Last week’s blog was all about eating -eating the right stuff! This week I’m focussing on how to lose weight without taking on a special diet. During the lockdown many have put on extra pounds -I think we call it comfort eating! Getting back to your ideal weight not only makes you feel better in yourself mentally and emotionally -it means the body works more efficiently and your immune system is strengthened. If your Body Mass Index (BMI), the measure of your weight compared to your height is within the healthy weight range (18.5kg/m2 – 24.9kg/m2) then you will be a practitioner of some advice I offer here. How can you calculate your BMI? Go on- line -Google BMI calculator and get the good or not so good news!
Assuming you need to shed some weight the first thing to do is get the right amount of sleep.
Ideally this is between 7 and 8 hours nightly, however, some people’s lifestyles have to do with less, either because of work schedules, or because of health reasons. If you don’t get the required sleep -then the solution is to catnap. After eating is the best time for catnapping because the heaviness of food in your gut will slow down your energy release rate and quieten brain activity. Beneficial catnaps are anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes. If you are not a catnapper already just sit quietly for 10 to 20 minutes after eating -the energy release rate will slow down, and you will find you can nod off for a while. When the body is stressed by pushing yourself to be active whilst it’s trying to digest and turn food and drink into active energy you will put on weight. In effect the body is saying I can’t transform that food into useable energy at present, so I’ll store it. What you don’t utilise goes to fat.
The next thing to do is drink plenty -the more you drink the more your appetite will lessen.
Don’t over stimulate the body with teas and coffees -and needless to say, or with alcohol. It doesn’t mean you can’t have any -just don’t overdo it. Best to drink plenty of plain water, or fruit juices, or herbal teas. By drinking plenty you improve and speed the digestive processes and believe it or not drinking plenty will help regulate the optimal bio rhymical efficiency of all your organs.
We can also lose weight without eating less -you don’t have to drastically cut calories to lose weight.
Simply focusing on healthier choices can lead to a decrease in weight provided those choices meet the necessary criteria. You do this by focussing on nutrient dense options rather than eating less food. By choosing higher nutritional quality foods, you will be more likely to stay full without feeling famished, and by default, you may be eating less calories because of the power of satiety, rather than snacking throughout the entire day. The more you think about weight loss and dieting, the more you want to eat. It’s ultra-important not to skimp out on your daily caloric requirements and what suggest doesn’t do that -mostly we absorb too many calories by not eating the right foods. And mentally you need to focus on the intention to lose weight (and keep it off), by switching your mindset from one of deprivation to one of high-quality foods. Not sure how to get started?
Here are four more ways to lose weight without eating less.
- Chew your food thoroughly and slow down the rate of eating. And most importantly consciously focus on what you are eating and drinking -that means not getting distracted by TV or radio. Switch your phone off. Don’t indulge in conversation whilst eating. Make this a habit and you will lose weight.
- Smaller food portions. If you follow the advice on point 1 you will be pleasantly surprised to notice how your appetite is satisfied. Always tell yourself you can get more food if it is required. If you heap the plate (I must not waste the food I’ve cooked) then you will feel obliged to eat it all -and on goes the weight!
- Eat plenty of protein. Chicken and Turkey (avoid factory farmed birds if you can), lean beef, Loin of Pork, Liver, and black beans, soybeans, and legumes, low fat milk, plain yogurt, Salmon, Tuna, and Tofu. Cottage cheese, and eggs.
- Fill up with Fibre.
Food high in fibre, such as raspberries, Brussel sprouts, nuts and seeds, avocados, apples, dried fruits, potatoes, brown rice, or black beans. Whatever you do, don’t overcook the rice, potatoes and sprouts!
Eating fibre-rich foods may increase satiety, helping you feel fuller for longer.
- Eat Breakfast! Why? When the sun is rising the body metabolises food much more quickly and efficiently than when the sun is sinking. It also means you are less inclined to overeat during the day and evening.
As mentioned last week, Garlic is a building block for many food dishes, and Ginger is similar to garlic in that it isn’t a primary food, but its addition to meals or drinks can give your immune system a boost to fight infections. Prebiotics and probiotics. Gut health is key to the microbiome diet. Probiotics and prebiotics help replace the good bacteria your body loses when fighting infections. Think of probiotics as live bacteria that help your digestive system, while prebiotics are dietary fibres that provide food for probiotics. Greek yogurt and other fermented foods have high levels of probiotics. You can also find probiotics in sauerkraut, kefir and kombucha. Many common high-fibre foods, such as apples (leave the skin on), bananas and beans, contain prebiotics.
Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that can help control infections by increasing white blood cell production. Oranges, lemons and grapefruits are popular sources of vitamin C. It may come as a surprise to know they’re present in vegetables, too. Feel free to load up your plate with bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.
You won’t find vitamin D present in as many foods, but it still can help with immune health by reducing inflammation. Your best bet is fatty fish such as salmon, tuna or mackerel. Many commercial milk products have vitamin D added, and cheese, mushrooms and egg yolks contain small amounts of vitamin D. Your skin also absorbs vitamin D from the sunlight, so take advantage of the warmer temperatures outside.
Teas have been popular for thousands of years, primarily for their health benefits. Our guide on the basics of tea provides a refresher on the types of tea and their uses. All forms of tea come from the Camellia sinensis plant. This plant has polyphenols, which are micronutrients that can boost the immune system, improve heart health, and lower cholesterol. Green tea is especially good but nonetheless if you like black teas -they help too.
We are about to enter June -weather-wise in the UK the sun has arrived! My poem today is all about summer pursuit!
A Dream in a Robins’ Red Breast
It is the smallest thing attended least
I most connect. Suddenly a feather touch
alerts my sleeping mind, and there’s a Robin
perched upon my rod puffing his red breast
seemingly larger than the hovered sun, bigger
than the fish I want to catch, and somehow
more important than myself.
Head cocked sees the maggots in my box,
his eye swivels, rests on me and knows
instantly I’m not a threat, neither my code
or any order I conceive -inwardly understanding
the man, my baggage, this shading tree
its’ watery web of root, floating debris,
the noise of Coot, Pigeon, Duck, and Heron.
And above, the shading tree, the windy sky
are all in place, elsewhere pointed, harmony prevailing.
Stabbing with his beak, picks once, twice,
flies up and settles on a nearby tree
his attention elsewhere. In a blink of eye
he disappears. Half asleep as before
I wing skyward.
As a dream in a robins’ red breast.
As always I welcome constructive comments -if it helps you it can help others to make choices and changes.