Last week we discussed just jumping, taking the plunge and throwing yourself off that cliff edge into your new lifestyle.

If you have done just that, then congratulations, you have finally made the commitment to live your life for you, for your families and friends, and be the best version of yourself. That’s not to say there was anything wrong with the other version of you, but we can’t tell you enough, how you will definitely feel happier being healthier and fitter, and if your aim is to lose weight, then that will take care of itself!

But… we all know that you aren’t going to wake up and be healthier and fitter overnight, just like you didn’t wake up one morning, suddenly feeling unhealthy and maybe a little bit unhappy. So, the first part of this journey to the new version of you is to accept that this isn’t going to happen immediately, and just start to make small incremental changes to get you on the right path, eating less, moving more and living differently.

Software and Apps

If you think about software, and apps… how often do our phones have to update over night – sometimes its daily…there’s always another version, and the software companies never stop changing things to make the next version better than the last – and this is the same as us. We should
never stop improving and finding ways to be the best version of ourselves. Don’t be happy with just good enough… be the best you can be!

Take each change one day at a time, wait for that change to bed in, test the software, see if it works
for you, see if you can maintain it forever, and if you can keep going…. then work out how you can
improve on that, and make another change and so on and so on. Trial and error – there isn’t a one
size fits all for this, you have to find what works for you!

Find the Quick Wins

We know that most people find that moving more is relatively easy to do, especially at this time of
the year, the weather is a bit nicer we have lighter evenings, all motivating you to get outside and go
for a walk or a jog, or just doing something a bit more active.

We also know that people come to us and say, I can’t understand why I haven’t lost weight this
week, because I’ve done so much exercise… and we definitely know that in these circumstances it
will usually be because they haven’t eaten to their calories.

Remember the stats – if you are eating to the point that you are currently gaining weight, to get to
the point where are you losing weight you will probably need to eat 7000 less calories a week. This
equates to 1000 calories less a day – which is the equivalent of 5 hit sessions each day, 2hours of
spinning, a 7-10 mile run or 5 hours of strength training… so take your pick!

The biggest window of opportunity is definitely the food!

When we started losing weight, we looked for those opportunities to get the biggest calorie deficits – for Rick it was ditching custard creams, milk, cheese, for Rachel it was bread, garlic bread, and pasta.
Rachel swapped sandwiches and crisps at lunch for salad or soups with no bread, started weighing
pasta, to make sure she was only using what she should, and stopped having garlic bread as an
accompaniment to her evening meals. Simple things, but could probably have saved 5 or 600
calories a day.

Prior to starting to eat healthier she had got into the habit of buying chocolate bars, and eating
multiple chocolate biscuits a day… that simply had to stop… so no more chocolate bars at the
checkouts in the supermarket, no more kit-kats with a brew.

Rick cut out cheese completely, and never bought a pack of custard creams again!

This is also about making smart choices… resist the marketing of those diet products, specially
formulated (read ‘marketed’) to help you lose weight. If you read the labels you will see that they
aren’t that particularly better for you after all…

Some examples

  • Go ahead yogurt breaks – only 73 calories a slice – but they come in packs of 2 – so that’s nearly 150
    calories – compared with a kit kat at 107 calories.
  • Muller light chocolate yogurts – fat free and 99 calories or Tesco Value Chocolate Mousse – 81
    calories.
  • Special K Milk Chocolate Chewy delight bar – 96 calories or 4 squares of dark chocolate- 88 calories.

We know which we would rather have! This is behaviour change not marketing tricks!

Obsessing over the wrong things

We work with a lady who obsesses over losing weight and telling everyone how many calories she is
consuming but insists upon buying these special, diet, treat foods, and guess what? She isn’t losing
weight. Because eating these foods isn’t necessarily changing her behaviour around food. It’s just
replacing one bad food with a slightly less bad food. To really change your behaviour, and therefore
your lifestyle, you need to remove these types of foods altogether.

We aren’t saying don’t have treats at all, maybe reduce it once or twice a week. This is about choosing to eat healthy and clean for most of the time. Eating foods packed with sweeteners and chemicals that are put in to trick your body into thinking you have had a treat are most definitely not clean – we have a bit of a rule, if we can’t pronounce the ingredient, we probably won’t eat it.

Clean eating sounds faddy but it isn’t…it’s just about keeping things simple, and we like simple! Clean eating is just the term that’s been applied to eating food that’s fresh and natural and easy for the body to process. Clean eating is likely to help you on your way to hitting your calorie target, because clean eating foods are lower in calorie, nutritious and filling.

Be Strong Golden Rules

Our Be Strong Golden rules implement the clean eating ethos….

  1. Get your five a day every day (and more if you can)
    80g of fruit or vegetables counts as one of your five a day
    Fruit juice can only count once (150ml) – due to its high sugar content – high sugar = more
    calories
    Potatoes do not count as one of your five a day
  2. Drink plenty of water – fruit juices and fizzy drinks are full of sugar and therefore additional
    calories!
  3. Make sure your plate looks like the eat well plate, when you have a meal
  4. Choose wholemeal/grain bread, rice and pasta
  5. Choose skinless, lean white meats and fish
  6. If you feel peckish eat a piece of fruit or raw veg pieces – carry a couple of pieces of fruit in
    your bag, in case you get peckish when you’re out and about
  7. Cut down on alcohol – try to have at least 5 alcohol free days a week
  8. Drink a pint of water half an hour before every meal
  9. Take your time with your meals, eat slowly, sip water with your meal, and stop eating when
    you are full
  10. Choose healthier cooking practices – grilling instead of frying, cutting visible fat off meats,
    poaching, boiling and steaming are all fat free methods of cooking

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