Portion Control

A major issue (in my eyes) concerning weight loss and health, is the subject of portion control. Once upon a time I was guilty of this. I mean why have a slice of cake, when you can have a dirty big wedge? Why have a scoop of mashed potato, when you can have something resembling a volcano on your plate? And why have a grating of cheese, when a slab is better on a cracker? When it came to portion control, I was ridiculously off the scale. Not only was I generous to myself, but to others including my family who were lured to my food. The problem was, that once I started my healthy eating regime and actually weighing stuff, my stomach and brain had some serious shrinkage to do.

As I discovered more on my journey, I realised I was not the only one with a warped sense of portion control. I would ask random people, what they thought a portion was, and they too were guilty as charged. In fact they were so shocked that one woman immediately went out and bought a set of scales. Like many others, she just went along with what her parents had put on her plate, and carried on the way she was brought up. Another startling fact was that many people felt they had to clear their dinner plates. This is another habit from their childhood. Phrases from their parents like  “don’t you leave any food on your plate or it will block my sink” and “you won’t get any after’s (dessert) unless you finish every mouthful.” It appears that many people were influenced by their parents.  The notion of stopping when they were full, did not come to mind.

One group of people who spring to my mind was the school dinner ladies.  My goodness, they were cracking cooks, and I shall fondly remember the Manchester Tart and custard, which was definitely adult sized portions than that for a child.  Was I going to complain? Was I heck as like! School dinners especially in primary school (before they were stopped) were so delicious.  I’ve always had a healthy appetite, and will pretty much eat anything.  So the generous school dinner lady portions of dinner were given a big thumbs up from me.  In fact, one lady was so wonderful that she would always give me a little bit more.  I liked her a lot!  The only time I wasn’t keen on the dinner ladies, was when we were given bottles of milk to drink with straws at morning break time.  It was full cream milk, and when the bottles were warm in the summer, I could positively feel my stomach lurching.  It is one food memory I would have happily had no portion of!

So what is a portion?  How do you know what amounts you should eat?  Most foods have a guideline on the packaging.  This gives you all the details such as what qualifies as a portion, along with calories, fats, sugars etc.  Not enough people pay attention to this.  However turning to portion control, I wanted to do an experiment.  Below is a photo of two bowls of shreddies.  The one on the left is how many people fill the bowl at 80g.  The one on the right is the correct 40g portion.IMG_1302.jpg

The next photo shows a 75g uncooked portion of whole-wheat pasta.  Most people eat double this amount.  Taking calories from what should be around 257 calories (75g) to 514 calories (150g).

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You can begin to see, that if we keep doubling up portions at each meal, how we can be overeating and soon have weight issues.  When on my “Health Is Your Wealth” eating regime, the first thing I suggest to people is to actually weigh out what they are eating.  This can be a real shock at first, but a real benefit as to how weight has been added without much thought.

I remember the first time I decided to weigh out guideline amounts of for food myself.  I must have spent ten minutes shaking the scales, hoping and praying that there was some mistake and fault with them.  There wasn’t.  The scales were accurate, it was my head not wanting to accept what a correct portion amount was, that was wrong.  Interestingly,  once my body adjusted to the proper portion amount, I no longer felt hungry.  Although at the beginning of my regime and exercising portion control, I could have easily snapped.  Willpower is vital, but if you crack it, you will feel the benefits.  It is all about removing the previous habits of portion size, and replacing those habits with your new lifestyle.  It isn’t easy, because over generous amounts seem to be woven into us.  I can only encourage you by saying that once you do get used to it, your body feels less burdened with the digestion of food, and you end up feeling more comfortable.

Most people are not good with portion control, when it comes to healthy stuff either.  They think 3 peas on a plate is a portion, and one sprig of broccoli is another.  I shall be looking at getting more than your 5 a day later on in this journey, but what is noted, is that we are more generous with naughty food than the truly good stuff.

Making sure you eat enough and don’t starve yourself is another subject.  People crash diet and this sends the body into chaos.  It doesn’t work long-term ladies and gents.  This is a whole subject of its own, which again, I shall be writing about very soon.  Your first goal at present, is to modify your current amounts of food you are eating.  So if say your cereal bowl is overflowing, start with altering that.  Slow and steady wins the race.  Win over small changes, and you are more likely to continue the plan and make other positive steps.

The information that you should look out for on the packaging is similar to below.  Some food companies are extremely good, and give even greater detail.  Make yourself familiar with these boxes of information.  Check the calorie content.  Even some healthy foods have a high calorie content, so it is then that you need to check how much saturated fats, and everything else there is.  Not all fats are bad, but this is another subject which will be covered in future.  It is about striking balances and making better choices for you and your body.

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You are more capable than you think!

I have been really inspired by people who have read my last book and who have told me that they plan to make some positive changes in their life.  It is not always easy to make change, especially if you have that niggling insecurity of the fear of failure, nagging you in the back of your mind.

The one thing as humans we have to recognise, is that when you start a change, then you tend to be more hopeful.  Is change or a new goal in life easy?  No, but nothing rarely is.  The problem is that we are bombarded with media that shows people ‘having it all’ and in reality, that is not true.  I have often found that those people who think they ‘have it all’ actually have not much.  Strip away all their fancy goods and lifestyle and you find that their actual being, is starved of true enjoyment in life.  These people feel devoid of an actual identity and personality, because material things seem to define who they are as a person.

