Tough day today

Today has been tough. I started the day off well with a bowl of fruit and yoghurt but by 10.30 I was hungry and the hunger does not seem to have shifted. I have been sipping green tea and water in the hope the at the hunger goes away. In fact I am not sure if it is hunger as my tummy feels bloated/full but I just want to eat something.

I am not sure I know what hungry is so it is hard for me to determine whether I am hungry or just wanting food for the sake of it. I am sure its the wanting food for the sake of it but I am not sure why I want the food for the sake of it. Does that make any sense?

I got on the scales this morning and my weight seems to be the same as my weight at weigh in last Thursday which is slightly worrying. However yesterday I was (at one point) 4lb lighter. I guess it will just be the luck of the day tomorrow. My weight yesterday was at xx stone 6lb which is the lowest weight that has come up on the scales so far so I am hopeful that all I am doing is making a difference.

I have just found a book that I purchased a couple of years ago by an author called Marissa Peer called “You Can Be Thin” this book was recommended to my by a friend and I did read it at the time but I was not in the right frame of mind then to actually take action. So I have started to read it again. She provides tips using your mind to avoid bad foods for example; look at a pizza as though its a bit of bread with lard on it (the cheese). She also recommends putting some bread in some water and leaving it for a couple of days to see what it looks like after the couple of days have passed then imagine this in your stomach. I will tell you more once I have read more of the book.

Right so nice slow cooked chicken paprika for tea tonight, I am starving (or am I) so am really looking forward to it. Wish me luck for weigh in tomorrow. I think I need it after today.

Will having a hair cut / shaving my legs help me loose any weight?

Men, close your ears. Anyone squeamish close your ears.

I have not shaved my legs all winter. Do you think shaving them might loose a pound or two? If I have my hair cut will that make any difference? How much does hair weigh?

I am pretty certain that I am not the only overweight person trying to diet that has asked this question. When you are dieting and desperate to loose weight you will do anything to loose that extra pound on the scales (this has given me an idea for another subject on my blog).

I have just had a look on Google to see if anything comes up and there are several forums where people have asked this question
One answer is as follows:

“wow this required some research… anyway what I found is that hair weight can vary based on many things such as the protein compsition (British Journal of Dermatology) , texture, cultural differences in the persons hair being weighed. Some sources said hair weight ranged from 2.5 pounds to 3.5 pounds for a 8 to 16 inches of hair again depending on the type of human hair (texture, thickness and so forth).
I did a Google search and found that also in addition to the various dermatology studies done on hair many advertisers of hair extensions tell you the weight of hair for different types, color, texture hair extensions they sell in various lengths which range from the same I mentioned above from the dermatology sites I visited.
so yes I would say a 2 pound loss is possible…”

So, amazingly you could loose a small amount of weight (this is only one persons opionion though) if you had your hair cut but the amount of weight is minimal it’s not even worth considering – it is rather extreme to cut all your hair off just to weigh less (by about 2lb). I cant see that shaving legs would make any difference at all either. So there is my conclusion on the matter.

Any dieters out there thinking about cutting all their hair off and shaving any other hair on their body off to loose weight – I wouldnt bother – go for a run or walk instead.

The Countdown begins

So its Tuesday night and the countdown begins for weigh in on Thurs morning.

Today I weighed myself before my run and I weighed xx stone and 10lb when I got back from my run I had some lunch and then weighed myself again and I weighed 4lb less!!! How does that work?? My weight does seem to fluctuate by 4lb. Has anyone else noticed that their weight fluctuates in a similar way?

So anyway back to the countdown. I am finding I am getting into a sort of eating routine/habit (whatever you want to call it) and so for each new day the crisps seem more of a distant memory. I got paid today so did my large food shop and I didnt even walk down the crisp or chocolate aisle. I am so proud of myself for avoiding those two aisles as they are so tempting. I try not to think about the relationship I had with crips because if I do, I start missing them; especially Walkers chilli sensations!!

