Category: Eating

Maintaining weight loss ~ 6 months on

This week marks me getting to 6 months of maintaining my weight loss!! Wow, you don’t know how good that actually makes me feel seeing that in black and white. To be honest with you all, I never thought it would be possible. I didn’t think deep down that I would be sitting here 6 months on, not having gone out of my target range, actually overall sitting just below my target weight for those 6 months.

Like many people I’ve lost weight before, I’ve also got to ‘target’ weight before using both Scottish Slimmers and Weightwatchers, you could call me a serial target achiever! One thing though which I am sure is obvious is that once at target I’ve never been able to maintain it…..until now.

I finally feel like I have beaten my food demons, sitting 6 months on, still a target member, has shown me that I’ve got this.  I dared to believe in myself when I got to target with Slimming World that this time I could make the changes stick with me and so far I’ve achieved that.

Six months on from achieving my target, there has been lots that have stayed the same.  I still track all my food in a food diary and post all my meals on my Slimming World Instagram account and I try to stick to Slimming World principles. I still weigh in at my Slimming World group fortnightly but I’m getting to the point of thinking of changing this to monthly. Weighing in at group is something I know for sure that I need to keep doing, that’s the one thing I never did before…..I always felt that I could go it alone once I achieved the weight I wanted to be but I proved to myself that that approach doesn’t work for me.

However there has also been some changes. I am not 100% just Slimming World anymore. I have used these last months re educating myself further regarding nutrition, I’ve used Myfitnesspal to help me stay on track and particularly to help me build up the amount of calories I had been eating to a more sustainable level without gaining any weight. I’ve added in healthy fats, proteins, nuts etc without synning them but I still syn ‘treats’ to ensure I don’t go too crazy.

My focus is now on exercise and building muscle along with toning, I’ve fallen in love with HIIT training and I love how my body is changing. It’s by no means perfect but it’s come so far.


Some things I have learned being a target member is that, maintaining weight loss is harder than I imagined. Finding a balance is hard, learning what your body needs is hard, getting your mindset to change to feel happy with no longer seeing losses on the scales is hard. But once it clicks with you, it feels so good! Whether you mix it up like me, stick 100% to plan or have weekends off or treat plates, you need to do what is right for you!


Thank you Slimming World for helping me to get to this point in my life, thank you for letting me dare to believe that I can do this.


Bring on the next six months!


Claire xx

Is it possible to get fit in 4 minutes a day?! 

So is it actually possible to get fit in 4 minutes a day?  The lovely Lucy Wyndham Read believes you can and over the course of April she has been posting daily free 4 minute Hiit workouts for all abilities over on her YouTube channel.

LWR Fitness Web site link
The lovely Lucy

I’ve blogged before about my new found love for HIIT training and about loving Lucy’s free workouts on Youtube, so when I seen on her Instagram that she was going to be doing a HIIT workout challenge for April I was fully signed up. Uploaded every day over the course of April (Now available in a playlist on her YouTube channel) Lucy made working out everyday at home so easy.  I mean who doesn’t have 4 minutes a day to spare?

I really enjoyed to workouts, they were so easy to fit into my day.  Some I found easy, others not so much and they build up over the course of the four weeks which was great.  I continued on with longer selection of HIIT workouts at the weekend and added in the Hiit in 4 workouts daily – some days even doing more than one!

The important question though, is did it make a difference?  I am no longer trying to lose weight so my goal is to maintain my weight but to tone up, build lean muscle and to reduce my body fat.  I went to my local Boots and used their scales to get my body fat percentage on starting which was 29%.

And after completing the 28 day 4 minute Hiit in a day challenge plus my added longer weekend workouts and maybe a sneaky little extra 4 minute one here and there and following the slimming world plan with a cleaner approach to eating my body fat percentage is now at 27.1%!!

Body fat % after #lwrhiitin4
I am over the moon with that result! My weight has stayed within a pound of my starting weight so I’m again over the moon with that too. And I’ve lost some inches as well.

