Smorgasbord Health 2017 – Weight Reduction – Reward System and Calories


Smorgasbord Health 2017

Successful weight loss does not just depend on the food you put in your mouth. It is a full on campaign that challenges your current reward system and requires project planning in the form of achievable goals and accurate measurements.

In this post –

More effective reward systems How many calories do you as an individual need each day? – How to create the deficit necessary to lose weight.

Firstly, please do not take yourself off any prescribed medication that you are on. If losing weight is going to affect either the dosage or your need for the drugs then you need to consult your doctor. Hopefully, with his support, in a few weeks or months’ time you will be able to reduce your dosage or come off them altogether.

The first topic today is about our inherent reward system. Most of us remember our parents saying “if you are good, you can have some sweeties” or ” if you eat all your dinner you can have dessert” In subsequent years most of us have refined this reward system to cover every eventuality!

I have had a lousy day; I deserve a bar of chocolate, glass or bottle of wine, a whole pizza to myself, a tub of Haagen Dazs (my particular favourite)

wine12

I have had a great day; I deserve a bar of chocolate, glass of bottle of wine etc. etc.

This is the problem I have with many slimming organisations that elevate certain foods to reward status that have little or no nutritional contribution to your daily requirements. They imply that you have been a good little girl or boy and deserve to have a little treat so that you don’t feel deprived.

Sorry, but we are grown-ups and we need to create a new reward system. Our long term health is at stake here!

Your task is to create a whole list of activities, events, purchases, gifts to yourself and others to celebrate the progress you make along the way. The only proviso is that they are not food related in any way.

For example. Activities that were uncomfortable for me at 24 stone (336lbs) included trips to the cinema, fitting into an airline seat to go on holiday, buying clothes from M&S, getting into normal width shoes, dancing with my husband, going on the big wheel at the funfair.

Mega for me was that I was unable to take a long, hot soak in a bathtub for over 10 years; unless there was a hoist and tackle on hand to get me back out again. I had to lose 90lbs before I could enjoy that wonderful indulgence and that was worth far more than a few bars of chocolate to me.

Achieving this type of goal becomes the reward and once you have accomplished that, you are very reluctant to let it go again.

So create your list, small rewards for your weekly progress, for each 14lbs, for a new dress size, for reducing your blood pressure to normal, to coming off pills for life…..

It won’t necessarily come easily but give it time and if you have a great support team in place they will be delighted to celebrate your success with you.

Measuring progress.

The second topic of the day is measuring your progress. I hate bathroom scales with a vengeance. They can sabotage a healthy eating programme as quick as anything. They are not always reliable, if old, the measurements are off and if you do not lose weight one week you can get demoralised and give up.

scales

I have a couple of alternatives that work for me. One is to take a photograph, full length of you today and stick it somewhere you see it every day. In 6 weeks’ time having been following your new regimen of natural unprocessed foods and got into an increased activity programme, take another and compare them.  This will show you where the inches have disappeared particularly in your face, chest and waist area.

Secondly, find an item of clothing that is a size too small and every week on the same day try it on. Keep going until you fit into it. A note here. Unfortunately, we women tend to lose weight from the top down usually. One of the reasons being is that we have different hips and thighs to men. We bear children and the fat in those regions would be used to nourish the baby when we are pregnant. So perhaps an idea would be to find a top of some kind or jacket to compare sizing for the first few weeks.

As for the scales! As far as weight is concerned I suggest that you find a chemist or other outlet that has accurate scales and visit every two to four weeks – same day and time if you can – on the way to work perhaps. I try to find one that is not programmed to shout the results across the shop floor! Some of these also have a blood pressure cuff so another measurement to check on a regular basis. Do still have your BP taken officially along with your LDL cholesterol levels and Blood Sugar with your doctor or the pharmacy after 6-8 weeks.

Calories

Yes, I know, you do have to balance the amount of calories that you are taking in with your expenditure in the form of activity. However, one of the ways to approach this is to think portion size. That means that when you are out for a meal you can still have what you enjoy, just less of it. Plates seem to have got much bigger than they used to be and the temptation is to fill them. Move your meals to a smaller size plate.

I have found that 5 or 6 smaller meals throughout the day to be the most effective way to lose weight. There are two schools of thought – one that if you eat constantly you put pressure on the liver as part of the digestive process, and the other which I subscribe to, is that by eating smaller portions several times a day you do not put stress on the digestive system or the liver, and that it enables your body to extract the nutrients continuously providing you with energy.

Be aware that if you are on a diet others around you will feel they need to be too.

