five pillars of support for weight loss

WM Nutrition

WM Exercise

WM water

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What types of food should I eat?

WM NutritionThere is support in the form of nutritional advice and healthy, delicious recipes that will be updated each month. We will send the recipes at the start of each month.

There are nutrients that your body requires in large amounts for normal growth and development and these macronutrients are carbs, fats and proteins. On the other hand, micronutrients are nutrients that your body only needs in small amounts, such as vitamins and minerals. If counting calories or weighing food isn’t appealing, try using your plate or bowl as a portion control guide. This can help you determine the optimal macronutrient ratio for a well-balanced meal.

A rough guide for each meal is:

healthy eating portionsVegetables or salad: Half a plate

High-quality protein: Quarter of a plate — this includes meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, tofu, beans and pulses.

Fibre-rich carbohydrates: Quarter of a plate — such as whole grains and starchy vegetables (potatoes, peas, butternut squash, beetroot, carrots and turnips)

High-fat foods: Half a tablespoon (7 grams) — including cheese, oils and butter

As vegetables and salad are naturally low in calories but high in fibre and other nutrients, filling up on these may help you avoid overeating calorie-dense foods. Also, using smaller plates or glasses can lower the amount of food or drink you consume and you tend to feel just as satisfied.

Use Your Hands as a Serving Guide

open hands

Another way to gauge appropriate portion size without any measuring tools is by simply using your hands.

As your hands usually correspond to your body size, bigger people who require more food typically have bigger hands.

A rough guide for each meal is:

High-protein foods: A palm-sized serving for women and two palm-sized portions for men — such as meat, fish, poultry and beans

Vegetables and salads: A fist-sized portion for women and two fist-sized portions for men

High-carb foods: One cupped-hand portion for women and two for men — such as whole grains and starchy vegetables

High-fat foods: One thumb-sized portion for women and two for men — such as butter, oils and nuts

Are all calories equal?


A calorie measures the amount of energy a particular food or beverage contains. Whether from carbs, fats or proteins, one dietary calorie contains approximately 4.2 joules of energy. So you would think that all calories are equal but if you consider that 100 calories of cauliflower and 100 calories of chocolate or cake contain the same amount of energy, they affect your body and food choices very differently. The cauliflower contains plenty of fibre that would leave you feeling a lot fuller than half a cake which is largely made up of refined carbs and fats. More than likely you would eat the other half!

Therefore, a calorie is not just a calorie and it’s very important that the foods you eat are healthy in order to lose weight.

We will supply you with lots of tasty, healthy recipes that will be updated monthly to enable you to enjoy your food while at the same time losing weight!

What are the benefits of exercise?

  • WM Exercise Combining exercise with a healthy diet will help you to lose weight and maintain that weight loss. Exercise can increase your metabolism and boost the number of calories you burn each day.
  • There are also great health benefits to including exercise in your daily routine. It can help to lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol which may prevent a heart attack or reduce your risk of developing major diseases like cancer, stroke and type 2 diabetes.
  • Exercise can improve your sense of well-being by improving your mood and thus reducing the likelihood of depression and anxiety. It can improve your sleep quality and energy.

exercise warrierHow much exercise is needed for weight loss?

It is recommended that you perform some form of aerobic exercise five times a week for 30 minutes per session. This can be a single session or broken down into three 10 minute sessions each day.

That is why we have developed a programme of exercises that you can follow to be able to achieve those recommendations.

Why does lack of sleep affect my weight loss?

Sleep InsomniaMany effects of a lack of sleep, such as feeling grumpy and not working at your best, are well known. But did you know that sleep deprivation can also have profound consequences on your physical health?

However, the cost of all those sleepless nights is more than just bad moods and a lack of focus. Regular poor sleep puts you at risk of serious medical conditions, including obesity, coronary heart disease and diabetes – and it shortens your life expectancy.

It’s now clear that a solid night’s sleep is essential for a long and healthy life.

How much sleep do we need?

