They say that losing weight is easy, eat fewer calories than you burn and the weight will drop off. Take in the same amount of calories as you burn and your weight will stay exactly as it is. Those of us who have spent a lifetime in search of the holy goal (weight), and trust us, the SOUTH WALES LIFE team are experts on this subject We understand what we read or hear is so easy in principle but the most difficult to put into practice.

So this guide will direct you along the path of losing weight. We are not doctors so would always advise seeking medical advice before embarking on any form of weight loss or exercise programme. What we are however, are seasoned dieters, over a long period of time.

The links below will take you to specific places on this page. If you’re a frequent visitor this will help direct you to what you need. Wherever possible we have also provided you will information you can save, download or print.

Like most of us, we have been at our target weight and been incredibly happy. We’ve thrown the larger wardrobe out and started afresh.

Somewhere along the line though, that feeling good, turns into feeling bad and before we know it, all the weight is back on, and then some. If you’re reading this we’d like to bet that resonates with you too. It is the most frustrating feeling ever. Knowing you’ve achieved success and can actually look at yourself in the mirror and give yourself a smile and a cheeky wink only to be back at square one, and some.

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We’ve heard and said all the standard stuff too.

  • On Monday, that’s it, I’ll start then
  • Let’s just get my Birthday/Easter/Christmas/New Year out of the way first
  • I’m going on holiday soon so I’ll start when I get home

We know about these things because we’ve said them all, way too frequently. So, as we step into a New Year we thought it time we added to the mass of information out there and give you one place you can find a class, get NHS advice, check weight and BMI etc. What you do is of course down to you, and we will stress again, do it properly, safely and with medical support if needs be. I can assure you though, that the team here will be going into 2020 with a new ‘No More Excuses’ attitude. This is the year of permanence.

Over the coming weeks we will add a variety of slimming classes in your area, which can offer that group support, if that works best for you. We do though need to start with the basics and wanted to get this to you now.

BMI

We know that what we weigh can make a huge difference to the risk of coronary heart disease. Being obese, which means your BMI is 30 or greater, adds to the risk, but weight is also linked to other conditions like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, which in turn can increase your chance of heart disease.

For most adults, an ideal BMI is in the 18.5 to 24.9 range. For children and young people aged 2 to 18, the BMI calculation takes into account age and gender as well as height and weight. If your BMI is………………

  • Below 18.5 – you’re in the underweight range
  • Between 18.5 and 24.9 – you’re in the healthy weight range
  • Between 25 and 29.9 – you’re in the overweight range
  • Between 30 and 39.9 – you’re in the obese range 

First thing you need to do is actually check if you need to lose weight. What we think is overweight can be just the opposite. If you’re not sure, calculating your BMI can be a good start and help you work out whether you’re at the right weight for your height. Check your waist circumference too as your body shape is also important. Carrying too much weight around our middle increases risk, even if your BMI is within the healthy range. Check yourself with this BMI CALCULATOR

We would hate to scare any of us and let’s be honest, if scare tactics really worked then no one would smoke, so we know that’s not the way to go. The facts do speak for themselves and it would be wrong of us not to include the NHS figures.

Regardless of your height or body mass index (BMI), you should try to lose weight if your waist is……………….

  • 94cm (37in) or more for men
  • 80cm (31.5in) or more for women

You’re at very high risk of some serious health conditions and should see a GP if your waist is:

  • 102cm (40in) or more for men
  • 88cm (34.5in) or more for women

This is because your risk of getting some health problems is affected by where you store your body fat, as well as by your weight. Carrying too much fat around your middle (waist) can make it more likely for you to get conditions such as………….

  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Stroke

So let’s get onto the stuff you and me need to know. How do I lose weight? Victoria Taylor is Senior Dietitian at the British Heart Foundation………

‘While any weight loss will require a change to eating habits, it shouldn’t mean missing out on nutrients or cutting out whole food groups. Aim for regular meals and a balanced diet but also take care with your portion sizes. You might be eating a healthy balance of foods, just too much of it. Changes to your food aren’t the only thing to consider either. The most effective weight loss approaches combine changes to diet with increased physical activity and also address some of your behaviours around food to help you understand your own eating pattern and responses to food at different times or in certain situations.’

‘Diets that involve removing – or severely limiting – specific foods or food groups that are nutritionally important are not going to be a long-term solution. The more extreme high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets limit fruit, vegetables and fibre, particularly in the early stages, while faddy diets based on single foods (cabbage soup, anyone?) involve eating a lot of one type of food and not much of others. Some diets also drastically limit calorie intake so you get results fast. However, a very low-calorie intake can leave you tired and hungry, so you give up, regaining the weight as quickly as it came off.’

‘National guidelines recommend that, for sustainable weight loss, a reduction in calorie intake of about 600 a day is needed. This could lead to a weekly weight loss of around 0.5kg (1lb). While it may not sound a great deal next to the promises of many quick-fix diets, it allows you to incorporate healthy eating habits into your lifestyle permanently, so you’re more likely to keep it off for good.’

DIET TIPS

The Diet Doctor has produced a dozen really good, easy to follow tips to kick start any diet regime……….