You will find your own strategies that work but do be wary of becoming obsessed especially if you have a young family.  Teenagers, both boys as well as girls have become very much more body aware, especially with today’s celebrity culture and fad diet industry. How you behave towards food and your body will have an impact on them.

Intermittent Fasting.

I have found that the intermittent fasting approach to healthy eating suits me. I eat within an 8 hour window every day. I did it for a year and my weight dropped by about a stone and I felt great. Then we moved back to Ireland and we stayed with a family member for three months and I stopped.. I definitely noticed the difference.  I am now back to my 8 hour window and even in a few weeks feel very much fitter and with more energy.

I eat well in that 8 hours with breakfast, lunch, evening meal with two snacks. Never hungry and more importantly no sugar cravings.

The Power of One.

You also have to understand the power of ONE. We seemed to be programmed to eating two of everything – two pieces of toast and butter – two biscuits – two chocolates, one for now one for later, two or three roast potatoes etc. If you only have one piece of toast with some butter each day you will be saving around 200 calories a day. Over six weeks that relates to 2.5lbs. Multiply that by all of the food that you have in two’s and three’s and you will be surprised at the outcome. It can represent 4lbs to 6lbs a month.

You can find more details in the last post on the accumulative factor.. link is in the directory at the bottom of this post.

How many calories do you need each day?

Basal metabolic rate – BMR establishes the approximate calories your body needs to function. At rest, with your digestive system inactive. So basically, first thing in the morning when your organs have been idling, rather than fully functional. This is dependent on your age and gender and as we age our requirement for calories decreases which is why you need to make sure you are compensating by including plenty of activity.

The simplest thing is to give you a link so that you can establish according to your age and gender what the minimum calories your body requires. However, it is important to point out that whilst calories are vital, it is also critical that those calories be as nutritious as possible. Particularly, if you are planning on cutting down calorie intake to lose weight.

http://www.calculator.net/bmr-calculator.html

For example my basal metabolic rate at 64 is 1457 calories per day. That is not taking into account the calories required to operate my digestive system, organs such as my brain and heart, lungs, liver and kidneys etc. If you are not desk bound, walking around, doing shopping, housework, etc. you will use about 100 calories per hour – in activity and operating the body. That will add about 500 calories per day.

Men use slightly more because of body mass so I use 2000 calories basic requirement for women and 2,300 for men.

I never drop calories for an individual to less than 1500 for women and 1800 for men per day. The key is then to make sure that all those calories are nutrient dense. To increase this requirement you need to add in activity. This is difficult for someone who is behind a computer all day – however, walking to work, up and down stairs, taking a 20 minute walk at lunchtime will help elevate the calorific requirement.

An easy way to increase activity levels and to add to your calorie deficit is to walk one mile a day at 3 miles an hour. Six days a week and you will have created a deficit of 600 calories a week.

How much would you lose per week?

If you require 2,000 calories per day BMR + normal activity – plus 100 calories from exercise minimum you will create an overall deficit of 600 calories per day – 4,100 per week. Each lb. of body fat is around 3,500 calories so you should lose in the region of 1.2lbs per week.

As you continue to lose weight your BMR will change slightly and since I do not recommend dropping below 1500 calories for a woman, your sensible option is to increase your activity level as you get fitter. Increase your pace gradually until you are completing your mile in 15 minutes not 20minutes. Walk for 2 miles per day in 30 minutes and you will be still able to lose weight consistently for several weeks.

For those who are over 3 stone overweight you will obviously have a higher BMR – for example a man who is 5ft 10inches and weighs 250lbs will have a BMR of 1992 calories per day. Add in normal activity his daily calorie requirement would be around 2,500 (a little more, carrying extra weight is an activity all on its own). In this instance – calories should be no less than 1900 per day with normal activity plus one walk providing the deficit to lose weight.

SUMMARY.

Work out your BMR requirement per day – add 500 and 100 calories for each mile you walk or the calorie deficit from your individual exercise activity.

To lose weight safely you do not want to drop below your BMR – if this means 1500 calories per day – they need to be nutrient dense not empty calories such as three chocolate bars.

To continue to lose weight healthily, as your BMR reduces slightly; increase your activity levels so that you are continually creating a deficit of around 500 – 750 calories per day.

This will create a weight loss of between 1.2lbs and 2lbs a week.

You can find all the other posts in the series on Weight Reduction in this directory.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/weight-reduction-programme-2017/

©sallycronin 2016

Please feel free to ask any questions in the comment section and if you would like a private word then please email me sally.cronin@moyhill.com.

