I like calorie counting – I think!

I like calorie counting – I think!

I like calorie counting – I think!

I’ve been a member of Slimming World since December 2018 and I have lost three stone ten pounds. I’m thrilled with the weight loss, but the weight loss has stalled in the last 18 months. This could be because I have a secret! When I lost the three stone ten pounds, I was also calorie counting. I know you shouldn’t do this on a Slimming World diet, but I couldn’t help it. It has been ingrained in my psyche. To lose weight, you have to have a calorie deficit. The philosophy of Slimming World is that you have free foods and can eat as many of those as possible. Some of those free foods are high-protein foods like meat, fish or eggs. Other foods are high-carbohydrate foods like potatoes, pasta and rice.

I know that my body doesn’t do very well with carbohydrates. For example, I put on a pound or two for the next 48 hours whenever I eat rice. It has become a habit within my household that rice will not be consumed on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Because my weigh day is on a Thursday evening and I want to have a weight loss. This becomes very restrictive when you are a celiac. Although gluten-free pasta is available, it’s just not as nice as rice or potatoes. Hands up here, I would be thrilled to sit down to a bowl of white rice and salt for a meal. I love rice. I find it to be one of my comfort foods.

Calorie Counting with Slimming World

I have therefore decided that I am going to put the Slimming World diet, or I should say, healthy eating plan, to one side for a few months, sort of. Although I intend to go to my Slimming World group every week and weigh in because I like the group camaraderie. I also like the accountability of weight control and management. “My fitness pal” has already been downloaded to my mobile phone and will start calorie counting to lose weight over the next two months on my weight loss journey. I will not inform my group leader that I am doing this, as I intend to run both plans side by side, as I did previously.

I will use the Slimming World philosophy of the food I will eat. But instead of looking at the foods as free, I will weigh each item and count its calorific number. For example, suppose I will have a jacket potato, baked beans and side salad, which is all free on the Slimming World plan. In that case, I will have the potato but will weigh it for the calorie intake, and the beans and side salad. I will follow the Slimming World plan kind of. I will keep a log of what I eat and my weight over the next two months to see the difference. But I want to see if this will work.

As it stands at the moment, I only have another two stones, but I want to lose that two stones. Then I will create some low calorie, high filling and exciting meals. I want to enjoy my food again and plan meals; I will look forward to eating. For example, a Roast Chicken on a Sunday. It also has to be a plan that I will then be able to stick to long term. I understand the calorie deficit way of dieting. It has worked for me before. I know the number of calories my body needs to use daily to survive. My Basal Metabolic Rate is 2032. I can eat up to 2032 calories to maintain my current weight. Anything over that, I will put on weight. Anything less than that, I will lose weight.

Food should not be banned

I am fed up with looking at food and thinking they are naughty, bad or not on the plan. The thought of never eating some foods is driving me directly to that food. Then it’s not just a nibble or one biscuit; it’s the packet. I have absolutely no intention of going through my life like that. I will not look at a gin and tonic and think I can’t have that because I’ve used all my sins for today. Life is for living and enjoying. If I have to count or be on a diet, I cannot see the point for the rest of my life.

This makes me sound a little sad or despondent? But I’m not. I’m feeling genuinely energised. I’m looking forward to eating what I want to eat in the next two months and when. But within a calorie-counting regime. Also, knowing that I can eat anything and still lose weight. I can decide to have a fish finger sandwich with butter and tomato sauce when I want and not worry that I already had my healthy B or save my healthy B for a HIFI bar. Now I will have the opportunity to decide what I will eat and when. If I want to eat four slices of bread, I will. (Of course, Gluten-free bread is OK, but you just can’t eat that many slices).

I will keep you informed about how I’m doing, and what the result will be? When I weighed myself this morning, and I was 86.2. I have been very strict with myself and followed the Slimming World diet the last couple of days, and I have actually put on half a kilo. This is probably why I’m looking at an alternative.

Slimming World has about 2000 calories per day

Interestingly, suppose you actually work out the calorie content of an average day’s slimming world eating plan. In that case, you’ll be surprised to find out that calories workout to be around 2000 per day. That has to be wrong, and therefore when you stick to plan, you don’t permanently lose weight. If you are on a Slimming World eating plan, try it. Count calories for just one week, and see the results.

