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Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:02 pm

by Miranda on Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:08 pm


I want and need to lose 9 stone in weight. I am 43 yrs of age, female and my height is 5ft 5.

I want to home cook and wish to count calories, but since I have so much to lose, at what calorie intake do I start with and how should I reduce that intake in my journey of losing weight?


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Wendy Green
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 11:27 am

by Wendy Green on Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:00 pm


Rather than count calories, I suggest you aim to eat a healthy balanced diet and to become more active.

A healthy balanced diet should be based on the following:

Wholegrains - e.g. granary/wholemeal bread, brown rice, wholewheat pasta, porridge; the fibre in these foods keep you full for longer, so you are less inclined to overeat.

Avoid refined, sugary foods such as cakes, biscuits and sweets. Instead satisfy a sweet tooth with dried fruits or snack on a handful of nuts and seeds.

Low fat protein foods - e.g. fish, chicken without the skin, lean meats and eggs - these also help to keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Low fat dairy foods - e.g. milk, yoghurt and cheese - research suggests that people who include dairy foods in their weight loss regime lose more weight than those who don't.

A wide range of fruit and vegetables - again studies show that people who eat a lot of fruit and vegetables tend to lose weight and keep it off.

Use olive oil or rapeseed oil for cooking and eat oily fish once or twice a week.

As you enjoy cooking why not buy a couple of healthy cookery books such as The Hairy Dieters: How to Love Food and Lose Weight, or Greedy Girl's Diet: Figure-friendly Recipes That Prove You Don't Have to Starve to be Slim by Nadia Sawalha and start cooking tasty but healthy meals.

Try to eat only when you are hungry and stop when you are full; practise leaving some food on your plate. If you tend to comfort eat when you are upset or angry find ways of dealing with your emotions, rather than eating to suppress them; talk about your problems to someone you trust or write them down and then seek solutions to any underlying problems and issues.

If you tend to eat when you are feeling bored find new interests to take your mind off food so that you 'eat to live' rather 'than live to eat'.Cut your portion sizes by eating from a smaller plate.

Try to incorporate more activity in your daily life: Leave the car at home and walk whenever possible. Do the household chores a little faster. Do some gardening. It doesn't matter what you to do long so you are active for at least an hour a day.

Believe that you will lose weight; imagine how you will look and feel when you are thinner; see yourelf as a slim person and you will probably find that you start eating less.

All of these tips will help you to develop new habits that will result in steady, long-term weight loss. I hope they help you.

Wendy Green
Health Expert and Author ... _green.php

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Denise Kennedy
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 11:30 am

by Denise Kennedy on Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:41 pm


Hi Miranda,

Well done for getting in touch - you have made the first step on your weight loss journey. I don't know exactly what weight you are at present so I have made a few assumptions.

You say you want to lose 9 stone. At 5'5" a weight of 68kg (or 10st 10lbs) would give you a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25. So my assumption is that you are around 19 - 20 stone currently. At this type of weight a daily calorie intake of around 1700 - 1900 calories would allow you to lose weight steadily and slowly, and this is the best way. Contrary to popular belief the bigger you are the more calories you need to maintain the same weight.

But I think you need to take your weight loss one step at a time. Set yourself a goal - I would suggest firstly aiming to lose 5% of your body weight (which would be around 1stone based on my assumptions). If you can achieve this celebrate with a non-food reward. The set the next goal, and so on.

You can also use goals to change your behaviour to allow you to lose weight. For example "I will make at least half of my meal vegetables", or " I will eat all my meals at a table and eat more slowly". Goals such as these help us to change behaviour and learn a new way of eating.

I would endorse Wendy's advice about diet; calorie counting itself can be tedious and you need to focus on having a healthy diet overall and don't use your calories to eat "junk" foods that are not providing you with good nutrition. And I love some of the Hairy Dieters recipes - its my latest favourite cook book!!

Finally I would suggest you find someone to support you - someone who can be strong for you and pull you through the difficult times.

Best of luck

Denise Kennedy
Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist

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