10 Top Tips on How To Stick To Your Diet

Sticking to your diet can be tricky because you are often tempted by foods that you should not be eating. While there are tips that you can use to help you stay on track, you need to know that not all tips work for everyone. Every dieter is different, but there are some points that you should remember that could help you.

Sticking to your diet can be tricky because you are often tempted by foods that you should not be eating. While there are tips that you can use to help you stay on track, you need to know that not all tips work for everyone. Every dieter is different, but there are some points that you should remember that could help you.1. Never change your eating habits until you have learned how to motivate yourself. You should also learn how to withstand your cravings and hunger while finding out how to shape your lifestyle towards good eating habits. It is also important that you learn how to get yourself back on track if you go off your diet for a while.

2. One of the ways that you can motivate yourself is by having a list of all the reasons why you want to lose weight. Reading through this list every morning will help you remember why you are doing this and can help you through the more vulnerable parts of the day.

3. When you eat you should sit down and eat slowly. It is important that you take the time to enjoy every bite of your food. Having this routine makes it harder to fall off the wagon, binge eat or mindless snack outside of your diets allotments.

4. Think about accountability when dieting. Do you have a friend or family member you can contact every day to give a report on your diets progression? If you do not feel comfortable reporting to someone you could keep a log. Another way of remaining accountable is by weighing yourself every day to see if you are still on track.

5. Stop looking for perfect food combinations and the perfect diet because everyone is different. Eating in a healthy way allows you to lose weight while still ensuring that you can eat your favourite foods. Of course, you might still have cravings or want to eat more of your favourite food. If you feel the cravings have the food just before bed then brush your teeth and get into bed.

6. A very important tip to dieting is to change your mindset about eating and food. You have to realize that you have the choice between eating what you want when you want or choosing to get thinner. There are very few people who can have both.

7. You should also prove to yourself that hunger is not an emergency unless you have a medical condition. You can do this by skipping lunch and snacks one day. This will show you that your hunger is actually a mild inconvenience when compared to the discomfort you might feel say after surgery. The hunger will generally come and go throughout the day and it will be easy to tolerate.

8. It is important that you teach yourself what the differences are between feelings of hunger, which is the empty feeling in your stomach after not eating for hours, and cravings which is when you feel hunger in your mouth and throat. You want to be able to correctly label what you are feeling; whether it is hunger, boredom, cravings, thirst or negative emotions and learn to tolerate them without eating. A good way to do this is to have a list of distractions on hand to take your attention away.

9. Having regular meals and snack times is a good idea, having a meal plan is one of the best ways for your body to stop feeling so hungry, if you can afford it, you can try a company like Eat Clean Direct, who can set up a plan for you, and send you the meals daily. There are many people who are not able to cope without snacks whether it is between meals or just after a meal. The key is to not snack when it is not the set time.

10. You need to re-enforce the fact that “every time” matters. While it is not all about the amount of calories you take in, it is also about the habits you form. Every time you eat when you shouldn’t you are strengthening your “giving in” muscle. However, every time you stick to your plan you strengthen your resistance muscle and you are more likely to continue the habit of resisting temptation.

I hope you will find these tips useful and that they will help you on your journey to getting thinner.

* This is a collaborative post.

Understanding Your Dog Diet

There is so much information out there on what you should be feeding your dog and what is considered a ‘healthy diet’ for your four-legged friend. With so much to digest, it’s sometimes hard to know exactly what man’s best friend actually needs in their diet to maintain a healthy lifestyle. We are going to run through a few of the most important things your dog should be getting every day to help them stay healthy for longer!

Understanding Your Dogs DietDogs are omnivores like us, which means they like to eat pretty much anything, but this doesn’t mean they should. Whilst you might think it’s okay to give your dog human food as a treat every now and again, do you know the effects that this could be having on your dog’s insides? There are a few things they should definitely not eat too; for example, it’s commonly known that chocolate is toxic to dogs, and can cause vomiting and diarrhoea amongst other problems. Treats such as this can cause inflammation, as the food is unfamiliar to their gastrointestinal tract, therefore it is always best to stick to treats designed for your pooch.

Whether you make your dog’s food yourself at home, or you purchase it from a pet shop you should be looking out for some essential ingredients. Remember, what you are putting in to your dogs’ body will be reflected on the outside in their coat, energy and overall health.

Amino Acids

Providing your dog with the essentials that their tissues need to remain healthy and functional, amino acids are found in foods high in protein such as meat and vegetables. It is commonly understood that meat proteins offer more value to your dog than vegetable proteins; however, it is important to provide a balanced diet and you should look to provide some of each in their food.