I’m looking forward to calorie counting. I have my tools ready, and I will let you know the weight loss I have achieved with my new calorie counting action plan.

Gluten Free Bread

Gluten Free Bread

Gluten-Free Bread

On the Slimming World Fast Forward plan, I rediscovered one of my favourite breakfasts. Poached egg on toast. Ok, so I may have made one slight change. I’m not too fond of soggy toast. I don’t know why, but just the thought of it turns my stomach. My poached egg is always on bread. Typically I would add some butter to the bread, but I am trying to save syns and calories.

Eggs are a bit of a complex issue when poached. The poached egg has to be cooked just right. The white is not translucent, but the yoke is soft and runny. Having said that, the egg is the easiest part of the ingredients. The bread is a complicated component.

Why have gluten-free bread?

I am a celiac, which means my body cannot tolerate gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Gluten is the ingredient that makes bread, biscuits, and cakes taste divine. It is also the ingredient that combines all the other ingredients together. It gives food that stretches feel. If you take one component out of a recipe, it changes the whole product and unfortunately, bread is one product that desperately needs gluten!

Gluten-free bread is very hit and miss. Bread depends on gluten for its delicious taste, its consistency and strength. Some gluten-free bread tastes like cardboard, and that is a compliment to the bread. It’s dry, tastes of nothing, and you need half a pound of butter to eat it. Not only that, the crusts are inedible, and the size of a cream cracker and will tear when spreading butter.

What is strange about a gluten-free loaf is that it seems to last forever. Regular bread will eventually go mouldy. I have yet to see a gluten-free loaf go stale. I dread to think how the manufacturer does this. Being a celiac means I indulge in bread infrequently. It is very much a treat.

I have made some homemade gluten-free bread after buying a particular bread-making machine. The ingredients are as long as your arm. However, the bread had a very short life. It tastes fantastic once it’s finished cooking. You have to eat it immediately. It doesn’t keep very well, and I found I did nothing but eat bread for the next few days. Starting with sandwiches, then toast, and finally, bread dipped in egg. Sometimes the bread would end up in the bin. It was a very dense bread, and the time and cost weren’t worth the time and effort.

Gluten bread on the Slimming World Fast Forward Plan

The price of gluten-free bread is also extremely expensive. One small loaf of Tesco Free From Seeded Bread (Gluten-free) has about 15 slices that cost £1.80. A comparable size loaf of standard bread costs circa £0.80. Other gluten-free bread has around eight slices and can cost £1.95. Getting a more expensive loaf doesn’t mean that it will taste any better. Gluten-free bread has become easier to find and purchase over the last few years.

Tesco Free From Seeded Bread

Tesco Free From Seeded Bread. I have found a gluten-free bread that tastes nice. It’s not real bread, but it’s the closest thing I have come across. Unlike other gluten-free bread, it is soft to the touch, especially when you give it the fresh test squeeze you do with ordinary bread, There is a little bounce back, and if it were regular fresh bread, you would probably put it back on the shelf. However, for a loaf of gluten-free bread, it’s good.

More importantly, each slice of bread is 107 calories, with is comparable to other loaves. Each slice is tiny, smaller than a small loaf. It is made with rice flour, tapioca maise and potato starch and topped with a few seeds. You can see the whole ingredients below. The slice is slightly thicker than a regular sliced loaf, which is pleasantly surprising. Tesco suggests that the bread will be good for four days once opened. I have kept mine for longer with no adverse effects and no change in softness or taste.

This bread also makes delicious sandwiches. I added some coleslaw as the bread needed a little liquid. The butter must be soft as the bread will tear if too hard. If you are going to have toast, you won’t notice any difference in any style of bread. Once you have some jam or marmalade on, you think it was regular bread. Indeed, my friends have never noticed any difference when they have a slice, which is excellent praise certainly. Eating gluten-free bread is much lighter than traditional bread, and you are never left with that heavy feeling after eating.

Gluten-Free bread means free from everything

One of the sad things about being gluten-free is that the manufacturer seems to lump all things free together, so it is also wheat free and milk free. It does, however, contain eggs. You can freeze this bread but will have to wait two hours before using it. I have had no luck with freezing bread, as it always seems to taste stale.

