Category: Weight Loss Tips

5 reasons to feel motivated this Monday

Hello Monday! It’s October and as the days feel colder and the nights draw in closer, i’m determined to keep motivated with my healthy eating and exercise, so that I can feel my best in time for Christmas. After a pep talk with myself, I’ve come up with a few reasons to feel motivated this Monday and I would like to share them with you.

1. Christmas is just 10 weeks away. If you were to lose a healthy 2lbs a week, that could mean a weight loss of 20lbs (that’s over 1 stone) in time for Christmas!

2. Beyonce wasn’t built in a day 😉

3. I’ve loved running with my buggy and I don’t want the colder days to stop us from enjoying a good jog outside. So, i’ve dug out extra warm layers for us both, our running buggy rain cover (just in case we get caught out), and our gloves… winter fit kit complete!

4. I’ve already spotted a load of cool Christmas jumpers I’d like to stock up on, but this year I’d love to purchase one and not feel like the incredible hulk when I wear it – anyone know what I mean by this?

5, I’m guilty of overthinking this whole weight loss thing, I often have to remind myself to simply “trust the process and the results will follow”.

About the photo
This picture makes me laugh so much! I was maybe a bit dramatic crossing the finishing line of the 10k run I completed a few weeks back, but it really did mean the world to me. If you missed my post about it, here’s a little link to how I trained with my running buggy and run 10k.

The 80/20 weight loss method

In recent years I’ve heard the phrase ’80/20’ when it comes to healthy eating habits and weight loss. It’s all about being healthy for 80% of the time and I guess letting yourself off for the other 20%. I’ve struggled to come to terms with it, as surely any amount of time being unhealthy will just sabotage your weight loss efforts, won’t it? Here’s what happened when I followed the 80/20 approach to weight loss.

My weight loss following the 80/20 method
The week before last I vowed to embrace the 80/20 method and let myself indulge a little more at the weekend, but I was to eat well during the week and keep up my exercise. As usual, I got a little carried away once my ‘indulging’ time approached. I felt angry at myself for a moment and thought “why would I ‘waste’ being ‘good’ Monday to Friday, to simply gorge for a few days”. I was certain I’d hate the scales come my next weigh-in but I actually lost 1.5lbs.

Looking back on this week as a whole, my ‘bad’ days were really not that bad and I should probably spend more time reflecting on the bigger picture, to stop myself spiralling out of control*; which is what I feel like most of the time when I eat a little more than what I perceive to be a healthy amount for me (or if I have a treat food).

Less guilt, more food
One pleasant side effect of the 80/20 rule for me was the lack of guilt I felt when I did enjoy some more treats or have bigger serving size than usual. Allowing myself to be ‘off plan’ for 20% of the week felt quite liberating. Without the 80/20 mantra circling my mind, I would of beaten myself up about those extra treats until my next weigh-in. Life is too short to not enjoy the foods you love (ha, is that the piggy in me talking?) or to overly stress about it – strive for good health, everything in moderation and surely the rest will follow.

Skinny people eat chocolate, too
It has also occurred to me that there are plenty of slim people out there who drink wine and eat chocolate. This has been quite a revelation for me! It means one day I too could be slim and still enjoy that stuff, without putting on 7lbs every time someone invites me out to dinner, or if I fancy some Nutella (that stuff is so good!).

So here’s to the 80/20 rule and to being kinder on ourselves as we aim to lose weight and feel good about ourselves. It is ok to have a treat and to not stress about ‘unplanned’ treats either. There’s plenty of time to rectify any situation.

Chloe x

*Another confession
I started this post last week and as I finish it off to publish I’m very aware that I wasn’t able to go to my Weight Watchers meeting this week, and I’m pretty certain I’ve abused the whole 80/20 thing! Spiralling out of control food wise is exactly how I feel at this very moment (alongside being bloated); but this post has been good for me to re-read and I’ll approach being kinder to myself once more and get back on track. 