 

Smorgasbord Health 2017 – Weight Reduction – The Accumulative Factor


Smorgasbord Health 2017

Over the years I have found it fascinating to hear what people believe about the food they are eating. I ask my clients to complete a lengthy questionnaire on general health and eating habits from childhood and also a two week food diary. Many times I will see quite healthy food diaries but the interesting thing is that rarely do I see One piece of toast, One biscuit or cookie, One roast potato etc. Most of these items seem to come in pairs…..or multiples thereof….

The other interesting topic of conversation with some clients was that they did not eat fruit such as bananas because they were fattening!  However, they would think nothing of eating a 100gm bar of chocolate per day as their one treat! An average banana has about 100 to 150 calories depending on size and a huge number of health benefits.. 100gm of chocolate does have anti-oxidants in the darker variety but comes in at 500 calories and rather a lot of fat!

Retaining-Food

I first began to think of the accumulation factor when I was working and looking at ways to improve the company image and productivity. I began project 101 – everyone in the company, around 150 people, were involved from our Italian handyman to all the senior executives. Instead of making one or two major sweeping changes, everyone was invited to submit any change that they felt improved the product, company image, customer service etc. At the end of three months we had a fantastic list of small changes that we implemented and which made a real difference to not only the bottom line and customer satisfaction but also to team dynamics and work environment.

When I retrained in my mid 40’s as a nutritional therapist I began to apply the same principal to my work with clients both in weight loss and also in their general health. For example, for someone with rheumatism to begin walking for five minutes gently per day, adding a minute each week until they were walking comfortably for 20 minutes per day.

For weight loss clients it was quite an eye opener when they discovered how much weight in pounds of fat they were carrying due to their habit of just eating two cookies or biscuits a day with their afternoon tea. In the table below I have used some averages for the calorie equivalents but roughly 80-120 per biscuit.

fat accumulation tableSo at 200 calories for 2 biscuits everyday with a cup of tea that is 1400 calories per week, 72,800 per year which at 3,500 calories per pound amounts to around the 20lbs in body fat per year.

I am not a kill joy and love a good biscuit or cookie occasionally but if you need to lose 10lbs to 14lbs you could do so by just having one biscuit with your tea instead of two!.

The Fat Accumulation Table compares the most common foods in our diet. Many are very healthy foods and should be included regularly but they do give you a comparison to some of those that are best eaten from time to time.  Just check to see if something you are eating on a daily or very regular basis may be the reason that you cannot shift that last 10lbs, even though you are eating healthily the rest of the time.

Having said that I also believe in eating the real food.. I use full fat milk and butter along with olive oil.  Although still processed they have not been industrialised, which is the term that I use for food that has been through a number of chemical changes and been added to with artificial elements to enhance taste and texture!

Because the foods are generic the calories are average estimates too but serve to give you a rough idea. Biscuits average calories refers to choc chip and other filled biscuits which is why they are slightly higher in calories.

As always I do recommend that you Cook from Scratch. And that you limit your industrialised foods to no more than 10 to 20% of your diet with the remainder being fresh, unenhanced vegetables, fruits, lean protein and carbohydrates. It is the hidden extras in processed foods that very often do the damage and certainly even eating healthy fats and carbohydrates can accumulate if you do not exercise enough to use up before they are deposited in the fat cells.  I literally had to put on not just my reading glasses but my normal pair as well the other day to read the labelling on a jar.. but it was worth the effort when I saw how much sugar was in that particular brand of pasta sauce.

The old fashioned calories in and calories out equation still works and if you have a look at what you are eating on a daily basis you may spot one or two items that would be better to the power of one... However, I don’t believe in counting every calorie for the food you are taking in… if you are eating natural and unprocessed foods from the shopping list that I posted the other day you are doing well.

Next time..Food is often used for comfort or to reward us for daily events and the manufacturers are pretty slick when it comes to appealing to our basic instincts!  If you are going to become healthy and reach a healthier weight you need to create a new reward system.

You can find all the other posts in the series on Weight Reduction in this directory.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/weight-reduction-programme-2017/

©sallycronin 2016

Please feel free to ask any questions in the comment section and if you would like a private word then please email me sally.cronin@moyhill.com.

 

Size Matters Serialisation – Chapter Seven- Part One – Calories in, Fat in, Exercise it out.


41mynoqwwnl-_uy250_3Chapter seven of Size Matters is quite long so have split into two with the second part on Wednesday.. Faced with losing 150lbs. I knew that I had to form a project plan and then stick to it. I had a great deal more questions than answers 20 years ago and over the years and with more and more nutritional research available it is much easier today to get it right.