Inches lost completing #lwrhiitin4

So yes, the answer is you can get fit in 4 minutes a day. The proof is in the figures above and I’m very pleased. I’m so proud of myself for sticking to it each day as well and I have my certificate to prove it.

certificate of completion

Check out Lucy’s Website in early May for her eBook all about healthy eating, motivation and four minute workouts.


If you are looking for a good fitness challenge then I would totally recommend heading over here to check this one out.

I can’t wait to see her challenge for May! Thank you Lucy xx

Claire x

My top 10 Slimming World must haves. 

Starting out on any healthy eating plan can be quite overwhelming and Slimming World is no different. Over the time I’ve been following it I have come up with my top 10 slimming world must haves to make my life easier.

Slimming World Top 10 Must haves - SW MagazineThe Slimming World magazine has been so useful for me. It’s available in group earlier and for 80p less than in the shops so a bargain too! It’s packed full of inspirational stories and recipes and I normally find at least 2 new things to try every month. I’ve also been taking the recipes out of all the magazines and putting them into an A4 lever arch file for easy to reach recipes.

Slimming World Top 10 must haves post - Full Spice Rack A large spice rack and every herb and spice you can imagine!! This spice rack that screws onto the inside of your cupboard door was a lifesaver for me, no more pulling out every bottle trying to find the one you want. Obviously I didn’t buy these all at once, it’s easy with Slimming World to be building up these kind of store cupboard ingredients as you are making more recipes.

Slimming World Top 10 Must Haves - Food Diary My food diary. I write down everything, every single day and find its the only way that I don’t cheat myself. It’s so easy to forgot something you had when you were rushing around in work and overeat syns without thinking.  I’ve had lots of different Troyes of food diaries but currently love this one that fits into my Filofax planner. I just change the kcal used to syns used and it works perfectly for me. Plus it’s very pretty.

Slimming World Top 10 must haves - Slimming World InstagramThe wonderful world of Slimming World on Instagram. I post all my food pictures on there and I find it so helpful. Just search out the Slimming World Hashtag on there and a new world opens right up. There are so many inspirational people on there that you can’t help but get motivated by. I love it and if I’m totally honest am a little addicted. Just don’t go on when you are hungry!

Slimming World Top 10 must haves - Syn tinA selection of go too things that you like. I’m a snacker so having a bowl of low syn/calorie things that I can just reach for if the notion takes me is a must for me.

Slimming World Top 10 must haves -  Cook BooksSome slimming world cookbooks, I don’t have loads but these ones are a total must for me. Especially the extra easy express one which is just perfect for those after work meals and is my most used cookbook.
Fat Free Yogurt Fat free, syn free yogurt. Great to add to Overnight OatsSyn Free Pancakes or for having on its own with some speedy fruit added to it. If you don’t like flavoured yogurt you can always buy some fat free natural yogurt and sweeten it if you like.

Frozen FruitFrozen berries are a total life changer for me. Either put some out in a little bowl overnight in the fridge to defrost before putting on top of your breakfast or take some out frozen and sprinkle them over your yogurt. Cheaper but just as good as fresh and they don’t end up going bad in the fridge on you before you get the chance to finish them.

Almond and coconut milk are my go too for breakfasts as you get so much more for you healthy extra A allowance. 600mls of coconut milk or 500mls of the Almond. If you buy the unsweetened Almond you get a massive 1 litre! One thing though is it is not nice in coffee at all in my opinion and I’ve ruined many a good coffee trying it.  Perfect for breakfast cereal though and a staple in my shopping.

Slimming World top 10 must haves - water And I’ve left the easiest and cheapest thing to last. My absolute must have for Slimming World or any healthy living lifestyle has to be water.  I think we can all hold our hands up and say that unless we are actively thinking about it then it is highly likely that we don’t drink anywhere near enough.  I aim to drink at least two litres a day and have noticed so much difference, not only to me overall weight but for my general health as well.  Totally a winner for me.

What are your go to Slimming World or healthy living must haves?

Claire xx

Motivation Monday with the Fitbit Blaze 

Last week I took the plunge and upgraded my beloved Fitbit to the Fitbit Blaze and I have not been disappointed, I blooming love it!

