Right then – I am going to have a little think about those horrid things that don’t often like to think about…calories!
Obviously as a Slimming World devotee I am not supposed to focus on calories, but instead should focus on enjoying the Superfree and Free food, making sure I have my Healthy Extras and, of course, using my Syns. And I know other plans count points, or grams of fat…blah, blah, blah. Whatever! It is a truth – a hard to swallow (unlike like crisps or BigMacs) truth, but a truth nonetheless – that if you eat more calories than your body burns off, you WILL NOT lose weight, you will PUT IT ON!!
Apologies for the capital letters, but sometimes I think we can get lost in the fact that we can enjoy eating foods ‘freely’ that we don’t stop and think about the basic facts. Slimming World do a very good job at encouraging people to eat healthy foods and prepared from scratch meals, but as always we start to look for quick fixes…’oh, a pack of low fat Supernoodles is ‘free’ – I’ll have that as a snack then!’ Actually it’s not a Free food…only foods listed in your Food Optimising book under the ‘Free Foods’ section are…it is a 0 Syn food. Regardless of the fact that it contains 0 Syns, it should still be listed under the Syns section on your food diary – and as your food diary only has a small section to list your Syns, what does this tell you? It tells me that most of your daily intake should be made up of Superfree and Free food, and not Syns!
By the way, a packet of low fat Supernoodles has 322 calories in it – so a packet a day as an afternoon snack is the equivalent of over a days worth of recommended calories for a woman – 2254 to be precise.
Anyway, I’m not going to tell you how to lose weight. I am just having a little look at this for my own curiosity and wondering how disheartened I would feel if I thought I was following the plan, but not getting the results I expected. Having eaten packets of Supernoodles in the past as snacks, and even Quorn ready meals that were Syn free, I would also have a cooked breakfast, a decent lunch, a big dinner, loads of fresh fruit, and my Syns as well. Perhaps it was no wonder that Slimming World didn’t work for me before…I was the one that was doing the damage, it wasn’t that the plan ‘didn’t work’ as I tried to convince myself.
In fact, there is a chap on Twitter who has lost a good deal of weight and now touts himself as a health and fitness guru. Good for him – he was successful and wants to share his success with others. What people don’t like though is that he constantly critiques Slimming World, Weight Watchers, et al – and he is rather harsh…saying that they just don’t work. He goes so far as to say that 60% of his current clients are ex members of these plans. What I would argue is that those people perhaps weren’t following the plan as it is intended that they should; but instead of looking at their own eating habits and behaviours, they blame it on the plan. Some of what he says makes sense, it’s just that he behaves in such a self-righteous manner that he comes across as a dickhead at times! It obviously suits him to believe that plans like this don’t work…as he can then feed off the people that aren’t successful on them. If his clients are happy, and are losing weight in a healthy manner, then so be it – live and let live! I haven’t read too much about him – as I’m not that bothered, I’m losing weight and so don’t need or want his advice – and I don’t know much about his qualifications in fitness and nutrition…in fact I don’t think he has a degree in nutrition or dietetics. I think I’ll stick with Slimming World – a company that have been around for longer than he and I have been, and who have an army of experts backing them up! And I’ll do my research, work with my dietician and psychologist, and will lose this weight with the support network that Slimming World offers.
I must also point out here that eating too few calories will also scupper your chances of success. Having said this before, I’ll try and keep it short and sweet…your body needs a MINIMUM of 1200 calories per day. Why? Well, each time your heart beats and your blood circulates, or your hair/nails/skin replenishes and grows, or your body processes waste and draws out essential vitamins and minerals – you burn calories…it takes energy for these processes to happen. Without this energy your body begins to slowly shut down non-essential processes; this is why – on diets such as Lighter Life (very low calorie diets or VLCDs) you can experience hair loss, brittle nails, dull skin. Your heart muscles can also begin to waste away. A prolonged period on a VLCD can take your body years to deal with – i.e. if you have followed one, and return to ‘normal’ eating, your body takes a long time to recognise this, your metabolism stays sluggish, and your body will hold onto what you do eat as you have in effect been starving it. So period of yo-yo dieting does a lot of harm. Sticking to a diet with at least 1200 calories is essential. A man with a healthy body weight needs 2500 calories per day, and a woman with a healthy body weight needs 2000 calories per day. The more you weigh, you more you need to maintain your weight. In fact I was once told that I needed over 4500 to maintain my weight and, as I was gaining weight, this meant I was eating far more than this each day – shocking. Anyway…my point is – do not eat less that 1200 calories per day!
