Let’s replace the guides with facts! Just last night I heard the calories guidelines for men and women. While they are guidelines there is a huge difference between the national average and individuals. For example my daily allowance is 1200 based on my height, weight and activity level. This is 800 calories less than the guidelines which would mean I would be eating a lot more than I actually need.

Have you have ever dieted or followed a healthy eating program? If so you a likely to be aware of calorie counting and how the amount we eat affect our weight. A calorie is a unit of energy. We need energy for our bodies work. If we don’t eat enough our bodies metabolism slows down to conserve energy. In the long run a slow metabolism can lead to weight gain. If we eat too many calories our bodies store this energy as fat which over time can lead to being over-weight and obese.

The national guidelines for calorie intake are 2000 calories for women and 2500 calories for men.HOWEVER this is a very generic guideline. We are all different sizes a woman who is 5ft does not need to eat the same amount of calories as a woman who is 6ft. Our calorie intake needs to be individualised so we don’t eat too much or not enough.

There are plenty of tools on line to work out how much energy we should be eating based on our height and weight. It is important to remember, your energy intake also depends on how active you are.

The process of processes foods

A healthy diet is not just about eating the right amount but a variety of foods and keeping processed items to a minimum. With processed foods the clue is in the title how much of a ‘process’ has a food gone through. Lets take a potato and a chicken nugget. A potato is in its natural state and a chicken nugget has been shaped added ingredients (often salt, fat and sugar) deep fried and frozen. Not all processed foods are a bad choice however it is important to be mindful about eating them. Use the nutrition information and the colour codes on the packaging to help you make your choice.

When following a healthy eating plan you need to find something that works for you, whether it’s counting calories, using a food plate being more active. If you are trying to lose weight knowing how many calories you need is important but if calories counting isn’t for you then look at your portions. I’ll use a standard size dinner plate as an example of portion control. Imagine you split the plate into quarters. Make a fist with your hand and hold it over the dinner plate. Your protein (chicken, fish etc) should be the size of your fist; one quarter of the plate. Make another fist and fill the other quarter with carbohydrates (potato, pasta etc) you should now have one half left. This should be filled with vegetables and salads. If you are using a dressing, again be mindful about how much you are adding. Having lots of colour on your plate from a variety of foods is better than a ‘beige’ plate which may consist of chips, rice, chicken etc…

Take it one day at a time

I believe that a healthy diet is everything in moderation. Sugar, fat and alcohol are treats and life would be very boring without them but if you over do it your weight can spiral out of control. Take it one day at a time. If you have a slip up draw a line under it and continue. Don’t let one mistake dictate the rest of your day as a write off. Losing weight is one of the hardest things to do, we are surrounded by temptation but taking owner ship of your intake will motivate to win the body back you deserve.

At Shape and Tone Aesthetics body positivity is the goal and together we can reach that goal. Each week you will be weighed and measured. The treatment removes fat in a safe and effective way and we work together to make sure it doesn’t go back. If your goal is weight loss then you will have to eat less this can be tricky to begin with but over time your stomach will shrink and your cravings will reduce. Making slight changes and losing 1 to 2 pounds a week is the healthiest way to do this for long term results. These adjustments could lead you to being 3 stone lighter in six months. Now how amazing would that be?