Join me in my journey through the world of weight loss.

Like many people, I have struggled with my weight most of my adult life, but unlike many people, I am a qualified nutritionist, I understand food and what it does to your body, I was a chef for goodness sake and have worked with food most of my working life, so, why? Why am I overweight?

I suppose I could blame my Dad who always made me eat everything on my plate, maybe it’s because my brother always called me ‘fat’, even though I wasn’t at that point, maybe my metabolism is slow or I’m big boned! Whatever, I’m still overweight, so pointing the finger isn’t making me lose weight either. Only I can do this.

I’ve been to Slimming World, Zumba, Weightwatchers and counted calories, all with a modicum of short-lived success. But now I’ve lost my first stone easily in exactly a month because I finally ‘get it’…

DON’T DIET! Yes, dieting is absolutely not what we should be doing – at all, denying ourselves food isn’t ‘It’, we are not built for it and who wants to live like that anyway? Unless you feel you can commit to the particular ‘diet’ for the rest of your life, it’s just simply not going to work. It’s just not sustainable, we will drift back into our old eating patterns and then back to weight gain, usually even more than when we started.

But what we should be doing is avoiding bad-for-us foods, in a nutshell; manufactured foods and drinks. Why? Google; ‘cancers preventable by diet’, to see why, or Google; ‘diseases caused by diet’ to see why. Us humans have evolved perfectly well without it for thousands of years, now we have it we have a very big problem, in every sense of the word. Made the connection yet?

CHANGE HOW WE THINK ABOUT FOOD. Let’s face it; what we are doing now isn’t working is it?! This is a biggy, but I’ve done it, so you can do it - we need to understand about what we are eating now and how we can permanently swap the bad stuff out for good stuff, there are always healthier options, you only have to give it a bit of your time and planning and it will flow from there, much, much more about this in next Friday’s blog.

MEAL PLANNING. Plan meals that include fresh herbs, vegetables and fruit, fresh fish and seafood and fresh meat if you eat it, free range eggs, cheese, full-fat milk, butter, natural yoghurt and olive oil. Do not include manufactured foods or drinks of any kind, OK! I know that is a bit unrealistic but please keep it to an absolute minimum, you will soon completely avoid them when you realise how bad it all is for you. My rule is; if someone else has messed with it, don’t eat it! Why would you? It has so much added ‘God knows what’ in it and this stuff is making us all ill, not to mention - fat, we don’t need it, we don’t want it.

One pot meals, pasta and rice dishes, oven roasted meals, meals in the slow cooker or stir-fries, steaks and chops with vegetables or salads will all only take 30-40 minutes of your time to prepare and cook from start to finish. I have started you off with a Therapy Shed meal planner, click here to print it and get started now.

I will post recipes and top tips to motivate you from week to week in this blog every Friday.

SHOPPING. Make your shopping list from your meal planner. Do your main shop on a weekly basis; try to use local and farmers markets, maybe even local allotment or wonky veg schemes, or even the best of the best – grow your own, even if it’s just some chillies on the window sill, you can do it. Where ever you shop, step away from the manufactured foods and drinks and stick to your list. Try to go shopping after a meal so you’re not hungry and tempted.

PORTION SIZE. This bit is very important, now you’ve planned, shopped and cooked don’t fall at the last hurdle, only eat what you need, which really is very little, but you need to retrain your brain - and your stomach first, so reduce the amount you eat gradually, start to reduce by one quarter in the first month, even better, fill your plate with veg or salad, the weight you will lose in this time will motivate you to reduce further next month, and so on. Over the next few months when your brain and stomach are retrained they will eventually learn what your body actually needs to be healthy and not gain weight.

We have been subliminally conditioned by the size of glasses, plates or bowls we can now buy, the portions served in restaurants or in photos in magazines or on the telly, all to ecourage us to eat and drink more. Our dinner plates are far too big for the amount of movement we now do in our modern lives, remember, plates were designed when we rode our horses or walked everywhere and did a hard day’s graft in the fields or in battle!

Our empty stomachs are only the size of our clenched fist, and hold about 50mls, but can stretch to hold 1.5 litres of food and drink! We don’t need all that food, and imagine if it’s manufactured bad-for-us food on top of that!

If you are having trouble ‘getting it’ then jump on board, we can do this together. Email me at help@thetherapyshed.com or message me on 07572102520 or on Facebook if you want to share anything or have any top tips yourself. Next Friday I will cover some quick, fresh food recipes for your planner and some scary manufactured food statistics! See you then, Denise x

#don’tdiet, #eatfresh, #portionsize, #recipes, #nutritionaladvice, #changehowwethinkaboutfood, #foodmotivation