Vitamins and Minerals

We all need our vitamins and minerals! Vitamins A, E, C and B-12 all play important roles in your dog’s health, whether it’s Vitamins A and E serving as important antioxidants, whilst B-12 aids in cell growth and development. Minerals in your dog’s food will help ensure his teeth and bones remain strong; minerals are involved in many important metabolic reactions working together to coordinate bodily functions, helping to maintain fluid balance and ensuring proper development for your dog. Categorised into two main types, macrominerals and trace minerals, macrominerals are required in larger amounts and these include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, etc. whilst trace minerals include iron, copper, chromium, and iodine amongst others which will be required in a smaller amount.

Water

Just as us humans’ need our 8 pints a day, staying hydrated is incredibly important for your dog too. Ensuring he remains well hydrated will keep him happy and healthy and will give him a greater quality of life; it aids digestion and keeps your dog moving.

When you are looking for a dog food to incorporate into a healthy balanced diet for your dog, it’s important to take into consideration a few things, for example his breed, lifestyle, age, weight and overall physiology should play a huge part in your dog food dilemma. Talk to your vet about how many calories and what nutrients your dog needs every day to keep him happy and healthy!

* Article supplied by Petstop.

The Truth About Sugar and Yo-Yo Dieting

* by Sandra Roycroft-Davis

Sugar! Anyone who’s ever tried to lose weight knows that sugar is the enemy – but isn’t it the hardest thing to cut down or give up?  So many people repeatedly try and fail.

Most people go through horrific cravings, binges and mood swings when they try to cut down but this reaction should be no surprise when you learn that sugar is as addictive as cocaine. People also experience headaches and even get the shakes. This is all because of the effect sugar has on the brain.Most people go through horrific cravings, binges and mood swings when they try to cut down but this reaction should be no surprise when you learn that sugar is as addictive as cocaine.  People also experience headaches and even get the shakes.  This is all because of the effect sugar has on the brain.

If this is you, then there is exciting news because there is a way to end the hold sugar has over you without having any of the awful withdrawal symptoms. Firstly though, I think it’s crucial to understand a little bit about the impact sugar has on your brain and your emotions because knowledge means empowerment and empowerment is one of the keys to freedom!

Most people try to give up sugar because they want to lose weight.  They invariably go on a diet and start depriving themselves of their pleasures and that’s when a whole series of unfortunate events begin to take place because there’s an emotional aspect to food that so many people don’t even think about – and this sabotages their efforts.

A survey of 1,000 people in America found 31 per cent thought lack of exercise was the biggest barrier to weight loss, 26 per cent said it was what they eat and 12 per cent said losing weight took up too much time. Only 1 in 10 thought emotions and habits were a factor.

This explains a lot – because to lose weight and keep it off long term we need to understand WHY we eat not just focus on WHAT we eat.

From a very young age, most of us become emotionally attached to sweet stuff.  Parents use chocolate and sweet treats as a reward for being good or to help make us feel good if we’re upset or hurt.  Birthday parties generally revolve around cake and sweet treats, too!

All these things keep reinforcing the association the brain has made: food / sweet treats / chocolate = pleasure.

We become conditioned to use food and sweet treats not only for nourishment and nutrition but for comfort and the reward and pleasure it gives. This all creates powerful connections that can last a lifetime.

Whenever the brain experiences pleasure it releases a neurotransmitter called dopamine.  So when you experience pleasure for whatever reason, this process is activated – and the more you get the more you want.  Evidence proves that sugar also kicks off this process, becoming our reward or feel-good drug of choice.

Losing weight is a miserable experience and we are creatures of pleasure so that’s why so many people are unsuccessful. However, it’s not all bad because once we’re aware of this happening then we can deal with it.

Here is a link to my free ebook which explains more about the effects sugar has and how you can end the misery…

* Sandra Roycroft-Davis is a Founder of ThinkingSlimmer.com

8 Fat Burners in Your Fridge & Pantry

Losing weight and burning fat is never easy. Most diets are all about saying ‘NO’ to things we love to eat (unless of course you, just like me, follow Thinking Slimmer and eat what you fancy, when you fancy it, simply by listening to your body)… but even then it’s good to know which foods can help us burn fat faster. Below you will find a list of 8 “fat burners” with expert explanation as to why and how they work.

Losing weight and burning fat is never easy. Most diets are all about saying ‘NO’ to things we love to eat (unless of course you, just like me, follow Thinking Slimmer and eat what you fancy, when you fancy it, simply by listening to your body)… but even then it’s good to know which foods can help us burn fat faster. Below you will find a list of 8 “fat burners” with expert explanation as to why and how they work.

Chilli
We all recognise that chilli helps us heat up, even making us break a sweat after consuming it. ‘This is called diet-induced thermogenesis. It is this process that is excellent for those who want to lose weight as it encourages our body to burn up calories rather than storing them. It is the active constituent capsaicin that creates the heat in our body from the food ingested. Studies have also shown that chilli may help to decrease your appetite too. More good news for those wanting to reduce their snacking between meals!’ explains nutritionist Elouise Bauskis.

