8 hacks to beat the festive weight gain
The festive ads are on the tv, X factor and strictly are nearly finished for the year and It's dark by 5pm. It can only mean 1 thing - it's nearly Christmas!!!
Christmas can be a time of over-whelm, over-indulgement and hang-overs <--- Lots of overs there so it's no wonder that slimmers can start to fret about the smallest of things from fitting into that party dress to how they're going to manage their VLCD around the festive activities. Don't worry we've got you sorted with our top 8 hacks for helping you beat the festive bloat (whilst still staying focused on your VLCD).
1. Be realistic over the festive season
I was chatting to a client last week about how she can manage her weight from December to January. She not only had Christmas functions to go to nearly every weekend but she also had a skiing trip from Boxing Day until after January. I asked her to realistically look at whether she thought she could stick to a VLCD plan 100%. Her answer was no so we decided to look at a plan she could do instead. This alleviated most of her concerns and she knew it was a plan she could stick to 100%. Instead of feeling bad that she wouldn't stick to VLCD, she felt confident that not only will she lose a few lbs over the festive period, she also felt that she'd had a weight lifted off her shoulders.
Ally's tip: If you have a lot going on, then sit down with a calendar & look at the days you have plans. Make an action plan mapping out the days you are able and wanting to stick to VLCD & the days you are eating at functions. What can you do on those days instead to support yourself
2. Don't use it as an excuse to eat
We're amazing at creating and believing our own excuses.It's easy to say 'Diet starts January' but so much work could be done between now and Christmas to help you lose some weight and feel better about yourself. It's also very easy to put on weight between now and January if you go completely off track.
That tin of quality street may be calling your name now but once their eaten, you'll replenish them and do it all again.
Ally's tip: Don't do your Christmas food shopping too early. I usually do mine around the 20th to avoid those 'ooh lets just open this whilst watching a movie' moments.
3. Plan and prepare
Going shopping with the besties? maybe that office party is around the corner? ensure you have a fail safe action plan for those days. There's no reason why you cant have 2 or 3 of your foodpacks on those days
Mammoth shopping trips can take it out of you. You can take a bar or 2 on those days to still stay on plan or if you do eat lunch whilst shopping, have your pack as usual in the evening instead. When you stop for a coffee or hot choc (which usually contains about 400 cals), choose a cup of tea instead.
Office party or dinner out somewhere? still have your packs as usual during the day.
Ally's tip: Before going out make shopping for the day, make sure you have bars in your handbag. If going for a Christmas party meal, look at the menu see which options best suit your diet. It's not the end of the world for your diet if you do eat off plan but remember to go straight back on it next day.
4. Make a list
Boy do I love my lists!?! I have a to do list for everything. In fact, I would be lost without my to do lists. They organise me and keep me focused. It's so easy to have a lot going on in December. Create a list of what needs doing and trust me when i say you'll feel so amazing when you see lots of items crossed off that list. BYE BYE OVERWHELM!
Ally's tip: I generally have a few lists on the go at Christmas time.
1 for presents i need to buy, 1 for work things that need to be completed before we close for Christmas. 1 for general day to day items and 1 for house work things that i need to do. I use an app called Wunderlist to help me get organised for any event. That way if i'm on the go, i can easily add it to my app.
5. Don't forget yourself
As they say 'You can't pour from an empty cup'. Make sure you take time out for yourself in December. Whether it's having a day off from your daily grind or just catching up with a cuppa and a mag. It's easy to put others before yourself but you should be the number 1 priority in your life. If you start to put yourself down the pecking order, it's easy to feel overwhelmed, exhausted or unwell and when you feel like that the last thing you want to do is focus on your VLCD. In what ways do you like to look after yourself? Schedule time out ideally once a week to ensure you don't get burnout and lose focus on what YOU want for yourself.
Ally's tip: When stocking up on the Christmas pressies, don't forget to add one to the basket for yourself. Don't feel guilty about it either. You've been working hard on losing weight, it's important to give yourself a (non-food) treat once in a while.
6. Make exercise a priority
Some of us can groan at the thought of exercise but incorporating exercise into your daily life doesn't necessarily mean high energy impact such as HIIT or slogging it at the gym. There's some incredible people to follow on youtube such as Amanda Miller - i love her exercise videos as she doesn't always use exercise equipment or the ones she does use are easily brought - such as kettlebells (my fave). You can work out at home to videos and set your own pace. You can also easily turn those everyday chores into fat busters by walking up the stairs more, parking further away when going to the shops. Turn it into a challenge for yourself and you'll be amazed at the difference it makes to your weight.