Ingredients – taken from Tesco website

I have listed the ingredients for the bread, which will make it easier for you to decide to try it. There are a lot of items included in the bread. You can see this in the list below.

INGREDIENTS: Water, Rice Flour, Mixed Seeds (10%) [Sunflower, Linseed, Poppy, Millet], Tapioca Starch, Maize Starch, Potato Starch, Bamboo Fibre, Rapeseed Oil, Dried Egg White, Psyllium Husk Powder, Yeast, Humectant (Vegetable Glycerol), Stabilisers (Hydroxypropyl Methyl Cellulose, Xanthan Gum), Sugar, Salt, Preservatives (Calcium Propionate, Potassium Sorbate), Apple Extract.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I like this bread. I have, in fact, purchased four loaves since finding them on the shelves in Tesco. On a score out of 10 for this bread, I would give it an 8. It’s one of the best tasting bread celiacs can eat, and it is a reasonable price. You can eat the bread without butter (but some liquid will need to be added, coleslaw or a runny egg). It is worth trying to see what you think. Would love to hear your feedback.

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Why I started dieting

Why I started dieting

Why I started dieting

What a question. Why I started dieting. I feel like I have been on a diet all my life. My first memory of noting anything to do with weight started when I was at school, and the school nurse would weigh you at the start and the end of term. Then I was always underweight and told that I needed to add a few pounds. I didn’t understand what she meant and just carried on with my school life.

My next memory is watching my mother getting dressed for a party and putting on a red dress and complaining that she was getting fat since she had stopped smoking, and my father had made a few comments about it. She was a size 12. She said she would join a weight-loss club and wanted me to go with her for company and support.

The price of coffee!

I joined her and listened to other women complain about the cost of diet food and the limited selection of diet foods available. These discussions would last for 40 minutes once a week for months. We would have the same debate, but from different people as the membership constantly change. I refer to this kind of discussion as jokingly ‘The price of coffee today is’.

Alternatively, they would moan about having to eat different food from the family and the constant moans of how hard done by they were. The final straw for me came when the instructor turned to the group and told each dieter that they should look at eating food as a treat and make it a performance. Lay the table and make it look beautiful. Turn off the TV and radio and don’t answer the phone and give themselves the gift of 20 minutes to enjoy their meal. I agreed with what she said, but the complaints from the women. Oh no, I can’t answer the phone; it might be my child needing me. My husband works overseas, and if the phone goes, I will answer. The short-sightedness of what the instructor was trying to say was missed.


The instructor was trying to say that they should look at their food, their meal as something to enjoy. Think about The instructor tried to say that they should look at their food, their meal, as something to enjoy. Think about what they are eating and be conscious about the food they are putting in their mouths. I was about 14 years old, and the group closed not long after from memory.

What did I learn about dieting?

What this taught me was that all women should watch their weight. This is part of being a woman, one of the most important aspects of adulthood. A rite of passage. So, I started dieting because at 14, when I was a size 10, five foot three and told I should be a size 8. Moving on several years and dieting successfully and unsuccessfully since then, I managed to get myself to a size 24 and dream of being a size 14 as my ultimate goal. How things change!

It is true to say I started dieting because I wanted to lose weight. It seemed like the logical thing to do; after all, I had been told how to lose weight this way since I was 14. The logic was I was overweight. I should diet to lose weight. But it’s not that simple. Weight loss can be complicated, both physically and mentally. It requires a lot of willpower and self-control, which I often lack. And even when you do everything “right”, there’s no guarantee that you will lose weight.

Dieting is such a deeply ingrained part of our culture, and it’s hard to imagine a different eating method. I’ve learnt that one style of dieting is not the only answer. For me, it leads to obsessing over food, feeling deprived and unhappy, and eventually giving up and overeating. So why do I keep doing it? Good question. Partly because I hope that this time will be different, partly because I don’t know what else to do. The Slimming World Food Optimising option works for me and my lifestyle, but I also check the food I eat and count the calories. I have set myself 1500 calories a day within the philosophy of Slimming World Food Optimising. The main issue I have with any diet is that I am a celiac so anything with gluten is out.

Is there a new way to diet?

I am trying to find a unique way that works for me. A method that doesn’t involve just dieting but also focuses on listening to my body and eating in a way that makes me feel good – physically, mentally and emotionally. It isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. Because at the end of the day, food nourishes us, not punishes us. And our bodies are meant to be loved and respected, not constantly dieted and criticised.

