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Eating Too Much?

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The second in a series of articles from local resident David Lindsey, who runs the free-to-participate 'Tyrefighters' weight loss group at the Medical Centre on the Saturdays when the Centre is open for an additional morning surgery.

Are you eating too much?
Greetings, and if you are about to read this second weight loss article then you either realise that losing a few pounds will help you to live longer and feel a lot better, or perhaps you came to the Tyrefighters meeting at the Health Centre on the 7th July and enjoyed it!

In the last article I wrote about why we put on weight and the three pillars of Tyrefighting, which are:

  • We eat too much.
  • We eat the wrong stuff.
  • We don't take enough exercise.

And that's it. All of it!.

Let's have a look at the statement that we eat too much.

In the last article I showed you how to arrive at your own personal Basic Metabolic Rate, which is how many calories you will burn if you get out of bed, do absolutely nothing for the whole day other than eat, and then go back to bed.
If you eat more calories than your BMR (average for men 2,000, 1,500 for ladies) then you will gain weight. If you eat less than your BMR then you will lose weight. Some people lead very active lives, both at work and at play, so if this is the case then you will need to add, say, 500 to make a revised BMR. If your weight stabilises at the new BMR then you've got it about right, or you can make further adjustments as time progresses. Once you have arrived at your ideal BMR then try to live at or below that figure.

Now let's get back to eating too much, and here we have the villain of the piece. It's name is Sugar in all its forms.

Sugar is Poison
Your body doesn't need it. It is there to provide you with instant energy, which is great if you are a professional footballer, but if you are just the average person with a fairly sedentary job then you will be taking in a lot more sugar than you need and the body has a very natty way of storing all that energy. It turns it into fat and sticks it in some fairly dangerous places like your liver, your pancreas and round your heart. It's called visceral fat and it can lead to some pretty scary diseases and conditions.

Some of it will go into what we call subcutaneous fat which lodges on your hips, thighs and bum. It doesn't look too clever but it won't do you much harm so long as you don't let it get out of hand. It's the visceral fat that can wind up killing you.

If you want to have a steady loss in weight, say a pound or two a week, then this is what you do.
You cut out anything to do with sugar. Now just stop screaming and banging your head on the wall and listen to me because cutting it out could work wonders for you.

If you have sugar in your tea or coffee, cut it out and within a week or so you will find it quite unpleasant if someone gives you a cup with sugar in it. Halfway through the morning, do you like two or three nice biscuits with your drink. Drop it down to one.

And while we are talking about sugar, dump the cakes, puddings (do you really need them?), fizzy drinks, chocolate (s). Look at the back of the average 100 gram chocolate bar and you will see that the calorie content is at or over 500 which is one-third of a lady's daily BMR allowance. Have a couple of squares but don't go mad, just bear in mind that to burn just 100 of those calories you will need to run 1,500 yards in 7 minutes or walk 1,500 yards in 20 minutes. The moral of the story is not to put too much on in the first place if it is going to cost that sort of effort to get it off again.

You probably have hunger pangs at about elevenses time but that's probably because you didn't have the right sort of breakfast.

By all means have cereals, but choose carefully and have semi-skimmed milk with it. You would be amazed if you looked at the sugar content figure on the back of some packets. You will find sugar content of, unbelievably, over 30%. Try to go for something like Weetabix, Shredded Wheat or, even better, porridge with a dollop of Greek Yoghurt in it. Porridge comes from the "good carbohydrate" family and as it is digested slowly it will keep you going all morning.

Better still, go for protein if you want to keep the hunger pangs at bay. Eggs are great, boiled, fried, scrambled, poached, omelette, coddled and any other way you can think of. Have it on just one slice of toast if you like it that way.

For your main meal, put plenty of vegetables on your plate with just a small amount of meat, and I am now going to divulge the Tyrefighters secret weapon.

It's a nine-inch plate
If you can't get it on the plate, don't eat it. No piling up and no seconds. You can get the perfect
plate for the job from Wilkinsons in Aylesbury, price £1.25 (or from Tyrefighters for £1).

I've given you the bare bones in this article, but to really benefit from the message you need the support of others with the same aims and the Haddenham Health Centre Tyrefighters group is there to help you. Our August meetings will be on the 4th and 18th, on Saturday mornings at 9am. Membership is entirely free of charge and you will be under no obligation, so why not come along and say hello? You will receive a very warm welcome.