Ally's tip: I have a list of what exercises i need to do on what days (what is it with me and lists)?! On those days, i complete the exercises as soon as i wake up that way they're out of the way for the day and they help set me up mentally for a healthy day.
7. Drink your water
I feel like a broken record when I say drink your water but it really does make such a difference to your weight, your hunger and how you feel. It can help with concentration and reduces boredom eating and therefore reduces your weight.
Ally's tip: Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up. Then aim to drink a glass on the hour every hour. Set reminders on your phone. You'll see an amazing difference to your skin and wellbeing after just 21 days of drink 2 litres of water a day.
8. Set up your January
I've had people asking me what i'd like for Christmas and I've asked for items that I know will help kickstart my new year on the right foot. Ask for health minded gifts - there's some great subscription boxes that are full of amazing goodies. I usually buy Tilli (it's a non-subscription gift box) and I'm never disappointed with the goods i receive in it. The packaging is divine and every month when it arrives, It feels like my day! There's some amazing mental health gift subscription boxes such as buddy box by Blurt. They concentrate on self care and mental health. It's really worth a look. If not, why not ask for a gift hamper filled with herbal teas, pamper sets, workout items, books - anything that would make YOU feel amazing instead of something practical. PS - NEED TO SAY WE HAVE NOT BEEN PAID OR SPONSORED TO MENTION THESE BRANDS. THEY ARE JUST PERSONAL RECOMMENDATIONS BY MYSELF AFTER USING THEM (Tili) OR FROM SEEING REVIEWS (BLURT).
Set yourself up & remember to put yourself first in everything you do!
P.S Do share these hacks with friends who are slimming with you.
PPS If you have any of your own hacks, please do mention them in the comments. We all love some extra inspiration.
Ally is a Life Coach and weight management counsellor with the SMLDiet.
VLCD's are fantastic weight loss plans as they use our bodies natural ketogenic defences to help us lose weight QUICKLY!
SMLDiet has a VLCD meal replacement plan called the Simple plan. The Simple plan has been created to help your body enter a state called ketosis in order to burn your fat stores and help you lose weight quicker than conventional food diets.
The great thing about ketosis is
the fact that once we're in ketosis, we don't have a physical hunger. Yes that's right. Being in ketosis acts as a natural appetite suppressant and here's why...
Usually with our conventional food diets, you can be assured that they are high in sugar and or carbohydrates. This means that you can have sugar level swings.
What's a sugar level swing?
This is basically where your sugar level rises due to the food you have eaten and then it's followed by a low (or a sugar crash as it's known). This can leave you feeling low in mood, leave you with cravings and can lead to feelings of hunger. Of course you need to feed that hunger so you eat again (sometimes a quick fix food) and as a result you have that sugar level swing again.
If you are on a diet such as the SMLDiet VLCD plan, your body will enter a state called ketosis and once ketosis kicks in, you are burning your fat for fuel. Due to this, you will find that your blood sugar levels stabilise leading to less 'sugar crashes' and less cravings for the sweet stuff.
Lets talk hunger for a second...
Hunger is caused by a hormone called Ghrelin and this can caused increased appetite. When you eat food, your ghrelin levels decrease. If you are trying to lose weight and simply start cutting back on calories on a general conventional food plan, your body will think that it's being starved. This can cause your ghrelin levels to increase and that can lead to more hunger and cravings. On a ketogenic diet such as the SMLDiet however, your ghrelin levels remain consistent.
Ketosis is great for reducing cravings. Here's why
As said earlier, these sugar highs and lows can have HUGE consequences to our reactions and in turn our weight.
Have you ever noticed how you eat something with sugar (such as chocolate) and then crave more and more? It's a horrible cycle that can lead to increased weight, dull or tired looking skin, feeling fatigued and problems such as diabetes.
Ketosis can stabilise your sugar levels and reduce your cravings. Leading to a more balanced way of eating, less snacking and increased weight loss and well being.
You work hard throughout the week and come the weekend, the thought of being on VLCD fills you with dread. It's ok. we get it - the weekend comes and you just want to relax and quite often that relaxation comes with a bowlful of food.You really aren't alone. So why is it that the weekends are harder than weekdays on a VLCD? why is it that we can adopt that 'Diet starts again Monday mentality'? We put this question to our weight management counsellor & SMLDiet founder Ally & this is what she said about weekend weight loss...
