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54 reasons to forget about your #NewYear #Diet and try something that might work

stuff your face

 

Ah, January 1st; a clean slate, a fresh start, a new diet.

What? Wait! Stop right there! Put down that rice cake and pay attention! It doesn’t have to be this way.

Not that long ago I too used to stand in front of the mirror, and wonder where on earth the skinny figure of my twenties went to. Of all the goals I’ve set myself over the years, shedding those extra pounds was one of the toughest.

Like most people I started with what seemed like obvious solutions (broadly summarised by ‘eating less’ and ‘moving more’) – but when those things didn’t work for me I threw my heart-rate monitor in the bin and went in search of something that might. And after much trial and error, I cracked it.

Now I wouldn’t call myself an expert, but I’ve definitely learnt a thing or two about how the body manages weight – stuff that works! Stuff that I’d very much like to pass on to you. Which is why Della Galton and I wrote How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim.

Whilst other books concentrate on huge lifestyle and dietary changes (eat all fats, eat all carbs, eat only new foods, eat rocks, don’t eat…), How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim shows you how you can achieve the same results – permanently – simply by adopting a few new ideas, and by making a series of small painless tweaks to your current eating habits.

It’s  a mixture of hard science (eg. how hunger really works), quick ‘cheats’ (eg. how to make zero fat chips), psychological techniques (eg. why focusing on your food as you eat is really important), ingenious strategies (eg. how to cut down on sugar without going cold turkey), and easy peasy recipes (eg. my ‘roast potato & egg smashup breakfast’ or Della’s ‘apple ginger clafouti’) – all served up in an easy-to-digest, humourous read from authors who’ve been where you are now.

If you’ve read How To Do Everything and Be Happy, the format will be familiar to you. Several broad chapters, broken into smaller sections, each of which result in an Action Point. Each thought provoking, scientifically-provable, action point also has a STAR RATING. There are fifty four stars available. You get one just for buying the book! As you try each idea you’ll steadily increase your chances of being able to eat loads AND stay slim. Collect enough stars (thirty or more would be a good target to have) and we personally guarantee that a slim figure, coupled with a healthy but satiated appetite, are yours for the taking. No dieting required.

How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim is available right now in paperback, audio, and as a kindle ebook. In fact, from the Friday 2nd til the 8th of January 2015 the ebook is a mere 99p (or local equivalent). You’d spend more than that on a packet of those rice cakes, but this might actually work.

You can read the opening chapter here, or how about we read it for you? Just click the big play button in the video link below to listen to the opening chapters. Or listen to what Steve Wright (from BBC Radio 2) thought about the book here.


If you enjoyed listening to us you can download the entire book from audible (.co.uk | .com)  – an amazon company and the internet’s largest supplier of spoken word entertainment.

If you’re new to audible, and in the UK, you can get it for free. Just use this link, follow the instructions and search for  ’How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim’.

 If you’re reading this in an email or can’t see the video link  just click here

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The Six Pound Emergency – Getting Your Weight Back On Track

Della Says…

The hardest thing about losing weight is keeping it off. I learned this in between trips to Slimming World, which I have been to three times.  That says it all really. I loved Slimming World – they helped me to lose a lot of weight – but as soon as I stopped going to weekly meetings I put it back on.

I have put on weight again lately. About six pounds. Not a lot, I know, but enough to make all my jeans and trousers (that did fit comfortably) too tight. I hate that feeling. Fortunately I know what to do about it.  I co wrote a book called How to Eat Loads and Stay Slim, didn’t I!  And part of staying slim is to get rid of the odd half stone when it becomes necessary.  I wish I was saintly enough to keep it off in the first place – but I’m not. Hey ho.

So let’s get positive.  The first thing is to stock up the fridge with things I can eat and still lose weight. Things that are satisfying. I am NOT going to starve myself – I know that doesn’t work.

Here’s a couple of them. I’m not vegetarian but where else can you get a scotch egg that’s only 53 calories or a cocktail sausage for 33 calories. If you haven’t tried them, I highly recommend them. They are great snacks. I like snacking – it stops me getting hungry enough to eat everything in sight. One of the ways I stay slim is to make sure I have low calorie snacks on hand in the fridge. Ones you don’t need to cook. If I’m hungry I want them NOW!

I’m also eating fresh fruit for breakfast. Fresh pineapples are awesome at the moment. They make great desserts too – especially if they are dipped in chocolate yogurt or chocolate mousse, fat free of course. The two in the picture are 99 calories per pot. The one at the bottom of the picture is also made by Muller.

Here’s another picture of the Muller chocolate dessert I just found and it really is this yummy and thick!