  1. Choose a low-carb diet
  2. Eat when hungry
  3. Eat real food
  4. Eat only when hungry
  5. Measure your progress wisely
  6. Be persistent
  7. Avoid beer
  8. Avoid artificial sweeteners
  9. Review any medications
  10. Stress less, sleep more
  11. Eat less of dairy products and nuts
  12. Exercise wisely

We want to share a dozen more from the NHS. We’ve included links to useful pages which will offer further advice should you need it……….

1. Do not skip breakfast

Skipping breakfast will not help you lose weight. You could miss out on essential nutrients and you may end up snacking more throughout the day because you feel hungry. Check out healthy breakfast recipes

2. Eat regular meals

Eating at regular times during the day helps burn calories at a faster rate. It also reduces the temptation to snack on foods high in fat and sugar. Find out more about eating heathly

3. Eat plenty of fruit and veg

Fruit and veg are low in calories and fat, and high in fibre – 3 essential ingredients for successful weight loss. They also contain plenty of vitamins and minerals. Read up on getting your 5 A Day

4. Get more active

Being active is key to losing weight and keeping it off. As well as providing lots of health benefits, exercise can help burn off the excess calories you cannot lose through diet alone. Find an activity you enjoy and are able to fit into your routine.

5. Drink plenty of water

People sometimes confuse thirst with hunger. You can end up consuming extra calories when a glass of water is really what you need. Read more about drinking water as part of a heathly diet

6. Eat high fibre foods

Foods containing lots of fibre can help keep you feeling full, which is perfect for losing weight. Fibre is only found in food from plants, such as fruit and veg, oats, wholegrain bread, brown rice and pasta, and beans, peas and lentils.

7. Read food labels

Knowing how to read food labels can help you choose healthier options. Use the calorie information to work out how a particular food fits into your daily calorie allowance on the weight loss plan. Find out more about reading food labels

8. Use a smaller plate

Using smaller plates can help you eat smaller portions. By using smaller plates and bowls, you may be able to gradually get used to eating smaller portions without going hungry. It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain it’s full, so eat slowly and stop eating before you feel full.

9. Do not ban foods

Do not ban any foods from your weight loss plan, especially the ones you like. Banning foods will only make you crave them more. There’s no reason you cannot enjoy the occasional treat as long as you stay within your daily calorie allowance.

10. Do not stock junk food

To avoid temptation, do not stock junk food – such as chocolate, biscuits, crisps and sweet fizzy drinks – at home. Instead, opt for healthy snacks, such as fruit, unsalted rice cakes, oat cakes, unsalted or unsweetened popcorn, and fruit juice.

11. Cut down on alcohol

A standard glass of wine can contain as many calories as a piece of chocolate. Over time, drinking too much can easily contribute to weight gain. Find out more about the calories in alcohol

12. Plan your meals

Try to plan your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the week, making sure you stick to your calorie allowance. You may find it helpful to make a weekly shopping list.

DIET DOWNLOADS

Over the years, we have done every possible diet going. We’ve done classes, eaten cabbage, drunk water (a lot), cut out carbs, added carbs, eaten meat and dairy and the list goes on. We’ve now come to the conclusion that the only proper way to lose weight is slow and steady. With that in mind, here is a 12-week weight loss plan from NHS UK.

Simply click on the link below and EVERYTHING you need will be there. Lists, advice, charts, weekly diet plans and so much more. Either save it to your device or (as we have done) print it out and keep it near your fridge.

TWELVE WEEK PLAN

Here are a few sample sheets you can save or print to help over the coming weeks……

When we talk about losing weight we think it’s all about restraint and denial, and of course it is to a degree. What you should never do however, is cut out all the things you love completely. Give yourself a little treat – occasionally. If you’re going to a party or somewhere special, allow yourself a little indulgence, just make sure they don’t turn into a daily habit or you’ll be back to square one before you know it. If you do slip up, just put it behind you and start again. We have all said those words…..

‘I’ve blown it now so I’ll wait till Monday and start again.’ Monday never comes.

Give yourself a little treat that isn’t linked to food. Get a manicure or massage. Go see a movie. Treat yourself to something new for the wardrobe. Not all pleasures have to be linked to food, in fact the best ones aren’t. Celebrate your achievements as you go and not wait till you reach goal. Every pound lost actually relates to two, if you think about it. You would definitely have added a few.

It’s always nice to have something to refer to to help us along this tricky journey. This FREE Easy Meals App is a great way to eat foods that are healthier for you. You’ll find delicious, easy meal ideas to get you going if you’re ever short of inspiration. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to prepare, or think of new meal ideas. Remembering ingredients and keeping track of calories can be a hassle. This app helps you to do all of this and more!

So let’s help each other to kick off a New Year with 5 more ways to stick to a healthy diet and finally shift the weight. Don’t be like us and remember times like the millennium New Year for example. I distinctly remember the words ‘this is definitely it’ coming from my lips, soon to be replaced by a bar of Fruit & Nut. Twenty years later, me, you and billions more are still finding a way to shift those pounds. Here at SOUTH WALES LIFE we think we’ve found the answer.