Although there always seems to be work to do for me, I use Sundays as a total rest and relaxation day. That means all my chores are completed Friday night or Saturday and Sunday can be a day of total rest. There may be times where (in general), we're more idle and it's easy for our minds to wonder. For a lot of us on a VLCD, the thought of going on a family day out can also make us feel anxious as we usually have a subconscious association with days out/food. For example: Trips to the cinema may be associated with popcorn and sweets. Days out shopping with the children for me represent Pret and maybe a meal out as a treat for them.
I know when I've been on SMLDiet before, I've usually noticed that at the weekend, i'm thinking about food more and doing more things to distract myself from these thoughts. That's when it can become a struggle as it seems the more we battle with our thoughts, the more we notice them'.
So with that in mind, what can you do when you suffer from weekend weakness? As Ally has been on a VLCD before, she gave us her best tips for getting through the weekend on SMLDiet.
The weekend isn't anything special.
The weekend consists of Friday night, Saturday and Sunday. If you are able to go Monday-Thursday 100% then there's no reason why you can't carry that through to Sunday. It's only an extra 3 days. In the past, I've made a big mistake about blowing things out of proportion when it comes to family trips out. In my head, I've thought about every little detail (most of them revolve around food) and it became such a big deal to me that I either wasn't able to be in the moment OR I thought I can't do VLCD whilst on a day out and it took me back to square 1. If we make it a big deal, then it will be a big deal but the weekends really are just another day and we can easily fill our time if we want to.
Don't use it as an excuse (Diet starts Monday).
I've heard so many times 'Diet starts Monday' heck, I've even used it myself before. We use that sentence so easily that it becomes a joke to us. Then we lock that sentence in our subconscious so it becomes our go to each and every weekend no matter what diet we are following. That diet doesn't have to start again Monday, it can carry on over the weekend and come Monday, you'll be saying week 1 done!
So you want to lose weight... Who for? you? someone else? If you are losing weight for yourself, then make a commitment to yourself. You really do deserve this chance. A chance to see yourself as a lighter and healthier version of who you currently are.
What do you need to do at the weekend to keep yourself motivated?
Is it looking at other slimmers success stories? - usually we can relate to their stories and see a part of us in what they've experienced. If that motivates you, spend more time browsing the SMLDiet site for stories from slimmers who have been exactly where you are.
Motivation comes from within and sometimes we really have to dig deep for that motivation but don't worry, it's there somewhere. We have a FREE e-guide about motivation available on the SMLDiet website. Do take a chance to download it and see how it can help you.
You are stronger than you think...
Think about the last time you experienced personal difficulty... I'm sure you questioned how you were ever going to get through that difficult time. BUT YOU DID! As humans we can achieve what ever we put our minds to. If you start your weekend thinking #I'vegotthis then you know what ? #yougotthis! The weekend will come and go before you know it and you'll feel stronger for remaining on plan and not having to do the whole 'Diet starts again Monday' routine.
Little non-food related treats are a great way of recognising your hard work. Just last month, I treated myself to a beauty box as I'd been working a lot of hours and needed some self care. It made me feel amazing when it came through in the post. What can you do to treat yourself?
haircut? facial? manicure? new outfit maybe? find something that would make you feel pampered and loved and do it every weekend. It can be your 'I'm sticking to my diet' treat!
Remember it's ok.
It's ok to think that the weekends are hard. It's ok to have an extra pack if you really are struggling (as long as it doesn't become a habit). Something that gets me through the weekend is my SMLDiet snacks - usually comprising of our chocolate biscuits. They really do help on the weekends. They just take the edge off any cravings or any thoughts i have around food.
You matter to us.
We created the SMLDiet support group on facebook as an extra support tool. It's a great source of inspiration and help for many slimmers. If you are having a tough time, go to our group. Chances are there's someone who's been through exactly what you're going through and will be able to help you through it.
We have other support tools to help support you and get you through your VLCD. I created a range of e-guides and e-courses to help our slimmers look more into their behaviours around slimming. Some are free so do take a look (click here)
About 13 years ago, I embarked on a slimming group plan with some work colleagues. I queued up to get my first weeks books, got home excitedly and was so confused. I felt overwhelmed before i even began. I had a plastic wheel chart thing (which to this day i still don't understand) and it turns out i needed to purchase an extra book (which I didn't have) in order to find out what foods exactly I could eat in order to not exceed my food allowance. Confused? Yup me too!