I hope to be back to my usual size in about three weeks. Then I’ll relax a bit. It’s what we do most of the time that’s what counts. I will eat cake and chocolate and pizza again – I’ll eat some over the next three weeks – but not too much. And I’ll up my dog walking forays to compensate – so the dogs will be pleased.  Feel free to remind me of my mission on Facebook or Twitter, tee hee. There’s nothing like a bit of motivational nagging.

Oh and before I forget, How to Eat Loads and Stay Slim– is only 99p for the next 24 hours. It has quite a few more eating loads and staying slim tips in. And do you like the flash new cover?


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Recipe: Fat Free Salad Dressing

Della says…

Fat Free Salad Dressing

This is by far the tastiest salad dressing I’ve ever had – it’s become a speciality in our house – guests always ask for it now!

Ingredientssalad-dressing2

1 heaped teaspoon of wholegrain mustard

1 tablespoon of fat free tomato based dressing (I use a dollop of hot pepper sauce because I like it spicy. But you do need some kind of tomato based dressing to offset the other flavours. Tomato puree will work if you can’t get fat free tomato based dressing – they seem to be quite rare these days).

2 or 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

A dash of soy sauce

2 or 3 tablespoons of Teriyaki marinade (my favourite is Kikkoman Teriyaki – available in big supermarkets)

A little garlic if liked.

Fresh herbs (optional but chives work well)

(the beauty of this dressing is that you can just use whatever you have handy. The core ingredients are wholegrain mustard, tomato based fat free dressing, balsamic and soy sauce.  I tend to see what I’ve got in the cupboard. There is no olive oil and you really don’t need it.

Method

Mix ingredients together well and leave to marinade. It can be kept in the fridge (covered) for a week to ten days. It’s better if you make it the day before you need it.


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Recipe: Fat Free Chocolate Cake

Della Says…

Chocolate Swiss Roll

Slightly different angle

What if I told you that this swiss roll is totally fat free. Sugar free too. In fact, you can eat the whole thing in one sitting without worrying about adding a single centimetre to your waistline.

It tastes quite nice too. In fact the first one I made disappeared before I could take any photos!

Front View

It’s actually a Slimming World recipe this one. To make it a chocolate cake you need to add a Cadbury’s Hi-light Sachet (sometimes called Options)
Ingredients

4 medium eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
a tub of quark (250g)
3 tbsp of sweetener (level not heaped)
Raspberries

Method
  1. Separate the 4 eggs into two bowls, yolks and whites
  2. Add ½ tub of quark, sweetener, vanilla essence & baking powder to the yolks
  3. Wisk into a creamy consistency and put to one side
  4. Take the egg whites and wisk until stiff
  5. Add half of the egg whites to the egg yolk mixture and stir in gently
  6. Then fold the other half of the eggs whites into the mixture
  7. Take an oven tray, line line with grease proof paper and spray with fry light
  8. Ensure you use plenty of fry light to avoid the cake sticking to the paper
  9. Pour the mixture on the tray/paper
  10. Bake for 10 minutes until golden brown 180c (it doesn’t take very long to bake
  11. Whilst warm peel the paper from the cake (gently) and then lay cake out to cool
  12. I used a big knife underneath the paper to gently remove the cake from paper
  13. While cooling take the remainder of the quark and add sweetener to taste
  14. Spread the quark onto the cake (now cool) and add fruit you are using
  15. I used raspberries and added them evenly across the cake and squished them
  16. Then gently roll the cake up into a roll (like a swiss roll)
  17. Cut into 4-6 pieces – or eat the whole cake yourself


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Vision Exercise: How to work out what your GOALS should be!

holidays in spaceWelcome to 2014!

2014! Who’d of thunk it!? And may I be the first to say; Holidays In Space – what’s the flippin’ hold up!?

Shouldn’t there be a Moon Base Disney by now? Somebody, somewhere, needs to put that on their Goals List!

Which leads us rather nicely onto the topic of today’s post. Goals.

I’ve written quite a lot about Goals in the past (here for instance), and if you’re a long time reader of this blog, or you’ve read How To Do Everything And Be Happy, then you’ll know that in previous years I reset my Goals every January. But not any more.

2013 was an interesting year for me. The re-release of How To Do Everything And Be Happy by Harper Collins in January, the plethora of Happiness related workshops and talks that followed, and the impending release of my second How To book (How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim), all meant that I was suddenly busier than I’ve ever been. And whilst it was all very exciting, initially, by about June I was flagging a bit, and life didn’t seem quite as *fun* as it had done previously. The rather vague & dreary goals I’d set myself in January seemed a far cry from what I really wanted. Something had to be done.

