Search Results for: How to lose weight

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How to lose weight: It’s not what you eat but the way that you eat it.

An important reason I find it easy to keep my weight down is because the way that I eat my food is different than those who put weight on. I’ve talked about setting aside specific time to eat and doing nothing else. That’s one way but lots of people do that and I’m not talking about eating up side down either if you thought it would be something silly :-).

What I am talking about is of course something simple that anyone can do but the general advice from experts, until recently is not to do it. They were adamant that it won’t have much impact on weight loss. Have you guessed what it is yet?

The secret

Moving. Yep it’s as simple as that. Walking, dancing, playing. Anything that gets you physically active. Just try and move any chance you get. an obvious idea is to move while you eat, instead of sitting down to eat. Stand or better, move around.

There area  a few gotches though so I’ll go through a little of what I have found in my years of moving while eating. I do it all the time but I’ve spent time learning how to do it right.

I often move while I eat. Sacrilege I know but because I know sports science and know why it can be bad for you I also know how to make it work and get around the bad aspects so it won’t hurt you.

Burn calories while you consume them

The basic advantage of eating while moving when considering weight loss is relatively obvious. If you burn calories while you consume them then you’re obviously having a dent on your energy balance. Though this is no use if it is the only time you move or you move less at other times of the day as a result of moving while eating. The idea is just about increasing the opportunities in your day to burn calories. Make this effortless and the weight will simply come off. Sounds too simple to work but it does for me so why won’t it for you?

Over the years I’ve found so many situations where this works perfectly, complementing my life and even making me appreciate my food more instead of less.

I’ve been doing this for years without problems so I feel ready to share. I just need to explain why it can be bad for you so you can learn how to do it without problems too.

There are a number of reasons why eating on the move could be a problem. Firstly you should know the basics of what eating on the move means to me.

Health and Safety

I only eat while moving slowly and where it won’t be a safety hazard. As silly as it sounds its important to make this point.

Normal rules apply. Use common sense. If I’m doing something potentially dangerous like DIY I don’t technically eat and work at the same time. For example I will do some drilling, stop put the drill down, have a nibble or a drink, put the food or drink down and resume drilling.

I’m pretty safety conscious and I know what I am like when I am busy and follow someone elses instructions I can easily misinterpret things so I feel it’s worth being pretty clear.

What situations?

The main situations I eat while moving are while doing house work, particularly:

  • washing up,
  • loading the dishwasher and washing machine
  • cooking.

Though not while doing things where my hands won’t be clean like

  • hoovering
  • cleaning

I only do certain types of activities when I eat and generally it’s stuff that:

  • has low intensity
  • doesn’t require much thought

Enjoy the experience

That means I can focus most of my attention on my meal and thus fulfil the principle I laid out of setting aside time specifically for eating so you can enjoy the experience.

Kick back

These mundane chores are now a chance for me to kick back and do something I enjoy. My senses tune into the food not the boring task at hand. At the same time I get something done that needs to be done.

Multitask: Don’t add work more to your busy day

This fulfils the next principle of not adding even more work to your day. Quite the opposite. You have now combined tasks, eating and chores and burnt calories in the process. Achieving three tasks for the price of one.

Multitasking. That’s how I roll and why it works. Over time I have found more and more situations where this works and so my life has become easier and easier. Weight loss and the strengthening act of moving is built more and more into my day.

Putting it to work

Thanks for popping by. I hope this helps and please let me know what you do with this information. These points have freed up my life a lot. I just get stuff done and have more time for fun yet I’m much more active throughout the day. Though it’s taken time to figure out how to apply the ideas. Absolutely get in tough if you want to know more.

Want more?

This is the first in a series of posts on weightloss. If you like this then checkout the other articles listed below.

How to lose weight: Is Weight Watchers any good?

Is it any good? 

As a tool to help you shift some pounds I’m actually quite impressed with what I have seen and heard of Weight Watchers. I’ve known a few people who have done it and I find it is based on fact and practical advice over hype and fashions.

Does it help?

I have seen it work. I’ve seen people lose weight. Keeping it off is the challenge like all other interventions. It has some really useful tools to help you monitor and manage the food you eat and a lot of thought has gone in to making food fun.

You can see the expert advice that has shaped the programme and the benefit of experience the brand offers. The regular group sessions seem to be what help people the most. That regular dose of inspiration, encouragement and progress checking is what so many say makes the difference.