So when I created the SMLDiet, I wanted our plans to be simple to follow, straightforward in their explanations leaving you to worry about which outfits you were going to buy once you'd started on your journey.
However, as much as we have tried to make it simple for our slimmers, I am aware that there's jargon which can be a head spin so in this post, i'll explain general jargon used by Meal Replacement Plan companies.
What does TFR stand for?
TFR stands for Total Food Replacement. We call them TFR for short. Total food Replacement plans are where you consume Meal Replacements and no food what so ever. In order for your TFR plan to be suitable, your meal replacements need to contain 100% of the RDA for your essential vitamins, minerals, macro-nutrients. This can be split over 3 packs (plans with 3 packs usually contain more calories in each pack because you are consuming less packs) or they can be split over 4 packs. The SMLDiet Simple plan is considered a TFR plan and in order to get 100% of your RDA for vitamins and minerals, you would consume 4 Meal Replacement packs a day.
What does MRP stand for?
MRP means Meal Replacement plan. The SMLDiet predominantly meal replacements for weight control so we are considered a Meal Replacement plan. We have a range of weight loss plans that can help you lose weight using meal replacements.
What does VLCD stand for?
VLCD is short for Very Low Calorie Diet. The term VLCD is very popular and you'll find that most companies use this term on their websites. A VLCD is generally a weight loss plan where you consume between 600-800 calories. It's extremely similar to a TFR weight loss plan but slimmers can eat certain allowed ketogenic foods should they wish (they do not have to).
What does LCD stand for?
LCD means Low Calorie Diet. Generally speaking slimmers following an LCD plan would consume between 800-1000 calories per day. The SMLDiet Social Plan is considered an LCD weight loss plan. Slimmers use 3 of our Meal Replacements per day and have an allowed food allowance (of ketogenic foods) to help substitute that last meal replacement they would have been having if they were on our Simple Plan.
What is a foodpack / meal pack?
Most Meal Replacement plans have meal packs or foodpacks which are small sachets containing the powder. It can be a shock or some slimmers when they see their first foodpack as they may be expecting a shake already made or a meal (like a microwave meal). These packs are really convenient as you can pop them in your handbag and make as needed.
What does HP mean?
What does HP+ mean?
HP+ stands for high protein plus. These are high protein products with the added benefit of having extra vitamins and minerals that general high protein products don't have. Some products listed on our snack range are HP+ and still taste equally delicious as our meal replacements.
The world of weight loss & dieting can be confusing for slimmers. Type in how can I lose weight on a search engine and you'll find pages upon pages of solutions. However, how do you know what truly works and what's right for you?
We know that slimmers know their stuff when it comes to losing weight. We also know that you DO have the choice to go elsewhere so in a world of countless weight loss plans, why should you choose SMLDiet?
We are an honest company...
We pride ourselves in our ethics. Sure we could easily tell you that by taking our meal replacement shakes, you'll lose 3 stone in a day but the truth is you wouldn't!
We believe in building trust with our customers and one way in which we do that is by being honest with you. All information you find on our site is honest and we would NEVER make any false statements to entice you to lose weight with us. We personally strive to better ourselves as a business and we invest our time into learning more about how we can help you not only lose weight but to maintain it afterwards.
We really do care...
When we were founded by Ally back in 2012, it was important to Ally that EVERY slimmer knew they were more than just an order. Ally didn't want you to receive your order & feel all on your own. That's why, over the years, Ally has created a range of wonderful tools to help you stay motivated, on plan and feel supported. We receive a lot of emails on a weekly basis asking questions or seeking support & we LOVE receiving them! To us, it means that we have created a trusted company. A company where our slimmers know they will be heard and answered, where they trust our advice, where they know they will be treated with respect.
Our support is incredible...
Those aren't our words, they are words from our slimmers over the years. Our support comes in so many forms & we are always working hard to ensure that with SMLDiet, you get the best value possible.
How do we support you as a slimmer?
SML Support facebook group - We launched a facebook support group where slimmers (all over the world) can come together and share their successes, stories and questions when it comes to their SMLDiet journey. When you order from us, you'll automatically receive an email from us on facebook. The email will have a link where you can join. Alternatively, simply search the SMLDiet on facebook groups and you should see us pop up.
1:1 support - Our founder Ally is a counsellor specialising in disordered eating and many a time she has worked with our slimmers on a 1:1 basis. These sessions are paid for in advance and are conducted by telephone or in person (if you are close to our offices).
