Tag Archive: detox
  1. 3 winning ways to lose weight for good in 2017

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    Are you ready to make this the year you reach the weight you want? And stay there? You can do it, with the right mental approach. Here are 3 winning ways you can use with 5:2 to help you feel and look at your healthy best…

    Many of us have been through the “new year, new you cycle”: starting afresh on January 1, only to fall off the wagon after a few days or weeks, finding life or emotions scupper our very best intentions.

    So how can you make this year’s story have a happy ending? As a former yoyo dieter myself, I can absolutely relate to the hope-despair cycle, and having broken that myself with intermittent fasting, I’d say 5:2 is the way to go. But whatever your approach, here are 3 things that apply whatever diet or approach you’re deciding.

    Strategy 1: Plan to stay on track: most of us have a lead-up to starting a new regime, and this planning time can make all the difference. Work out the day you’re starting your approach, write it in your diary and in the days leading up to it, make time to:diary

    • Get rid of unhelpful foods (especially the ones you know make you eat more) from your cupboard and replace with better options: place the processed foods out of reach or throw them out, lay in fresh and frozen veg and lean meats for meals.
    • Share your plans and dreams with those close to you: explain why this matters to you and what support you need from them, whether it’s keeping the biscuits out of sight, or encouraging you to take a walk each evening.
    • Plan some healthier meals in advance – you could make soup now and freeze it, and make sure you have the right ingredients for your first couple of fast days.

    Strategy 2: Eat thoughtfully: from Day 1, think more carefully about what you’re eating. This means:

    Panch-phoran-tomato-and-lentil-soup-550x357
    • Think before you eat: is this a good choice for you right now? Is it going to fill you up and nourish your body? Aim for a range of different coloured vegetables to accompany lean meat, fish, eggs or veggie proteins. If you are craving something that won’t help you, try writing down your feelings before eating and seeing if there’s something else that might stop any negative emotions: reading a book, calling a friend, doing something practical in the house?
    • Think as you eat: eat slowly, savour the smells, flavours and textures, put your cutlery down between mouthfuls, and try to eat at the table with friends or family, which will naturally slow you down and give your body time to feel full from what you’re eating. Coronation quinoa with asparagus and almonds 285 cals
    • Think after you eat: what aspect of the meal did you enjoy? Can you adapt the recipe for future days, freeze leftovers? Jot down your ideas so you have a record you can refer to in future.

    Strategy 3: Learn from your lapses: we all have lapses. People who keep the weight off learn from them, so they can avoid them happening again.

    • Why did you eat something unhelpful? Was it circumstance – a birthday cake offered at work – or was it a response to something emotional? Or perhaps you were hungry and there was nothing healthier in the fridge?goal-729571_1280
    • How can you stop it happening again? Think about strategies you can use next time round:
      • Taking a slice of that birthday cake to eat a non-fast day, or taking a quick walk, till everyone has finished and the cake’s cleared away!
      • Writing down your feelings, or finding a friend to chat to rather than eating when you’re low or vulnerable.
      • Keeping a list of quick, healthy recipes handy to help you when you’re hungry but inspiration is lacking.
    • Don’t agonise too much over any lapses: staying a healthy weight is a lifetime story, and no single indulgence will undo a mostly good, balanced diet. It will only knock you off course if you let it. Instead of thinking it’s ‘all or nothing’, simply start again with a great choice of meal next time you eat.

    For a happy ever after weight loss story, you need to take the long view: train yourself to take better decisions, most of the time; create a home environment that encourages great health; and decide to learn from mistakes instead of beating yourself up. We’re only human… and by working on the right strategies now, by this time next year, eating well and maintaining a healthy weight will come naturally for you.

    For much more information about how to make 5:2 work for you, take a look at the 5:2 Books – 5:2 Your Life is about strategies to improve your whole life, while Good Food Kitchen and the Ultimate 5:2 Recipe Book offer delicious recipes and inspiring case studies to help you make intermittent fasting work for you.

    5-2 books
  2. Miracles don’t exist…

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    Why miracles don’t exist… but 5:2 is the key to success

    apples-634572_1920We all love the idea of a weight loss miracle – a food, supplement or milk-shake that will burn fat or undo all the damage caused by days, months or even years of poor decisions.

    maple-709988_1920

    Just lately, the 5:2 Facebook group was busy with a discussion about ‘apple detoxes’ – and in the past, we’ve had similar discussions where people get excited about similar ‘miracle’ plans, from maple syrup and cayenne concoctions, to that old favourite, the cabbage soup diet.

    My heart always sinks when these posts appear because I completely understand why people want to believe in a kickstart. But I also feel most of these are doomed to failure. savoy-cabbage-959094_1920And here’s why:

    1. Restricting your diet to a single food can work short-term… whether it’s apples or soup, it’s relatively easy to stick to one or two food groups for a short period of time, and most miracle diets suggest a low-calorie food. So if you eat only apples, or asparagus, or soup, or eggs for a few days, you will lose weight, but not because of any magical properties in that ingredient. You’ll also likely feel more in control if you stick to it – and if the diet is veg or fruit-based, the fibre will also get your digestion moving, so the result will be feeling pretty good, short-term.
    2. But boredom means you’re almost certain to rebound.. and that’s the essential problem. However much you love the ingredient suggested, we crave variety in our food, and your body will make you want something different: for good reason, as we can’t survive long-term on one type of food as it will miss out different nutrients. The danger is we may fall off the wagon in spectacular style, binging or rewarding ourselves for our ‘good’ behaviour by eating a lot and cancelling out calorie deficits from those ‘good’ days.mixed produce
    3. Plus anything called a ‘detox’ is based on dubious science: our bodies are designed to detoxify themselves, and if we’re in good health, our kidneys and liver are working hard to rid out bodies of anything that isn’t good for us. Anything labelled a detox instantly rings alarm bells for me. Especially if it involves expensive supplements, shakes or other retail products…

    So what’s the alternative?