If you’re struggling with dieting, I encourage you to explore other options that includes a reduction in the foods you put in your mouth. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to eating, and what works for me might not work for you. If you’re tired of feeling a failure every time you diet, know that you are not alone. And know that there is another way. Dieting doesn’t have to be your only option – there is hope for something better. Something that feels good instead of bad. Something that leads to self-love instead of self-loathing. You deserve it, as do I. As mentioned above, I have found that Slimming World is working for me. Previously, it was weight watchers and Rosemary Colney. No matter which I have selected, each diet is about numbers. The number of calories you put in your body and the ones you expel through exercise and just living.

In conclusion why I started dieting

If my mother had never started on her weight loss program or taken me to her slimming club, I don’t think I would have ever put on so much weight. I’m not blaming her for my adult decisions, but it started a cascade of Yo-Yo dieting and focused on weight, weight loss, and physical appearance. Before then, I did not know the minefield of weight loss and the psychological difficulties of control over your own body. Even so, I still want to lose weight, and I still have the image in my head of how I want to look and how I look now. The image that I see may differ from the image you see, but ultimately it’s all about me in my head.

Why did you start dieting? Was it for similar reasons?

There is a link to the Slimming World website; I am not paid or do not receive anything for the link; I thought it might be of use if you wanted to check it out.

This is day Seven of my Slimming World Fast Forward Plan.

This is day Seven of my Slimming World Fast Forward Plan.

The Fast Forward Plan with Slimming World – Thursday 17 February 2022

Starting weight: 86.2

Days

  • One 86.2
  • Two 85.8
  • Three 85.4
  • Four 84.8
  • Five 85.2
  • Six 84.8
  • Seven 84.8

Total loss: 1.4 kg. It’s still going down.

 

Winning at Fast Forward

I made it. At last, it was a long seven days with a stringent diet. My eventual weight loss was 1.4 kg. I am thrilled, but I didn’t meet my 3kg weight loss, but it means that I am much nearer to my end goal of 70 kg within a week. 

I am looking forward to going back to the regular Slimming World Food Optimising plan. Not having to weigh food and count units. Now I have to make sure I don’t put any weight on. I am not going mad at my free foods as I think the next week will be more critical than the Fast Forward Plan week.  

Would I do the The Fast Forward Plan with Slimming World again?

Yes, I think that is maybe worth doing every few months. Not because I want the massive weight loss, but it reminded me about Food Optimising and that the choice is in my hands. I will not preach, as it was hard. Family mealtimes were difficult, and Saturday treat night was difficult for everyone.

I don’t think it’s a plan that should be used all the time; the calorie intake is low. Slimming World says this is the last resort plan. I can’t see why. Consultants use other tools if you are struggling to lose weight. For example:

  • Food diaries
  • Individual consultation with your consultant, 
  • Extra easy SP, 
  • For and against lists.  
  • Self Sabotage

However, this plan is a helpful booster for those who need it. It should be kept in the back cupboard under a large box and padlocked. It is just another valuable tool to help kick-start your weight loss journey once you get stuck. You will need the same motivation you had when you first started your Slimming World journey. It is useful and it has its place, and it works as a short-term fix for a quick boost of weight loss. I know that it’s NOT food optimising, which is probably why Slimming World doesn’t want to discuss it a great deal. It will make you appreciate the plan again, get you to reread the books, and start to plan your meals.

What has this plan taught you?

It has shown me I don’t always count my syns. I am eating more significant portions and need to keep them in check.

You may be interested in my other posts on The Fast Forward Plan with Slimming World

This is day Five of my Slimming World Fast Forward Plan.

This is day Five of my Slimming World Fast Forward Plan.

Slimming World – Tuesday 15 February 2022

Starting weight on the Slimming World Fast Forward Plan: 86.2

Days

  • One 86.2
  • Two 85.8
  • Three 85.4
  • Four 84.8
  • Five 85.2

Gutted, absolutely gutted, that is the only explanation I can give today. I got on the scales, expecting the scales to read 84.4. Following on from my 0.4 weight loss. the scales read new show 85.2 kg. Ordinarily, I would be still thrilled because I had lost weight. However, I was expecting it to be 84.4. In my mind, I put on. If you expect to lose weight and don’t lose, it’s devastating. So now I’ve got to tell my mind somehow not to worry and continue with this slimming or fast forward plan.