Do you learn much

This is where it falls down. I like the education given. It’s better than its competitors but its still not enough. I don’t feel that those who have gone through the Weight Watchers programme know much more about how their bodies work than before they started. 
That means they don’t know that much about how to keep the pounds off. There isn’t much support in how to adjust you life to keep off the weight you have lost and continue losing as you go.  So I would prefer more practical education in this aspect on the transition into a real long term lifestyle. 

Overall

Sadly Weight Watchers is still mainly a short term fix and needs more support to help its followers transition to make the weight changes  a long term success.
I would recommend it but only as part of a wider strategy. It can be great when you are in the right mindset. It’s like a turbo boost for weight loss. It just doesn’t offer much when the turbo runs out. It’s still too dull than normal food and the lifestyle that put on the pounds. They haven’t figured out how to live a full life and lose weight. No one in this sector has.

How to lose weight

Over the years like everyone I’ve tried all sorts of ways to adjust my weight. Some times gain it and some times lose it. I’ve now got to a point where I am very comfortable getting to the weight i want to be so I feel I have the control and freedom I always wanted. So I thought I was in a position to share a few things I learned along the way. I hope they help.

The thing is though, I am still learning and exploring. So I’m really just sharing the lessons from my journey so far. The most important thing to me is that I’ve found an approach that brings a smile to my face and lots of fun to my life. That’s why I find it works so well. What it does require though is searching for new ideas to keep things fresh but that’s part of the fun.

Here are the articles I have written so far presented Fit2Thrive Play, Compete and Create approach to improving your lifestyle

Play

Enjoy what you do. All the research shows that keeping up your weight loss activity is the most important thing you can do. If you learn to enjoy your life while you lose weight then you have the best set up for success in the short, medium and  long term.

  1. How can you lose weight and be happy?
  2. Create a daily feast and famine cycle
  3. Find your weight loss dynamic
  4. Be active, keep motivated and have fun
  5. Weight loss and Christmas. The food addicts guide to feasts part 1 part 2
  6. Running or just moving. What is most important to losing weight?
  7. Get fit to make the most of every minute
  8. Avoid empty experiences: Make the most of each experience
  9. find your happy place and simplify your life

Compete

How do you fit it all in and get on with your life?

  1. food addiction linked to obesity
  2. Why walking is good for you
  3. Why a food addict can not go ‘Cold Turkey’
  4. The men who made us fat
  5. Calorie and nutrient intake over time
  6. 1 mile a day burns over half a stone in a year
  7. Confessions of a foodaholic
  8. Losing weight is like paying off a loan part one part two
  9. Losing weight: Don’t limit yourself by having a limited goal
  10. Could losing weight be made easier by just taking longer to eat and enjoying every mouthful?
  11. You can’t burn fat without a carbohydrate flame.A general point that must be made clear The body has an abundant supply of fat for energy but a very limited (generally around 500g) store of sugar (carbohydrate) in the form of glycogen. Carbohydrate is crucial to providing energy because you can’t burn fat without a carbohydrate flame. This is because the citric acid cycle
  12. Horizon: The truth about exercise. Brilliant episode: In line with everything I believe. Much of his research is from Loughborough. Shows that 3 mins High intensity Training per week has major health benefits, and that just being active in general is most important. Common theory is being challenged. It’s easier than we thought to get fit. High intentsity exercise and can 3 minutes of exercise a week help make you fit
  13. Daily habits: they can make or break you
  14. Constant stress and weight problems?
  15. Body Rhythms: Hunger
  16. Smarter Goals are key to successful weight loss
  17. Activity doesn’t have to be physical
  18. Body economy
  19. pay off your fat loan
  20. help your body access stored fat

Create

Keep learning and expanding your knowledge of how your body works and what options are open to you.