E-guides - With Ally's knowledge in disordered eating and counselling, Ally started releasing her E-guides in 2017. We believe in giving back to our customers that's why you'll find some available to you for free. These e-guides have been a fantastic success with many slimmers writing to us for making them available as an extra support tool.
E-courses - As well as our free E-guides, we have recently started to release our e-courses. These are paid for and range from quick 'slimshots' (as we call them). What we mean by that is that they can be completed within a week, they give you an insight into your behaviour and have activities you can complete for further self directed learning. Then we have longer e-courses available which are more in-depth and targeted at certain areas such as learning to love your body and the skin you live in.
Slimsights - Ally spends time mentoring people in her private weight management clinic and as such created a site called Slimsights. Slimsights is for people who want tailored weight loss solutions using a more holistic approach. Again, Ally's e-guides and courses are featured but Ally uses free newsletters/blog posts to help slimmers look at their behaviour around food and eating.
Weight loss challenges - throughout the year, we hold weight loss challenges. These are completely free to enter and are designed to help our slimmers feel accountable and motivated. We offer some great freebies and prizes to our slimmers and previous prizes include Jewellery from Tiffany & Co, a safari holiday, romantic weekend breaks away and other smaller prizes. Our main weight loss challenge starts in January each year so keep an eye on enrolment for that challenge.
We know you're busy and the fact that slimmers like yourself take time out to give us a 5* review on google means so much to us. We appreciate all reviews and use them as an opportunity to learn, to see how we can better ourselves as a company and also give ourselves a pat on the back when we need to.
Our products taste delicious!
We work very closely with our manufacturers to ensure we create delicious, nutritious foods for you. It's important that slimmers love the taste of our products and that's why we sometimes let our slimmers taste test our products for us before we release to the market. In fact, our products taste so good, that it's very rare that a slimmer tells us they don't like a flavour - always a good sign as there's nothing worse than diet food that tastes like cardboard.
We know our stuff...
We aren't a faceless, big corporate company, we are a relatively small, friendly and caring company and as such, we get to know our slimmers. From our slimmers who pop in for a weight in and order collection, to our slimmers over on our facebook group, they all know that they are in the hands of a company who knows their stuff when it comes to weight management. Ally (our founder) has extensive knowledge & over 10 years experience working in the weight management industry so is always looking to ensure our team are knowledgeable, in the area of weight management & VLCD plans.
We all have times of difficulty in our lives. It's part of living and some say we are defined by how we choose to handle those difficulties. I used to be one of those who would go into denial in the hope that it would just go away. However, that rarely happened.
About 5 years ago, I was going through a pretty tough time. It was difficult emotionally and I felt so alone. My weight started to soar as I started eating emotionally and I felt (as a weight management counsellor) that I had to have all the answers and be so all together. Of course like many of us do, I kept my feelings hidden inside in the hope that if I didn't acknowledge them, it would be ok. However, my husband noticed I wasn't quite myself & sat down me down. I confided in him how I felt and what was going on with me and he gave me one of his pep talks. Of course he said many things which really helped but of all the things he said to me, he said 'You got this Ally' and those 3 words became my mantra for life!
The words we tell ourselves really do make an impact...
It's incredible how just 3 simple words can change your whole perspective. Those 3 words pulled me out of that hole and helped me get my power back. I was able to get my act together and over time have achieved incredible things for which I am grateful. Those 3 words made me think 'Yeah I have got this' and off I went with my cup half full ready for a new fight. Those 3 words became my own personal mantra and even now when I have moments of self doubt or self sabotage, I use them to give me a kick up the rear and get on with it. You too can use them for added strength in any situation in your life.
- Feeling doubtful about something? #YOUGOTTHIS
- Feeling that you aren't good enough or why me? #YOUGOTTHIS
- Feeling anxious about going for a promotion or a job interview? #YOUGOTTHIS
- Lacking self belief? #YOUGOTTHIS
- Finding weight loss hard and want to give up? #YOUGOTTHIS
Have you ever noticed how your mood changes based on your thinking? Your thinking can either ZAP you of your motivation OR it can give you the power to take control and achieve those goals.
Your weight loss strengthened by your thinking and the words that you choose, by your mantras and by how you talk to yourself.