I know you should never weigh yourself every day. There are very few slimmers who do not weigh themselves every day. For me, I have a small ritual when I weigh. It’s got to be first thing in the morning after I’ve been to the loo, with nothing on and before I have my morning coffee.

My treats

Day 5 Slimming World Fast Forward Plan

I don’t want to say that I live for my treats. But it has to be said that I look forward to my treats. When I am Slimming World regular plan, I save all my syn for the evening, which is my danger zone. I will sit with two Hi-Fi bars, one bliss bar, three syns and a small packet of crisps, five syns or a 25g or Aldi chocolate seven syns.

However, you don’t have 15 syns to play with on the Slimming World Fast Forward Plan. The plan uses a point-based system. Depending on where you are with your weight loss journey, you are allocated several units to have each day. The units range from 18 to 23. I am in 21 units. The treats are called snacks in The Fast Forward Plan. The values are only 1 or 2 units. For example

  • One sachet Cadbury Highlight Chocolate Drink – 1 unit
  • 150 ml of gravy, made from granules with water – 1 unit
  • One medium banana – 2 units
  • Two slices of wholemeal bread (400g loaf) – 2 units

I miss my treats. My syns plate is no longer filled with the lovely goodies. Instead I have one Cadbury Highlight Chocolate Drink and a packet of skips crisps. I should use the syns smarter. Therefore I don’t need to fixate on chocolate and sweeties. I have come to the conclusion that the issue with the regular Slimming World eating plan and syns is I use mine for sugar treats.

An New Breakfast

I love my new breakfast of poached egg on bread. On the regular Slimming Plan, I can use the bread as my healthy extra, and the eggs are free. The Slimming World Fast Forward Plan is a secret ploy to get you to look back at your habits of food optimising and see where you are making mistakes, with a helpful hint on how much weight you could lose if you kept to plan. I think my consultant may be very cunning.

What have I learnt about being on the Slimming World Fast Forward Plan so far?

Finally, I have just figured it out! I have a sweet tooth, and I like chocolate, biscuits, and ice cream. However, they are all full of sugar. It’s all about the sugar! Somehow, I must get it in my head that it’s not the end of the world if I don’t eat chocolate. I am not missing out and not being deprived. It is a sugar addiction, just like drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, or drugs.

Are we Unique?

Are we Unique?

Are we unique? I would love to say yes, but doing a quick Facebook search on my name, a dozen other Facebook accounts appear with my name. So, if we accept that other people have our name, does that stop us from being unique?

It feels like an exam question. Do we first describe what being unique is? Why being unique is essential to our lives? Somewhere in the world, we all have a doppelgänger, so physically, we may not be as physically unique as we would like to think.

I have to be honest; there are very few things I have done in my life that I have done on my own. I have shared experiences joining classes or groups of people doing something. My experience is, therefore, not unique.

Does this mean that our expertise makes us unique? I would say that I am not an expert in anything important; this is not to say I am useless. I am not.

Where am I Unique?


At last, I have found something where I am unique; it’s my DNA. No one else has my DNA. I am not an identical twin and, therefore, unique.

Why am I rambling on about being Unique?

I have just finished watching a TV show about plastic surgery, and it breaks my heart to see all these women and some men going under the knife. Injecting chemicals into their bodies and convinced that this procedure is safe and necessary. They all have the same story, and I will be happy when.

Why not be happy now. Plastic surgery does have its place, those who have had cancer, been in an accident or other such issues. What breaks my heart is the young girls of 20 who want to have bigger breasts, bigger lips or no wrinkles.

It appears that many of these young people are worried about how they look. This is referred to as body dysmorphia. This is when you look at your body and see flaws. These flaws become ingrained and start to grow in the person’s mind until they are all-encompassing.

What is the solution?

Are we all putting to much pressure on young women to look a certain way? The sad thing is that all the procedures these young ladies undergo make them all look identical.

Maybe as older women, we need to teach our young girls that physical beauty is not as important as inner beauty. Being kind to yourself, forgiving yourself and loving yourself.