4 simple weight loss tips to keep your diet on track

Despite feeling really motivated last week, I managed to put on 1lb. However, I’m feeling strangely positive about it. That gain was a reminder that losing or maintaining weight does take a little effort and when I think about last week, I was pretty slack in everything I now know helps me to lose weight; and those things are…

1. Recording what I eat before I munch
Seeing what I’m about to eat written down in some shape or form makes it real and helps me to determine if its worth consuming. That may sound odd, but sometimes when i’m about to track ‘another bar of chocolate’, it makes me stop and reach for something healthier… or just stop. It’s also surprising how much I forget if I just track in my head.

2. Keeping an eye on my portion sizes
I can eat a lot, be it healthy or unhealthy stuff, so for me weighing out certain foods like pasta or having a sensible amount of bread is pretty key. I also find it helpful to look on the packets of foods to see what they recommend as a single portion.

3. Chocolate in moderation
I love chocolate and can eat far too much of it in one sitting. I’ll never want to cut it out completely, and I don’t think you need to for good health or weight loss, but I can certainly go over board with it.

4. Walking
Walking is such a great way to keep active but I definitely haven’t been reaching my step count, so I’ll make a bigger effort this week to chase my daughter around (she’s definitely been exceeding her step count) and keep my ass moving.

Once again, I’ve shared some ground-breaking tips that you’ve probably never heard before.

6 super easy buggy running tips for complete beginners

I’m very new to buggy running and so far it’s been such a wonderful experience. I love the freedom of it and with the weather getting a little brighter, it feels great to be outdoors again. Although I’m a complete novice to this world of running with your baby, I’d like to share what I’ve found useful in getting started.

1. Run when you’re little one is tired
I refer to my daughter as a baby, but she’s a proper toddler who loves to run as well. I’ve been a little afraid that she won’t want to stay in the buggy for long while I run, so I’ve been going out for a jog after she’s had an hour or so of her own exercise and a little tired. That said, I am going to experiment with going for a run when she’s full of energy – I’ll let you know how I get on.

2. Go for a test run
I would recommend going for a short test run when you’re getting started and maybe incorporating your outing with a visit to a park or something – just in case it doesn’t quite go to plan. I say that because running with a buggy does feel different to when you run on your own. You’ll want to get used to the extra workout for your arms, feel comfortable with your running buggy and make note of anything you could do on the next run to make your experience that much better.

My little headphone helper!

For example, I went for a jog without music or headphones. I wanted to be fully alert and able to hear my daughter, but you can do that and still have a bit of music! On this particular occasion my daughter fell asleep and I was on a very long, straight road which was pedestrianised. It was so boring!

3. Pack baby bribes
Yes, I bribe my child quite frequently and for an easy run I have no shame in suggesting you do the same. My bribe kit includes snacks, toys and a new water bottle my daughter has never seen before. (She has a thing for bottles that aren’t hers.) I haven’t needed to dip into the kit too much yet, but she did get a little hangry on one of my runs, so I’m glad I had a Soreen bar to hand. (She really does love them.)

4. Pack extra layers
Although the weather has been a little warmer, running with your little one obviously creates a bit of a breeze for them (although not that much for mine as I’m slow), so layer them up as you would usually and maybe take an extra blanket and rain cover if the weather turns while you’re out and about. You may want to pack something for yourself too, just in case your baby or toddler doesn’t cooperate with your training schedule, and you need to make a stop.

5. Have a play with your buggy before venturing out
After setting off on my first fun, I realised the straps for my daughter were a little loose, so I ended up stopping to re-adjust them. This isn’t a big deal, but it put a stop to my awesome flow. I’d recommend letting your little play/sit in the buggy before you go on a run, and for you to test out straps, push the buggy about, practice braking and all that stuff.

6. Have fun!

Like to read more? Take a peak at my Phil & Teds Sport buggy review.

15 weight loss mantras to boost your motivation

The last few weeks have proved a little challenging for me when it comes to eating well and exercising regularly  – if you follow me on Instagram you’ll have a good idea of what’s been going on! In an attempt to get back my mojo back, I’ve been seeking out a few weight loss mantras, and trying to remember sayings people have shared with me over the years to help me keep going. So, here are 15 healthy weight loss mantras that have stuck in my head.

