…however, there are a couple of things that my over-active mind queries on occasion!
First off though, let me say that I think Slimming World is an amazing plan – it has helped me to save my life…and that isn’t just me being a drama queen!
I see the Slimming World principles adopted by so many people around the country – and further afield – and they switch from eating quite unhealthy diets to choosing far, far healthier options. I also see people ditching processed ready meals in favour of cooking from scratch. And I see those same people aiming for their Body Magic awards and moving more…getting fitter and healthier all round. So what’s not to like?
For me and my inquisitive mind, I am never content with being told something and just believing it. I have to understand the logic behind what I am being told…to prove it for myself really. So if I hear something, I go off and do my research and speak to people in the know to get a good understanding of whatever it is I am trying to grasp! It’s why I fully grasp the fact that puréed and smoothied fruit needs to be synned for example. The satiety factor of ‘whole’ fruits is far greater than in smoothied stuff. The way in which the body processes it is different – the whole fruit keeps you fuller for longer as the fibre hasn’t been broken down, and the sugars take longer to be released. It’s why I fully grasp the fact that ‘cheats’ – such as roasting chickpeas just because they are ‘free’, or making your own crisps from a ‘free’ potato – are not accepted nor recommended by Slimming World…the calories in a packet of synned crisps are almost on a par with those in a homemade batch…and calories, unfortunately, matter!
Slimming World encourage syns as part of an holistic approach to eating that creates synergy (which is what ‘syns’ is short for!) – you have your superfree healthy fruits and veggies, your free and filling healthy foods, your fibre and calcium in the form of healthy extras, and the syns which help to create a sustainable and long term way of healthy eating…so that you lose weight and keep it off! I love syns as they keep people on track – there is no guilt in a bit of chocolate, or a glass of wine…life without those enjoyable things is not one that I could imagine!
Despite the fact that I love Slimming World, there is always a ‘but’…
For example, I have been having the Covent Garden ‘skinny’ soups this week and using them as my HEB choices. Normally when I have a bowl of soup, it’s homemade and ‘free’ and I use my HEBs to have wholemeal rolls to dunk! Yet this week, there have been no wholemeal rolls…but had I made a massive bowl of soup – including the lentils, veggies and herbs and spices that were in the Covent Garden soup, I could have eaten – in theory – as much of this as I wanted to and still enjoyed my HEB wholemeal rolls as well. I guess this is where the cooking from scratch is encouraged.
Then there is the fact that an avocado is synned – and quite high really…about 13 per average fruit, and 260 calories. An avocado provides a very healthy form of fat. If I was hungry, and wanted a healthy option, I couldn’t have an avocado unless I synned it…but I could eat a ‘free’ packet of Pasta’n’Sauce which comes in at over 400 calories. Sometimes, it just doesn’t make sense!
These situations got me thinking of course about calories. I have been told that the Slimming World plan aims to provide a minimum of approximately 1700 calories each day…not too shoddy compared to those god-awful 1200 calorie a day plans that I doubt my dog could survive on! However, given my recent foray into the world of the gym-going folk – and my stubborn weight loss weeks – I have been focusing more on my own personal calorific needs. Which I warn you, will be very different from yours…my weight and activity levels form the basis of my calorific needs…and our weights and activity levels are likely very different. So just a little reminder about the fact that I did not create this blog as guidance as to what to eat, and I do not encourage people to eat the same meals or portion sizes as I do – you have to find the balance that works for you within the realms of the Slimming World plan – or whatever healthy eating plan you might choose. I do not want to be held accountable for weight gains…but if you lose weight and have followed my eating regime then that is spiffing!
I decided to do something that I have not actively or mindfully done in a long while. I decided to – shock, horror – count calories! I must admit that I often have a general tot-up as I go through the day, especially since my weight losses had slowed down as I wanted to get that balance right. Also, my ongoing discussions with the dietician and people that I am working with means that I often get asked about calories…although some of the more holistic folk that I talk with encourage me not to focus on calories…it’s okay for them though as they aren’t big and fecking fat!
On Friday and Saturday of this week, I kept a track of my calories.
On Friday and Saturday of this week, I followed the Slimming World plan.
On Friday and Saturday of this week, I had a bit of a shock!
Before I talk about what I ate, let me first clarify a few things. I have calculated my personal basal metabolic rate (BMR) – this is the number of calories my body requires just to exist…to carry out all of things we take for granted – such as breathing, the production of hair and skin and nails, pumping blood around our bodies, digesting our food etc. Once I had my BMR – which changes as I continue to lose weight – I then factor in my activity levels. This gives me my calorie intake requirements to simply remain the same weight. So then I have to factor in the fact that I actually want to shift some of this bloody fat!
So my BMR is 2357 calories – this is the amount of calories my body needs to exist. When factoring in my activity levels, my calorific needs increase to 3653…so I need to eat 3653 calories every day in order to remain the same weight. As I clearly want to lose weight, I then factor in a 20% deficit, which is safe and healthy and achievable…a 20% deficit is unlikely to send my body into shock and into starvation mode…which is never a good thing. Therefore, my ideal calorie intake each day is 2922 – this creates a deficit of 731 calories each day, or 5117 calories per week…which should give me a 1.5lb weight loss each week.