Motivation Monday - Fitbit Blaze
I’ve worked my way up through different Fitbits over the last two years, starting with the ‘One’ then moving up to the ‘Charge HR’ both of which I loved but didn’t quite give me everything I was looking for. I would say though that that is mainly due to me developing different wants in terms of my fitness levels and what I want to see on my fitness tracker.

I have loved Fitbit and their app interface from the moment I bought my first one so knew I didn’t want to swap brands and I also knew that I didn’t want a chest strap heart rate monitor despite there being some issues regarding the inaccuracies of wrist based heart monitors.  For me though, Fitbit ticks all the boxes that I need and the ‘Blaze‘ is just gorgeous….yes I’m a sucker for all things pretty!

One of the things that really sold the ‘Blaze’ to me was the colour touch screen and the interchangeable bands. The reason I had held onto to my ‘One’ for so long was so I could use it instead of my ‘Charge HR’ if we were going out for a night, with this one I can switch the straps to a metal one to make it more watch like and I love this idea. So much so, I’ve picked myself up one already! How pretty does that look?

Fitbit Blaze with metal strap
Along with daily tracking, of steps, floors, calories burned, heart rate, miles covered and your sleep pattern. It also has multi sport options built in which will automatically pick up you exercising or you can put it into a specific exercise mode manually and everything feeds into the app on your phone via Bluetooth. It also has an in built ‘Fitstar’ exercise section which takes you through a warm up, 7 minute workout or an abs workout directly from your wrist.

You can add friends and take part in challenges too whilst collecting badges for steps in a day, lifetime miles, floors in a day, lifetime floors and some others.
Fitbit Badges

Everything is so easy to use, from the watch to the app, and the main thing is it really motivates me. Having it right there on a screen in front of me is such a motivator for me. I want to see a full green screen, for my watch to vibrate when I hit my goals (all set by you in the app)

If you are thinking about investing in an activity tracker then I would recommend any of the Fitbit trackers…. If you are wanting a super pretty but very functional adaptable tracker then I would totally recommend the ‘Blaze’

Claire xx

This is not a sponsored post – I have purchased all my Fitbits and just wanted to give my readers an insight into what they can offer.

Slimming World Friendly Pizzas 

Who says you can’t have a Slimming World Friendly Pizza!

Slimming World Friendly Pizza
Made using a healthy Extra B option and part Healthy Extra A along with any syns for your toppings, this is a low syn, easy to make ‘healthy’ option for those wanting that little bit of treat night food.

Ingredients

Weight Watchers Wrap (Healthy Extra B)
lighter mature Cheese – 15g grated (Part Healthy Extra A)
Diced Chorizo – 10g (2 syns)
Slice of Ham – diced
Green Chilli – finely chopped
Tomato Puree – 1 tbsp or more according to your taste
Oregano – 1 tsp
Spinach – pre cooked by placing in boiling water for a few minutes and water squeezed out.

Simply spread your wrap with the tomato purée and sprinkle the oregano then top with whatever toppings you have decided on and pop under the grill until your cheese melts.

Super simple and tasty!

Claire xx

Mushroom Stroganoff – Slimming World Friendly 

Mushroom Stroganoff – Slimming World Friendly

Follow my recipe for an extra easy syn free Mushroom Stroganoff which is Slimming World Friendly

Ingredients – serves 1 – syn free

1 small onion
120g mushrooms, chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 vegetable stock cube
100ml hot water
100g fat free natural yoghurt
Pinch of thyme
1 tsp parsley fresh or dried
Black pepper

Cook the onions gently in a pan sprayed with fry light, until the start to brown. You can add a tablespoon or two of water to stop them sticking if you need to.

Add the mushrooms, crumbled stock cube, tomato purée and thyme, stir for around a minute. Then add the 100mls of hot water and simmer gently for 3-4 mins or until it has thickened a little.

Remove the pan from heat and stir in your yoghurt. Return to heat and warm gently for a few seconds. Sprinkle with the parsley and black pepper and serve.

I served mine with pilau cauliflower rice.