  1. Creating Your Own Plan

So now it is your turn. Weigh yourself. I hate bathroom scales with a vengeance. They can sabotage a healthy eating programme as quick as anything. They are not always reliable, if old, the measurements are off and if you do not lose weight one week you can get demoralised and give up. I suggest that you find a chemist or other outlet that has accurate scales and visit every two weeks – same day and time if you can – on the way to work perhaps. I try to find one that does not shout the results across the shop floor! Some of these also have a blood pressure cuff so another measurement to check on a regular basis. Do still have your BP taken officially along with your LDL cholesterol levels and Blood Sugar with your doctor or the pharmacy after 6–8 weeks.

To be honest, I find using a different method to measure progress can be more motivating. One is to take a photograph, full length of you today and stick it somewhere you see it every day. In 6 weeks’ time having been following your new regimen of natural unprocessed foods and got into an increased activity programme, take another and compare them.

Another option is to find an item of clothing that is a size too small and every week on the same day, try it on. Keep going until you fit into it. A note here, unfortunately, we women lose weight from the top down usually. One of the reasons being is that we have different hips and thighs to men. We bear children and the fat in those regions would be used to nourish the baby when we are pregnant. So perhaps an idea would be to find a top of some kind or jacket to compare sizing for the first few weeks.

Determine your frame size and decide what weight you need to be by using the BMR calculator and the addition of normal activity and exercise per day. Remember: It is not healthy to lose masses of body weight too quickly. You can start to lose muscle instead of fat and that is not good in the long term. Having said that, if you are steadily increasing your activity level, you can sustain a healthy loss of 2–3 lbs. (1–1.5 kg) a week, because you are building muscle as you lose the fat.

Most one-dimensional diets work on the assumption that you walk three times a week for 20 minutes. This is hardly enough time to get out of breath! If you are walking for an hour every day, you will be achieving seven times that amount of exercise and will soon see the benefit in additional weight loss and toning. The weight loss will always be quicker at first, but, if you average it out over a 20–week period, it usually works out to 2.5 lbs. (1 kg) per week. You do not need to do the entire hour at once. Intensive and brisk walking for 20 minutes, three times a day can actually be more effective. Also, you are more likely to sustain the level of exercise in smaller segments. For me, I find that if I listen to rock music it keeps me at a good pace although does solicit some odd looks from passers-by.

As always, especially if you are very overweight, you should not launch into an aggressive exercise program without first talking to your medical adviser.

Without the use of technical equipment, and complex calculations, it is generally difficult to calculate an individual’s calorific usage during an hour of exercise. To keep it simple, I have listed only a few exercises and divided them into two main groups: Moderate and Heavy (see Chapter seventeen for the types of exercise and activity that will benefit you most).

Moderate exercise:

Walking, cycling and swimming. These use approximately 300 calories an hour. You should then add 10 calories for every 14 lbs. (6.5 kg) you are overweight.

Heavy exercise:

Aerobics, mountain biking, running, and football. These use approximately 500 calories an hour. Here you need to add 20 calories for every 14 lbs. (6.5 kg) you are overweight.

Basic Summary:

  • Weigh yourself.
  • Determine your frame size.
  • Decide on your ideal weight.
  • Calculate the weight loss required to achieve this weight.
  • Determine the amount of calories you need each day to provide basic nutrition – BMR – then add in basic daily activity and exercise.
  • Without going below your BMR – around the 1500 calories for a woman and 1800 for a man – design your healthy eating programme to provide a 500 to 750 calorie deficit per day to achieve 1–2 lbs. weight loss per week.

You will find more details on how to work out how much you should weigh in the previous chapter.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/08/31/size-matters-serialisation-chapter-six-the-project-plan/

This is not exercise.. except for the bull who was never the same again!

This is not exercise.. except for the bull who was never the same again!

It is worth noting that some weeks you may lose less than in others. As you increase your activity level, you will be toning up and this will create more muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat and so you may find that you have lost inches instead of pounds. However, in my experience, it usually seems to average out to about 2–2.5 lbs. (0.9–1.1 kg) per week. Think long term, and do not become too obsessed with the day-to-day loss of weight.

You will find a personal information sheet in the section on ‘Designing your own Program’ where you can record the information you have just calculated. However, before continuing, let’s get a few more questions out of the way.

How much fat should I eat each day?