Answer this for me....Who is more likely to achieve their goals. The slimmer who said 'I'll try to lose weight' or the slimmer who said ' I can and I will. Just watch me'
Words are powerful. Choose them wisely
Weight Management Counsellor - the SMLDiet
If you google the UK actress Lisa Riley, you'll get pages upon pages of stories all dedicated to her amazing weight loss transformation. You can't hide from the fact that Lisa has worked incredibly hard to lose 12 stone and drop from size 28 down to a size 12.
As with any weight loss story we hear or read about, we only get to see a cropped 1 page piece. We never get to fully see the sweat, tears and the dedication that slimmers put into their transformations. Nor do we get to read about the parts of weight loss that everyone likes to brush under the carpet such as living with excess skin.
That's why when I read an article on the Daily Mail site about Lisa now facing a challenge with excess skin, I was relieved. Not for her upset or pain that the excess skin gave her but finally someone was bringing this kind of subject into the foreground and breaking that taboo that seems to be surrounding weight loss.
Excess skin can happen to anyone
It doesn't matter how you lose the weight, excess skin can happen and unfortunately, it can bring a heap of new physical and psychological problems associated with it. When we want to lose weight, we can sometimes come from a place of dislike - we dislike our tummies so we concentrate on toning them, we dislike our weight so we work on losing a few lbs, we dislike our dress size, so we work on dropping a size or more. We tend to put so much emphasis on the fact that once we have lost weight, we will be happier and our weight loss problem will be solved. This kind of mentality can make us blinkered so when we reach our target & are left with excess skin, it can cause not only physical pain but psychological pain too.
Lisa has openly talked about how excess skin has left her in physical pain. This is due to the 'bagginess' and the weight of the excess skin but like many slimmers, it would also have affected Lisa mentally. The excess skin is a constant reminder of our old self, who we were not who we are now. I know for me personally, when I embarked on losing weight (going from size 22 to size 12), I had visions of me wearing skirts, strappy tops and dresses but instead, I had excess skin on my tummy and am still aware of excess skin partly on my stomach area. It's not what we want to see when we undress and look at ourselves in the mirror.
A lovely slimmer of mine lost 15 stone with me and one day had a chat to say she hated the way she looked SO much that she wanted to put all the weight back on again. Can you imagine how hard those thoughts must be to live with? You work so hard, lose an incredible amount of weight and at the end, the reality doesn't live up to what you had imagined.
Why does excess skin happen?
Loose skin can affect everyone who loses a significant amount of weight. This is down to many factors such as our age, genetics, the condition of the skin and how much weight we have lost.
Younger skin is more elastic than older skin and is easily able to 'snap back' into its original shape.
The length of time in which you have been overweight can affect your skin. If you have been overweight for a significant amount of time, your skin would have become used to being 'stretched' and this could affect how it rebounds back.
Coping with loose skin
Loose skin isn't nice but it's important to remember that after a period of significant weight loss, it can take up to 1 year for your body to fully change and recover. That's why I would recommend any slimmer waiting for 1 year before taking any drastic steps when it comes to excess skin. There are obviously medical procedures that can help slimmers and the removal of excess skin.
BODY LIFT - A body lift is a procedure involving surgery. This is where your skin is lifted and tightened in certain areas. As this is a surgical procedure, it does carry an element of risk to it.
ABDOMINOPLASTY - This procedure lifts and tightens the stomach area. As this is a surgical procedure, it does carry an element of risk to it.
Lisa Riley decided to undergo skin removal surgery and lost over 1 stone of excess skin. In her documentary Baggy Body club, Lisa discusses the procedure and you are able to watch Lisa undergo the surgery (NOT FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED).
Management of loose skin
As a weight management counsellor, I would still recommend slimmers lose weight and not let the thought of possible excess skin put them off any weight loss. Losing weight will improve your health and your mental well-being. If you find that you are left with any excess skin, you should definitely talk to your GP about how to manage the excess skin. Your GP will be able to recommend the best way forward whether it be surgery or counselling.
I completely understand that excess skin can affect your life and there are various degrees of excess skin and that's why I also recommend counselling. This is where you would be able to discuss your thoughts with a professional who will be able to recommend techniques to help you look at your weight loss and excess skin from a different view point.
Lisa Riley's TV show - Baggy Body Club was on ITV on 5th September 2017. It may still be available on catch up and If you are experiencing the same as Lisa when it comes to weight loss and excess skin, I would recommend you watch it.
Pictures courtesy of Daily mail.
When you're on a VLCD, all you need is for the temperature to change just a bit and boy do you feel it?!
But why is it when you are on a VLCD, do you feel the cold so much and what can you do about it?
