Lose weight—gain weight – it is so depressing! It’s time to find a new way
What is your healthy weight? There are many ways of defining your health weight: BMI (Body Mass Index: calculator on my Live Classes page), H2W (Height to Waist Ratio should be less that than 0.5) and also the weight you feel is right for you. Although the calculations help, begin this exercise by choose what feels right for you – you can fine tune it later on. The important part of this exercise is to write down the weight you wish to achieve and then work out how much in pounds or kilos you need to lose to get there. If this is a large amount – please don’t be scared: it is just what it is. This is the new you and a new approach that is about being gentle and kind to yourself.
It may seem a strange idea, but it’s been shown that we eat with our eyes in terms of how much food we put on our plate. Although many of you will have realized that habit dictates portion sizes too, what you may not realize is that your eyes and brain subconsciously assess how much food will be enough to satisfy your hunger by considering the volume of food (or drink) that is in front of you.
We don’t like to admit that advertising influences food choice—but I think both consciously and subconsciously it does. Food manufacturers also determine, to a large extent, our portion sizes by providing food in set sizes – which may be too big for what we need. And I know for sure that the brands pay a lot of attention to the aspirational lifestyle that is attached to their product. For example, the Diet Coke ads typically show a slim, flirtatious, funny, attractive women easily attracting the attention of a hunky man. Today I’d like to show you how advertising influences food choices and how we can become more in control of what we choose.
Everyday you are bombarded with literally dozens and dozens of different food choices. Walk down your high street, watch TV for just half-an-hour, pop into your local supermarket – and you will see just how pervasive and persuasive food advertising is. No wonder we are so easily drawn into making choices based on the advertising messages so cleverly put across to us.
It all began a week before Christmas when a client gave me a big box of chocolates. At other times of the year, I would thanked them kindly for their gift but later given them to someone else as that much sugar would blow my system—but I thought, ‘It’s Christmas, these are yummy chocolates, it won’t hurt me if I only have 1 or 2 chocolates a day’. And so in the days leading up to the big HoHoHo the chocolate box was slowly demolished. And my sugar addiction, like other addictions, cascaded into desiring more and more sweet treats. Insidiously my usual 80:20 Clean Eating went out of the window. I was also eating more wheat – again because I was out with friends and was tempted by the delicious seasonal fayre and the false conviction that it would be OK.
Christmas Day here on Portland was a quiet yet delightful day, and food of course played a big role. My daughter Tabs and I enjoyed our morning cooking together and preparing food for the day. The turkey was a triumph – our best ever attempt, succulent and tasty and the large selection of vegetables some with special toppings were nothing short of perfect. And we had all the trimmings including bread sauce and my special recipe stuffing. Pudding was a ginger, pineapple and cream log and I drank a sparkling fruit drink instead of wine. In the afternoon and evening we ate more chocolates, sampled the exotic sweet dried fruits I been given and yet later still more nibbles, pickles and Christmas ham.
If you have adopted Clean Eating and are losing weight, what do you do when facing the biggest eating and drinking event of the year? With so much tempting food and drink around is both possible to enjoy Christmas without gaining weight?
Christmas is not the time to be a martyr over weight loss – it’s time to enjoy the wonderful foods of the season. What you eat over one or two days will not seriously impact on your weight. And yet therein lies the problem for most people. Christmas celebrations now begin on December 1st and go all the way through to the New Year. There are more than the usual social get-togethers with office do’s, mock-Christmases, sports and club parties and parties because it’s good to celebrate Christmas! Eating and drinking more than usual on ALL of these occasions as well as on the Christmas Day and Boxing Day – will most likely lead to gaining weight. As with many things then, there needs to be a balance of enjoying the season’s rich food and drink combined with a modicum of restraint.
With Christmas just 2 weeks away (eek STILL so much to do!) party season is in full swing and many an alcoholic drink will be drunk. But what if you don’t want to drink alcohol – or not drink as much as usual? Are you doomed to celebrate with just a sparkling mineral water? No! Mocktails and non-alcoholic drinks are increasingly popular and can help (if you need it) feel more like part of the party.
Due to persuasive advertising, most people believe that margarine, or the ‘Healthy Spreads’ as they are now often called, is a better choice than butter. But is it? Which is best for you – butter or margarine? I believe butter is better. Please don’t misunderstand: I’m not saying lashings of butter is good for you: it isn’t! Often there is a much better choice of an oil or fat, particularly in cooking. However, if you are going to choose one over the other, my recommendation would be butter. I know this is controversial, so let me explain a little more.
Note from Jennie: This blog was written in May 2013. The ads mentioned about burning off calories after drinking a Regular Coke have been dropped, but the persuasiveness of the their current ads and what’s really in these drinks is still important – so I’ve decided to publish it on this website
Stop! Don’t drink that can of Coke…
Forgive me: I’m about to have a rant, but before I do, let me breathe and give you some information so you know where I’m coming from. Also I need to say up-front, that there was a time when I was hooked on Diet Coke, so I know how addictive it is.
Coca Cola is, as I’m sure you know, the world’s largest soft-drink producer. Globally, 1.7 billion servings of their drinks are drunk every day. Only 2 countries in the world do not (legally) sell Coca Cola: North Korea and Cuba. Their yearly revenue in 2011 was over $35 billion which makes them equivalent to the 84th largest economy in the world.