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How weight loss mentoring can support employers whose staff would like help to lose weight

Corporate Weight Loss

As an employer or manager it can be difficult to know how to talk a member of staff who is significantly overweight, about their weight . Often you are concerned that although the weight is not causing an immediate problem there is a strong likelihood that the extra weight will cause health problems in the future. Also, you want to be able to offer some help and support to staff but don’t know how to do it. Increasingly it is likely that very overweight staff will be covered by the Disability Discrimination legislation. In this case employers can more easily address the issue and ask these staff if there any special adjustments they would like to be made to the work place. Examples might be arranging for a special chair or other rearrangement of the office space or organising support such as weight loss mentoring. Flexible hours to avoid rush hour travel may be considered however, employers only have to make these adjustments if they are reasonable. Most likely you want to be able your staff some support to help them lose weight. This is where the services of Rubicon weight loss mentoring can be very helpful as we offer a great service for employers. An experienced mentor will meet regularly with your staff to offer expert support in diet and in overcoming the practical and emotional obstacles that have stopped them succeeding in the past . The mentor will encourage and guide them in their weight loss. They will also provide regular reports to the employer on progress. For more information contact us via the website.

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Christmas how to avoid piling on the pounds

Piling on the pounds

The average person puts on 2 – 5 pounds in weight over the Christmas period. Most of us lose this by dieting in January but for some the weight says on and they slowly gain weight as the years go by. I find that during the whole of December I get invited to more social events and eat and drink much more than usual and the weight goes on gradually. It is a really good idea to weigh yourself regularly during December to see if you are gaining weight.

Here are some ideas on how to negotiate a Christmas buffet or reception party to avoid taking in too many calories.

First choose a protein items e.g. chicken drum sticks, cold meats, salmon. If you are vegetarian a small amount of cheese is ok.
These protein foods will fill you up and reduce your cravings for sugary and fatty foods. Then fill your plate with colourful salad items e.g. tomatoes lettuce, beetroot celery sticks, carrot etc .  You can have some pasta, bread ,potatoes, rice salads etc.. but limit your portion size. Generally I would avoid completely pastry items such as quiche, sausage rolls, pizza slices vol au vents, and fried items such as crisps, taco chips , onion bhajis , spring rolls and dips such as sour cream and guacamole. For desert I would recommend a very small portion of a selection of the deserts plus lots of fruit salad without any cream .  Try to avoid the mince pies which is difficult as they are delicious and seem to be offered at every occasion in December . Each one contains around 250 calories.

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What is the effect of working long hours on your weight?

Long Office Hours

A paper by Joelle Abramowitz , an economist at the U.S. census Bureau has revealed that those who work longer tend to be bigger.
She found that women in “non strenuous ” eg office based jobs such as clerical work and accounting , who worked ten extra hours per week were 2.5 pounds heavier and for men this was 1.4 pounds heavier .

Why do long hours lead to weight gain. Firstly it is likely that if you work long hours you are less active. Only 20 percent of jobs are mildly physically active whereas 20 years ago half of all jobs were physically active. Secondly, if you work long hours you have less time for cooking and menu planning. Also if you work long hours you may sleep less and this is also associated with weight gain .

Also there is a tendency if we are working long hours to ‘reward ourselves’ with snacks or alcohol to unwind. ” I’ve worked hard I deserve a treat ” is what we say to ourselves.

The answer is to try and preplan what we eat do that we don’t fill up with sugary snacks . Research has shown that if we preplan what we will have for lunch we will eat less calories than if we go out when we are hungry and buy lunch . When we shop when we are hungry we will fill our baskets with sugary and fatty foods. ( I always succumb to the banana cake at Pret a Manger if I go there when hungry). Great ideas are to either bring in a healthy lunch to eat or decide what you are buying for lunch earlier in day and stick to that choice. Similarly, try and plan what you will eat for your evening meal when you get home. I recommend to clients that they invest in a slow cooker. You can throw ingredients in the morning so that dinner is cooking during the day and ready for you when you walk through the door.

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Losing weight weight loss tips number 5 - The hidden calories in alcohol

calories in alcohol

The hidden calories in alcohol

My clients often don’t realise how much of their weight gain is from drinking alcohol. We tend not to count the calories from our glasses of wine and beer.

A normal glass of wine whether red or white is 175 ml ( 4 glasses to a bottle) and this contains approx 150 calories . This  varies according to the alcohol content of the wine but 150 calories is a good rough guide.

Therefore if you drink 2 bottles of wine a week that is 1200 additional calories a week. Servings of sparkling wine tend to be smaller and the alcohol content is less so a standard flute of prosecco has approx 75 calories.