Most of us need around 8 hours of good-quality sleep a night to function properly – but some need more and some less. What matters is that you find out how much sleep you need and then try to achieve it. As a general rule, if you wake up tired and spend the day longing for a chance to have a nap, it’s likely that you’re not getting enough sleep. In most cases, poor sleep is caused by bad sleeping habits.

What happens if I don’t sleep?

Everyone’s experienced the fatigue, short temper and lack of focus that often follow a poor night’s sleep. An occasional night without sleep makes you feel tired and irritable the next day, but it won’t harm your health.

After several sleepless nights, the mental effects become more serious. Your brain will fog, making it difficult to concentrate and make decisions. You’ll start to feel down, and may fall asleep during the day. Your risk of injury and accidents at home, work and on the road also increases. If it continues, lack of sleep can affect your overall health and make you prone to serious medical conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure (hypertension) and diabetes.

Here are 7 ways in which a good night’s sleep can boost your health:

1) Sleep boosts immunity

If you seem to catch every cold and flu that’s going around, your bedtime could be to blame. Prolonged lack of sleep can disrupt your immune system, so you’re less able to fend off bugs.

Scales 2) Sleep can slim you

Sleeping less may mean you put on weight! Studies have shown that people who sleep less than 7 hours a day tend to gain more weight and have a higher risk of becoming obese than those who get 7 hours.

It’s believed to be because sleep-deprived people have reduced levels of leptin (the chemical that makes you feel full) and increased levels of ghrelin (the hunger-stimulating hormone). This causes a greater tendency to select high-calorie foods leading to weight gain. Also, calories consumed late at night also increases the risk of weight gain. Furthermore, adults who do not get sufficient sleep get less exercise than those who do, possibly because sleep loss causes sleepiness and fatigue during the day.

reduce stress3) Sleep boosts mental wellbeing

Given that a single sleepless night can make you irritable and moody the following day, it’s not surprising that chronic sleep debt may lead to long-term mood disorders like clinical depression and generalised anxiety disorder in adults.

When people with anxiety or depression were surveyed to calculate their sleeping habits, it turned out that most of them slept for less than 6 hours a night.

4) Sleep prevents diabetes

Studies have suggested that people who usually sleep less than 5 hours a night have an increased risk of developing diabetes. It seems that missing out on deep sleep may lead to type 2 diabetes by changing the way the body processes glucose, which the body uses for energy.

5) Sleep increases sex drive

Men and women who don’t get enough quality sleep experience a loss of libido (reduced sex drive) and less of an interest in sex, research suggests. Men who suffer from sleep apnoea – a disorder in which breathing difficulties lead to interrupted sleep – also tend to have lower testosterone levels, which can lower libido.

6) Sleep wards off heart disease

Long-standing sleep deprivation seems to be associated with increased heart rate, an increase in blood pressure and higher levels of certain chemicals linked with inflammation, which may put extra strain on your heart.

7) Sleep increases fertility

Difficulty conceiving a baby has been claimed as one of the effects of sleep deprivation, in both men and women. Apparently, regular sleep disruptions can cause infertility by reducing the secretion of reproductive hormones.

How to catch up on lost sleep


If you don’t get enough sleep, there’s only one way to compensate – getting more sleep. It won’t happen with a single early night. If you’ve had months of restricted sleep, you’ll have built up a significant sleep debt, so expect recovery to take several weeks. Starting on a weekend, try to add on an extra hour or 2 of sleep a night. The way to do this is to go to bed when you’re tired, and allow your body to wake you in the morning (no alarm clocks allowed!).

You might sleep up to 10 hours a night at first. After a while, the amount of time you sleep will gradually decrease to a normal level. Don’t rely on caffeine or energy drinks as a short-term pick-me-up. They may boost your energy and concentration in the short term, but can disrupt your sleep patterns even further in the long term.