Based on the above numbers, can you understand why I have such a bee in my bonnet about those stupid bloody 1200 calorie a day diets or, even worse, the very low calorie diets (VLCDs) which provide 500 calories a day?! The science simply does not support these weight loss methods…they are pretty bloody dangerous and very unsustainable.
Off that soapbox before I get started, and back to my experiment…
I discovered that I consumed a total of 4745 calories over the two days.
Despite sticking to the Slimming World plan, there was a significant difference – on one of the days I consumed 1830 calories, and on the other day I consumed 2915 calories. I ate very well on both days, yet the calorie intake was so different!
Mr WLB and I had a conversation about these variations. He was really shocked and actually he freaked me out a bit and I got quite depressed…until this afternoon when I decided to re-check my BMR and activity level bumpf.
You see he too has been brainwashed by society into thinking that weight loss must mean a tiny calorific intake. He was telling me that it was no wonder my weight loss has been so slow. He was saying that I should be having less than 2000 calories a day…as 2000 calories a day is what the average woman needs to maintain her weight – I almost slapped him at that point…how dare he insinuate that I am a fecking average woman…I am an absolutely unique and wonderful woman!
Seriously though, he had me quite worried and I have been all maudlin – and I think that my outburst over the C*nt of a Custodian last night was very much linked to my diet depression…so for all of you eejits who still think it’s a simple equation of moving more and eating less…think again! Come and live with me if you want to get an idea of the emotional turmoil involved!
Once I had reassured myself that I did know what I was doing – and checked the BMR bumpf again – I became happier.
For me, this weight loss has to be healthy, it has to be sustainable, and it has to be enjoyable. I know that I will need to change my eating levels as my weight drops…but for now, I can bloody well eat a very decent amount – made even more decent by the fact that I exercise now. If there is ever a reason to get yourself to the gym – the mood boost, the health benefits etc – the simple fact that it means I can eat more is a bonus!
What today’s blog post has confirmed for me is that Slimming World is pretty bloody ace. It might have it’s soup and avocado-related flaws – but for me, it encourages health, it encourages steady and sustainable changes, and above all else it removes the guilt that some diets seem to encourage. Had I been following a calorie-counting diet, I would have been obsessing over those two days…yet I felt hungry on both days, and satisfied that hunger, without worrying about the counting!
What I have also discovered over the years is that you can either be a can-opening queen or a cook from scratch diva on Slimming World. Do what is most suitable for your lifestyle requirements…obviously the cooking from scratch is the ultimate option, but if you can’t do that then you shouldn’t have to throw the towel in! And this is another thing that I love about the plan!
I know that I have posted these over the past couple of days – but here are the pictures of the foods I ate over those two days – I won’t say which had more calories in, as I don’t want to get you focussed on calories…other than just to be aware perhaps that they are important, but that you might well be able to have a few more than you think! A good-looking feast I think!
Right then…onto today…
The major news is that Mr WLB is trying to give up smoking. He often mentions it, but I rarely push him – as I know how I used to drown out the pushing people did with me. We decided on a great strategy…each time he wants to smoke, he heads out into the front garden, pulls up some weeds, and puts one of my new slabs in place…I am hoping for a non-smoking Mr WLB and a tidy garden very shortly!
We had a really lazy morning and I was still lounging in bed at 10.30am! Once we got moving, it was off to see the horses and the havoc that Mr Custodian had caused…he has decided that metal stakes and horses are a good mix…not in my world! He has purposefully blocked off my access to remove the horses from the field…purely because I bought them out once this week when the farrier was there. The horses have literally come out of the field once since being there…and he is complaining that the gateway is churned up! I did send him a polite email, telling him that I would be yet again sorting out his fencing! I took a deep breath, gave the horses a cuddle – my Welsh Cob and I were dancing together in the field today…I was moving forwards, stopping and running backwards, and he was matching me – so funny and sweet!
Asda was next on the list, and then home – for an afternoon of mooching and doing nothing in particular. Although I have arranged for a consultation tomorrow with the guy at the gym who is becoming a personal trainer…he’s a great guy and has a fab attitude…and that is happening tomorrow, so I will fill you in once I have had that.
This evening is just going to be rather quiet…I am hoping to watch a film – not sure what yet though!
Breakfast: Banana porridge (5 syns).Lunch: Sardines on toast (HEA and 2 x HEB).Dinner: Quorn roast (1.5 syns).Snacks: Mini Green & Blacks bars (8.5 syns) and a fruit pot.A lovely food day! My porridge set me up nicely for some time in a cold field! Lunch was my favourite – tinned sardines in tomato sauce mixed with chopped red onion and cherry tomatoes, on top of toast and spinach…with melted cheese! Dinner was a gorgeous Quorn family roast – with roasted red onions, roasted courgette, roast potato, sprouts, green beans and greens with a little gravy.
Exercise: Not much at all today – a nice rest day.
Thank you for reading,
Weight Loss Bitch xxx