Are you addicted to sugar?

We hear so much about sugar these days and how it is bad for us but giving it up or even reducing your sugar intake can be difficult and you can suffer withdrawal symptoms, but it is worth it if you want to be healthy and lose some weight.

It might not be easy!

But here are some tips on coping with sugar withdrawal.

When you first cut out sugar, you crave it, especially if sweet treats were part of your daily routine. You might initially feel tired, feel moody and have headaches but trust me these will pass.

Dealing with Sugar Withdrawal

Nicole Mowbray at The Daily Mail gave up sugar and talked a bit about the withdrawal period, including the technique that helped her most. We tend to view sweets as a reward, and shifting this way of thinking helped Mowbray a lot. She focused on weight loss, but you can also try thinking about the long-term health benefits of quitting refined sugar.

Headaches are a common sugar withdrawal symptom, and one that Mowbray experienced. If your headaches are severe, you can take an over the counter pain medication occasionally to get you through this initial tough part.

If giving up sugar is making you moody and irritable try going for a short walk;  do some cleaning;or a job you have been putting off. This can help, but also you will be doing something positive rather than reaching for the chocolate bar.

You might want to find some alternatives and substitute  a healthy snack and I have included a few suggestions at the end of this blog.

Dealing with Social Situations

When you’re quitting sugar, you start to realize how big a part it plays in social situations.

I think we have all had people saying to us things like ‘oh just have one it won’t hurt you’. If you can it is helpful to say something about the fact that you are trying to eat more healthily and cutting down on sugar but you can also use other tactics such as

I won’t thank you as I am full’ or

‘That’s very kind but I am eating later and don’t want to spoil my appetite

If you find you are given sweet things as a gift with words such as ‘I know you love cake/chocolate etc. so I bought you these’ there are a few lines you can use

That is really kind of you and I do like them and would love to share them with you/group of friends etc.

Or

‘That is really kind of you but I am eating a lot less cake/chocolate these days so will save them for later (this may make people think about alternatives)

If you can get into the habit of doing this and opting for fresh fruit or having a warm drink instead of the sweet treat you will soon find that the withdrawal symptoms will decrease but also more importantly you will be learning new habits.

 Some ideas for a healthier snack 

Packed of Melba Toasts and Triangle of Dairylea or Laughing Cow cheese triangles

A Natural Yoghurt 125 mls

2 Ryvita slices topped with smoked salmon or low fat Philadelphia cheese

1 crumpet topped with low fat cheese

Small handful of mixed nuts

Olives in brine (10)

Nicole Mowbury as featured in the Daily Mail on line

Binning the sweet stuff: Nicole has turned her life around

You can eat out and lose weight

One of the things that often takes people off track when they are trying to lose weight is eating out.

This is when you can be tempted to eat things you have perhaps been avoiding, or you can overdo it.

I am trying to shift a few pounds I gained over Christmas so when out shopping yesterday I wanted to have a sensible lunch.

I ended up in Zizzi’s Italian restaurant where it was great to see the healthy choice of a light Pizza.  All of these are under 550 calories so are fine to eat as part of a healthy diet.  They come with salad and are delicious I chose the

Skinny Pizza Pollo Roquito as shown here and it was really yummy !

There are usually things you can have when out so don’t let a trip to shops undo your healthy eating

Boots and M&S do good ranges of healthy snacks and I have been to other restaurants who offer lower calorie options.

If you go in with the mind set that you want to eat healthily you will avoid temptation and feel so much better than if you had gone off track.

My Weight Away Plans are full of helpful hints and tips if you want to know more.

Great low calorie meals for the Chinese New Year

As the last weekend in January  will be the Chinese New Year, many of us will want to celebrate it with having a Chinese Meal. But not over-indulge!

There is nothing to stop us doing this, if we know how to cook healthy meals, and this is the whole basis of my Weight Away Plans. I help people to control portions sizes and cook fresh food to enable them to eat well and with friends and family but still lose weight.

I have attached photos for the two meals below which are both healthy alternatives to rushing to the take away for a Chinese meal.  They are both very easy to cook and absolutely delicious.  If you want to know about eating well and healthily but still be able to lose weight then I would love you to hear from you and I am happy to send you the recipe for the soup but the Chicken Pad Thai one is below

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Thai Prawn soup for around 250 calories

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Chicken Pad Thai for around 375 Calories

CHICKEN PAD THAI

Serves 4                                                                 350 calories per serving

35 -40 minutes to prepare and cook

Ingredients

125g rice noodles

A spray of olive oil

2 garlic cloves crushed

2cm of fresh ginger

1 egg beaten

300g chicken breast

3 spring onions

½ tsp chilli flakes

125g fresh bean sprouts

2 carrots grated

3 tbsp of soy sauce

50g dry roasted peanuts

To Cook

Place the noodles in a large bowl and cover them with boiling water. Leave to stand for 4 minutes then drain rinse in cold water and set aside

Spray a wok or large pan with olive oil and heat. When hot add the garlic, chopped ginger and egg. Move it around to scramble the eggs when cooked set aside

Spray the wok again with olive oil and add the chicken which should be cut into strips.  Stir fry for about 8-10 minutes then add the finely chopped spring onions and chilli flakes.  Stir for another couple of minutes.