    One of the reasons intermittent fasting helps us lose weight – and keep it off – is that it encourages variety, and bans nothing.

    That does mean you can handle your fast days anyway you like – so if doing a fast based on a single ingredient appeals, you could try it. But go in with your eyes open: it’s a kick-start, nothing more, nothing less, and it’s not a long-term solution.

    In my opinion, a better option is to focus on a variety of minimally processed foods on both fast and non-fast days. For much more information, take a look at my strategies for reaching and staying at your healthy weight.

    Or for a more thorough look at how to make 5:2 work for you, take a look at the 5:2 Books – 5:2 Your Life is about strategies to improve your whole life, while Good Food Kitchen and the Ultimate 5:2 Recipe Book offer delicious recipes and inspiring case studies to help you make intermittent fasting work for you.

    5-2 books
  3. Winning strategies to reach the weight you want

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    Winning strategies to help you reach the weight you want this year

    sparkler-677774_1280

    Are you ready to make this the year you reach the weight you want? And stay there? You can do it, with the right mental approach. Here are 3 winning strategies you can use with 5:2 to help you feel and look at your healthy best…

    Many of us have been through the “new year, new you cycle”: starting afresh on January 1, only to fall off the wagon after a few days or weeks, finding life or emotions scupper our very best intentions.

    2016So how can you make this year’s story have a happy ending? As a former yoyo dieter myself, I can absolutely relate to the hope-despair cycle, and having broken that myself with intermittent fasting, I’d say 5:2 is the way to go. But whatever your approach, here are 3 things that apply whatever diet or approach you’re deciding.

    Strategy 1: Plan to stay on track: most of us have a lead-up to starting a new regime, and this planning time can make all the difference. Work out the day you’re starting your approach, write it in your diary and in the days leading up to it, make time to:diary

    • Get rid of unhelpful foods (especially the ones you know make you eat more) from your cupboard and replace with better options: place the processed foods out of reach or throw them out, lay in fresh and frozen veg and lean meats for meals.
    • Share your plans and dreams with those close to you: explain why this matters to you and what support you need from them, whether it’s keeping the biscuits out of sight, or encouraging you to take a walk each evening.
    • Plan some healthier meals in advance – you could make soup now and freeze it, and make sure you have the right ingredients for your first couple of fast days.

    Strategy 2: Eat thoughtfully: from Day 1, think more carefully about what you’re eating. This means:

    Panch-phoran-tomato-and-lentil-soup-550x357
    • Think before you eat: is this a good choice for you right now? Is it going to fill you up and nourish your body? Aim for a range of different coloured vegetables to accompany lean meat, fish, eggs or veggie proteins. If you are craving something that won’t help you, try writing down your feelings before eating and seeing if there’s something else that might stop any negative emotions: reading a book, calling a friend, doing something practical in the house?
    • Think as you eat: eat slowly, savour the smells, flavours and textures, put your cutlery down between mouthfuls, and try to eat at the table with friends or family, which will naturally slow you down and give your body time to feel full from what you’re eating. Coronation quinoa with asparagus and almonds 285 cals
    • Think after you eat: what aspect of the meal did you enjoy? Can you adapt the recipe for future days, freeze leftovers? Jot down your ideas so you have a record you can refer to in future.

    Strategy 3: Learn from your lapses: we all have lapses. People who keep the weight off learn from them, so they can avoid them happening again.

    • Why did you eat something unhelpful? Was it circumstance – a birthday cake offered at work – or was it a response to something emotional? Or perhaps you were hungry and there was nothing healthier in the fridge?goal-729571_1280
    • How can you stop it happening again? Think about strategies you can use next time round:
      • Taking a slice of that birthday cake to eat a non-fast day, or taking a quick walk, till everyone has finished and the cake’s cleared away!
      • Writing down your feelings, or finding a friend to chat to rather than eating when you’re low or vulnerable.
      • Keeping a list of quick, healthy recipes handy to help you when you’re hungry but inspiration is lacking.
    • Don’t agonise too much over any lapses: staying a healthy weight is a lifetime story, and no single indulgence will undo a mostly good, balanced diet. It will only knock you off course if you let it. Instead of thinking it’s ‘all or nothing’, simply start again with a great choice of meal next time you eat.

    For a happy ever after weight loss story, you need to take the long view: train yourself to take better decisions, most of the time; create a home environment that encourages great health; and decide to learn from mistakes instead of beating yourself up. We’re only human… and by working on the right strategies now, by this time next year, eating well and maintaining a healthy weight will come naturally for you.

    For much more information about how to make 5:2 work for you, take a look at the 5:2 Books – 5:2 Your Life is about strategies to improve your whole life, while Good Food Kitchen and the Ultimate 5:2 Recipe Book offer delicious recipes and inspiring case studies to help you make intermittent fasting work for you.

    5-2 books