So, me being me, I set aside a day to tackle the problem in the only way I know how. I sat myself down, and planned to spend the entire day brainstorming all the things that make me really happy – and later distil those down into new, inspiring goals.

After just five minutes I’d finished. Here’s what I’d written:

Today is another day, sitting in the sunshine,
writing fiction,
whilst my beautiful ‘wife’ reads her book,
and then goes and makes us a sandwich.

This was something of a surprise to me on several levels.

For starters I hadn’t expected to be able to capture the essence of what I want out of life so easily, so quickly, and so succinctly.

Secondly I really hadn’t expected to see a ‘wife’ in there (that really was a shock)!

But thirdly, after a moment or two of letting the thoughts settle in my head, I realised that out of this “vision” I could tease out some very specific goals; namely that whilst I love helping people to do everything and be happy, what I really want to do is write. Preferably fiction. Preferably in the sunshine. Preferably somewhere other that dear old Blightly. And preferably with someone very special. Oh, and a sandwich would be nice.

Now, that was back in the summer and you might be curious to know how what’s happened since – and maybe I’ll tell you, perhaps when I write another WTFHIBD – but for now let’s turn the spotlight back on you.

What do YOU want? Imagine you could see three, four or five years into the future – if all your wildest dreams could come true, if money, kids, or commitments weren’t an issue – what would your life look like?

Between now and next week find ten minutes (you’ll only need five) when you can be alone with your thoughts. Spend 60 seconds imagining your perfect future, then write down what you see. Use the remaining time to tease out two or three goals. (If you need a little inspiration, take a look at the video below. It’s a smidge over 3 minutes. Turn up the volume on your computer and click the big ‘play’ button. Or click here to see the video on YouTube)

This time next week we’ll start tackling some of the more common goals that people come up with, beginning with love, romance & relationships – specifically, how to attract all three into your life!

In the meantime feel free to post any questions, comments, or thoughts in the comments below, or on facebook, or twitter.

If for any reason you can’t see or hear the video, drop me a line.


Turns out you can reserve a place for when Holidays In Space become a reality.


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Eating Loads and Staying Slim

Anything that tastes nice is probably fattening. Some people can eat anything without putting on weight. You’re not one of those people! Is any of this true? Not so, say authors Della Galton & Peter Jones in their latest book How To Eat Load Loads And Stay Slim. All you need is a willingness to change, and some gold stars…

Peter says

Stars!

The problem with many self-help books, in my experience, is that the advice they contain is usually a lot easier to read than heed. Before you know it you’re at the end of the book, and nothing’s changed.

I’m not just an author. To two people in this world, my primary job is that of ‘Uncle’. It’s kind of a cross between being a clown, a punch bag, an audience, and a confidante.

I remember one weekend with my nephew and niece. Whilst my niece was her usual chatty self, my nephew spent much of the time with his face in a book. And not just a book, but a bumper book of maths puzzles. He spent the weekend doing sums. Was he catching up on school homework? Had his parents encouraged him to work through the book by way of extra study? No – it was completely voluntary. Why then had he chosen to spend his time in this way? Because of the stars.

At the back of my nephew’s book there were several sheets of self-adhesive gold stars, and at the bottom of each page was space for a gold star to be stuck once the page had been completed. This simple concept very much appealed to my young nephew. Della and I think that it might just work for you.

Each thought provoking, scientifically-provable, idea in How To Eat Loads and Stay Slim has a STAR RATING. There are fifty four stars available – you get one just for buying the book! Collect enough stars and we personally guarantee that a slim figure, coupled with a healthy but satiated appetite, are yours for the taking. No dieting required. And to get you started this article contains twelve of them.

How to calculate your Star Rating

Virtually Fat Free Chips – worth 1 star

Everyone loves chips. But they’re bad news if you’re trying to keep your chips-300x200weight under control, right? Not necessarily. You can have guilt-free chips. All you need to do
is swap the cooking method to a combination of microwave and oven baking!

Cut washed potatoes into chips, nice and thick (easier to cook), then spread them out on a plate and spray them with a low fat spray or a tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and microwave for four minutes. Transfer them to the oven on a baking tray (add a little more low fat spray, if necessary) and bake at 240 degrees Celsius. You will need to turn them often so they get evenly browned.

Chips made like this are not quite as good as tasty as fried chips – but they are totally guilt free. You can have as many as you like. They go very well with ham and eggs. They also work very well if you roast vegetables alongside them. And if you’d like cheesy chips then just sprinkle a handful of half fat grated cheese over them and melt.

