4 Ways To Boost Your Body Confidence

If you’re not happy with the way you look, now could be the time to make some changes. Whether you’re self-conscious about your weight or you’re not happy with your hair, a lack of body confidence can really take its toll on your self-esteem and even your quality of life. To help you feel better about your appearance, take a look at the following four tips.

Banish those bad hair days

It’s amazing how much a good haircut can affect your confidence. So, if you’ve started to feel like every day’s a bad hair day, why not book an appointment for a restyle? Switching up your hairstyle is a great starting point for an image overhaul. Whether you go shorter, get extensions, go curly, go straight or change colour, your new do could help to put a spring back in your step. Check out this season’s latest trends online or pick up a magazine for some inspiration, and don’t be afraid to try something completely new.

What if you’re worried about thinning hair though? It’s not quite as simple as booking a restyle if you’re concerned that your locks are falling out. You’ve probably heard about men’s hair loss treatments. For example, Finaseride for hair loss, which is better known under the brand name Propecia, is taken in tablet form and it can be an effective treatment for male pattern baldness. In fact, 90 per cent of men who use it experience hair regrowth. You might not realise it, but there are specialist treatments available for women too. For example, if you have female pattern baldness and you want to stop or reverse your hair loss, you may want to try out a lotion containing minoxidil. Up to a quarter of women who use this treatment see hair regrowth.

Find sustainable ways to get in shape

Are you sick of perpetual dieting and do you struggle to stick to your fitness routine? For many people, losing weight is a lifelong battle. However, there are ways to make getting in shape easier. For example, rather than trying to completely cut certain foods out of your diet, why not simply reduce your portion sizes at meal times? This is much easier to keep up than a restrictive eating regime.

When it comes to exercise, try to find ways to incorporate more activity into your daily schedule. For example, could you swap your car keys for a cycle helmet on your commute to work? Cycling to and from the office each day can be a great way to burn calories and get fit. If you catch the bus, perhaps you could try getting off a couple of stops earlier to give your legs more of a workout. Simply getting into the habit of taking the stairs rather than the lift should help you burn calories too. You could also test out a new sport. From swimming to badminton, there’s no shortage of options.

Don’t expect miracle results straight away, but this sustainable approach to shedding weight makes it easier to stay trim over the long term.

Revamp your wardrobe

For an instant body confidence boost, treat yourself to some retail therapy. Refreshing your wardrobe with some gorgeous new clothes is one of the easiest ways to feel better about yourself. Make sure you pick out silhouettes that flatter your figure, and try out new combinations and colours to really revamp your look.

Even if you’re waiting until you’ve trimmed down to restock your wardrobe, there are still some staples you can pick out that should make you feel great about yourself. From chic blazers to fabulous footwear and showstopper jewellery, some new additions to your clothing and accessory collection could work wonders for your self-esteem.

Stop comparing yourself to others

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, resist the temptation to continually compare yourself to others. It’s virtually impossible to feel good about the way you look if you’re always judging yourself against images of airbrushed celebs. Instead, focus on learning to love your quirks and features. Doing this should help you to carry yourself with more confidence and it could save you a whole lot of stress.

* This is a collaborative post.

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.

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

Weight Loss, The Human Brain & Social Programming

The human brain is an amazing thing, for example it can be used to “program” our thinking in order to help us achieve our goals… if we only let it!

The human brain is an amazing thing, for example it can be used to “program” our thinking in order to let us achieve out goals… if we only let it!Unfortunately however, when it comes to weight loss we have been “programmed” for years by society and endless marketing to think that there can be no gain without an equal amount of pain which is let’s face it, a lot of crap.

On Saturday I had the huge pleasure of spending a few wonderful hours amongst the Slimpod stars of 2015. I’ve won the “Most Inspirational Blogger” category due to my complete changing of the way I see and blog about food. My journey with Slimpod has awarded me, so far, with just over 2 stone of weight loss but most of all it has allowed me to rediscover food in a way that I never would have thought about before. And no, I didn’t starve myself, I didn’t have to count calories or sins, I didn’t have a loooong list of foods I can’t eat or any other kind of restriction for that matter… so then how does it work?

Well, this is where we come to our mysterious and beautiful brain! Slimpod works on your subconscious and changes the way you think about food in general. And the result, well you start to have a dialogue with your body and it tells you that it doesn’t want that food, that it knows is bad for you or more simply, that 2 spoonful’s is enough. It is not a choice, in fact you don’t even realise it is happening until after the event or more likely it is when someone around you makes a comment. I personally don’t understand the science behind it but frankly I don’t care! For me and many others it works and that is all that matters!

I met some wonderful people on Saturday and they all have an incredible story to tell. They all lost a huge amount of weight but most of all they we all overcame our demons when it comes to food, being chocolate, cake, bread or cheese. We were all different and we all had different reasons for overeating and different “weak spots” but this is all in the past. We all feel happier and healthier now, we are lighter and it’s all because we gave Slimpod a try.

However, we all had one common story to tell… about those people around us who despite seeing our changes flatly refused to believe that such a change is possible without any sacrifice. This is so silly in my humble opinion!

It’s silly because for years we were told that diets have to equal some sort of restriction but this simple isn’t true!

I hardly ever watch TV but yesterday I happened to watch the Channel 4 programme called How to Lose Weight Well. One of the girls who was put on a crash diet said something which really sums up the general public’s opinion about weight loss “It’s not going to work because it’s not restrictive enough”. This statement really stuck with me as my own personal experience and the experience of others there on Saturday show that the statement is a prime example of total conditioned BS, sorry but there isn’t a different way of putting it.

People, think for yourself! Read about our majestic brain and what it can do for you. Don’t let society define your beliefs, give the unknown a go and put your trust in something you might not entirely understand and finally just start to think slimmer. It works. I am good physical proof of this, you can eat all you fancy and yet shed weight, and you can be slimmer, healthier and happier without conscience sacrifice, restrictions and will power! I say we all should start thinking slimmer!