Jane Rylands-Bolton, Louth Slimming world consultant, has kindly offered Leader readers her best tips for slimming down after the indulgent Christmas period. Jane hopes that these tips will allow keen slimmers to keep their New Year resolutions whilst continuing to enjoy good food and exercise. Jane says...
“After a long hard year, Christmas and New Year celebrations are a wonderful time to treasure with friends and family. And yet how many of us also secretly worry about the effects on our waistlines? For many years – all my adult life, in fact! – I have suffered the negative experience of yoyo dieting; spurred on each passing year in January by New Year resolutions, and foiled by February when my willpower ran out.
“Thankfully, four years ago, this cycle of negative behaviour came to an end when I discovered ‘Food Optimising’, the healthy eating plan at the heart of Slimming World, which has changed people’s lives for over forty years. Now I am at target I have the honour of helping other men and women swap faddy, restrictive, unsustainable diets for a way of life, which is for life. I turned sixty this year and made myself a promise; I want to remain healthily at target for the rest of my days!
“We have all heard about the national obesity epidemic. A week doesn’t seem to pass without new horror stories in the press. Government initiatives come thick and fast focusing on possible solutions to the crisis such as imposing taxes on high-sugar drinks. Getting people to adopt healthier habits isn’t about restricting and penalising people, however; it’s about helping us to see how we can enjoy a healthier lifestyle. At Slimming World members lose weight and get into a new ‘lifestyle groove’ by sharing quick and easy recipe and meal ideas, great low cost bargains at the supermarket and ideas and solutions about how to overcome day to day challenges.
“Critics of the type of measures being proposed often argue that increasing the cost of products is unlikely to make a difference unless the cost of healthy eating is reduced. There is a public perception that eating well is expensive, often because the offers in supermarkets do tend to be on chocolate, crisps, fizzy drinks etc – they’re the products that fill the bargain end of the aisle slots. In fact, basics are often much cheaper than processed foods. For example, compare the price of a tin of chopped tomatoes with a handful of herbs and some garlic for a basic pasta sauce, to a pre-packed pasta sauce from a well-known brand. In addition, people often save money as they’re not buying fast food and takeaways for themselves and their families.
“Food Optimising works because it encourages us to eat food that fill us up and keep us feeling full for longer. Fish, meat and poultry are the most filling, followed by carbohydrate-rich food such as pasta, potatoes and rice. As we are only human and respond badly to ‘Thou shalt not!’, the plan also allows for daily treats. No food is ‘bad’ in itself, we just need to keep the balance firmly in favour of low fat, filling family food.
“At Slimming World, one of our most important awards is called Club 10. By losing 10% of our body weight, we also achieve numerous health and psychological benefits, including reduced blood pressure, risk of heart disease and stroke, reduction in risk of type two diabetes, improvement in diabetes control, reduction in joint strain as well of course as improvement in mood and self-esteem.
“With labour-saving devices, decreased manual labour, increased access to technology and staying in becoming ‘the new going out’, we are all becoming more sedentary. Making the effort not to sit in front of the TV for hours each day is so important. And of course, you often hear people blaming lack of exercise for being overweight. It is true that being active is vital for good health; it helps burn energy faster, tones the body, improves posture and strengthens bones and joints, amongst other health benefits. However, by relying on exercise alone, we would have to keep it up for 30 minutes a day five times a week to lose one to two lbs a month. For people suffering from the misery of overweight, getting started with exercise can seem impossible; a mountain to climb.
“Once members start to lose weight in group, however, it can be hard to stop them getting going! Whether you join a zumba or dance class, cheerlead, aquasize, roller skate or just rely on good old fashioned, money-saving walking, the benefits to your mood and stress levels can’t be overstated. Vitally, once members reach target, exercise will help keep them there by helping raise their metabolism and keeping bodies toned.
“So, once you have enjoyed your well-earned rest from work, instead of putting your feet up on the sofa, why not fit in some brisk family walks? And when that post-partying weary feeling hits you and you begin to think about making some life-giving changes for 2014, Slimming World is just around the corner, waiting to welcome you to a healthy, hunger-free way of eating and living.”
Slimming World meets in Louth at the following times:
Tuesdays, 5.30pm and 7.30pm, St Michael’s School.
Wednesdays, 9.30am, Meridian Leisure Centre.
Wednesdays, 7.30pm, Monk’s Dyke School.
Thursdays, 5.30pm and 7.30pm, Trinity Centre in Eastgate.
Call consultant Jane on 01673 838071 for further information.