  1. Exercise and weight loss: Do we know it all yet?
  2. Lose weight and save on heating bills with brown fat!!!
  3. Can we predict calorie consumption so accurately? and could this partly explain yo yo dieting?
  4. Training your intake: Intermittent Fasting
  5. Acheiving your goals means being good at fixing mistakes
  6. Can we both enjoy our meals more, and become healthier?
  7. What’s the fat story? Why do some gain pounds while others stay thin?
  8. Understanding individual uniqueness and complexity is the only true way to finding permanent solutions
  9. Abstinence makes the heart grow fonder.
  10. How crucial is your diet to your health?
  11. It’s not what you eat but the way that you eat it
  12. What can snooker tell us about obesity part one part two part three
  13. How do you control hunger? Don’t eat too much each meal
  14. How do you control hunger? Don’t eat too regularly
  15. Is weight watchers any good?
  16. How activity and exercise improves your health
  17. more exercise helps
  18. Surprising new clue to the roots of hunger, neurons that drive appetite
  19. Lifelong BMI patterns: analysis shows that losing weight at any time can reduce cardiovascular risk.
  20. Do fit flops work?

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Further references

  1. Enjoyment is the way to go

How to lose weight. Create a daily Feast and famine cycle

When I started thinking about turning my weight gain dynamic into a weight loss dynamic I decided I would like to have a feast and famine every day. As humans we’re built to require both feast and famine to the point that the feast sets you up for the famine which sets you up for the feast. I won’t bore you with the technical details. There are many. The research though becomes pretty clear. We have thrived for millenia on feasts and famines. So a pattern you find with many who have good health and a good waist line is they have a healthy attitude to feast and famine. They use both to get the best results.

Don’t believe me. Lets work through an example. Do any of you generally have amazing health by the end of this Christmas holiday season of indulgence? If you do then you’re lucky. I never used to, and most I talked to felt sluggish and bloated.

These days I do actually feel pretty good. I used to binge like everyone else and I was kind of surprised how bad I felt after a week or two of constant eating. I normally feel pretty good but during a holiday season with so much rich food in such a short period overloaded my system. It just felt backed up as though it were still processing the food I had eaten. In fact I think that’s exactly what used to happen. My body simply had too much energy flowing through it and got bogged down. Like any system that is overloaded.

So why not make it all work for you. That’s ny point here. Once I began to use feast and famine in my daily routine I had fun throughout the holiday season. I look forward to the famine (fasting) part of the day as much as the feast.

Outside the holidays my normal work day involves both feast and famine. Dinner generally being the feast, sometimes it’s lunch, often its from lunch to dinner then maybe a snack later, you guessed it, I like to eat :-). The famine actually starting at work in the morning before playing tennis at lunch and occasionally skipping breakfast. Work is kind of obvious but running so hard during tennis is quite an extreme famine that I use to rebalance my body. Force it to need the feast that is about to come.

The famines remind my body to use food properly and clear out anything left over setting me up for the feast. The famine sets my taste buds and other senses up for the feast and also gives me the nice guilt free experience.

Of course that’s a normal day, so what can I do during the holidays. I’m not playing tennis right now becaue I’m letting my body recover from a few injuries. We’re having a roast for dinner so that’s the feast sorted, right now I’ve gone out to costas for a little me time. I looked after our little one this morning and we’re potty training so I’ve earned my rest. I’m just trying Costas spiced apple drink while writing and reading. Just quiet time. It’s a beautiful day so far and when I take cali, our dog, out I may go a little further than just down the road. Yep, I know what you’re thinking but this counts as a famine. I know it’s not a full on hunger strike but it’s more about the principle of not eating. Letting your body get by on its own resources. If you don’t then it gets lazy n only functions when you constantly feed it.

The idea is to have periods in your day where you enjoy a feast and a famine. Both will be small and both will help make your day complete. If you are never more than a few hours from a feast then the famines become really enjoyable. I really start to look forward to them. They make the food taste better and make sure my body needs the food I give it.

Famines also prepare my body for the hustle and bustle of normal life. Those times when you need a drink or some food but there isn’t any around. If you’ve prepared your body like this you will find it handles the situation well because it’s well trained in sparing water, energy and whatever else it needs.

The important thing is to keep these things short. Its just a small thing you can do each day.

So tell me, What is your day like today? and What will you do today to fit in a feast and a famine?

How to lose weight: Find your weight loss dynamic

Losing weight is all about setting up a weight loss dynamic which simply means figuring out what makes you gain weight, then changing the process to make you lose weight. The key is about constant learning by making it a part of your long term life. Something you do all the time or something you bring out when you need to lose a little weight. The confidence it gives you is crucial.

