Help for my wife
My wife has been trying to lose weight for several years. All previous failed attempts have been down to her love of food being stronger than her desire to stick to a disciplined diet. This time, however, she has really been very good and has followed a diet, mainly of salads, vegetables and pulses, given to her by a hospital dietician. She has cut out all alcohol and carbonated drinks (although she never consumed much of either) and does daily exercise including brisk walks (about 4km) in the mornings and stints on the exercise bike in the afternoons/evenings. She's been doing this for 3 weeks now and hasn't lost anything, in fact she has said today that her weight has gone up. As you may imagine, she's feeling really low about it all and I don't know what to say to her. It was clear to me why her previous attempts failed but this time, she really has been disciplined. Any advice would be gratefully received.
Tell her not to get discouraged, as not everyone loses right away. She may just need to review and adjust her approach.
My exercise of choice is also walking. Here are some very important tips that helped me lose 3 stone:
- Minimise salt intake, or cut it out all together if you can. It causes water retention which can slow the metabolism.
- Drink lots and lots of water! Most recommend about 2L per day. This helps to flush out your system and gets rid of any water retention. Cold water speeds up metabolism, warm water keeps you full.
- Increase protein intake, especially for breakfast.
- Check all ingredients labels on everything! You'd be surprised at how many products have added sugar for no discernable reason. A good rule is not to eat anything with chemical additives of any sort.
- Calorie intake is less important than the nutrients contained in the food. I find a lot of so called diet foods severely lacking. Best way to control this is to make meals from scratch as much as possible. My slow cooker helped.
- Not all fats are bad. Avocados and olive oil are full of good fats the body needs. Some dieticians cut out too much fat, and ironically the body needs certain fats to help you lose weight.
- When dressing salads, try to stick to a simple balsamic vinegrette. Just balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Also, keep an eye on the portions. Also, always have a protein in the salad! I always sneak in nuts and seeds full of omega 3s, and it gives it some satisfying crunch.
- Don't let yourself be hungry! If you suspect you may be hungry, take some water first. If it still persists, a banana is the perfect snack!
Walking as exercise can be tough, but here is my best advice:
- Get good walking boots / hiking trainers. Can't emphasise enough how important that is.
- Sign up for a big sponsored walk! Giving yourself something to aim for keeps you motivated and you find less excuses not to do it. You also feel good doing something for charity. I signed up for a 26 mile months in advance to give myself training time.
- First step in training was cutting out public transport entirely and started walking the 3 miles to work, and 3 miles back. Every day I'd see if I could beat my time until I got to an average of a mile in 15 minutes. That is the speed where it really starts to take the weight off.
- Step 2 was making Sunday my training day. I started with 6 miles. Using google maps, I picked a 3 mile route then turned and walked back the way I came. Every week I'd put it up by 2 miles until I could walk the full 26. Legs will get sore, but stretching before and after will help SO much. For a change in scenery, get out to the countryside if you're not already there. The city can be depressing after a while of seeing the same things.
- Most important is support. If you're able, join her on these walks. Support your wife by showing her she's not doing it along. I was single at the time, but my best friend signed up with me and came on training walks every week. I'm not sure I could have done it alone.
I hope that helps. If after all that the weight is still not shifting, your wife should get her hormone levels checked, as there may be a greater medical issue at work.
Ask your wife to sign up here, because this lot are super friendly and there are plenty of tips to be had. Everyone is going through the same stuff.
Hi Andrew. First of all you sound like a very caring partner. See the advice above and yes see if your wife will sign up as reading about others journeys may help and may identify what she needs to be changing from her diet. All the best
Thank you both for your words of advice.
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