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Action Plan

Underweight: below 18.5

Normal: 18.5-24.9

Overweight: 25-29.9

Obese: over 30

Although there is no 100% foolproof way to discover your perfect weight, the BMI chart is helpful because it includes a healthy range. And you might’ve thought the ‘big boned’ theory was just a myth but it’s actually a great way to narrow down where you should be even within the healthy range. Simply take the thumb and forefinger of one hand and put around your opposite wrist. If they easily touch then you have a more slight frame and so can aim to be a little lower within the healthy BMI range. If you can just about touch the tips of your thumb and finger aim for the middle and if they can’t touch aim for a little higher within the healthy range.

So you should now be able to set your ideal goal weight.

 

In terms of setting a timeframe we are all different but losing an average of 1-2lbs a week is achievable and healthy. I happened to lose a whopping 7lbs in my first week eating plenty of food because I was getting rid of excess water and bloat. Once you do that then things will slow down. And don’t be disheartened with the odd week where you see no change, especially if you are a woman. We can fluctuate quite a bit within the month and as you get closer to your target weight it won’t be quite so easy to keep dropping the pounds. I found that relaxing at this stage and simply focusing on enjoying my healthy new lifestyle had a really positive effect and I lost a few more pounds without even thinking about it anymore. In the book there is an important chapter on how to make a change that lasts. There has been lots of research on this and it explains so well why we often have such good intentions but can’t seem to stick to them beyond the first few days. Here are the stages of change in a very small nutshell:

  1. Pre-contemplation (you don’t yet know or acknowledge there is anything to change)
  2. Contemplation (you acknowledge there is a problem, but have a habit of trying to change when you aren’t quite ready so you need to raise your consciousness, look yourself squarely in the mirror and arm yourself with all the benefits of making that change like how energised and confident you will feel)
  3. Preparation (because without a plan we’re all just a bit rubbish when it comes to losing weight or getting healthy)
  4. Action
  5. Maintenance (yes, the Holy Grail)

Start Today

Write a Food Diary because it’s the absolute best way to see in just a couple of days the small (well, yes, and big) changes you need to make. Add as much detail as possible. Think about these questions:

  • Where do you get lunch?
  • Which meals are cooked from scratch?
  • What do you grab on the run during the day?
  • Do you eat at your desk?
  • Are you a constant grazer or stuff yourself at meals?
  • What are the foods you just can’t seem to eat in moderation?
  • What are your triggers for eating those foods you just can’t seem to eat in moderation?
  • How much time in the day do you spend sitting?

 

Love Your Larder

Bin all the unhealthy foods in your cupboards. It might seem a waste but why treat your body as a rubbish bin? Stock up on:

  • Oats
  • Natural yoghurt
  • Fruit (whatever takes your fancy)
  • Leafy greens
  • Tomatoes
  • Chillies
  • Cucumbers
  • Spring onioner
  • Quinoa, bulgur wheat and barley
  • Seeds
  • Beans and lentils
  • Oily fish
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Tofu
  • Ginger
  • Tamarind
  • Stock pots or powders
  • A few spice mixes for rubs and marinades (Cajun, Zat’ar, Ras al Hanout, Herbes de Provence, garam masala, 5 spice)
  • Smoked paprika, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, coriander
  • Fennel seeds, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, caraway seeds (you don’t need all of these spices at once but build up over time to make cooking super easy)
  • Wheat free tamari soya sauce, mirin, brown rice vinegar
  • Lemons and limes (for zesting and juicing)
  • Green, fennel, dandelion, mint teas
  • Olive and nut oils
  • Dark chocolate

Steer Clear 80% of the Time

  • Sugar
  • Bread (occasional sourdough or soda bread is lovely)
  • Ready Meals
  • Biscuits
  • Pastry
  • Cakes
  • Milk Chocolate
  • Ice cream
  • Alcohol

 

It’s Not Just What You Eat

  1. Eat more for breakfast, a good lunch and a light supper
  2. Keep you blood sugars balanced with healthy small snacks like a banana or a handful of almonds
  3. Don’t eat on the run but take your time to enjoy each meal
  4. Please, please, please add some exercise into each day and you’ll find losing weight so much easier (especially keeping it off)

 

I hope I’ve encouraged you just a little to make that start. A friend of mine puts it so well when she says to always focus on ‘clean’ foods. Be adventurous, curious and go for it!

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