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My Fat Story

my fat story

I watched Katie Hopkins programme ” My Fat Story ” on TLC channel .

Katie Hopkins came to fame through the Apprentice and she is now a features writer for The Sun. She has outspoken views on fat issues and believes if everyone ate less and exercised more we wouldn’t have a fat problem in this country . She is concerned that the obesity problem could bankrupt the NHS as type 2. diabetes and other weight related problems place increasing strain on the health service. She believes that we are too soft with the issue and doctors and other professionals should be more direct with people who are overweight in telling them they are overweight and recommending they take action to lose weight. In her documentary she deliberately overeats to put on 3 stone in 12 weeks and then loses the weight to show how easy it is to lose weight . She started out weighing 8 stone 13 which is borderline underweight . She put on 3 stone and then lost 2 stone so her final weight was 9 stone 12 lbs .

Whilst I enjoyed watching the programme I don’t think it taught us much about losing weight. Katie Hopkins is not really interested in food and eats in a functional way. She is the sort of person who might well forget to eat . I am always amazed when I hear that people forget to eat as this rarely happens to me. She is also a very keen runner and runs for an hour, 3 times a week and trains for marathons.

The most interesting part of the programme for me was when Katie visited a psychologist when she was 3 stone heavier . Through this discussion she realised that it was an important part of her identity to be slim and fit and now overweight she felt vulnerable and was often tearful . She came to understand that she had little compassion for herself and was very tough on herself and drove herself hard. She also had little compassion for other people as a result of her outlook on life .

In a way Katie is right if we all eat less and exercised more we wouldn’t be overweight . However, if it was easy to lose weight then everyone would do. The fact is that it is very difficult to lose weight and keep the weight off and the majority of people in this country and many over the whole world are now overweight . The reasons are complicated and much discussed but are largely due to the over availability of food in our society and a reduction in the amount of exercise we do as a result of using cars instead and modern technology.

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Tom's Story Part 3

Spinning for Weight Loss

Part 3 of a 5 part blog that looks at how Rubicon Weight Loss Mentoring works .

Tom aged 45 was 5 stone overweight when we met and wanted to lose at least 3 stone. So far he has lost 17 lbs in 2 months.

I met Tom face to face fortnightly and we had a Skype meeting every other week. One week we met at the golf driving range and hit a bucket of balls as Tom wanted to get back to playing golf now that he could walk more easily. On another occasion we tried a spinning cycling fitness class together. I recommend spinning for weight loss to clients as it can be a great idea as it is great exercise, fun and social but is not taxing on the knee joints as the bike takes your weight.  It is important to try and increase your exercise because of the health benefits. However the absolute key to losing weight is to reduce your calorie intake.

Tom lost 17 lbs in weight in the first two months but then weight loss slowed. Through  our discussions Tom identified that he had been drinking more recently . Whilst he had been sticking to his diet quite well he and his wife had been to several work corporate hospitality events recently. Also Tom has been feeling stressed at work and finds it helpful to wind down by drinking half a bottle of wine most nights. He hadn’t realised that he had been drinking this much and thought that the “odd glass of wine wouldn’t hurt”. Tom and I discussed strategies to deal with this but in the end Tom decided that he would cut out alcohol completely at home except for special occasions as he found he could not limit himself to one or two glasses.  This approach suited Tom but other clients choose other strategies eg to limit alcohol to say one night per week . In the third month Tom lost 2 lbs but he was back on track. It is common for clients to have a crisis time when they don’t follow the diet and this is when the support and discussion we offer in Rubicon weight loss mentoring  is really valuable .

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Tom's story Part Two

Healthy Breakfast

Part two of a 5 part blog that looks at how Rubicon Weight Loss Mentoring works in practice.

Tom aged 45 was 5 stone overweight went we first met.

By the end of the first month Tom had lost 10 1bs.

In our regular meetings we looked together at his life style and Tom realised the main problems were that eating gave him comfort and also his portion sizes were far too big. For example, he would have what he thought was a healthy breakfast of fruit juice and Greek yoghurt, banana, nuts and muesli but because it was so large this would contain nearly 1000 calories . His dinner portions were also twice as large as they should be . I suggested that Tom use a smaller plate for his dinner. He found this really helpful as it which prevented him from giving himself too much food and it also tricked his brain into thinking he still had a good meal . Tom also made an effort to sit down with his wife and eat dinner together and turn off the television .It is always a great idea to eat consciously and slow down our eating this helps the brain and stomach to register that we have eaten and for us to recognise that we feel full . If we eat whilst distracted or too quickly we can continue eating for longer without feeling full.

Tom responded well to a diet plan and substituted porridge for his previously over-large breakfast . He also cut out fruit juice and instead had fruit tea . He also managed to find time for walking several days per week. He enjoyed the occasions when his wife or daughters joined him on the walks as this was time to chat about the day . He found that the walk helped clear his mind and helped him sleep better. As he lost weight the walking became easier. He found that our regular meetings offered him support and helped to keep him motivated and on track . He lost a further 7 lbs in month 2.


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Christmas Calories - Be aware of what you eat

Christmas Calories

Why do we eat so much at Christmas?

Over the Christmas period we are faced with so many more choices . Every where I go I seem to be offered a mince pie.  I love mince pies so I am tempted every single time. The average person puts on at least 2 pounds over the festive holiday. I usually put on 4 pounds even when I am being really careful with the Christmas Calories.

The main problem is that are all designed to be curious about food and taste the range of dishes available. Our brains also tell us  to stock up when we see calorie rich food .From our history as “hunter gatherers ” we are programmed to eat a wide range of foods from fruit ,seeds and leaves to a whole range of different animals fish, birds and insects.  When faced with a range of dishes we want to try them all. It has been scientifically proven that we will eat more if presented with a choice of dishes than if we are given just one option . Great examples of this are a box of chocolates where we want to try each variety. If we are offered sweets that are all the same eg the same colour jelly bean we will take and eat less than if we are offered 10 different flavours of jelly bean . We are likely to try each flavour.

The same applies when we are choosing what to eat from a Christmas buffet. We want to try some of everything. Half the battle is to recognise this instinct and then we can try  strategies to resist our natural tendencies. A great strategy is to fill half your plate with salad and this cut down the space for fatty foods. Try and avoid foods that are brown in colour as this is often an indicator of processed food that is high in calories. Choose a colourful selection of foods and eat slowly so that your stomach can recognise when you are full. Have a great Christmas .

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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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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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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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Fat v Sugar which is worse?

I enjoyed watching the recent Horizon programme which looked at what was worse, eating a high fat diet or a high sugar diet .

It featured identical twin doctors Chis and  Xand Van Tulleken. One ate a high fat diet and the other a high sugar diet .  Interestingly the high fat diet had the worse consequences as Chris , became pre diabetic as his body became less resistant to insulin. The conclusion of the programme was that  it is a combination of fat and sugar that is irresistible to us rather than fat or sugar on their own.

This sort of insight is really useful for us as we try to lose weight. It explains why despite our best intentions we often make poor choices. Only yesterday I was tempted to buy on impulse, a large 120g bar of Cadburys dairy milk chocolate at the corner shop. I was hungry and it seemed such a great offer at only £1. I still bought it despite knowing that 3 small squares alone are 80 calories and the whole bar contains 640 calories. I bought it knowing that it is highly likely I won’t eat just  3 small squares but half the bar.  I haven’t opened it yet but it is waiting for me in my kitchen.

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