Unfortunately I don’t know where I picked a lot of these up from, but I definitely can’t take credit for them! If you know you said these, or if it was you, use the comment box below to let me know! Either way, thank you to whoever came up with these and for inspiring others. If you have any mantras or positive words of wisdom not listed below, I’d love to hear those too.

  1. Summer bodies are made in Winter
  2. Strive for progress, not perfection
  3. Delicious can mean nutritious
  4. Trust the process and the results will follow*
  5. A treat doesn’t have to be something that you eat
  6. Motivation gets you started, habits keep you going
  7. I’m not losing weight, I’m getting rid of it
  8. It’s ok to feel frustrated, it’s not ok to quit
  9. Three months from now you will thank yourself
  10. Now matter how slow you’re going, you’re overlapping everyone on the couch
  11. Mind over matter
  12. If you start now, you’ll start seeing results one day earlier
  13. Blips happen, it’s how we recover from them that makes the difference
  14. You’re only human
  15. If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you

*I’m pretty certain echo supplements shared this one with me after reading ‘Will it make the boat go faster’.

7 weight loss tips for new mums

As much as these tips can help anyone wanting to lose weight healthily, I do think they are especially helpful for new mums, as it can be really challenging trying to balance your new-found duties as a mum, while wanting to put your weight loss high on the agenda. Below are 7 tips for new mums who would like to lose some post-baby weight and a little bit about why I’m keen to share my experience and tips.

1. Make your health a priority, too
I say this because I felt terribly guilty about wanting to find time to exercise or plan my meals in advance. A part of me kept thinking it could be time better spent – washing bottles, entertaining my little one or Googling whether a baby could die from hiccups (yeah, I really freaked out when my daughter first had hiccups. I chilled out when a midwife asked me “what would you do if you had hiccups?” my reply was “nothing”… and there was my answer!). If you have put on weight during pregnancy, it’s normal to want to lose that – especially if you feel unfit from it (as I did) or down about it (as I did). Plus, if you’re feeling your very best, that can only be a good thing for those around you surely?

2. Attend mum and baby fitness classes
These classes are great for entertaining your baby and it means you can exercise without having to find someone to look after your child. You’ll also meet other like-minded mums.

3. Go for a walk
Most babies love a little stroll in the buggy and I always found my daughter would drift off to sleep on walk too; plus its great exercise for you and a gentle way to improve your fitness.

4. Buy healthy ready meals
Make it all a little easier for yourself and have some healthy ready meals around for occasions when you might not have the time or energy to cook.

5. Take note of recommended serving sizes on packets
Checking to see the recommended serving size on various foods was a real eye-opener for me. You don’t need to follow the suggestions exactly, but it’s a handy guide if you think that your portions sizes may be a little on the large size.

6. Snack on fruit and veg
It’s good for you and isn’t time consuming to prepare.

7. Sleep when you can
Sleep is just as vital to healthy living as eating well and exercise. If you’ve planned to go for a walk or exercise when your baby is sleeping, but you’ve had a particularly bad night/night’s sleep – just have a kip too.

Why I’m sharing weight loss tips for new mums
During the first 20 weeks of my pregnancy, I really suffered with ‘morning’ sickness (I’m still angry it’s called that, when mine would literally last all day). For a while I thought I might surprise everyone, and myself, by not gaining too much weight when pregnant. “Maybe, I’ll actually lose weight”, I remember thinking one day… well, the fact that I have this blog reveals what happened next.

I ended up putting on 5 stone (and it was probably a little more than this, as I stopped weighing myself once I found out I was pregnant and only weighed myself a month after having my daughter). My little girl weighed around 7.5lbs – there was really no need to eat the way I did in the end! I was both amazed and disgusted at how much I had gained.