Beer also has hidden calories . For example a bottle of the popular Peroni Nastro Azzurro (330ml) lager contains 150 calories. A pint of standard lager is 180 calories, whilst a pint of  Fosters is 224 calories per pint .

There are a surprising large number of calories in spirits, a small whiskey is around 100 calories and  a gin and tonic 200 calories.

We may not realise how many calories we are taking in life  is stressful and it is tempting to open a bottle of wine during the week . This alcohol has hidden calories we may not take account of .  We may have gained weight gradually without really noticing just a weight gain of 2 pounds a year is a stone over 7 years .

It is a good idea to keep track of your alcohol intake so you can see how many calories you are taking in. I would also recommend you have alcohol free days and just have alcohol on a couple of days a week if you are trying to lose weight

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How to lose weight tips number 4

why is it so hard to lose weight

How to lose weight tips number 4

I am a 55 year woman why is it so hard to lose weight?

In middle age It is easy to put weight on and hard to lose it. Why is this ? The main reason we put weight on in our late 40s and 50s is that we are slightly less active and therefore are burning less calories. These small differences accumulate over time. For example, if you burn 100 less calories a day, and eat one extra biscuit of 80 calories then you will gain a pound of weight each month. When I put weight on in my late 40’s I struggled to believe this and was convinced my metabolism had slowed down. However, when I reflected on my daily routine I realised that now I was working from home I was less active. For example I no longer walked to the station or stood on the train for 30 mins etc . If you are putting on weight or struggling to lose weight it is helpful to increase your general activity levels during the day by standing where possible and taking every opportunity to walk.

Whilst it is great to go to the gym and work out often we can feel so tired afterwards that we rest the remainder of the day. Alternatively because we have worked hard in the gym we reward ourselves by eating an extra portion of lunch or by having a sweet treat. The result is that we may be fitter but we may not lose any weight . In fact being active throughout the day can burn more calories than going to the gym. For example a short walk in the morning , then taking the stairs not the lift during the day, a short walk at lunchtime to pick up some lunch, walking the dog in the evening, then preparing vegetables and some household chores will burn the equivalent of a good gym session. Standing burns 10 per cent more calories than sitting.

The best way to lose weight is to cut out snacks between meals and monitor carefully your portion sizes.

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How to Lose Weight Tips Number 3

Maintaining weight control for when working away from home

It is very easy to put on weight when working away from home for extended periods and living in hotels. It is then difficult to lose weight and keep it off whilst sticking to a healthy diet plan. It can be very lonely and we can turn to food as a comfort.  Also this can be compounded as when we are on our own we are not accountable to anyone else only ourselves. It is easy to slip into bad habits and then deny to ourselves what is happening . When living away the easy available food is likely to be high calorie food in fast food restaurants, curry houses and hotel restaurants and we may tend to drink more alcohol if we are eating out every night .

Here are some helpful strategies as part of a weight loss programme for men and women to lose or maintain a healthy weight when working away from home .


Always pre plan what you are going to have for breakfast so you are not tempted to overeat when faced with the amazing hotel breakfast buffet.

Good choices are scrambled egg on toast, poached egg on toast, porridge, yoghurt and fruit, omelette with tea or coffee. Avoid croissants, cooked meats, pastries, sugary cereals, full English breakfast and too much fruit juice.


Again per plan your lunch and ideally buy on the way to work so you don’t impulse buy when hungry at lunch time. Good options are soup, ready made sandwiches made from whole meal, fruit and sushi. Avoid cakes, sausage rolls, pasties, pasta salads ( often high in calories).

 Evening meal

It is tempting after a busy stress full day to choose fast food to reward yourself . Food is comforting and living away from home is often lonely and stressful. Decide to have fast food one day a week as a treat. Similarly it is easy to drink alcohol when on your own in a hotel and eating out every night. Again restrict this to say just one night. A good strategy is always to have soup as a starter as this is usually nutritious and low calorie ( unless full,of cream) this will fill you up and you will eat less calories overall. Then a main course of grilled fish or meats and vegetables.


It can be difficult to exercise when away from home. Some gyms such as virgin active allow you to visit all gyms in the group ( some restrictions apply) so this might be worth considering . You can then attend classes or go for a swim when away. Often hotels have a gym facility or swimming pool and it can be a real energiser to go for a swim before breakfast. Alternatively it can be great to go for a walk each day and explore the new area.

At Rubicon Weight Loss Mentoring, a weight loss mentor will work along side you to discover the reasons why your dieting hasn’t been successful in the past and will help you adapt and maintain a new healthy lifestyle to lose weight.


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How to Lose Weight Tips Number 2

Why can’t I lose weight ? Use a smaller plate

Clients say to me that they try healthily eating and they regularly cook at home and they expect to lose weight but instead they find they gain weight.  What is going on here? Are they following the wrong personal diet plan ? Often when we look closely together at what they eat the problem is portion sizes. It is great if you are cooking delicious healthy meals from fresh ingredients but you will still pile on the pounds if your portions are too big. This can often be a factor in the weight gain of an overweight teenage daughter or son.

