Category: Weight Loss Tips

The WW Flex Effect – 3 reasons why I love it

Weight Watchers have announced some changes to their plan and if you’re already a member like me, you don’t have to look far to find a mixed bag of reactions to the announcement. I’m for one am over the moon to learn about the Weight Watchers Flex programme and here are 3 reasons why I already love the improved Weight Watchers plan and the flex effect!

1. More food, less guilt, healthier choices
The beauty of Weight Watchers is that you can eat anything you like, but with the expertise of Weight Watchers there is a wealth of material at your fingertips to help guide on what foods are best for healthy living and weight loss. The recent changes to the plan include a wider range of foods, mostly protein, that you no longer need to be count as part of your daily allowance. I love this because once again it will steer me towards foods that are healthy, will fill me up properly and (I hope) will stop me from overindulging on chocolate when I’m in one of those moods…

An example;
If I have 2 SmartPoints remaining at the end of the day and I’m hungry, I more often than not opt for a low calorie chocolate bar. I know this won’t fill me up but i’m a sugar addict (i’m working on that) and I think it will at least take the edge off my hunger and give me my sweet fix. Only problem is that one bar often leads to more (if I’m having an off day) and then I get myself in a vicious cycle, as I’m annoyed with myself for having eaten multiple chocolate bars then i’m like “well I’ve done it now so i’ll keep going”! However with more zero foods on the list, and foods that I tend to have around or i’m intrigued to try, I can now fill myself up on good things and i’m hoping this will help me to still enjoy a sweet treat but not go crazy on them as i’ll genuinely be full. I hope that makes some kind of sense!

2. Increase fuel for exercising
As my fitness improves and I’m exercising more, I’ve struggled to satisfy my post-workout hunger. I’ve read a lot about eating protein after working out (and in general) but I couldn’t quite get my numbers right when it came fitting in the extra protein into my Weight Watchers SmartPoints allowance; not that it couldn’t be done, I just needed the professionals (aka Weight Watchers) to spell it out for me!

3. Change can be good to get past a plateau
Completely my own doing, but I have been losing and gaining the same few pounds for last few months. I’m so excited to see if the Weight Watchers Flexible programme will help me get past those same pesky pounds and into the next stone down.

I’ll keep you posted!

Why you’ve not seen how much I’ve lost lately

I’ve been a little quiet lately when it comes to sharing my weight loss stats and that’s because i’ve been slowly gaining weight (well losing and then gaining what I lost) – since I got to my weight loss goal in March. Whilst I feel slimmer in some ways and definitely fitter, that pesky number on the scales has been rising and we all know I’m a little bit obsessed with the scales. So, here’s what i’m struggling with and how I hope to turn it around. Plus, should I hide my scales?

My trouble zones

Evening snacking: When it’s dark and my daughter is in bed I seem to snack like there’s no tomorrow. It feels like it’s a bit of me time and for whatever reason, my hands and mouth seem to constantly want food in them! But, i’ve got a couple of strategies…

I used to snack on frozen grapes. Because they’re frozen they take longer to eat and being grapes you get that satisfaction of going back for more. Does that make any sense? I kind of got out of the habit of eating them, especially when it’s a little colder, but i’m bringing grapes back! Also, when colouring with my daughter the other day I found it surprising therapeutic and kept my snacking hands busy, so I may actually get some of those adult colouring books and pencils which I used to think were a bit gimmicky – you win, i’m buying you!

Events: I’m guilty of admitting defeat before an event has begun. “Oh I’ve got a party and I know i’m going to be terrible so i’m going to be a massive piggy”. Instead of creating a game plan and making healthy choices during said event, I don’t track (and I usually track everything I eat and drink) and get carried away with the old prosecco, which eventually leads to drunken munchies. My strategy for this one is…

I must plan ahead and track what I’m eating and drinking during the moment. So that I feel better about those occasions where I will eat and drink more (but could do it more sensibly), I could go for a buggy run before the event to hopefully balance out any extra indulgences.

Tiredness:
Like many people, I tend to eat more when I’m tired, I just need to go to bed earlier!

To weigh or not to weigh: that is the question
While all of this has been going on, I’ve had more compliments lately on looking slimmer (people probably just being nice, but I’m taken those compliments vey seriously haha) and my stomach does feel flatter. Being able to complete a 10k run in a decent time I hope is evidence too that my fitness levels are ok, so why do I care about the number on the scales? I don’t know. It’s been my marker of good health for so long, I guess it’s tricky to abandon them.

Sometimes I think ‘should I just hide the scales’, as they can really get me down if I put on weight on when I feel like I should of lost a few pounds. Plus, I do love my Weight Watchers group, so perhaps I should bin my home scales so that I only weigh once a week at my meeting (as opposed to several times a week). That said I’d really like some Fitbit scales for Christmas!

My plan of attack
So that’s where i’m struggling and this is my successful weight loss plan in a nutshell…

  • Eat frozen grapes during evening snack attack
  • Get my adult colouring on to distract my hands during evening snack attack
  • Plan and track what I’m eating during special occasions to prevent massive binge on booze or food
  • Go for a buggy run the day before or morning of a special event as a damage limitation strategy
  • Go to bed earlier when possible
  • Weigh only once a week at my Weight Watchers meeting
  • Start taking my measurements to see if I am losing inches
  • Ask for some Fitbit scales for Christmas

Thanks for reading this brain dump, I really appreciate it.
Chloe x

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!

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