- 1 SELF LOVE-Firstly do you love yourself? If you dont then you will never make long term sustainable changes. See a psychotherapist first for therapy. Once self love happens you will find it much easier to loose weight and exercise…because
- A) You’ll want to take responsibility for yourself and your future health.
- B) You’ll want to make that decision to live healthily.
- C) You’ll want to enjoy life to its fullest with an energetic body and mind.
- D) Maybe you have children and maybe you are thinking that you need to have more energy to play with them and to be in good health when they get older, that you are around to meet your grandchildren etc.
- 2 BUDDY UP-Losing weight is not easy. This is why so few people can do it. None of these juice cleanses, restrictive or low calorie diets work in the long term. For long term weight loss and sustaining your ideal goal weight you need to be committed to make changes in what you eat, how much and how you are eating by making small changes into daily habits. It does take a lot of work and you have to take responsibility for your dietary decisions. It is worthwhile helping each other. Buddy up with friends and encouraging each other to adopt healthier eating habits. Get ideas from friends. Maybe meet for a walk every Monday night. Everyone eats slightly differently and we can learn so much when we pull our resources together. Exchange information.
- 3 SET ALARMs-What I have found and what works best for me and for my clients is making one small dietary change a week, one habit at a time. By setting an alarm for each new habit for 30 days. When the alarm goes off every morning for a certain number of weeks then you will start to remember to do the change. It will start to become a habit and then you can add another habit into your day. It really takes 90 days for a new habit to become ingrained in you. So keep setting the alarm if you are not remembering after 30 days. I can make recommendations to make one small new habit every two weeks for 52 weeks of the year. Imagine at the end of the year if you were successful in making 26 new dietary changes? Imagine how you would feel with that many improvements in your daily diet?. So little and often is my best advice and what works for most people. In truth it took me 10 years of small changes to get the diet I have today with 10-15 fruit and vegs a day. It takes time. Have patience with yourself. We all fall off the wagon but getting up and restarting will get your there long term. Usually those really expensive eating plans that circulate in January that advise eating nothing but veg for the whole month of January are hard to stick to. We fall off the wagon in February and everything goes back to the way it was and the weight doesn’t come off! So instead do “small steady changes throughout the year”. This really is the only thing that works for long term gains.
- 4-DRINK WATER is really really important but you might not remember to drink water so my advice is to set an alarm in your phone for 30 days. First thing in the morning fill yourself a large steel drinks bottle with cold water and add a squeeze of lemon and a squeeze of lime just to make it more flavoursome and bring this with you and drink it throughout the day. Or add hot water to cold water in winter, it makes it alot easier to drink! Drink at least a 200 ml glass of water before your meals. This boosts metabolism and makes you feel fuller and that will result in that you will eat fewer calories with your meal.
- 5 DONT DRINK SWEET DRINKS-Cut out sweet drinks, concentrated juices, shop bought smoothies, fizzy drinks, sugar with tea. You would be amazed just how many calories are in these drinks. Opt for “not from concentrate juices” and just add a small amount to water. Dont drink a full glass of juice! Get into the habit of drinking green, peppermint or berry tea during the day. Pick a time of day where you have a tea break this might be 2:00 o’clock. Set your alarm for 2:00 PM for green tea. Again once the alarm goes off for 30 days you will start to remember to drink your green tea at 2:00 PM or 11:00 AM or 6:00 PM or whenever it suits you in your day! Green tea is fully full of polyphenols it is really good for your gut health. It is a prebiotic food for your good gut bacteria to thrive in. Green tea is also full of antioxidants. You can buy a good quality peppermint tea in aldi. Berry tea is also useful to add to your day. Try to limit tea and coffee for health to two mugs per day.
- 6 EAT MORE VEG and PROTEIN. Aim for 10 to get 7 portions per day. Eat the Rainbow of coloured fruit and veg. You don’t have to prepare complex meals to be eating healthily. You just have to think of fresh fruit and vegetables, some good fats and protein. Stirfry veg in the frozen food section pan fried is excellant if you have nothing prepped for dinner. Women need 2.2 to 2.4 gs protein per kilo of body weight daily to naturally shed the pounds. For me 63Kg thats 2 protein shakes a day, a meat or fish dinner, an egg or meat tea and yogurt, seeds, peanut butter etc. Its alot of food and alot of protein. Most women are only getting half of their protein requirements per day in ireland.
- 7 USE HEALTHY OILS TO COOK. Use extra virgin olive oil in your salads or on top of veg. Avoid using these light oil sprays or sunflower or vegetable oils when cooking food as these contain trans fats, hydrogenated fats which don’t help you in the weight loss process. ONLY Cook with irish rapeseed oil (aldi has a good one). Coconut oil acts as a medium chain triglyceride in your body. Although it is a saturated fat, in general people that cook with coconut oil, and have a small amount of it in their diet usually have lower levels of bad cholesterol. This is because coconut oil boosts the triglyceride level which is one of the good markers for overall good cholesterol total.