Add the noodles, the grated carrots and the beansprouts but keep a few to top the dish.  Cook for another few minutes then add the soy and all but 2 tablespoons of the peanuts.

Stir fry again and incorporate the egg and ginger.  Serve sprinkling the remaining  beansprouts and nuts on the top.

 

How many diets have you tried?

At this time of year there are so many ‘diets’s being promoted in the press; on the TV and across Social Media, it is no wonder that we can all be tempted by the ‘miracle cure’ that looks promising and we think we could do!

If something looks too good to to be true then there is a reason.

It is true to say that any ‘diet’ when you follow it to the letter, will result in you losing weight; the real test is whether you will be able to keep it off.

Many of these ‘diets’ mean you will be either replacing foods with shakes or bars or restricting certain foods such as carbs,  fats, or sugar.

The problem with this type of approach, is that it is really difficult to lead a normal life. In fact you can find yourself spending an enormous amount on food replacements or ready prepared meals and supplements.

Whilst this might be great if you have a small amount of weight to lose and don’t mind changing your lifestyle completely for a short time, it is not the recipe for sustained weight loss.

I know, I have followed in the past things like the Atkins Diet; the Cabbage Soup Diet; the Grapefruit Diet to name but a few.  I know now I could choose the Military Diet; the Peanut Butter Diet; the Oil Diet – just some I have seen in the last few weeks, but I know from experience the only way to lose weight successfully is to change your eating habits for life.

This does not mean anything other than eating a well balanced healthy diet that avoids processed food but enables you to have things you love in sensible portion sizes.

So if you would prefer to eat meals like this

Lamb with White Wine

Great Tasty Food for under 500 calories

rather than meals like this

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then I would love to help you

Christmas is coming

Yes Christmas is coming and I wondered if you are thinking that you wish you had lost weight this year.  Perhaps promising yourself that in the New Year you really will go on the diet to shift your weight for good.

I know I have been there in previous years regretting that I was still overweight and couldn’t get into clothes I wanted to for the Xmas Party.

Well if this you and you want to make 2017 the year that you beat a weight issue then I would love to speak to you.

I am only writing a short blog this week as I have been away for a few days enjoying a city break.  It was good that I did a lot of walking both sightseeing and shopping in the fabulous city of Oxford as well as attending an Alabama 3 gig which involved a lot of dancing.  Hopefully that will have counteracted the alcohol!

Life doesn’t have to be dull when you are losing weight or keeping it off, everything is just a balance.

Image result for oxford

Do you exercise to lose weight?

Some people think that exercising is the answer to weight loss.  It can certainly help but on its own it is not likely to help you lose as much weight as you think.

Looking at some typical exercises did you know that

30 minutes of swimming averages  200 calories

30 minutes of fast walking averages  100 calories

30 minutes of running averages  300 calories

All this depends on your weight and the speed you do, but if you think of the typical calories in some of the snacks you might be having it becomes a very sobering thought. for example

Walkers Ready Salted Crisps are 171 calories

A Mars Bar 260 calories

A Signature Tall Hot Chocolate from Starbucks 393 calories

That doesn’t mean that exercise is a waste of time as it helps to keep you fit, stimulates your metabolism and of course tones you up.  But you can easily undo all the good if you tuck into sugary snacks, drinks and crisps.

Personally I aim to walk at least 10,000 steps a day and add whatever else I can fit in such as swimming and a session at gym at least 3 times a week  (not done so well with the swimming and gym recently because of my broken wrist but aiming to get back to it in the New Year now I am on the mend)

If you want to know more about eating healthily and exercising to lose weight I would love to hear from you.

at the gym        Image result for mars bar  Image result for walkers crispsImage result for starbucks signature hot chocolate

How drinking can sabotage your weight

If you like to have a drink of alcohol this is just fine as long as you don’t overdo it but I know it is so easy to be drinking lots of calories without even realising it.

Having a few tricks up your sleeve to help you can be useful and some of them are really obvious

  • have slimline mixers with gin or vodka
  • have soda with white wine to make it go further
  • try a 5:2 approach, 5 days alcohol free 2 days when you have a drink
  • Volunteer to drive friends and family to restaurants/pubs so you can say no
  • don’t drink on an empty stomach
  • avoid salty snacks such as nuts or you will want more to drink

But don’t feel you need to cut out alcohol altogether and when you have a drink enjoy it.  I had 2 delicious glasses of Blackberry and Elderflower Pimms with Schweppes Slimline Lemonade while watching Andy Murray win Wimbledon last week and drank it guilt free!

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with the fresh blackberries!

If you want to know more just contact me at enquires@weight-away.org