Why do I feel so cold?
When you embark on a Very Low Calorie Diet (also known as a total food replacement plan or a VLCD for short), you consume far less calories than you usually would. Due to the smaller amount of calories and carbohydrates you are consuming, your body enters a state of ketosis (this is a perfectly SAFE & NATURAL process for your body). Ketosis is where your body turns stored fat into energy to keep you functioning and that's why you lose weight so quickly on a VLCD.
Ketosis can bring some side effects. In the early stages of entering ketosis, slimmers may have a slight headache, may even feel abit of fever, feel hunger or could even feel lethargic (these symptoms vary from slimmer to slimmer & do not happen to everyone). Once you are in ketosis though, alot of slimmers notice those initial side effects start to subside. However, some side effects do remain and those are the following:
* Feeling thirstier than usual
* Strange or metallic taste in the mouth
* Feeling colder than usual (cold hands, cold feet).
Feeling colder is very common and this is because when we are in ketosis, the body naturally tries to preserve energy where it can and one thing it does is to slow certain processes down and that's why we usually feel colder with our extremities such as hands and feet really feeling it.
What can I do about feeling the cold on a VLCD?
Depending on the time of year, you may not notice the cold as much (slimmers in the summer sometimes welcome that cooler body temperature feeling) but if you are on a VLCD in Autumn or Winter, you may notice it more and here's what you can do to help yourself warm up.
Extra side note - feeling colder than usual is a good thing as it reminds you that ketosis is working for you and your body is burning those calories.
For more info on ketosis or our diet plans, head on over to www.thesmldiet.com
'OMG You look amazing. How did you lose it? A mum in the playground asks me. Obviously extremely happy at such a lovely compliment, I quickly and proudly say 'A VLCD plan'. Her smiley face drops and turns to a face of disgust. 'Be careful on plans like that. A friend of mine lost 5 stone and put it all back on again within 4 months of finishing'.
This was an actual scenario that I was faced with a few years ago. I quietly smiled at the mum who initially complimented me and accepted what she said about her friend who put the weight on again. I didn't tell her that I, in fact own a VLCD company and that our bodies aren't sponges (we won't immediately go and put all the weight on again the moment a piece of 'conventional' food touches our lips) AND in fact that to put 1lb of weight back on, means we have eaten 3,500 calories more than our bodies need for nutritional purposes. I suppose this mum was hoping i'd say something more conventional in terms of how I had lost the weight - personal trainer maybe? weight watchers or slimming world but I dared say the dreaded 4 letters and that was it - back in slimming exile I went.
The truth is that VLCD's have been around for over 30 years and I have worked in the VLCD industry for over 10 now. Sure I have seen people lose the weight and unfortunately put it back on again. Heck - even I've done that but I know that it isn't the issue with the diet. It's more of a 'eating more than I should' issue BUT I have also seen A LOT of slimmers successfully lose & maintain their weight after too.
When we embark on a new weight loss plan such as a VLCD, we are usually excited.
'This is it!' kind of thoughts enter our head and once we start losing weight on a VLCD, it's contagious. We want people to notice the weight loss (just to re-enforce that it's not in our heads). Lets face it, although embarrassing, it's kinda nice when someone goes WOW you look incredible. How did you do it? but like anything in life, when we put ourselves out there, we leave ourselves open to hurt, questioning or criticism.
So to tell or not to tell that is the question...
I'm an open book kinda person...
My hubby always tells me that I give too much about myself away. You ask me a question about myself or my life and ill gladly tell you no holds barred. So when I first embarked on LighterLife back in 2005, I was ready to tell the world and his wife about my diet plan. I would sit at my office desk (as I had a 9-5 council job back then) and I would sit there drinking my shakes. When the weekly cake round came out, I would sit there polishing my halo whilst everyone else guzzled their lemon drizzle cakes. I had willpower, I was determined and I wasn't scared to show it.
At first the compliments came - 'Ally, you've got such amazing willpower, I couldn't live on just shakes' - yup that's me, super Ally!
but then it turned. About 7 weeks and 2 stone in out came the 'Ally you're looking ill' even someone close to me said 'I think you have an eating disorder and should stop'
At first I chose to ignore it, how could I possibly look unwell when I was still medically classed as obese? but after a while when all you get is criticism over the diet and how you look, it's hard to keep your spirits up so of course, I start to believe them and that's when the self-sabotage kicked in (cue sad face).
The 'to tell' debate
The 'not to tell' debate...