- 8 MAKE FAT YOUR FRIEND AND SUGAR YOUR ENEMY. Avoid all low fat items. These are usually heavily processed and contain sugar instead of fat. Avoid processed foods in general. Unless it comes out of the sea, grows up of the ground or is picked off the tree it is usually processed and anything that comes in a plastic bag or plastic tray is usually not good for your health. Buy foods that have as little ingredients as possible. For convenience it is OK to use some jars of sauces and they do save time in cooking. As long as you use jars that contain “real food ingredients” like garlic and olive oil and peppers etc. I love tesco finest and aldis specially selected jars. Aim to use as little processed foods as possible that are safe and healthy to eat. Good fats are a very useful way of filling yourself up to help you go longer between meals. In the past we used to eat low-fat but now we know that fat is our friend and we need to eat as much good fats as possible. Good fats I mean are extra virgin coconut oil, avocados, peanut butter made from only peanuts, nuts and seeds, good quality butter from grass fed animals. No margarines or spreads. It is a good idea to eat proteins for breakfast too for example two scrambled eggs or yogurt on the top of berries or porridge. Is a good combination of fats and protein.
- 9 BUY A MINI FOOD PROCESSOR & A GREAT BLENDER-Food processors come into Lidl and ALDI regularly. They usually are round and are battery operated or have a pull string to operate and these are very useful to chop up garlic, onions, peppers and make veg into very tiny small pieces so that you can easily add them to a sandwich. Buy yourself a good quality blender and juicer. I like the nutribullet Rx because it has a big 2 litre jug and then it never overflows. If you are making smoothies only use as many ingredients as you would be able to eat in one go if they were in their raw nature. For example you won’t drink three carrots. A half a carrot, one kiwi, 10 pieces of spinach etc is realistic. Always try and limit fruit in your smoothies to avoid your blood sugar becoming uneven. Use 4 veg and 1 fruit. So you have a lower insulin response to your meals which means that your body will not be storing the excess food as fat on your hips but it will actually be burning the food’s energy throughout the day.
- 10 REDUCE ALCOHOL -14 units of alcohol is the limit for women in one week. But this is a lot really. Try and have at least three or four alcohol free nights per week. Know your measures. Measure everything. Know that one small glass of wine is 125 mls. Beer and wine are full of yeast and sugar and are not good for the weight loss process. Opt for gin or vodka or rum with fizzy water and a squeeze of lemon or lime. This is a very low calorie drink and is a really good habit to get into for trying to lose weight and maintain long term weight loss. Alcopops, cider, sugary cocktails etc all of these things do you no favours on Monday morning when you were trying to weigh yourself on the scales!
- 11 TRY HRT Hormone Replacement Therapy – Many women who keep weight off via healthy eating and exercise in their 20s and 30s arrive to their 40s no longer able to exercise or keep weight off. This is often because of hormone loss, or Perimenopause. Hormone loss slows ones metabolism massively. HRT does unfortunately make appetite greater for the first 3/4 months in alot of patients, AND with each new dose increment, until the body gets used to it. It doesnt make you loose the exisiting weight but it helps keep it off provided your eating weel, have enough protein and exercising daily. If you started on 25,50,75 oestrogen patch and you feel stiff or low energy your may need the dose increased and testosterone cream added. This is vital in many women for energy, drive, motivation to exercise and reducing stiffness and inability to move ones body in their 40s. Young women in their 40s often need up to 100 oestrogen patch or tablet. Older women need less 50 usually sufficient. This is because the bodies demands for oestrogen are mor in younger women. I noticed the massive appetite side effect settled down after 14 months on HRT. But i had 5 dose increases over the first year. HRT works different for everyone and its not a cure all treatment. You may still need sleep medication, anxiety and depression medication in addition to HRT to bring you back to your pre-40 energetic self. If your still not well after HRT stabilised and dose maximised and blood test show you are absorbing the HRT adequatly we have to look how your body is detoxing heavy metals, toxins, what your methylation status is like, does your body have sufficient minerals your inflammation status etc and do a deep dive on your thyroid, liver, gut, adrenals. Make appt via ei.tugruoyhtiwog@ofni for that.
- 12 WEIGH YOURSELF DAILY-That comes to my next tip. This works well if you have a half of a stone to loose. Buy yourself a weighing scales. Weigh yourself every single morning. This is not to scare you but this is very useful so that you can see where you make your errors. It will show you the nights you’re overindulging. And it will show you how much weight you actually loose on the days you reduce your calorie content. Losing weight is as simple as reducing the amount of food you consume. You need to be burning more calories than you are consuming to loose weight. I never count or have counted calories in my life. That would be way too much work for me. But I have weighed myself daily for 10 years now and its my favourite tip as it makes you see whats happening before the pounds creep up and the weight becomes too difficult to loose. 10 pounds is my max. Once I see 4 kilos over my goal weight i cut back to one meal a day until im back to normal. That usually takes 2 weeks.