I am not against having nice things, for I love my holidays and home etc. but I know who I am as a person, and know that if I lost everything, (like I once did) then I can be happy with the simple pleasures in life.  I also know that despite the many rough times I have had, I will still continue to pursue my dreams, goals and ambitions.  I will not have an attitude of defeat and despondency.

yes you can

Folk need to cease with the ‘can’t do’ mentality and start feeding from the ‘can do, will do’ mentality.  If you are sat pondering whether or not you can realise you dreams then my message is simple to you – YOU WILL NEVER KNOW UNLESS YOU TRY!

I am now writing my next book in the ‘Yes You Can’ series, as I thoroughly enjoyed the process and feedback of the first.  If you want a copy of my latest book please see the below links for Amazon. It is kept at a low price so all can gain from it.  Know that you have capabilities and start setting yourself some challenges today.  Find out who the real you is, by stripping back materialism and finding simple pleasures in life.  Start making those hidden away goals a reality!

Amazon.co.uk link

Amazon.com link

Yes You Can!

Did a talk on my latest book release ‘Yes You Can” last Sunday, and I am delighted to be given reports from people, that they are going to start working on all those ambitions and goals that they have had tucked away in their hearts and minds.  A book being published gives you satisfaction, but to hear people being motivated by it already, is something quite wonderful for an author.  It is only short, as it is going to form part of the “Yes You Can’ series, but if something short can uplift and push people on, then that motivates me to push on writing more to encourage people in life.

BOOK LINK – CLICK HERE – It is only around the 99p price point, so will not break the bank either.

yes you can

I have decided to share with you the poem which I wrote, which ends the book.  I hope you will declare it out aloud for yourself and then go and chase your dreams!

Yes I Can (Poem)

by Emily Glancy

This is my time to realise my dreams
Success can be closer, that at first it may seem
No more excuses, or putting things off
Pushing on with my goals when times get rough

Understanding that there is still more ability left within me
Striving for better, being the best I can be
Turning off negative voices, not feeling discouraged
Growing in confidence, removing fears and all worries

Refusing to let doubt and defeat creep in
Acknowledging I have the ability to excel and win
Believing in myself, optimistic in all of my plans
And when those people say I will not achieve
I say but oh yes, I know that I can!

Yes I can be bolder, braver and stronger
Have the courage and spirit not to be held back for any longer
Yes I can break down all those barriers and walls
And feel like I am thriving once and for all

I shall fight off adversity, for the Lord is by my side
No problem or trial too hard for Him to guide
His sweet whisper voice, I feel Him holding my hand
Hearing His words saying, ‘I’m with you, Yes you can!’

Extracted from the book ‘Yes I Can’ on Amazon
by Emily Glancy

Statins – Part 2 How To Help Yourself Naturally

If you missed yesterdays installment regarding statins then you can read it here.

As promised I want to give you some ideas of how to help you lower your cholesterol levels without relying on statins.  It can be done but as I said yesterday, it is not rocket science but it will mean giving up some of those things that you love and that are not good for you.  That does not mean to say you will never be able to have some naughty treats again, but you need to put them on the back burner for a while; and when you do eat them again it will need to be once in a while and not every day.

So what junk do you need to ditch?  Here are a few of the usual suspects…

  • Processed ready meals (generally full of bad fat, sugar and salt)
  • Pies and pastries
  • Cakes, biscuits and sweets
  • Lard, ghee, butter and cream
  • Crisps
  • Fatty cuts of meat and fat on meat

Deep down, I know that you will know what it is that you have to quit.  The other big factors to ditch are…

  • Smoking
  • Drinking excess alcohol
  • Being a couch potato

Exercise is key.  I wrote in a previous blog that I managed to lose around a stone in a month.  Did I do anything radical like change my diet or go on some silly health fad… No.  I simply got a new addition to my family a wonderful puppy, which I had longed for, for years.  I missed having a dog and so this little lively bundle wanted lots of love, attention and exercise.  Weight just started to fall off me and this surprised me considering that my weight, bmi etc are all in a healthy zone.  All the extra exercise I was doing walking the dog, was and still is shifting the pounds bit by bit.  I checked the amount of steps I was doing in a day and I was averaging 12-13,000.  I actually do more than this in a day, as these are just my dog walking steps that I have calculated with a pedometer.  They are quite brisk steps, as Max the dog does not like to go too slow!  It is a just a thought for you, but if you are not keen on the gym and have a dog, or just like walking in general then this may help you.  It sort of made sense when I looked at it, because after the birth of my sons I was always pushing their pram everywhere loaded with shopping; again the few extra pounds that I put on, soon shifted without any silly celebrity post baby weight loss plan.

Food is also key and what you eat can make a huge difference.  You may not like what is on this list, but it is what is going to make a difference to not just your cholesterol levels, but also your health in general.dreamstime_xs_300878

  • Fruit & Vegetables
  • Oily fish like mackerel and salmon
  • Nuts – cashews and almonds in particular
  • Oats
  • Lentils
  • Beans ad peas
  • Avocado
  • Chickpeas
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Wholegrain’s

How you cook is also important, frying any of the above good foods in saturated fat is not going to be any good.  Try to steam, grill or poach, and where possible eat as much raw food like salads as much as you can.  If you have chicken or any other meat then remove the fat or skin from it.

There are some products on the market containing plant sterols and these may help you.  They tend to be things like yoghurt and margarine.  They help to lower cholesterol but have to be used with a good diet and exercise, as they only do part of the job.

Many people I know have had success by modifying their diet, increasing exercise and ditching things like smoking and eating fatty food.  I will not say that they enjoyed the process, but they are happier knowing that now they have themselves in check, and now they can have a little bit of what they fancy.