The first step that will help in a weight loss program is really simple but very effective, use a smaller plate for your meals and you will serve yourself and your family less. You can trick you eyes and your stomach by eating from a smaller plate. The plate should be a contrasting colour from the food you are eating . If the plate and the food are the same colour you will tend to serve yourself more and eat more.

Secondly when serving your portion size for protein and carbohydrate items they should be no bigger than the size of your fist . The rest of the plate should be vegetables. Often I find that clients are filling a large dinner plate with home cooked chilli, spaghetti bolognaise or lasagne and not realising that the portion may contain 1000 calories or more.  This would be half or the daily calorie allowance for an active woman.  

Thirdly, it is also important to concentrate on eating and not be distracted by the lap top or television . Ideally meals should be eaten at a dining table and not on your lap in front of the tv.  If the brain registers that you have eaten a meal then it will send full signals to the stomach. You override this if you eat too quickly or eat without thinking about it .  It is easy to eat mindlessly absorbed in a tv programme and before you know you have eaten more than you needed or intended. Families with overweight teenage daughters and sons should try to reduce individual snacking and eat together as often as possible using correct portion sizes.

At Rubicon weight loss mentoring, a weight loss mentor will work along side you to discover the reasons why you haven’t lost weight in the past and will help you adapt a program for the best way to lose weight for you.  They will then work along side you to support and encourage you.

Please get in touch via our web site contact form to learn more about our successful mentoring that will help you or someone close to you, lose weight.


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New Series of great tips on how to lose weight

Super soup-  how to lose weight advice number one

We all know how difficult it is to lose weight and have a healthy diet. In this series I will be sharing some of the best kept secrets for how to lose weight and manage weight loss. It is amazing but it has been scientifically shown that eating soup as part of a meal will reduce the number of calories that you eat . The blended food and water in soup stays in the stomach longer and stops you feeling hungry. Everyone likes soup and it can be a great way of helping overweight teenagers to lose weight as well as being part of a weight loss programme for women and men of all ages.

The key to this useful trick to reduce hunger is a hormone called ghrelin. It is one of the major elements in the body’s appetite system.

Ghrelin is released by specialised cells in the stomach wall which produce ghrelin whenever the stomach is empty. The ghrelin travels in the blood stream to the brain which then tells us that we are hungry and to find food . However if the stomach wall is stretched for example when we eat soup the cells no longer produce ghrelin, and the hypothalamus responds and switches off the signal that demands food . They longer the stomach remains full, the longer you feel satisfied and the less you are likely to eat.

I recommend that clients include in their diets a bowl of soup for lunch with a salad or a bread roll. Everyone is pleased at how good this tastes and really surprised at how filling it is.

Rubicon weight loss mentoring offers weight loss programs for women and targeted  weight loss programs for men and overweight teenagers that achieve  great long term weight loss. With our  1 to 1 support from an expert mentor you can make changes to the way you eat and think about food.

Please get in touch via our web site contact form to learn more about our successful mentoring that will help you  or someone close to you, lose weight.



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Website Launch

I am really excited to be launching the new website for Rubicon weight loss mentoring. I understand how demoralising and depressing it can be when you are overweight and you feel trapped in a body that isn’t really you at all. Sticking to a diet plan with regular exercise and movement is very tough and many of us experience yo-yo dieting. We lose weight but then it goes back on again and often we end up heavier than when we started. A weight loss mentor can help you break this cycle . They support you to make permanent healthier adjustments in your diet and fundamentally change approach to food so the weight you lose, stays off.

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IPhone Apps - My Net Diary

I have been trying out the free iPhone app My Net Diary for the past  week. I recommend it is as a very useful way of monitoring your daily food intake and calorie burn and supporting weight loss.

It’s easy to get started and it helps you set a daily calorie intake target depending on your weight and  height . Each day you have to enter what you have eaten for breakfast, lunch,  dinner and snacks and the app helps you identify the calories and nutritional content in that food. It works best with packaged foods which have advertised nutritional and calories content. It is much harder to enter a portion of home cooked vegetable lasagne for example. You also enter any exercise you have done that day and it helps you record the calories burned. The app keeps a record of daily calories consumed against your target. It also provides a range of statistics to help you monitor your diet from salt intake to whether your calories have come from fat sugar or protein.

I found that it worked best when I had the time to enter what I eat throughout the day. A couple of days I was on a course so was trying to remember what I had eaten throughout the day and inevitably forgot some things. It seems to work as I have lost a couple of pounds since I started it 2 weeks ago.

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