to live for 80 or 90 years you have to take back control. The power of one applies to how we eat as well. For example 1 biscuit with your tea. 2 biscuits every day with your afternoon tea (digestives) equates to 15lbs in body fat per year. Having one biscuit instead means a potential loss of 7.5lbs per year.

Habits that need to be broken often come in twos and require you to give up both to be successful. If you automatically reach for the biscuit tin when you have a cup of tea or coffee switch to fruit juice for a week or two and that will help a) because it is sweet and b)it will break the association. The other aspect of this is that addiction loves company. If you are with a group of friends that smoke, drink and has a takeaway after the pub three or four times a week, you are going to find it a challenge to become the one in this familiar group that is not following the group rules.

Misery loves company. Start listening to the language that your family and friends use and then see if you are falling into the same language patterns. Negativity is the worst enemy of change. One word that we use a great deal is ‘should’. I should give up smoking. I should give up eating chocolate. Should is a soggy word. It does not imply any definite action just a possible one. If you use ‘should’ a great deal consciously change it to the word ‘must’ I must give up smoking. I must give up chocolate. But like any good sales pitch you need to give yourself the benefits. I must give up smoking so that I can smell better. I must give up chocolate so that I lose weight.

Just because a toaster has two slots does not mean you need to put two pieces of toast into it. A piece of wholemeal toast on its own is only about 80 calories but add butter, jam, cheese or ham you are taking it up to 200 calories – multiply that by 2 slices and you are looking at a snack of 400 calories. If you currently eat two slices of toast with butter and jam a day for a snack you will potentially lose 20lbs per year. Whatever alcohol you are drinking divide by two to start with and then divide by two again in 4 weeks. For the person who drinks 2 glasses of wine per night this represents 20lbs of body fat per year. Just by drinking one glass per night you will potentially lose 10lbs. A burger with medium fries and a medium fizzy drink can be as high as 1040 calories and 17 spoonfuls of sugar. If you are in the habit of having this once a week in a year this adds up to 15lbs of body fat. Have one a month and you will potentially lose 9lbs.

Do not eat white bread, white pasta or white rice. Change to whole grains and you will be adding fibre into your diet which will potentially help you lose your weight – it is nutritionally much healthier and you will find that your energy levels are much more stable by reducing your sugar cravings.

Stop drinking diet or normal fizzy drinks. Artificial sweeteners in diet drinks are just as addictive as sugar and have the same affect on the body. Use unsweetened fruit juices with sparkling water for a fizzy drink. Do not give your children fizzy drinks. In America they are treating young teenagers for cirrhosis of the liver and they have not had alcoholic drink only fizzy drinks on a daily basis.

Take a look at your exercise level and if you are currently walking every day, try to reduce the time it takes you to complete your normal route. Measure it if you can in the car so that you know the exact distance. After you have speeded up extend the distance until you are walking briskly for at least 45 minutes a day. Over a period of six weeks increase your exercise level so that you are walking four miles per hour.

A few weeks and you will be ready for any beach in the world.

ready for the beach

Images Pinterest.

Any questions.. don’t hesitate to ask and if you need a more private answer you can email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Please feel free to share.. Sally

40 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Health – Top Tips to getting into that bathing costume.

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  3. This was a wonderful post, reminding us that sensible choices are longer-lasting than fad diets and that losing weight requires us to do the hard work of exercising and cutting down on some of the delicious things we love. I always skip right by the magazine articles promising 10 pounds lost in the first week. They’re setting people up for disappointment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Amy.. constant failure means that people give up in the end. Are expectation of a perfect body is completely skewed by the media. We were laughing yesterday at a report in one of the science magazines that reviewed a number of studies that clearly indicate that those considered overweight by medical and other accepted standards lived longer than skinny to thin people who had nothing in reserve. Additionally they found that running energy supplies down to the bare minimum compromised a number of the body’s operating systems. Interesting stuff. xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m trying to wrap the concept of “stone” around in my head. One of the conversion websites says that 108 pounds is 7 stone 10 lbs. That’s how much I weigh right now.

    I wore a bikini when I was 19, but after my son was born I was one giant stretch mark from my neck to my thighs. Then a “bikini cut” during surgery compromised the stomach muscles when I turned 39.

    It’s safe to say that some of us may have the weight and potential body build for a bikini, but prefer bathing suits that cover us from the top of the chest to the top of our thighs. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Or you could define beach body ready by going to a beach …
    Wear whatever you feel comfortable in. If others have a problem with your body, it’s THEIR problem, not yours. You can easily spend the day marvelling at the sea, enjoying the warmth of the sun and not think about your body as a warzone. After all your body does wonderful things for you, it moves around, it breathes, it lets you experience taste and sound. The wind stroking your skin is nice, no matter how much skin there is and what is underneath it.
    Yes, I know, some people WILL comment unfriendly – so what – if they want to prove they are morons, that is their god given right of free speech. You wear a smile and the world is nice.
    Yes, I know it is no easy, but before I try again to achieve weight loss just to fail (as 95 % do – and gain even more than they lost) I rather change my attitude, not my body.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you are right in many cases but it can be difficult to step beyond a certain point. Having been 330lbs at one point I still carry reminders of that. I am not ashamed of my body but if there is a way that I can wear a costume that is smart, practical and enhances my self-confidence then I would prefer to adopt that attitude. I know that is the case with many very obese people that I have worked with over the years who have lost their weight and still feel slightly vulnerable. It is not about what other people think or feel although having I spent many years at that weight but still involving myself in activities such as swimming. It takes a very strong soul to not consider that aspect of it. It is down to the individual and as I mentioned in the post, I admire people who can throw their clothes off and feel totally unconcious about that feeling of freedom. For most of us however that is not the case and when we show our public body and face to the world we like to feel that we are presenting the best version of that. The reason people usually fail is that they do not address the reasons why they were overweight in the first place and that is a combination of physical, mental and emotional causes. They also lose weight too quickly and rebound. In the 20 years since I lost my own weight and trained as a nutritional therapist I have worked with many who have lost over 100lbs and kept it off. It is about also finding the right programme for you. thanks for sharing that and for your thoughts.. they will give many some food for thought.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ugh. I have always had to watch my weight and losing it has never been easy.
    These days, it’s harder then ever to lose five pounds, let alone Xx whatever it’s supposed to be. Sigh.
    True, small steps make a huge difference. 🙂 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sal, you make me laugh. You have such a way with words. Great tips for everyone. And I loved the meme, LOL. But seriously, stop being so hard on your beautiful self. Your health is what’s most important, and I’m sure you’ve got that in spades. Now go get yourself a lovely new one piece and have some fun. ❤ xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think I love you for this post, Sally! It makes so much sense. I am disappointed that another summer holiday has come around and I still haven’t lost any weight. Or rather I did, but it crept back on again. I need to take control. I’ve only been making half hearted attempts. Its too late for this holiday, but not the next one. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • Probably because the lobby for the industrial food manufacturers are far stronger than the health advocates. Sales of fizzy drinks worldwide is in the billions… that is a lot of lost tax revenue lost.. however it is short sighted as the long term health burden is only going to grow heavier.. great job on giving it up.. S

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