Brown rice
This is a much better choice than white rice for many reasons. ‘Firstly, it is much more nutritious, as it hasn’t been as refined as white rice, and therefore maintains more of its fibre, protein and nutrients. On the glycaemic index of foods brown rice is a medium GL food, whereas white rice is a high GL. If you want to lose weight and for proper blood sugar balance generally, which will help you on many levels, you should ideally consume only low and medium GL foods daily.’ says Dr Marilyn Glenville, the UK’s leading nutritionist, author of The Natural Health Bible for Women.

Quinoa
‘This is a fabulous substitute for rice or pasta. Quinoa is actually a seed, so lower in carbohydrates, higher in protein and it’s very nutritious with generous amounts of minerals. It’s also alkalising and it will be much more beneficial for balancing blood sugar levels as part of a meal. Balanced blood sugar levels will decrease fat storage.’ says Elouise.

Almonds
Almonds are high in essential nutrients especially the minerals and vitamins. They are also full of nourishing healthy fats as well as being high in protein. Fat and protein make you feel fuller for longer, which should encourage you to snack less. They also help to balance your blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity, which is an essential part of healthy weight loss and management.’ explains Glenville.

Cinnamon
‘It can help weight management by helping to stabilise and normalise blood sugar levels, which can keep you fuller for longer, while reducing cravings for sweetness. It is also a digestive herb, gently warming your stomach, aiding in the breakdown of your food more efficiently.’ adds Elouise.

Green Tea
‘Green tea contains a wealth of antioxidants, the most powerful of them being EGCG, a substance that can boost metabolism. To put it most simply the nutrients found in green tea increase the levels of hormones that tell the fat cells to break down fat. This results in fat being released into the bloodstream making it available as energy.’ says Bauskis.

Coffee
‘Caffeine boosts your metabolism by up to 3-11%, which may aid in weight loss. It has also been shown to increase fat burning, by up to 10% in individuals who are obese, and 29% in those who are lean. This effect may decrease over time though as your body becomes used to the caffeine. The chlorogenic acid in coffee helps reduce glucose absorption. Coffee can also dramatically boost your physical performance, on average by 11-12%. By releasing fatty acids from the fat tissues for the body to use as ‘fuel’, and by increasing adrenaline levels in the blood, it makes our bodies ready for physical exertion. Coffee will increase your energy prior to a workout, whilst also strengthening endurance, which will enhance athletic performance.’ Elouise explains.

Eggs
They are one of the healthiest foods on the planet! ‘The yolk is super nutritious. It contains lecithin, nutrients and antioxidants, especially lutein and zeaxanthin. Eggs are full of good quality protein that is easy to assimilate. Plus they help you feel fuller for longer, which will encourage you to eat less. They have a positive effect on cholesterol levels, increasing our “good” HDL cholesterol whilst decreasing the “bad” LDL cholesterol.’ explains Glenville.

*Post based on press release. To find out more visit: www.nutricentre.com and www.marilynglenville.com

Food, Diet and Fat Binders – All you need to know about XLS-Medical Max Strength

Last year I had the pleasure to trail XLS-Medical Max Strength. I know now not everyone is comfortable with fat binders or even knows what they are and what they do, so I asked some of you if there is something you would like to know to put your mind in ease. Thanks to Jodie Relf, an XLS-Medical dietician, I can today share with you the answers to all those questions which were bothering you… so here you go… all you need to know about XLS-Medical in one post.

I know now not everyone is comfortable with fat binders or even knows what they are and what they do, so I asked some of you if there is something you would like to know to put your mind in ease. Thanks to Jodie Relf, an XLS-Medical dietician, I can today share with you the answers to all those questions which were bothering you… so here you go… all you need to know about XLS-Medical in one post.

How do they work?

New XLS-Medical Max Strength is our most effective product yet. It is up to 33% more effective than XLS-Medical Fat Binder for weight loss so now you can reach your weight loss goal even faster*. It is the first product to reduce calorie intake from carbohydrates, sugar and fat, ideal for those that want to lose weight fast*. XLS-Medical Max Strength’s active ingredient is Clavitanol a patented organic plant based complex which reduces the break down and absorption of dietary carbohydrates, sugar and fat. The combined sugar blocker, fat blocker and carb blocker formula results in reduced calorie intake which helps you to lose more weight than dieting and exercise alone. In addition, XLS-Medical Max Strength lowers blood glucose and insulin levels, which helps in curbing food cravings and with blood glucose management.

Who should take them?