At this point I think it is important to remember that our bodies have been evolving for a very long time – in a hundred thousand years our DNA will only have altered about ten times – I have said before that the body does not react to sudden changes very well! However, in the last 300 years and particularly the last 150 years since the industrial revolution we have thrown some curved balls at our bodies. Industrially produced foods with manufactured artificial ingredients is just one area where our nutritional needs are not being met – one of the others, which is the real demon in our diet, is refined sugars – addictive – available from birth to grave, within hand’s reach in shops, in our own fridges and store cupboards – and laboratory constructed fats to extend the sell-by-date on ready meals and other industrial foods in our daily diet. No wonder our bodies are in melt-down with increased health issues that lead to Heart disease, Cancers and Dementia. But back to fats …

We must not cut fats out of our diet – they have an essential role to play in our health and without fats and cholesterol our bodies will be open to infections, poor function in areas such as the brain, heart, reproductive system and our eyesight. I use the 80/20 rule with my diet because I have to be watch my weight – 20% of my diet comprises healthy fats – sometimes I will have more because I am out for a meal etc. but basically my everyday diet comprises mainly seasonal vegetables and fruit, whole grain rice, fish, chicken, red meat once a week, eggs, moderate dairy. No one person’s diet is the same and you have to find the perfect balance for you and this includes your fat intake – as long as it is not harmful fats.

Briefly, a quick look at the fats you are likely to encounter in your daily diet:

  • One fat to avoid all together is not naturally occurring at all and that is manufactured ‘Trans Fats” Liquid oil is hydrogenated to extend its shelf life but in the process Trans fatty acids are formed – found in most processed foods including margarines and snacks such as microwave popcorn etc.
  • The other fat type, which in large quantities is not helpful in maintaining cholesterol levels, is saturated fat – if there is too much in your diet it will raise your total Cholesterol as well as the unhealthy LDL. Mainly found in animal products but also some seafood. However, provided you are not eating the rich fat around a steak or roast every day, or eating a block of cheese three times a week, or a pound of butter on your spuds, you can enjoy what is very tasty component of your diet in moderation.
  • The fats classified as healthy fats are Monounsaturated fats – which lower total cholesterol and at the same time lower LDL and increase HDL – this is contained in nuts, like walnuts and olive oil.
  • Polyunsaturated fats also lower total cholesterol and LDL and these are found in salmon, soya, sunflower oils etc and have a very important component Omega-3 fatty acids. These can not only reduce your LDL and support HDL but are also very helpful in reducing blood pressure and the risk of developing blood clots. Even with people who have already suffered a heart attack including Omega-3 fatty acids in their diet reduces their risk of a fatal attack.
  • I love fish and living in Spain we are blessed with an abundance and variety so it is very easy to include oily fish at least three times a week. Some of the best for Omega-3 fatty acids are salmon, halibut, mackerel, sardines and Albacore Tuna.

Cholesterol is a natural occuring substance in the body which means that it needs to be there and is essential for health. One of the types of cholesterol has smaller particles and can become unhealthy when it is oxidised, usually because we have too much toxic sugars and industrially inserted additives in our diet.  For more information and how to reduce the LDL levels… here is the link

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/cholesterol-2015/

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At this point a word about cooking your healthy meals – Olive oil is great and recent research has indicated that you can use at a higher temperature to cook your steak or fish. For cooking you can use the unrefined olive oil which is cheaper, but if you are drizzling over vegetables and salad I recommend Extra Virgin Olive oil so that it has not been over processed – do not be tempted to use the light versions! Cook smart and steam bake your food – if you are eating steak put in the oven in a pan with a grid so that the excess fat drains off – if you fancy a little butter on your vegetables, why not – great taste.

A little more info on Olive Oil – great stuff – potent mix of anti-oxidants that can lower the LDL but leave the HDL untouched – obviously if you are overweight it does have a high fat and calorie count but much better to use the Extra Virgin version and get the health benefits than use the diet alternatives.

The greatest gift you can give your body and its cholesterol is to avoid eating manufactured store bought cakes, biscuits, crackers some cheap breads, pasta dishes etc. If you make your own from scratch using butter and eat occasionally you will get a better tasting and healthier alternative.

To summarise – do not take fats out of your diet – use fresh, natural ingredients in your cooking, use fats and oils in moderation, eat plenty of vegetables, seasonal fruits, whole grains, dairy and eggs.

To view the other six chapters please follow this link

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/size-matters-serialisation/

If you have any questions please feel free to email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com – very happy to help in any way that I can.

Please leave a comment or share.. best wishes Sally

©sallygeorginacronin Size Matters 2001 – 2015