At the time I wasn’t too fazed (marvellously) by how much weight I wanted to lose. I had hoped a lot of it was water retention – pah, as if! What am I, a camel? And because I had lost almost 50lbs in time for my wedding in 2013, I thought I’d be able to lose it with ease. I lost two stone relatively quickly but then I stayed the same weight for over 9 months. It was really frustrating and a lot of it came down to not being able to get my head around my new life as a mum and how it could fit in with eating better and exercising regularly – to put it simply, I was just so tired!
At that time I did a few online searches for new mum weight loss tips and didn’t really find any guidance on how to put healthy eating and exercise into practice; and so that is why I’d like to share my experience and tips with anyone interested.

Celeb personal trainer shares his 6 top tips for year-round fitness

I’ve not had many guest posts on my blog, so I’m delighted to share with you some top fitness tips from K West Hotel & Spa’s Personal Trainer, Clifton – who has trained the likes of Calum Best, Made in Chelsea’s Proudlock, and England and Southampton footballer Ryan Bertrand. Over to you Clifton…

K Fit Personal Trainer Clifton Goldson

1. Don’t be Afraid of the Weights
What’s the secret to achieving the highly-desired dancer physique? Step off the cross trainer and pick up a pair of kettle bells. Whilst cardio develops overall fitness levels and stamina, using weights in compound exercises – such as squats and burpees – is the k
ey to building long, lean muscle mass. Clifton advises high repetitions of back-to-back exercises using a low weight, followed by 30/60- second rest.

2. A Balanced Diet
80% of how we look is related to diet, so despite endless hours in the gym, you really are what you eat. Try to avoid fad diets and instead opt for a portion-controlled, balanced diet.

3. R & R: Rest and Rehabilitation
On a mission to get fit, overtraining may seem like a good idea, whether it’s a 2/3-hour session or two workouts a day. However, resting your body is just as important as exercising, as without rest progression can plateau. Schedule two rest days each week, and a full week out every three months. Getting a full 8-hour sleep each night will also ensure maximum results.

4. Hydration
Too much of a good thing can be bad. The optimum amount of water needed to keep you fully hydrated is two litres, as much more than this can dilute sodium levels in the blood. Similarly, coffee has great health benefits as it helps speed up the metabolism and aids in fat-burning, but should be enjoyed only once a day.

5. Defining Targets and Measuring Results
Do you want to feel fitter? Or look great on the beach? Whatever your aim, it’s vital to set targets to stay motivated and to measure your progress. Steer clear of regularly using the weighing scales and instead quantify your progress using a measuring tape or before/after photos.

6. Enjoy the Process
Fitness is a 50% physical, 50% mental challenge, so it’s important to enjoy what you do. Wear comfortable gymwear as you’re more likely to exercise for longer, and don’t forget your headphones if music is your big motivator. Clifton advises to always finish your training with one exercise that you really love, as you will leave the gym feeling great on a post-workout high.

 

About K West Hotel & Spa
Awarded ‘Best Spa in London’ at the Good Spa Guide Awards 2015, K West’s holistic spa offers a range of exclusive treatments. K Spa introduced the first ‘Snow Paradise’ to London, and features a twinkling Hydrotherapy pool, Sanarium, sauna, dry flotation tank, aromatic herbal steam room and the fully equipped K Fit gymnasium.

K West Hotel & Spa, Richmond Way, London W14 0AX
For reservations,call: 020 8008 6600 or visit www.k-west.co.uk

My top 11 weight loss tips

There are a lot of weight loss tips out there and so I thought I’d revisit and share a few that have really helped me over the last year.

1. Plan your meals in advance
If I don’t do this, I’m prone to overeating or letting my sweet tooth decide what’s on the menu (during my Uni days I did have Nutella for lunch on several occasions – just Nutella and a lot of it). Plus, if you have an event coming up – I find this encourages you to really think about the healthy choices you could make.

2. Treat yourself
As much as there are certain foods that should be eaten in moderation, I find banning them completely from my menu are disastrous, and so I will still enjoy a small bar of chocolate, or hot chocolate most days.

3. Record what you’re going to eat before you’ve munched it
On several occasions I have eaten something I thought was healthy (or reasonable in terms of its Weight Watchers Smartpoints values), but only realised I was wrong once it was in my stomach and while I was in the middle of using my Weight Watchers app to record it. I’m embarrassed to say there have also been times when I’ve forgotten whole meals I’ve had… no wonder I put on weight if I can’t remember what I’ve actually eaten!