Enjoy

Claire xx

Working out and hiiting it hard

Did you see my little play on words there….hiiting it hard, or in other words HIIT training. HIIT training stands for High intensity Interval Training and it’s something that I have been trying to incorporate into my life since getting to my target weight with Slimming World. The only exercise I really focused on was walking when I was trying to get to target but I had long planned that when I got there my focus was to switch to fitness.

HIIT training seemed perfect for me, I’m not one for spending hours in the gym (though I did used to enjoy that) I wanted something that I could do at home, that was quick but made you work hard and boy have I found that with HIIT workouts. I have discovered a wealth of home workout videos on YouTube and have been chopping and changing my way through those.

My favourite YouTube trainer has to be the lovely Lucy Wyndham Read. Lucy gets training for women and tailors her workouts for a combination of HIIT and toning which is just perfect. She also has a website and blog where she posts Monthly workout plans that you can follow each month. I’ve not really followed the plans yet, though they do look good.  At the minute I seem to prefer to make up my own YouTube play lists using her selection of videos and each one makes me work hard.

So far I am loving HIIT training. I maintained my weight within the target zone last month and the big news was I still lost 1/2″ from my thighs which are my real problem area so it is getting the thumbs up from me as the perfect way to get fit not skinny!

Do any of you follow any fitness plans?

Claire xx

Scan Bran Carrot Cake ~ Slimming World friendly 

  
My gorgeous friend from  Instagram shared this recipe a little while ago and I thought I would try it today. 

It works out at 10 Syns for the full cake or 4 Syns if using the Scan Bran as your healthy extra. There was no way I was planning on eating the full thing so I worked out each of my slices as 1 1/4 Syns each. 

Ingredients – makes 8 slices

For the cake. 
5 Scan Bran – blitzed to a grain (6 Syns) 
2 large carrots, grated
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
3 tbsp sweetener
2 tbsp sweet mince meat (4 Syns)
3 eggs beaten
Drop of vanilla Essence
Drop of almond Essence

For the topping 
200g Quark
Drop of vanilla Essence
1 tbsp sweetener

  Mix all the ingredients for the cake in a large bowl then transfer to a silicone cake tin. Microwave for 3 1/2 – 4 minutes (the sides should come away a little) 
Leave on a rack to cool 
  
Once cool, mix all the ingredients together for the topping then spread over the cooled cake. 
I then sprinkled with further cinnamon. 

   Serve with some speedy fruit on the side and enjoy!

Claire xx 

Slow cooked Irish Stew ~ Slimming World

20140102-221837.jpg

Serves 4

Syn Free

Ingredients

500g stewing beef
1 large onion ~ roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves ~ crushed
300g baby potatoes
5 small carrots~ roughly chopped
400g swede ~ roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
Tsp dried Thyme & Tsp dried Parsley
350ml of beef stock
350ml of vegetable stock
Salt and Black pepper

Add all ingredients to your slow cooker (I don’t brown the meat prior to adding to the slow cooker) give it all a good mix up and pop on low for 8 hours.

Enjoy!

C xx

Revising my Slimming World Target Weight

I hit my target weight with Slimming World in October last year, what I like about Slimming World is that you can set a interim target and you can then revise it (as long as your new target is 7lbs less than the first one)

I got to Target, went on holiday, gained a couple of pounds then went back to group and kept on losing weight. I suppose though, deep down I was trying to do this, I had thought I had set my target weight too high once I started getting closer to it and when I did get there I knew deep down that it wasn’t where I wanted to be.

In the run up to Christmas I continued to lose weight but didn’t want to reset my target weight before Christmas, I headed into the holiday season 9lbs under my initial target weight. Post holiday I had a gain of 3lbs and I reset my target weight at that point. I reset it 10lbs less than my initial which I felt was not only achievable but a weight that I would be able to maintain at.

It was in a new stone bracket too, which anyone who is losing weight knows, feels so good. I also wanted it that even if I gained the 3lbs allowed on top of target that I wouldn’t be entering that other stone bracket again.

On January 13th I hit my new and final target weight! Now though it’s the even harder part of learning to maintain.

Can I do it??

Claire xx