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Happy Weight is an Adventure

Finding your ‘happy weight’ is about feeling good about yourself and your body not hitting a set weight on the scales. It’s about a size and shape that’s healthy and at which your body is comfortable. Fed up with failing when it comes to losing some weight and keeping it off? Use a new approach.

What’s YOUR happy weight

Forget fad diets. They don’t work in the long-term because they’re not sustainable, say Doctors. It’s more important to find a long-term diet, a healthier way of eating that satisfies you, is affordable, suits your lifestyle and provides all the nutrients you need.

Address emotional issues. Most of us know what to eat — the question, though, is why are we choosing foods that expand our waistlines? Often it’s to do with stress, lack of time, anxiety. Those are the issues we need to get a handle on before we can lose weight successfully.

Take it slow. If you want to make something stick, it’s got to be baby steps. Don’t overhaul your entire diet in one go. Make a series of little tweaks over weeks.

The Food Rules

Keep it real. Eat food as close to its natural state as possible. Fruit and veg, nuts and seeds. Avoid too many processed foods, takeaways and ready meals.

Know what you’ve eaten each day. It’s easy to lose track, especially with snacks and drinks loaded with hidden calories. Simply write down what you eat each day or use a smartphone app.

Don’t eat on the go. It doesn’t give your body a chance to register signals between the stomach and brain that you’re full. Sit down to eat meals, chew slowly and savour each mouthful.

Cut back, not cut out. Don’t impose unrealistic food bans on yourself in drinks and prioritise the positives — think what you can eat, not what you can’t. You’ll find it far easier to stick with.

Don’t forget the drinks. Calories in drinks can easily add up, especially when it comes to alcohol. A 175ml glass of dry white, contains a whopping 160 calories.

The Hormone Effect

Falling hormone levels around and after menopause mean less muscle mass, less energy burned and more energy stored; mostly around your middle. Here’s how to fight back:

Build muscle. Weight-bearing or resistance exercise at least three times a week is crucial for this stage of life.

Eat less. You need around 100-200 fewer calories after menopause. Use a smaller plate and fill it with more veg, pulses, wholegrains and fewer sugary foods.

Control stress. Try relaxation techniques such as mindfulness or tai chi. American researchers found that just 30 minutes of yoga a week helps prevent middle-age spread.

Prioritise sleep. Research suggests that getting fewer than seven hours a night of sleep, raises your obesity risk. Lack of sleep affects your circadian rhythms, which regulate appetite, metabolism and how and where your body lays down the fat stores.

Prioritize Exercise for Happy Weight

Regular activity is crucial to help you shape up and to reduce your risk of many different diseases, but you need to find your “happy” workout if you’re going to stick at it. Here’s how:

It needn’t cost much. Ditch the gym. If you don’t enjoy it or it is getting expensive, don’t go. Gym membership, exercise classes and workout kits can be pricey, instead pick an activity you like. Gardening or dancing, for example, can be just as effective if you do them regularly. Youtube is filled with videos and new ideas on various activities that are fun, fulfilling and the information is free! Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world — that should mean something.

Build activity into your day. You’re more likely to exercise if it’s an established part of your daily/weekly routine, such as walking to work, the shops or weekly club, or simply taking the stairs instead of the lift.

If you want to do it quickly, do it alone, but if you want to go far, DO IT TOGETHER.

Find a Friend. Research shows you are more likely to stay with exercise if you don’t do it alone. The ‘social aspect’ and ‘letting someone down’ if you don’t go, are genuine motivators.

3 Step Success

Break weight loss into manageable chunks. Don’t say, I’m going to loose three stone. Instead think: This week I’ll eat healthy for three days. Your brain can’t cope with being motivated for long periods.

Build healthy habits. Ditch unachievable drastic changes. Instead, steadily introduce useful habits into your routine – like a green tea and a handful of almonds instead of si(x)ck biscuits!

Visualize your success. It’s motivating to picture your end goal, to visualize your targets. Think of: yourself climbing the stairs without gasping for breath and choose a photo or collection of words that represent your goal. Stick them somewhere prominent, like the fridge, to help you ask questions like, ‘should I really have another glass of wine?’

E360 – Happy Weight is an Adventure –

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