Hopefully after reading this, you'll know one way or the other if you want to tell the world about your weight loss or keep it a secret.
I personally still love telling people when I lose weight and how I do it as I am so proud of the SMLDiet and I know if I put on abit of weight, it's because of me eating too much and enjoying the good life rather than the VLCD not working.
I am also grateful for all of our slimmers who share their VLCD journeys as they become our success stories. They are living proof for future slimmers that YES VLCD's & SMLDiet does work and can help you too!
I don't know about you but i'm a gal who likes her lists. Give me a pen & a notepad and i'll give you a list as long as my arm!
I make quite a ritual of it. Every night after the children have gone to bed, I sit down with the TV on in the background & I start to write down my aims for the next day. I also have a general 'Goal list' for the month - this is filled with details of projects i'd like to complete before the month is out.
Now. You're probably thinking 1 of 2 things. Either WOW this girl is organised OR this girl needs to get a life and I'd probably agree with you on both of those thoughts.
BUT after reading this, i'm sure you'll also agree that list keeping is a great way of staying on top of the day to day humdrum of reality.
I don't look at my lists as a 'TO-DO' list you see, that's way too demanding and almost makes me think if I don't manage to complete it, I'm going to get a telling off from my internal self. I like to think of these lists as my 'AIM-TO-DO' list (usually consisting of 3-5 main things i'd like to complete and several others that aren't the main focus. If I complete the main 3-5 items, then i'm one happy girl and I move onto the rest of the list but if for whatever reason I don't complete them, then I don't sweat over it and just move them onto the next days AIM-TO-DO list (but I give them higher priority).
There's several reasons why I like my lists and the main reasons are the
1. I, like you am extremely busy - I work full time, running a house with 2 children and am often driving here, there and everywhere doing errands & having meetings.
2. It helps keep me focused - These lists keep me in the loop. With so many things going on, it's easy to forget what I need to get, do or pick up. I often think of ideas for something like a blog post and by the time, I get home, I've forgotten about it and spend the rest of the night trying to remember what it was (don't you just hate that)?
3. Organisation is ESSENTIAL - How do you know the direction you are heading in, if you don't have a starting point? for me, starting a list is a great way of preparing, organising myself and setting myself up for future success. Any projects or ideas that SMLDiet come up with usually start on a list and the idea of them grows from being on that list. There's also nothing quite like getting to lunchtime and knowing that my list is already completed for that day.
OK Ally, that's all good & well but what's this got to do with a brand new month?
Why do you think we start new years resolutions in January? What does the start of a new year really mean for you? Why do you wait until the new year to start your new years resolutions? Well for me, I like to look at each and every month (like a lot of us do in January). It's a fresh start, it's a new month that's filled with promise and hope & renewed motivation.
A new month can give us the opportunity to create our 'Weight loss' AIM-TO-DO list & give us the chance to start again. We can see our goals through fresh eyes and think it's the beginning of something new. We can mark day 1 of the month as our starting point and use it to re-focus our mind and evaluate what we want from that month.
Do you remember when you were at school & you were given a brand new exercise book to write your work in? I used to get so excited by that part of school & every time I got a new exercise book, I pledged to keep it neat & tidy. No spelling mistakes and certainly no scruffy writing. I look at new years resolutions & January in particular as my brand new exercise book. It's my time to get excited by that promise that we'll do it right BUT because the year is so long, we get lost in the humdrum of daily life. It's hard to be 100% 'perfect' for a year! BUT a month is so much more manageable. Just 30 (odd) days, and in that month so much can be achieved. Imagine this time next month, if we were to re-visit this blog post together, you could be saying to me, I did a month on SMLDiet, I dropped that dress size and now i'm going to use that blog post to focus on another fresh new month OR you could be saying to me, 'I read the blog post but didn't look at my aims & i'm still in the same place'
Which conversation would you prefer to have?
I'm hoping that when you read about my 'Aim to-do-list' that you were inspired to create your own. Why not create your own list focusing on what you need to do to drop that dress size?
Have one as your day to day focus and have one setting your aims & goals for the month.
Ally is a qualified weight management counsellor & founder of the SMLDiet. Having worked in the weight loss industry for over 10 years, Ally has personally supported thousands of slimmers to help them release their excess weight & look at weight management as their long term goal. - www.theSMLDiet.com
The SMLDiet is a leading weight loss plan in the UK. Specialising in VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diets), TFR (Total Food Replacement products and meal replacements.