LET’S JUST DO IT AND MAKE IT COUNT THIS TIME

Start your day with vegetables: Eating them for breakfast might seem strange, but it’s actually the best way to start your day. Stir fried kale with bacon and egg. Yummy

2. Eat colours: Don’t limit yourself to any particular colour. Remember that different colours are the result of different vitamins and minerals. Also, if you don’t like one particular colour vegetable, mix or stir it in with another and you’ll not know it was there.

3. Don’t Just Eat Salad: I’m afraid I’m guilty of this one and as lovely as it is for a while, the boredom soon kicks in. Some veg actually works best when it’s cooked, the vitamins are activated if you like. And it’s winter, a nice warm veggie stew has got to be up there, hasn’t it?

According to Chinese medicine, eating too much raw or cold food can dampen the Spleen, leading to symptoms like sluggish digestion, loose stools, and general digestive imbalance.

4. Don’t forget a Pickle: Pickles are great for adding texture and sharpness to a meal and a good way to get all the benefits of vegetables into your system.

5. Plan your meals around veggies: Don’t need to say more than that. Remember the meat and two veg phrase? Then stick to it, cause actually, they are a fantastic part of the meal and a great way to fill you up with fewer calories.

SLIMMING GROUPS

Here are some useful links to a variety of Slimming Groups or clubs, if that’s how you want to achieve your weight loss. Some are South Wales only, others national and international. The final one is something new we heard about recently and it’s FREE.

SLIMMING WALES

SLIMMING WALES look to help you achieve your personal goals and give you that extra push to keep you motivated during your weight loss journey.

SLIMTONE

SLIMTONE classes have been running in central South Wales for over 30 years!
Here’s what you get when you join a class:-

  • A warm welcome from the class leader and Slimtone members
  • A personal review and introduction to the Slimtone Lifestyle Plan, including your personal copy of the Lifestyle Pack
  • Personal support, encouragement and motivation from Marie and her team
  • Tips, ideas and support from other Slimtone members
  • Special offers from local businesses
SLIMMING WORLD

With the SLIMMING WORLD Food Optimising plan you can enjoy delicious, satisfying, healthy meals made with everyday ingredients. Food Optimising has helped millions of people lose weight without ever feeling deprived!

WEIGHT WATCHERS

The WEIGHT WATCHERS system works like this…..

  • Everyone’s weight-loss needs are different. Their new programme is customised to make losing weight easier for you. 
  • When you join, you’ll unlock a personal assessment that gets to know your eating habits, food preferences, lifestyle, and activity level.
  • Based on your answers, you’ll get matched with a colour (Blue, Green, and Purple) that guides you toward food choices geared for your goals.
  • Access all the tools you need to succeed—your WW app will be personalised with your food and activity tracker, Connect groups, FitPoints®, WellnessWins, and more.
LIGHTERLIFE

At LIGHTERLIFE they believe that your transformation goes far beyond your appearance, or the number on the scales; it is much more about developing the skills you need to change your mindset and focus on the life you gain – it is about making lasting change.

ROSEMARY CONLEY

ROSEMARY CONLEY has a variety of eating plans that combines ‘light’ eating days with ‘normal’ eating days when you can eat and drink what you like. Boost your body, lose weight and cleanse your system with great recipes and exercises to help you look and feel amazing in just four weeks.

JANE PLAN

JANE PLAN is a diet you do at home and is based on ordering pre-prepared meals. Yes, she is a real person. Jane Michell is a wife & mother with three children. Her mission is to spread the love for healthy food and flavours. She is passionate about eating lighter and leaner and the effect it has on our waist line and our wellbeing.

WEIGHT LOSS WEDNESDAYS

WEIGHT LOSS WEDNESDAYS are a little bit different. They are very much about attendees supporting each other and, most importantly, they are FREE.

  • WHO
    Attendees are of all ages and all genders who understand the importance of support from their peer group when it comes to losing weight.
  • WHY
    Sharing your tips, frustrations, highs and lows of your weight loss journey is beneficial to both you and others.
  • WHERE
    Depends on where you are but usually they meet at the right hand side of the main bar at the venue.
  • WHEN
    They meet every Wednesday of course. Aim to get there between 7pm and 7.30pm. The meeting finishes whenever….
  • WHAT
    Discuss your weight loss journey for the week just gone with your fellow dieters. Don’t be frightened to reveal your total weight loss or even gain for the week. Share what worked and didn’t work.
  • COST
    It’s 100% free and always will be.

Weight Loss Wednesdays is brought to you by Ajay Ahuja, author of the Eat Anything Diet book. In fact, if you’d like a free copy of his book, just go here. DIET

They have so many gatherings all over South Wales, just click on the link and follow the instructions. They host over 600 free weight loss support groups every Wednesday across the UK so with a bit of luck there will be one near you.

Over the next few week we’ll be adding to this page. Events in your area. Places you can go for support and more useful tips and advice. Bookmark this page, tell your friends and lets all get through this together.

2020 is definitely our year

All health content on southwaleslife.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local health care provider.

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