How to get to sleep

If you have difficulty falling asleep, a regular bedtime routine will help you wind down and prepare for bed. Few people manage to stick to strict bedtime routines. This is not much of a problem for most people, but for people with insomnia, irregular sleeping hours are unhelpful. Your routine depends on what works for you, but the most important thing is working out a routine and sticking to it.

Sleep at regular times

First of all, keep regular sleeping hours. This programmes the brain and internal body clock to get used to a set routine. Most adults need between 6 and 9 hours of sleep every night. By working out what time you need to wake up, you can set a regular bedtime schedule. It is also important to try and wake up at the same time every day. While it may seem like a good idea to try to catch up on sleep after a bad night, doing so on a regular basis can also disrupt your sleep routine.

Make sure you wind down

Winding down is a critical stage in preparing for bed. There are lots of ways to relax:

· A warm bath (not hot) will help your body reach a temperature that’s ideal for rest

· Writing “to do” lists for the next day can organise your thoughts and clear your mind of any distractions · relaxation exercises, such as light yoga stretches, help to relax the muscles. Do not exercise vigorously, as it will have the opposite effect

· Relaxation CDs work by using a carefully narrated script, gentle hypnotic music and sound effects to relax you

· Reading a book or listening to the radio relaxes the mind by distracting it

· Use the Insight Timer App

· Avoid using smartphones, tablets or other electronic devices for an hour or so before you go to bed as the light from the screen on these devices may have a negative effect on sleep

You should also contact your GP if you have insomnia that lasts for more than 4 weeks.

Make your bedroom sleep-friendly. Your bedroom should be a relaxing environment. Experts claim there’s a strong association in people’s minds between sleep and the bedroom. However, certain things weaken that association, such as TVs and other electronic gadgets, light, noise, and a bad mattress or bed. Keep your bedroom just for sleep and sex (or masturbation). Unlike most vigorous physical activity, sex makes us sleepy. This has evolved in humans over thousands of years. Your bedroom ideally needs to be dark, quiet, tidy and be kept at a temperature of between 18C and 24C. Fit some thick curtains if you do not have any. If you’re disturbed by noise, consider investing in double glazing or, for a cheaper option, use earplugs.

Keep a sleep diary

It can be a good idea to keep a sleep diary. It may uncover lifestyle habits or daily activities that contribute to your sleeplessness. A sleep diary can also reveal underlying conditions that explain your insomnia, such as stress or medicine.

Why is drinking water good for weight loss?

water dropScience suggests that water can help with weight loss in a variety of ways. It may suppress your appetite, boost your metabolism, and make exercise easier and more efficient, all of which could contribute to results on the scales.

Keeping hydrated is crucial for health and well-being, but many people do not consume enough fluids each day.

A reasonable goal is to aim for about 8 glasses (2Litres) of water a day as what you eat also provides a significant contribution as many fruits and vegetables have a high water content.

Drinking water, whether from the tap or a bottle, is the best source of fluid for the body.

Milk and fruit juices are also good sources of fluid, but beverages containing alcohol and caffeine, such as soft drinks, coffee, and beer, are not ideal because they often contain empty calories. Drinking water instead of fizzy drinks can help with weight loss. Flavoured water drinks can also contain a surprisingly large amount of sugar, so check food labels before you buy. A high sugar content means a drink is also high in calories, which can undo your weight loss.

lemon sliceIf you do not like the taste of plain water, try sparkling water or add a slice of lemon or lime.

You could also add some no-added-sugar squash or fruit juice for flavour.

When drinking milk, for a healthier choice, choose semi-skimmed or skimmed milk.

It was previously thought that caffeinated beverages had diuretic properties, meaning that they cause the body to release water. However, studies show that fluid loss because of caffeinated drinks is minimal. Therefore, your coffee and tea consumed during the day will contribute to your total fluid intake. It’s also very difficult for the body to tell the difference between hunger and thirst. So if you’re walking around feeling a gnawing sense of hunger, you might just be dehydrated. Try drinking a glass of water instead of grabbing a snack.

Also, research has also shown that drinking a glass of water right before a meal helps you to feel more full and eat less because it passes through the system quickly, stretching the stomach. This action sends messages to your brain suggesting fullness.