This product is recommended for adults over 18 years of age, unless you are pregnant or breastfeeding or have a BMI (Body Mass Index) below 18.5kg/m2. The use of this product by adolescents 12-18 years old should be supervised by healthcare professionals. If you are diabetic, or have hypersensitivity to any of the ingredients or have a medical condition, you should consult your healthcare professional.

There are several on the market how do I know which is best?

The XLS-Medical range has a variety of products; our website has a product selector tool that will help you choose the right product.

Are they regulated and tested?

XLS-Medical is the No.1 weight loss brand in Europe** and has helped thousands of dieters achieve their weight loss goals. XLS-Medical Max Strength is naturally derived from an organic plant source and is clinically proven. Because of the way XLS-Medical works, it does not interfere with the body’s natural workings and it’s gentle on your system and is very well tolerated. Because it’s certified as a Medical Devices Class IIb, it has passed rigorous safety tests according to international standards.

Can I take 2/4 to double the effect?

It is not recommend that you exceed the recommended dose of 4 tablets per day.

If I have a big greasy pizza do I need to take double dose to take all the fat away?

We would not recommend taking a double dose as you should not exceed 4 tablets per day.

Do I have to change my diet to take them?

We would always recommend in making healthy diet and lifestyle changes. If you struggle with adopting a healthy diet why not start by making small changes such as:
– Having smaller portions
– Cutting down on ‘white/refined carbohydrates’ and replacing them with brown rice, wholegrain breads, pastas and cereals, sweet potatoes, quinoa.
– Start preparing more meals from scratch instead of ready meals/take-out
– Swap unhealthy snacks for healthier options e.g. replace crisps with baked crisps, popcorn or rice cakes with low fat cheese/humus, have a bite size chocolate instead of a normal sized bar.

What sort of benefits can I expect to see?

You may benefit from a decrease in your weight, waist circumference and body fat percentage, as well as less cravings for sugary foods.

Are there any side effects?

XLS-Medical Max Strength is very well tolerated. Because it’s certified as a Medical Devices Class IIb, XLS-Medical Max Strength has passed rigorous safety tests according to international standards.
The active ingredient Clavitanol™ reduces the digestion of dietary carbohydrates, which may lead to flatulence (passing of gas) in some individuals during the first few days of consumption. This is not a cause for concern as it will dissipate as soon as the body adapts to the increased amount of undigested carbohydrates.

What if I miss a day because I’m distracted?

Obviously that’s not ideal; however you can just start again the next day. It can take a while to get in to the habit of taking the tablets 30 minutes before meals, here are a few things you could try to help remind you:
– Keep the small pill box in your hand bag so that it’s always with you when you’re out and about
– Keep the container somewhere obvious e.g. on top of your refrigerator.
– Stick a post-it to remind you somewhere you’ll see it e.g. on your desktop at work or close to the cutlery draw at home
– If you tend to have your meals at a similar time every day set a reminder on your phone for 20-30 minutes before your meal.

Are they expensive?

The tablets cost around £84.99 for one month’s supply (120 Tablets) – that’s around £2 per day which is what you may spend on your morning coffee. Look out for special deals as it is often on offer at Boots/Superdrug/Amazon.

Are they a golden ticket to pig out whenever I am bored or just want to eat junk food?

Definitely not – if you use them in this way you will more than likely end up consuming more calories than you previously did which means you will not lose weight. It is also important to start making healthy lifestyle changes to help achieve the full benefits.

How long do I have to take them before I would look good on the catwalk?

Your target should always be a healthy weight loss of around 2lbs per week, ensure that your end goal is also realistic and healthy, aim for a BMI of 18.5kg/m2 – 24.9kg/m2.

Do they cause any mood swings like some diet pills do?

Because XLS-Medical Max Strength is a medical device it works mechanically as opposed to pharmacologically – this means that it works alongside, or with your body without affecting the chemistry of the human cells and would therefore make mood swings unlikely.

If it takes all the sugars and fat away from the food what is the point in eating what’s left?

Food typically contains a mixture of macronutrients and micronutrients, such as carbohydrates, sugars, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals. XLS-Medical Max Strength works by reducing the breakdown of the carbohydrates, sugars and fats, and does not stop all nutrients being absorbed.

Can I take them to prevent me from becoming fat?

XLS-Medical Max Strength cannot prevent you from becoming fat if you are not maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Once you have reached your healthy weight goal, XLS-Medical Max Strength can be used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle to help you maintain your weight. We know this can be especially troublesome it can be hard when you’re away on holiday or if you’re headed out for a meal that will be higher in calories than usual.

I hope this Q&A session provided you will the answers you were looking for, if not, leave me a comment and I am sure we can get it answered as well.

*vs dieting alone.
**Source: IMS Health, European report Weight loss category 14A, MAT June 2015