Monday, 30 July 2012

Let’s Number Crunch: How To Drop Half A Kilo In A Week

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 Clothes feeling a tad snug after the holidays?  If a kilo or two has snuck up on you over the holiday period, nip it straight away in the bud!  Get instinctive and reach for the fruit bowl rather than that gooey chocolate baking. 
I admit it, I do offer you many baking recipe ideas for a milk, egg, wheat and soy free diet on my blog, but anyone watching their weight must either enjoy these in what I now call ‘French like portion sizes’ or dismiss these entirely temporarily to get back on track to a lean you.

A loss of half a kilo or 1 pound per week is the recommended goal on an effective weight loss plan. This is realistic, achievable and won’t leave you starving (not too much...).

Sometimes it takes a few attempts to get it right and take ownership of your eating.  There’s no time like the present, let healthy eating grow on you and when you are ready, jump on the purple wheel of success.

Everybody else, get ready to start incorporating EASY and realistic steps.  To lose half a kilo per week, you need to cut back by roughly 500 calories from food or burn the equivalent in energy through exercise every day.  I like to accommodate a combination of the two. 

Here are a few tips to get you going.

If you usually eat toast with butter, not only is this meal smothered in saturated fats, two teaspoons of butter on a slice of toast provides nearly 70 calories (kcal).  If you add jam or honey sadly that’s extra. 
Purple Tip: Skip the butter or a use a thin scraping of margarine for poly-unsaturated fats only and save almost 50 calories.

Are you drinking orange juice for breakfast?  A cup of juice provides roughly 110kcal but the orange itself will set you back only 50-70 kcal.
Purple Tip: Choose to eat your fruit rather than drink it and save almost 60 calories.  As a bonus, you will also be locking in fibre, valuable vitamins and much needed minerals.

Morning Snack
Are you reaching for the biscuit tin?  Stop right there!  A chocolate digestive has at least 80 calories.  Have another with a cup of tea and that’s over 160 kcal.  There's very little fibre or vitamins and although takes only a minute on the lips, these really might end up being a lifetime on the hips.
Purple Tip: For a bootilicious bottom, choose fruit.  At most they only provide 50kcal like a cup of delicious strawberries.  These are what I call essential calories.  You will save up to 110 calories!

If you buy lunch, read your labels.  Do you know exactly how many calories there are in your sandwiches?  Choose sandwiches with wholegrain breads and lean meat, chicken or fish.  Better still, make your own.
Purple Tip: Believe it or not, by making your own sandwiches, you will have control over how much added fats and spreads go into them.  By removing visible fats off meat, choosing thin scraping margarine and only meat or cheese and not both you can save anywhere between 100 to 200kcal depending on the sandwich.

Afternoon Snack
It’s 4pm and the chocolate monster is out.  Before you indulge in that chocolate bar, a 50g serving can set you back almost 250 calories!  Madness!
Purple Tip: Yoghurt is a wonderful source of protein and calcium.  Protein promotes satiety and that feeling of ‘fullness’.  A low fat pottle usually only consists of around 100 – 150kcal at the very most.  By choosing yoghurt you will save between 100 -150kcal.

So how are we doing?  It’s not even dinner meal and we’ve already saved at least 400 – 500 calories today.

Eat your usual dinner but make sure you have plenty of vegetables to fill up on if you are hungry.

Did you know that you can burn almost 500 calories from a 9K run?  This obviously depends on your body weight but running is a fantastic calorie burner.

An intense aerobic class at the gym for an hour could also burn around 500 calories though again this completely depends on the class and how much effort you invest into the class itself.

Don’t forget that walking is still a great fat burner.  The total amount of energy you burn will depend on how long you walk for and your body weight.  Good news, you can build up 10 minute slots of activity through-out the day.  They all count!  

Every time you move your body you are burning energy.

Swimming – if you can swim you’ll be bad not to race to the swimming pool at least once a week.  This really is an amazing total body work-out without the added burden on your joints.  Couple this with strength training such as lunges, squats, burpees, press ups and crunches and you’ll be one fat burning machine. 

Remember, for every kilogram of muscle you gain you’ll increase your metabolic rate and BURN calories even when you are not working out. 

Please don't get bogged down by calories and numbers.  These are only a few tips and suggestions to shave off extra calories or unwanted energy in your diet.  Use this only as a guideline and don’t forget to read your food labels and nutrition tables.  For more information read Be Shopping Savvy: Nutrition Labelling Decoded.

And so lovely readers, it's time for bed, if you have any thoughts or comments, please do share below as I love and do read all of your comments.