Furthermore, drinking water may speed up your metabolism (the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy).

Drinking water helps the body remove waste from the body as it facilitates the production of urine, which is largely made up of water, and the movement of faeces, since water keeps stools soft. In other words, the more hydrated you are, the easier it is for your system to move things along and the less likely you are to suffer from constipation and bloating. As diarrhoea and constipation are possible side-effects from using the medication you will have less chance of suffering these side effects if you keep well hydrated.

How do I know if I’m drinking enough?


Your fluid intake is probably adequate if:

· You rarely feel thirsty

· Your urine is colourless or light yellow

It’s a good idea to drink a glass of water:

                             · With each meal and between meals

                             · Before, during and after exercise

                             · If you feel thirsty

Why does stress make me eat too much?

Stress Zen IconStress can cause many different symptoms. It might affect how you feel physically, mentally and also how you behave.

It’s not always easy to recognise when stress is the reason you’re feeling or acting differently.

As well as causing physical and mental problems such as feeling overwhelmed, stress can also cause changes in behaviour such as being irritable and snappy, sleeping too much or too little, avoiding certain places or people, drinking or smoking more and eating too much or too little. Eating too much when stressed is often referred to as “comfort eating” where you can find yourself turning to foods high in fat and sugar in an attempt to make yourself feel better.

To prevent weight gain during stress and anxiety it’s important to manage how you’re feeling. When you feel less stressed and more in control of your life, you may find it easier to stick to healthy eating and exercise habits.

We recommend the App Insight Timer that has 100,000 downloads where you can find calming breathing exercises, relaxation and mindfulness videos including help with sleeping. You can also find videos on cognitive behavioural therapy, CBT.

Just log into the App store on your smartphone to download Insight Timer.

Being active is not only great for your physical health and fitness. Evidence also shows it can also improve your mental wellbeing.

Stress Management Techniques

You can try these stress management techniques to prevent stress-related weight gain:

· Learn to recognize the warning signs of stress, such as anxiety, irritability and muscle tension.

· Before eating, ask yourself why you’re eating — are you truly hungry, thirsty or do you feel stressed or anxious?

· If you’re tempted to eat when you’re not hungry, find a distraction.

· Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast. If you’re in a hurry, grab a piece of fruit on the way out the door.

· Eat a healthy diet, such as whole grains and a variety of fruits and vegetables. Aim to include most food groups in your meals.

· Identify comfort foods and keep them out of your home or office.

· Keep a record of your behaviour and eating habits so that you can look for patterns and connections — and then figure out how to overcome them.

· Engage in regular physical activity or exercise.

· Get adequate sleep.

· Get encouragement from supportive friends and family.

· Practice relaxation skills, such as yoga, stretching, massage, deep breathing or meditation on the Insight Timer App.

Can Stress Cause Weight Gain?

Scales Every time you’re stressed, your adrenal glands release adrenaline and cortisol, and as a result, glucose (your main source of energy) is released into your bloodstream.

When your adrenaline high wears off, your blood sugar spike drops. This is when cortisol kicks into high gear to replenish your energy supply quickly. Then you crave sugar and you reach for unhealthy foods high in fat and sugar.

The downside to consuming so much sugar is that your body tends to store sugar, especially after stressful situations. This energy is stored mainly in the form of abdominal fat, which can be particularly hard to shed. And so the vicious cycle starts: get stressed, release cortisol, gain weight, crave more sugar, eat more sugar, gain more weight.

Does Cortisol Effect My Metabolism?

Even if you aren’t eating foods high in fat and sugar, cortisol also slows down your metabolism, making it difficult to lose weight.

If you are stressed it leads to higher insulin levels, a hormone that also contributes to fat storage.

Therefore, it’s very important to try and manage your stress and anxiety levels no matter what causes them. This is when you should use the “Insight Timer” App to access meditations or videos that can help to reduce your stress and anxiety.

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