The question you must keep asking then is what makes you gain weight. It’s a very personal question to which you have to be totally honest. If you are not then you’ll be tackling the wrong problem. and that is just a waste of time.

Generally it’s complex too. One week I’m bored and there’s lots of food around, so I eat. Another week I’m on holiday, that’s my challenge right now. Its Christmas and there is just so much good food around to tempt me plus my regular routine is out the window so I have nothing to keep me on track. In fact there are tons of reasons why I put on weight and they change daily. So the only way I’ve learnt to deal with it all is to be aware, pay attention and be ready to explore and learn.

I know that I am good at things I do regularly and things I enjoy. Remember, the weight you lose in the short term isn’t important, it’s the long term that counts. Losing As little as 100 calories a day adds up to half a stone over a year. If you are 100 calories over you will put on weight, 100 calories under and you lost weight. With this principle I’ve made tiny tweaks to my daily routine that took advantage of this and then just chilled out. The big numbers really haven’t been as important as these small ones.

So, what’s your weight gain dynamic. Why do you put on weight? And what is your weight loss dynamic to reverse the trend. What is your equal and opposite reaction?

It always helps to have more ideas.

How to lose weight: Be active, keep motivated and have fun

In other posts I’ve talked about the obvious, physical activity. It is key but I remember now that simple activity is more important. Keeping your mind and soul busy is as important as your body. That just means doing stuff. I often eat because I’m bored. When I plop down in front of the tv I always end up thinking of food. So when I’ve lost weight it’s because I’ve had stuff to do. Either I’ve been busy at work or home or both but I’ve had stuff to occupy my mind.

I still watch TV but I found it a lot easier to do other things when I listen to stuff so podcasts and radio were more helpful. It didn’t particularly matter what I did. As long as it didn’t mean I ate more of course. Just whatever took my fancy. Useful stuff like cooking, cleaning or DIY or fun stuff like going for a walk, playing tennis, visiting the cinema or reading a book.

The point was it was taking my life forward and adding fun. Activity became a useful and fun distraction. So often I would start a little lethargic. After a long day, all that kind of stuff and really quickly I would forget my tiredness and be immersed in what I was doing and happy.

Tell me what you are going to do today to have a little fun. I always like ideas. Most of all have fun 🙂

How can you lose weight and be happy?

I’m planning a series of articles on weight loss tips and weight loss resources. Something I’ve been researching for years. There is so much to say but of course so much has already been said. That’s why I thought I would start with something that seems to get forgotten. Happiness. Why are you trying to lose weight and particularly what will you gain and lose if you do?

The general message is that you can either lose weight or your can be happy. The two seem to be mutually exclusive and I don’t agree. I never have and it’s one of those burning questions I’ve had for years and now I feel not only have I found my answer but I can put it into words too.

Losing weight isn’t generally the challenge for most. Lots of people have lost all the weight they wanted, often even more. Yet they generally put it back on again. When they keep the weight off there are various explanations why but it’s ultimately a very personal set of circumstances. Great, that worked for them, but what about you. It’s easy to feel that it’s really down to luck. Some pick the right approach, or have the right support structure or right genes, other don’t. That’s how most people feel.

That’s not how I see it. I’ve been looking into this question for more than half my life and I’ve struggled for years to come to a clear universal truth, just like everyone else.

The simplest answer I can find is that if you are happy doing something you will continue to do it.Losing weight isn’t hard if you do the right things for long enough but whatever you do you must do it for life. So that means losing weight should make you happy, or better, being happy should make you lose weight.

I will return to the topic of happiness later. For now I just wanted to make this point. Give you an idea where I am going and a little more detail behind this blog. Happiness as its root. When achieving happiness also delivers health, weight loss and general balance we’ve achieved what I set out to achieve.

Weight Loss: Losing weight is like paying off a loan: part two

In part one I introduced the idea that excess weight is energy loaned to you representing a debt you have to pay off. So you could learn from your experiences of paying off other loans and debts. The question being what works for you. You are who you are so you need to work with what you have.

I can already see some interesting insights coming out of this analysis but I, and I expect you, don’t have the time to fully explore them now. What I wanted to explore is the mindset that works for you in paying off debts. My experience tells me that I must live my life while paying my debts. If I focus too hard on paying my debts and stop having a life then I’m not happy.