4. Weigh yourself just once a week
Your weight can really fluctuate throughout the week and if you’re constantly jumping on the scales it can really knock your confidence if it goes up a little mid-week. Pick the same day and time each week to weigh in or skip the scales once in a while and measure yourself. You’ll be surprised at how your body shrinks when the scales might not be showing a change.

5. Book into an exercise class or schedule a workout with friends
This makes you more accountable for your fitness regime and less likely to quit or cancel.

6. Batch cook when you can
If you’re in the kitchen already, make the most of it and make double portions; but put the extra in box to freeze straight away so you don’t pick at it. Now my daughter is a little older I find this helpful as it means I have quick meals for her too. It’s also great on days when you just can’t be bothered or something pops up and you run out of time to cook anything healthy.

7. Have a few healthy ready meals to hand
Again, this is great for when you’ve lost energy to prepare anything decent or your day hasn’t quite gone to plan. All supermarkets tend to sell some kind of healthy option and you may have guessed that I’m a fan of Weight Watchers ready meals.

8. Try a new recipe each week
Keep the spark for healthy food alive! I love a cookbook for inspiration but you can find loads of healthy recipes online – especially on Instagram (I also post a few of my favs on here too.)

9. Plan a tasty and substantial dinner with a little treat
I’m less likely to pick on naughty things during that mid-afternoon slump when I know I have something delicious to look forward to that night.

10. Surround yourself with snacking fruit and veg
I like to snack and so having this stuff around can’t be bad eh?

11. Stock up on frozen fruit and veg, too
They’re so handy to use in smoothies, overnight oats or to cook with. Plus, you can get loads of varieties already chopped or diced for you… Simples!

P.S I hope you find these tips helpful. I’ve compiled them while “i’m in the zone”. If I post about going off track any time soon, please can you resend me the link to this page!

Great weightspectations

With the big day just around the corner I’ve been having a rethink about my weight loss goals. All year I’ve wanted to be at my ‘goal weight’ for Christmas, but I forgot what December can be like when it comes to festive occasions dominated by copious amounts of food and drink. So should I keep aiming to reach my target by Christmas or cut myself some slack and postpone my ‘goal weight’ dreams until the New Year?

Option 1 – Lose weight and get to goal by Christmas

The positive side of me says forget about all the hoo-ha of Christmas piss ups and foodie feasts – enjoy the lot but keep aiming to lose what I can by Christmas – especially as I’m so close to my goal. However, I’m nervous that putting pressure on myself to reach my goal over such a busy foodie time of year will only leave me feeling disappointed if I don’t achieve it. Plus, when I set this goal originally it was on the basis of losing 1-2lbs a week. With a few unplanned blips, I would actually need to lose over 2lbs a week to reach my goal in time for Christmas. So, as much as I would love to reach my goal by December 25th, I feel as though I’m setting myself up to fail. Or am I being pessimistic?

Option 2 – Maintain my current weight until the New Year

I feel like maintaining my current weight is more of a realistic goal for this time of year. I would still aim to lose a few pounds, but having a ‘maintenance’ goal as my aim feels a lot more achievable and something that I would feel happy about once Christmas has passed. I could enjoy all the events I’ve got coming up but I’d try to not go overboard with food and drink like I have done in previous years.

Option 3 – Gain weight

I definitely don’t want to do this. I’ve been known to put on 7lbs+ just over Christmas week! So, I will continue to exercise, plan what I eat, fill up on healthy stuff and attempt to have treats in moderation… until Christmas Day itself that is!

P.S
The mince pies in the photo have been in my house for 3 days now, and I’ve not eaten them – winning!

31 Christmas weight loss tips

Losing weight over Christmas can be really tricky, and while Christmas shouldn’t be just about food and drink – it does seem to dominate December. With that in mind, here’s a little round up of healthy Christmas weight loss tips I’ve picked up, read or heard over the years and I hope these can help you (and me) stay on track over the festive season.

