Holiday target

Good evening,

i'm a newbie

I'm 52 years old with a husband, 2 children and a dog called Pip.

i was on a gym program and was attending fitness classes 4 times a week :). However, I had to give it up due to an old knee injury which will be operated on in October, hopefully. I joined today and hope to lose 6 stone, which is not impossible (just hard work). I am looking forward to the challenge and I know this will not be easy. Furthermore, I have something to aim, a holiday at Christmas with the family.

I would just like some advise regarding what has worked well?

Does anyone use a juicer as a replacement meal?

Kind regards


5 Replies

  • Hi Diana,

    I had written you a reply, and then I managed to lose it. The site is acting a bit glitchy today - it's not normally like this.

    I just wanted to welcome you! I'd recommend reading the Welcome Newbie post - it's in the Pinned Posts area - right-hand-side of the homepage.

    I think the NHS 12 week plan is excellent, it's worked very well for me. I've maintained a total loss of just over 5 stone for 2 years now, i.e. my BMI has been 'healthy' for 2 years, and I follow the principles of the NHS 12 week plan, and find it is like a lifestyle rather than a diet. Effective for weight loss.

    I am struggling to lose my final pounds to get to my ideal weight, but I am persevering. This forum definitely helps me to persevere! I hope it will help you too to achieve your goals.

    Regarding your query about meal replacements, I prefer to eat whole foods, but I do like blended soups - I often make some for Autumn and Winter and prefer them as they contain the fibre and contents of the vegetables I use, and I fortify them with beans or lentils to make them filling and sustainable. I'd often have a soup with some wholemeal bread and probably some peanut butter.

    I've not tried juicing, as again, I think I'd prefer the whole fruit, and I actually prefer to eat 1 apple rather than reduce it down.

    There are some posts about juicing, so if you put that word in the search box where it says 'Search Weight Loss NHS' those posts will come up.

    I hope I don't lose this reply too - and that it reaches you safely!

    Have a great week.

    Lowcal :-)

  • Thank you, your email has been encouraging.

  • Hi Diana,

    Welcome to the forum...:-)

    There seems to be a debate about juicing and particularly smoothies, which says it is better to eat the food whole as a smoothie loaded with fruit can spike your blood sugar, which may or may not concern you too much. Also perhaps the act of chewing aids digestion and suits our metabolism more. Personally I think they are ok occasionally. For the sake of variety, and a quick and easy way to get some of your 5 a day if you are in a hurry. Banana smoothies made with yoghurt, milk and banana are a creamy treat.

    Otherwise, in my short time dieting this time around (1 month) it's good old calorie counting plus upping my exercise a bit here and there. I try to go swimming every week-10 days. I'm not sure how that would be with your knee? It is worth using the nhs bmi calculator as it will tell you the calorie allowance range suited to your height and weight. If you restrict your calorie intake too much, you run the risk of your metabolism slowing down to 'fast' mode which won't be any help!

    I wish you well and hope to see more of you, (or should that be less of you!!!!) around!

    Ruby8 :-)

  • Thank you Ruby, it makes more sense to eat whole foods.

  • Hello DianaD,

    You’ve no doubt heard that the key to successful weight loss (and maintenance afterwards) is 80% diet and 20% exercise.

    Beginning in the kitchen, by controlling portion sizes and reducing the consumption of refined carbohydrate in favour of complex varieties, introducing a measured increase in the consumption of lean protein and healthy fat, while seeking to increase the intake of fresh fruit and veg, you can go a long way towards improving body composition.

    Equally, by knowing your numbers (how many calories are required to satisfy BMR and TDEE), you can introduce the correct calorie deficit, allowing weight to be lost. As such, research BMR and TDEE calculators to provide a clearer idea of your requirements, since they vary between individuals.

    Having obtained both, seek to introduce a daily calorie deficit from TDEE (preferably 500Kcal), ensuring that the deficit introduced doesn’t take you beneath BMR.

    Regardless of current weight, the body still requires an amount of calories from food to keep metabolism firing.

    Routinely eat fewer calories than BMR and any early weight loss success enjoyed will soon cease, as the body begins to hold on to excess calories (stored in body fat). Any improvement in energy levels will also diminish too, as the body seeks to compensate for the lack of nourishment received.

    Even in the 21st Century, the evolutionary traits of the body all still remain in abundance, making it very much same organism that it was 2500 years ago. Ultimately, the body displays little concern for its owner’s desire to lose weight; it’s simply concerned about maintaining existence.

    However, when an excess happens to be possessed, by maintaining BMR, the body is coerced into utilising the calories stored to meet daily energy demands. The greater the intensity of that daily endeavour, the more calories the body expends in the process, leading to a continued improvement in the level of weight loss.

    Granted, your knee injury will certainly inhibit you from participating in or under-taking some forms exercise, but it doesn’t wholly exclude you from exercising altogether.

    While you may not be able to execute lower body movements for a while, there’s certainly nothing stopping you from seeking to improve the strength and endurance of muscles in the upper body, through resistance training.

    In doing so, you’ll also improve metabolism, since increased muscle mass leads to a greater uptake of calories to fuel it, regardless of whether it’s resting or active.

    Additionally, regular resistance training depletes glycogen in the muscles, helping to improve insulin sensitivity.

    As such, the carbohydrate eaten in the hours afterwards is broken down and used to replenish depleted reserves (as opposed to being stored as fat around muscles and organs).

    I’d encourage you to return to the gym and begin lifting weights. Speak to the trainers about devising you a plan that concentrates upon performing compound movements (before isolation exercises) for the upper body.

    The more muscle groups you’re recruiting (think how many muscles are involved when using a lat pulldown machine), the more glycogen you’ll use in the process.

    If you have concerns that resistance training will lead to the development of unsightly muscles, you can rest assured that it won’t. Since you’ll be running a calorie deficit, the muscle you’ll develop will be lean, shapely and defined; to increase size and mass, you have to eat over and above TDEE.

    As for nutrition, the consumption of lean protein, alongside the reduction of refined carbohydrates are your greatest weapons of mass fat destruction in the kitchen.

    When attempting to lose weight, by ensuring that protein consumption constitutes 30-35% of your daily intake (as percentage of BMR), you’ll ensure that the body is provided with enough for growth, repair and maintenance, while helping to reduce a gaunt appearance as weight reduces.

    The reduction of simple sugars (cakes/sweets/pastries) will have a marked impact upon levels of insulin secretion. In time, reduced secretion will lead to improvements in sensitivity.

    The reduction of white starchy products (potato, pasta and rice), in favour of complex varieties (such as brown rice, quinoa and lentils and beans) will also assist. However, portion control still remains paramount.

    Carbohydrate isn’t necessarily the enemy (it’s the sugar in simple carbs) and you should still aim to ensure that it constitutes around 40% of daily intake, largely since it remains the body’s preferred choice of fuel, due to its ability to be burned easier than protein or fat.

    As for fat (yes, it’s still needed by the body), by aiming to ensure that it constitutes around 25% of intake and is obtained from healthier sources (such as oils, seed, nuts and fish), you’ll be providing the body with more than enough to support a healthy diet.

    Much like Lowcal, I’d also recommended attempting to obtain micronutrients from vegetables in their original form, as opposed to repeatedly juicing them. Granted, juicing is largely quick and convenient but don’t allow it to become common-place.

    The suggestion of adding lentils and beans to soups and stews is also a very good idea, particularly since the weather to enjoy them isn't too far off.

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