- 13 DUMP WHITE GOODS-East as little white goods as possible, that is white rice, white sliced pan, croissants, pastries, muffins, cupcakes, cookies, pizza. Fat and sugar is a wicked combination for gaining weight! Avoid Donuts, avoid pizza, avoid anything that looks processed. Eat Brown bread in its natural state. There is a delicious Atlantic wheaten bread in aldi that’s really really healthy. Try not to eat brown slice pan at all as there are multiple emulsifiers and preservatives in these which are no good for your gut health and anything that has a long shelf life cannot be good for the body. Buy fresh bread if possible off the bakery. REDUCE BREAD, PASTA AND RICE- Vegetables and fruits are carbs too you know!
- 14 KNOW YOUR PORTION SIZES- Use a medium plate when you’re dishing out your dinner and your tea. Ideally a half plate veg, one quarter fat or protein, one quarter carbs. Example a small cupped handful of nuts and seeds not a full bag!
- 15 TRY INTERMITTENT FASTING. I find this useful for my patients maybe to do few nights a week because when you reduce the amount of calories your stomach will shrink and you won’t eat as much the next day and then the principle of calories in calories out becomes easier. Intermittent fasting can be useful to boost your metabolism by about 15%. If you are prone to suffering from insomnia, stress or anxiety I don’t really recommend it because it can raise your stress hormone cortisol and increase the amount of the adrenalin from your adrenals but it is OK to do maybe a couple of times a week for most people and it is a useful tool to weight loss without having to change what you are eating. Unless you choose to medicate the anxiety and then you can continue the weight loss by fasting!. If you are intermittent fasting you will probably be eating a big lunch and a big dinner within an 8 hour window. If you notice you are getting insomnia or waking up in the middle of the night from intermittent fasting this might be due to a surge of cortisol because any fasting or starving the body causes your adrenals to produce stress hormones in response to the fast which can wake you up as women over 40 rely on their adrenals to produce sex hormones so fasting can be tetchy for some women. Eating your meals within an 8 hour window is also very good thing to note. For example you could start eating at 10:00 o’clock in the morning and finish with your last meal at 6:00 PM and eat nothing for the rest of the time. I dont do it more than once a week because of my anxiety and now im on HRT i dont need to, my metabolism is like i was pre 30s!
- 16 NO EATING AFTER 7pm-“No evening eating” for many people is enough to maintain a healthy weight. In the olden days the paleolithic man never ate meals every 3 hours, he haunted for his food so he was fasting in the morning and he might have luckily killed his own meat for his lunch or harvested food off the trees or out of the seas for his main meal. The Stone Age man was never overweight or has the obesity issues we have today.
- 17 STOP BUYING JUNK FOOD– If you don’t have it in the press you won’t eat it. Have healthy snacks in the press so that if you haven’t got a meal ready that you can eat something healthy. For example rice cakes or narins oat cakes with hummus dip or peppers and carrots. Buy tubs of olives, feta cheese and garlic.
- 18 EAT MINDFULLY-Chew your food slowly. When you are eating your meals just eat your meals. Don’t be on your phone or tablet. Eating slowly and eating mindfully is proven to help fill you up more slowly and sustain you for longer in between meals. If we gobble our meals we often over eat. If we eat slowly we will be more than likely to stop eating when we’re 70% full. Then we won’t overindulge at meal times. It is also recommended for good digestion.
- 19 TACKLE CRAVINGS– Do you have savory cravings for crisps? Do you have sweet cravings for ice cream? Do you want to eat chocolate in the evening time when you were sitting on the couch watching movies? Try to have a gut health consultation this often diagnoses yeast or bacterial overgrowth. Often microorganisms can make us crave certain foods full, if you have yeast in your digestive system you will more than likely be craving sugars, chocolates and sweets. Otherwise try chromium it is very useful supplement to have and take daily if you suffer from sweet cravings as well as caprylic acid and a good quality probiotic i can recommend those.
- 20 KEEP A DIARY-Write down what you’re eating every day. Write down how many fruit and veg you have in your diet everyday and then you will easily see how you are doing on a weekly basis. Keep a chart on your fridge of the fruits and veggies that you are eating. Be accountable for your actions. I have also become accountable for how much fruit and veg I’m eating in my diet and how much chocolate im consuming and what alcohol I am consuming and how much exercise I am doing by writing things down. No one can do this except you.
To Sum Up. Remember you’re not dieting, you’re eating healthier. Make one small change at a time. Take at least a month for each new change to become habit. Be Kind to Yourself if you Fail. Get up Again. In time you will succeed.
Hope you have a gut month ahead-For Weight loss Consultations see www.gowithyourgut.ie. Clinic booked up subject to cancellation list