  1. Christmas is just one day, don’t eat mince pies for the whole of December!
  2. If you’re hosting Christmas parties, stock up as near to your event as possible, rather than bulk ordering weeks in advance. This will hopefully prevent pre-event eating and having to re-stock. Unless you have a second freezer that you can stay well away from!
  3. Plan your meals and activity in advance – there are a lot of days over the festive period you can still be healthy on.
  4. Practice safe/non-binge drinking. Alternative between alcoholic and soft drinks if you can on a night out and batch cook some healthy meals for the days/hungover that follow.
  5. Often find yourself right next to the buffet? Move away after you’ve enjoyed your food and get involved with some festive games or dancing!
  6. Keep your weight loss goals close to mind – write them down and carry them around as a little reminder when you feel like you may be over indulging. 
  7. Eat your greens and lean meat – roast dinner can be pretty healthy if you allow it to be.
  8. Experiment with new Christmassy recipes to impress friends and family. 
  9. Plan a few active days over the holidays instead of planting yourself in a pub for hours on end – visit Christmas markets and enjoy some Winter walks.
  10. Feel Christmassy with some lighter treats – mini mini pies, low calorie hot chocolate, roasted chestnuts… 
  11. Sign up to a charity run or event to keep yourself motivated during winter.
  12. And with that in mind, why not embrace some Winter sports – try indoor skiing, head to a dry slope or go sledging!
  13. Find yourself constantly grazing? Chew gum! 
  14. Are you a prosecco fiend? Stock up on low calorie options. Or perhaps a skinny lager is more your thing?
  15. Bake your own, healthy mince pies! Here’s a healthy mince pie recipe to whet your appetite!
  16. Love a Baileys? Buy the super tiny, bottles so you can enjoy the taste without the abundance of calories (or SmartPoints).
  17. Replace festive snacking to an indulgence of another kind – enjoy Christmas themed scented candles, bubble bath and take a good soak!
  18. Fancy a Christmas movie? Thankfully popcorn is quite fashionable these days and there are loads of options on the market to choose from – buy multi-packs of the skinny variety to stay in control of how much you munch during your favourite Santa flick.
  19. Out and about and fancy a hot chocolate? Why not! Ask for a skinny hot chocolate or feel just as Christmassy with a Chai tea instead.
  20. Paint your nails… that may keep you off the mince pies for a little bit! (Can you tell I’m craving a mince pie?)
  21. Make more time for your spuds over Christmas, and put them in the oven for longer to roast, rather than depending on lots of cooking oil or goose fat to crisp them up.
  22. Transform you everyday porridge, deserts or hot drinks into something festive with a sprinkle of cinnamon – plus, this little spice is really good for you.
  23. Read my blog for inspiration or to at least feel you are not alone if you’re plans, don’t go to plan!
  24. To help balance out any extra food or drink you might have, squeeze in a little more activity before or after any festive occasions you have booked.
  25. Create your own healthy hamper to have around the house for when you fancy a snack. I’m a big fan of Bounce Balls, Naked bars, and protein shakes.
  26. Buy yourself an early Christmas present – some new workout clothes, walking gear, or a pedometer so that you feel more motivated to keep moving while its cold outside.
  27. Download a food diary app and track what you eat before munching, you can then make an informed decision as to whether its worth the calories or SmartPoints (if you follow Weight Watchers like I do).
  28. Serve up some warming one pot meals. They can be super healthy and packed with loads of veggies.
  29. Decide if you’re happy to lose weight, maintain weight or gain a little weight over Christmas – this may help you navigate certain situations with more control.
  30. If you have a foodie event coming up it can sometimes be tempting to skip meals beforehand – unfortunately that can lead binge eating and reaching for high sugary and fat options. Eat as you would usually and enjoy a little indulgence if that happens. It’s Christmas after all!
  31. Most importantly, relax! Whatever happens, enjoy your Christmas and if you’re weight goes in a direction you’re not too happy with, then there’s always January to get back on track!

I hope you found some of these tips useful and please share any advice you may have in the comments box below.

Happy holidays! xx

Photo: This is a pic from an Ocado magazine I received – it contains mouth-watering pages.

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