Swapping – 1 star for each ‘swap’ to a maximum of 5

‘Swapping’ is the concept of identifying foods that could easily, and painlessly, be switched for healthier, less fattening alternatives. For instance:

  • swap chips for jacket spuds
  • swap beef mince for extra-lean mince
  • swap full fat cheese for half fat cheese
  • swap pints of beer for bottles of beer
  • swap beer for wine
  • swap sugar for less sugar (with the cunning use of measuring spoons)
  • swap crisps for popadums
  • swap shop bought burgers for shop bought veggie-burgers
  • swap snack foods for healthier and shockingly tasty alternatives

It isn’t a new concept at all, but it’s such a simple, easy idea that it’s often overlooked and forgotten about.

Changing Your Mind – 3 stars in total

Never mind calorie counting, or spending your lunch hour on the treadmill, the real secret to eating loads and staying slim is to exercise the lump of grey matter between your ears, and to re-think your approach to food, based on facts.

For instance, there’s evidence that we use our eyes, more than our stomachs, to judge how much food we’ve eaten. If our plates are anything less than over-flowing we often feel cheated, and consequently hungry. And if there’s food on the plate we’ll often eat it, regardless of whether or not we’ve already had our fill.

This is scientific gold dust, and immediately give us two more techniques we can use to control our weight.

Firstly, get into the habit of checking in with your stomach whilst you’re eating. Are you full now? Then stop. Who cares if there’s food left on the plate. Leave it. Don’t worry about the WASTE, worry about your WAIST. 1 star for this one.

Secondly, you can actually trick your mind into accepting smaller portions by using smaller plates. If you’re using ten inch dinner plates, switch to nine. That’s a 10% decrease in overall food intake right there, and you won’t even notice. 2 stars for this one.

How Hunger Really Works – fatometer-295x3003 stars in total

Many, many years ago, long before you and I came to be – before the invention of the internet, the telephone, pizza delivery services, before mopeds, and the wheels that make them possible – food was generally hard to come by. The only meal options available were fruit, nuts and berries – or catching something and killing it. Which could be a tad treacherous and usually involved a joint effort. Times were tough.

This being the case, it didn’t make sense to evolve a hunger mechanism that made your tummy rumble just because you hadn’t eaten. On the other hand, when food was plentiful – say, when your old pal Ug had managed to trap a woolly mammoth – it made a LOT of sense for your body to encourage you to eat as much as you could from the all-you-can-eat mammoth buffet. In those days, life was quite often a case of ‘survival of the fattest.’

Back in the 21st century every day is ‘woolly mammoth day’. Figuratively speaking. Food is plentiful, and quite a lot of it is packed with calories. But whilst we might eventually evolve a new hunger mechanism that takes all this into account, right now your body and mine are operating on the assumption that the local pizza delivery place might run out of pizza at any moment, and that it’s best to fill up whilst we can.

Put simply, your body is designed to make you fatter. It does this by associating the calories in the food you eat, with the flavour that food has. Over time your body figures out which flavours are ‘fattest’. Those foods usually become our favourites.

There are several ways we can use this information to our advantage but three quick tips – worth one star each – are:

  • Try new foods whenever you can
  • Mix up your flavours
  • Have home-cooked meals whenever possible (avoiding sauces in packets or jars, or anything that’ll make your food taste identical to last time)

Read more about how hunger really works here


This article originally appeared in Good Magazine

How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim is available now as an ebook, in paperback, and as an audio download, from amazon

 


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Phoenix FM Happy Club: We answer your happiness related questions

Earlier this month I joined the delightful Michelle Ward of Phoenix98 FM to discuss ‘happiness’, and to answer your happiness related questions.

This month’s questions were…

  • How do I control my uncontrollable rage when people do not follow my legitimate instructions?
  • How do you achieve a healthy work/life balance? As in, how can you effectively balance work and home life, especially when you work from home?
  • How can I be happy with my diet when I can’t afford lobster and fillet steak each day?
  • I want to change my life completely; my job, my looks, etc. Where do I start on such a monumentous task?
  • How do I get an octopus into a paper bag?
  • I would like to know Peter’s tips for staying focused on goals, and for being organised when the path is full of obstacles.
  • Why is Peter Jones’ name a mash up of the names of two of the band members of The Monkees?

To listen to the show click the big play button in the image below (or if you’re reading this in an email, click here)

How To Start Dating And Stop Waiting (mentioned throughout the show) is due out February 2014, How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim is available, now, in three formats.

If you have a question for next month’s show feel free to drop me a line, post a comment below, tweet either myself or Michelle, or send me a message on facebook. We’ll get through as many as we’re able.


Michelle’s live on Phoenix FM every weekday from 10am.

To listen to other radio interviews (and audio content) about How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim click here