Being unhappy for too long is it’s own problem and a form of debt. If I’m happy I can put up with the challenges of debt, even over years and decades. So finding ways to be happy while I pay my debts is where I should put most of my effort. It’s a challenge with a real worthwhile end. Something that is motivating in itself because the result is a smile on my face and more laughing through the day.

This in essence is my roundabout way of considering weight loss plans and approaches. I’m not a fan at all of the fanatical diet and trying to lose the weight of an elephant in two minutes. I’d rather feel that I enjoyed putting the weight on so I’m damn well going to enjoy losing it. I’ll definitely learn something while I lose the weight, That way I won’t fear gaining it next time. I will be in charge.

Seeing the weight as a debt may help you transfer your learning from dealing with financial debts to dealing with energy debts and weight loss. It will also remind you that you probably do well at things you joy primarily because you want to do them and so you do them regularly, maybe over years. So you may also notice that regular payments are the best way to pay of long term debts. Having fun in between ensures you keep up the payments not matter how hard they are to deliver.

I hope this helps in some way. Let me know what you think. Is debt a good metaphor? it feels right.

Weight Loss: How do you control hunger? Don’t eat too much each meal

At first this seems like the most obvious thing in the world. The reason I say this is not so obvious so stick with me and let me know what you think.

Another common pattern I have noticed about my own hunger is that the more I generally eat for a meal the more eat I have to eat to satisfy my hunger. It is literally as though my stomach expands and needs more to fill it.

Technically that is what happens. Your body simply adjusts to what you are doing. If you give it a lot to do then at first it finds it tough but soon it gets good at clearing all the food from the stomach and moving it through the digestive system. It doesn’t care about calories and what your body needs. The stomach is in charge of digesting food and if you give it lots of food regularly it will simply ask for more resources and get the job done.

What this means is that the stomach just creates more digestive juices and everything it needs to do its job. The brain tells it when it next needs to be ready to digest a meal again and so the stomach gets more and more efficient and digesting food. Kind of obvious really.

Since you’re now eating so much it seems silly to set your signals for feeling full at your original smaller level so the brain and stomach also agree on new standards of fullness. Essentially they wait for the stomach to expand more than they they used to before triggering the feeling of being full.

That’s the basic idea. The bigger the meals that you eat the bigger the meal your body will expect. I’ve been playing with this principle for years now and found it pretty reliable. So if I want to lose weight I find ways to eat less per meal. Most importantly though I find it takes 2-3 days for your brain and stomach to realise this is a permanent change and adjust their sensitive signals. So you have to wait a few days before your feeling of being full will correspond with eating a smaller meal and being full.

I don’t encourage really small meals. You need to eat enough to be healthy. That is why I prefer activity so you can eat plenty and still lose weight. I just wanted to share what I’ve learnt about controlling my hunger. It no longer rules me and hopefully it will no longer rule you.

Have you tried this before. How did it go?

Weight Loss: How do you control hunger? Don’t eat too regularly

One common pattern I have noticed about my own hunger is that the more regularly you eat the more you start wanting to eat.

What this means is that your body literally responds to what you do with it. If you eat regularly then it creates a habit. It’s worth knowing that your body actually sets up its own internal cycles according to your habits and what happened over the last few days. 
One time I was eating 5 meals a day. It was part of a diet I was trying. I found that I would then be hungry 5 times a day or more at about the times that I normally ate. Being a food addict this wasn’t helpful. I find it hard enough to resist food. Being constantly reminded wasn’t useful. 
I notice the same problem during Christmas and other feasts. I snack during the day and I snack a lot. At first I feel really full but my body quickly adjusts. It starts to expect this regular snacking pattern leaving me hungry throughout the day. It doesn’t actually matter whether my body needs the food. It just seems to adjust. 
What’s actually happening is that my body is making sure it digests food faster so the stomach is ready for the next meal. The regulatory systems also adjust to remind you to eat at the relevant times. 
The point is that it becomes really easy to eat a little more than usual and often a lot more. So since my rhythm is out of sync I need to get it back in sync. It is as simple as reverting to normal meals but you have to wait 2-3 days before your body fully accepts the change. Until then you’re likely to feel hungry at regular intervals. 
Now that I know this I can regain control my hunger making weight loss easier. Another tool I use to restore my balance is intermittent fasts
I hope this helps. What techniques do you use to control or eliminate your hunger?