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Weight Loss Tips

The Secret to Slimming

If you have stopped at this page then you are probably thinking that you need to lose a bit of weight or get some slimming advice. Weight loss is a serious business and you could spend a lot of money on slimming programmes. If you are under 16 please seek professional help before starting a diet in any serious fashion regardless of your BMI. Your body will still be developing and you would not want to risk cutting out essential vitamins and minerals.

Your BMI is the Body Mass Index and gives a single figure by comparing your weight and height.  You will have heard all sorts of reasons for ignoring it, for example “muscle is heavier than fat”and of course it is but your BMI gives a good starting point. If your BMI is below 22 then discuss with a doctor or other medical professional before you try to lose weight because most of us would envy your figure. 22 – 25 you won’t need to lose much so healthier eating may be all the slimming programme you may need.

If your BMI is over 25 then we would recommend that you reduce it by adopting a healthier lifestyle. If you have a BMI of over 30 then you could do some serious damage to yourself if you don’t act to bring it down. Being overweight can bring problems to your knees, ankles and hips just by asking your body to carry the extra weight about.  Your internal organs will be fighting to cope with the extra work and waste products and, on top of that, your insulin production could be affected as well.

Central obesity (belly fat) is associated with a statistically higher risk of heart disease, hypertension, insulin resistance, and Diabetes Mellitus Type 2. The National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) states that women with waist-to-hip ratios of more than 0.8 are at increased health risk because of their fat distribution, and that men with waist-to-hip ratios of more than 1.0 are at increased health risk because of their fat distribution.

A way of measuring your risk due to belly fat is known as the WHR or Waist Hip Ratio and is used as a measurement of obesity, which in turn is a possible indicator of other more serious health conditions.

The WHR has been used as an indicator or measure of the health of a person, and the risk of developing serious health conditions. Research shows that people with "apple-shaped" bodies (with more weight around the waist) face more health risks than those with "pear-shaped" bodies who carry more weight around the hips.

The Secret to Slimming Is In Your Mind

If you have come to this page you’ll have admitted that you need to lose a few pounds – now be realistic here and don’t set your sights too high. Better to set a realistic target over a reasonable length of time.

If you are really careful you could lose 3 – 4 pounds or more in the first week after all you are motivated and excited about your new goals. Thereafter you should aim to lose 1-2 pounds each week. The more you have to lose the easier it will be. The most important thing is that you adopt a healthy and varied diet which you can stick to.  

Health is our goal

It may be that your psyche is in as much need of attention as your body. Many of us who eat too much are doing it for a psychological reason. We’ve all heard “I eat when I’m bored”, “I eat when I’m down” So first you need to be honest about your reasons. Are there some underlying issues which need consideration and are they affecting your self esteem?  If you’d like help working on that question go back to our Counselling page – we are here to give you support, listen and help you ask the right questions to find the answers you need. Losing a bit of weight can lift that self esteem considerably but it will be a temporary measure if you don’t understand the root cause.

Exercise

Going out for a walk is a good start. Any exercise produces endorphins. Endorphins are neurotransmitters, chemicals which act on the brain to affect many parts and systems of the body with many health benefits not least to lighten your mood.  Do be careful how quickly you increase your level of exercise. If you have joint, heart or other health problems check with your doctor before turning up the heat - health is our goal.

How much exercise do you take now?

Is it - I take the car to work and sit there all day, go home, make dinner, a bit of housework then watch the telly till bed time? If so we can make a difference.

Is it - I run 5 miles to and from work everyday and then a marathon on a Sunday morning? If it is then you probably don't need my help to loose weight but maybe our Diet and Health page is worth a visit.

It never fails to amaze me the number of people who go to an expensive gym regularly but won't take the stairs, who take their car through the car wash, who use automatic doors rather than push a manual one.

Simple starting steps to exercise. You need to burn up the fuel you are taking in plus a bit extra. Aim to do at least a brisk 20 minutes walk every day. Get up for another drink don't ask someone else to get it. The bottom line is don't walk if you can run, don't sit if you can stand and don't lie if you can sit.

Think during your daily routine of which actions use up that little bit more energy.

The Secret to Slimming Is In Your Basket

The first step to a healthier life style is to look in your shopping basket. Do you see full fat milk? Do you see original mayonnaise? Do you see white bread? Do you see packets of crisps and biscuits? Are there processed foods in your basket and do they outweigh the fresh produce. The goal is to achieve a balance between carbohydrates, fats and protein.

10 Simple steps to better choices:

Lastly never go shopping when you are hungry – you will “have this just this once”.  Write your list and stick to it. You’ll be amazed at the pounds you save as you lose the pounds …if you see what I mean.

The Science

Counting calories can be counter productive so concentrate on eating less white carbs and forget the rest. White carbs are white potatoes, white rice, white flour, pasta and sugar. You can cut them out completely if you want to because the body doesn’t need them but it is beneficial to have a few white carbs every once in a while. The body can power itself in two ways or, to use a modern expression, the body is duel fuel.  Carbohydrates and sugars are the same thing as far as the body is concerned and it makes glucose from both of them. Glucose is a dirty way of fuelling your body because it causes the production of oxidants which harm the cells. High carbohydrate diets cause accelerated ageing. Fat (both monounsaturated  and polyunsaturated), on the other hand, is a clean fuel and produces very few oxidants. It also has a very surprising benefit. When we use glucose for fuel the amount of glucose in the blood (blood sugar) increases drastically and so the body produces loads of insulin to remove the glucose from the bloodstream and force it into fat storage cells. Eating carbohydrate and sugars doesn’t give you more energy so much as more fat. Eating fat doesn’t cause the levels of insulin to rise and so the fat is converted into ketones which then fuels the cells. Eating fat doesn’t make you fat.

Where you are including carbohydrates in your diet adopt the 4 + 4 + 12 way of eating i.e. Eat your breakfast then leave at least 4 hours before you have your lunch. Leave at least another 4 hours before you have dinner and then no more food for at least 12 hours over night. As you can see this does not add up to 24 hours so it gives you time to eat your meals and even give yourself a little longer between eating. Carbohydrates can supply fuel for no more than 4 hours so at that point the body switches to fat burning mode. The longer you are in fat burning mode the better. You can also increase the amount of time that your body burns fat by reducing your carbohydrates so that there isn’t enough to last the 4 hours. Some people will actually skip a meal, usually breakfast, to increase the fat burning time. In this way the human body will start to regulate the hormone that produces the feeling of hunger so that dieting actually becomes easier. Exercising is another way of keeping you in fat burning mode longer so the advice is to take your exercise before meals.

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