Right – now that my little rant is over, I wanted to show you something that has been doing the rounds recently. wiseGEEK – an information website – decided to take a look at what 200 calories worth of various food actually looked like. What sort of portion size could you get for 200 calories of a wide variety of food. We know that some foods have more calories in than others, but how many of us know what that difference actually looks like? So here goes then – some pictures of regular foods – 200 calories worth on each plate…
Celery = 1,425g
Broccoli = 588g
Baby Carrots = 570g
Coca Cola = 496ml
Apples = 385g
Canned Green Peas = 357g
Grapes = 290g
Sliced Smoked Turkey = 204g
Eggs = 150g
Cooked Pasta = 145g
Avocado = 125g
Canned Tuna in Oil = 102g
Cheeseburger = 75g
French Fries = 73g
Blueberry Muffin = 72g
Sesame Seed Bagel = 70g
Hot Dogs = 66g
Medium Cheddar Cheese = 51g
Fruit Loops Cereal = 51g
Snickers = 41g
Doritos = 41g
Fried Bacon = 34g
Peanut Butter = 34g
Salted Mixed Nuts = 33g
Butter = 28g
Dried Apricots = 83g
Baileys = 60ml
Jelly Belly Jelly Beans = 54g
Gummy Bears = 51g
Crisps = 37g
Werther’s = 50g
Pretzels = 52g
Excuse the pun, but it’s food for thought isn’t it? I know that the old me has snuck a handful of sweets when I’ve been ‘on plan’ – surely they can’t be that bad, I mean it’s not chocolate?! And I know that I’ve dunked a spoon in a jar of peanut butter before and eaten without a thought. Baileys – well, Baileys used to be drunk out of a much larger glass than the one shown in the picture; and pretzels used to accompany the Baileys…the salt cuts through the sweetness! A handful of dried apricots and a handful of mixed nuts are healthy aren’t they?…yes, but they still have calories in them. I’m probably most gutted about the half a burger and a little handful of fries – I would have eaten four times this amount for lunch…1600 calories for lunch alone!
It certainly gets you thinking a little more about the ‘science’ behind Slimming World. It makes it obvious as to why we should be filling up with Superfree and Free foods. If you could show me someone who could eat that much celery and broccoli in a day…well, I’d either think you were telling me fibs, or that they were a giant rabbit! So that food can bulk out our meals, keeping us fuller for longer, meaning we don’t need to snack on the stuff that won’t…like half a bloody cheeseburger. It also goes some way as to explaining why Slimming World don’t like us making stuff like our own crisps…a tiny amount for 200 calories…not going to help me – or you – fit into those skinny jeans!
As I mentioned earlier, you don’t need me telling you what to do…I’ll leave that up to the chap on Twitter!
So, let’s get on with today’s usuals…
I was rather excited when I checked my Facebook page this morning to see that my little page now has over 1000 ‘likes’ – little old me!!
I have mostly spent the day freezing my bits off and avoiding flying hooves at the stables! We had to repair some fencing – when I say ‘we’, I mean my mum and my other half…I supervise! We also had some rug repairs to do before the horses could go out, which meant they were out later than normal and in high spirits…the two biggest decided it would be fun to just prance around, bucking and rearing and spinning and plunging. But they didn’t do this in the field…they did it right next to me in the yard and the number of times I nearly caught a hoof…well, it was slippy, cold and windy, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt; I don’t think they were trying to see me off just yet – they’re going to save that for when I start riding again!! So the evening is for getting warm, eating and a film night I think!
A letter arrived today from the hospital informing me that ‘funding has been approved’ and that I am now on the waiting list. This is for the stomach surgery – a process I started over four years ago! – and for something that I no longer want. I am still almost afraid to turn it down though and pull myself off the waiting list…I don’t yet have total faith that I can do this on my own, and it feels like a comfort blanket. I agreed with my psychologist to stick with the process and just move myself down the waiting list, as he thinks the reality of the surgery is what is spurring me on. After years of being told that I won’t lose my weight without surgical intervention, it’s no wonder that there is an element of doubt in my mind – even though I know I’m doing really well. But I am 100% sticking with Slimming World – the waiting list is over eleven months long anyway…just think how much more weight I could lose between now and then anyway?!
Breakfast: Banana, apple, orange and Benefit bar.
Lunch: Chickpea, Lentil and tomato stew – with added bacon bits!
Dinner: Special fried rice – WLBs version of a Gok Wan recipe!
Snacks: Pizzas…Slimming World friendly ones.
Breakfast and lunch were pretty ‘meh’ – just fuel to get me through the day, and lunch warmed me up! I did perk it up with the addition of some bacon bits…really lean and come in little packs from Aldi. Dinner was a little more planned and adapted from a Gok Wan recipe…with a little help from Uncle Ben – the golden veg rice – and the addition of some veggies, chicken and more bacon bits – delicious!
Exercise: Treadmill, BodyPump, Boxercise, Sit-ups, Dancercise – fifty five minutes!
I did it – 15 minutes on the treadmill!! Last time I used it, I’d built up to 11 minutes and have had a break due to a nasty chest / cold. I was determined to get on it and has promised myself I would do 15 minutes. At 13 minutes I thought I was going keel over and faint – my heart felt funny, but I was monitoring my heart rate…but I pushed through it and managed it. Just got to keep it up now! The other stuff I did was mild in comparison.
Loads of hugs and wonderful wishes for you all,
Weight Loss Bitch xxx
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