independent

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Slimming consultants bust weight loss myths

Published 21/01/2014 | 05:32

LOCAL Slimming World consultants have all put their heads together to make sure the people of Fingal are not confused by how to lose weight.

All the myths and misconceptions have been busted after the consultants explained the methods of Slimming World.

Small portions are the key to losing weight, according to Slimming World consultant Adele Halpin.

'If we have weight to lose, chances are it's because we love our food. This means we won't stick to anything that requires us to eat tiny portions that leaves us feeling hungry. The good news is we don't have to,' said Adele.

'It's an out-of-date myth that dieting has to mean deprivation,' said Slimming World consultant Aoife Murphy.

'We now know that it's not the size of your portion that counts – it's the kind of food on your plate.'

The latest research into healthy eating shows that it's possible to eat satisfying, filling meals and still lose weight by choosing foods that are low in energy density.

Energy density is the amount of energy or calories per gram of food.

Lower energy density foods, like fruit and vegetables, lean meat, rice and pasta, provide less energy per gram, which means we can eat more of them while consuming fewer calories.

In contrast, high energy density foods, like nuts and chocolate, come in small packages, so even if you are only eating a little of them, you are still taking in a lot of calories.

Changing the way you cook and eat can lead to impressive weight losses in the first few weeks, which many slimmers find really motivating.

Then, as the weight comes off steadily, and their confidence grows, they find they are more able and interested in getting more active.

'There are so many good reasons to keep up your activity levels,' explained Slimming World consultant Caroline Hyland.

'Studies have shown that building exercise into your life plays an important role in keeping weight off long-term, and can help you lose a little bit more weight than diet alone.

'It can also make sticking to a healthy eating programme feel easier because you have more energy and feel less stressed. Plus it brings with it a whole raft of health benefits, and boosts both your metabolism and self-esteem.

Slimming World consultant Louise Hannon added: 'Aiming for a Slimming World Body Magic award is a great way to get into the exercise habit because literally everything counts. You start by doing just a bit more than usual, even if it's just five or ten minutes walking to the shops. Once you've built up to 45 minutes of moderate activity, spread over three or more days, for four weeks, you will get a Bronze award.

'You can keep moving up until you reach Platinum, when exercise has become a natural part of your daily routine,' she said.

One question consultants have been asked is 'Is it harder to lose weight as you get older?'

According to Slimming World consultant Sandra Raffety, there is no evidence that losing weight is any more difficult as you get a bit older.

'In fact, a recent analysis we conducted of more than 34,000 slimmers suggests it is very slightly easier to lose weight,' said Sandra. 'After all, if you've swapped partying, takeaways and eating-on-the-run for home cooking and healthy snacks as you've gotten older, you will have more control over what you eat. 'It is true that many of us are less active as time goes by, however, and this can mean we simply burn off fewer calories every day, making it easier to gain weight.

'Follow a healthy eating programme and support it by staying as active as you can, and you will be able to lose weight at almost any age,' Caroline added.

Another question consultants have been asked is 'Is it expensive to food optimise?'

Consultant Aoife said 'Take a quick glance around most supermarkets and often than not, it's processed foods such as frozen chips and pizzas, or multi-pack crisps, biscuits and chocolate bars, that are on buy-one-get-one-free or cut-price offers. Bananas never seem to be buy one get one free.'

'While it's true that a trolley full of fruit and vegetables, along with fresh meat and fish, may cost more at the checkout than one full of cut-price, processed foods, your healthy trolley will provide the ingredients for many more family meals,' Consultant Sinead said. 'Your weekly shop will go further, your overall food bills won't go up and neither will your weight,' she added.

Adele said 'The wonderful thing about this group is that members love sharing the special offers and telling everyone who is there what bargains they picked up. We have even got fabulous books at the groups showing you how you can feed your family fabulous meals without busting the budget.'

Slimming World offers amazing membership for members from the age of 11 to 111, with free membership for 11 to 15 year olds and amazing special offers on signing up.

'It's a change of lifestyle at our groups, it not a diet,' said Louise, 'Everyone is more than welcome to pop in and see for themselves what we are all about.'

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