If I can keep this routine up for the rest of my life I will be sorted and slim.

I am getting used to this diet

I am starting to get used to not eating between meals and now when I am hungry I think about what flavour Muller light to have rather than what crisps are in the cupboard. Hopefully my state of mind is changing towards food. I know it will take me several weeks (or even months) to totally change my mind set but I feel that I am on the right track and every day seems to get a little bit easier. I guess the scales will be the proof in that.

Diet wise, this weekend went really well. I didnt go out in the evenings which helps as then the temptations of other food and drink is not there.

On Saturday we went to the Zoo. It was very very cold and apart from sharing a cake with Simon in the coffee shop I was very good. I also let him have the bigger bit of cake with more icing on!!! We took a picnic with us and ate it in the car with the heaters on. Olivia had sandwiches, crisps and fruit and Simon and I took a packet of smoked salmon, a lemon and crispbreads and Ryvita and ate that. Olivia even offered me some of her crisps and I said NO!!!

Saturday evening Simon went out so I had a really juicy Steak with Slimming World homemade chips (syn free) with salad. It was scrummy and I was so full afterwards I did not feel the need to snack on anything at all.

On Sunday we stayed at home and cooked another Hairy Bikers recipie: Old Fashioned Chicken casserole for our dinner. We all had porridge for breakfast (though I am still struggling to enjoy this and prefer the fruit with yoghurt).

I must confess on Sunday night I was a bit down in the dumps and was also on my own so scoffed approx 50grams of butterkist sweet popcorn. I do hope this isnt going to come back and haunt me when I get on the scales on Thursday.

Today I have been very very good so hopefully I have made up for this popcorn scoffing episode.

After today I have 2 full days to go until my next weigh in. What will the scales be telling me this week? I am determined to get my 1/2 stone award this week so need to have lost at least 2lb.

I hope you all had nice weekends.

Aspartame. What is it and is safe to consume?

There has been a lot of Press recently about aspartame and the potential dangers of it so I thought I would do a bit of research into it to find out a little bit more about it. The reason for me being interested in aspartame is that it is contained in Muller lights and other low fat/sugar foods which I have started to consume since being on my diet and it is also in diet soft drinks such as diet cola etc.

What is Aspartame?
Aspartame is an intense sweetener, approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar, which has been used in soft drinks and other low-calorie or sugar-free foods throughout the world for more than 25 years. It is also referred to as E951.

Safety Evaluations
In the UK Sweeteners and all other food additives are tightly regulated and may only be used once their safety has been rigorously assessed.

Aspartame was first approved in the UK in 1982 following the review of its safety by the UK’s Committee on Toxicity, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT), a committee of independent experts that advises the Government on the safety of food chemicals. This was reaffirmed in 1988 by the European Commission’s former Scientific Committee on Food (SCF).

Following the publication of a number of anecdotal reports, which cast doubt on the safety of this sweetener, the SCF reviewed more than 500 papers published in the scientific literature between 1988 and 2001 on the safety of aspartame, including studies supporting the safety of aspartame and others pointing to potential adverse effects, which concluded, in 2002, that there was no evidence to suggest a need to revise the outcome of their earlier risk assessment or the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) previously established for aspartame of 40 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day (40 mg/kg bw/day).

A study published by the Ramazzini Foundation in Bologna, Italy, in July 2005 claimed to have shown that rats given dosages of aspartame equivalent to the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) may develop tumours. EFSA assessed the study and raised a number of concerns regarding it. They concluded, that ‘there is no need to further review the safety of aspartame nor to revise the previously established ADI’.

The Agency supports the conclusions of these reviews and also reiterates that all approvals of food additives should be kept under review as and when new scientific information becomes available. As part of its systematic re-evaluation of all food additives mentioned above, EFSA has started to re-evaluate the safety of Aspartame (see link below for further information). As part of this, EFSA announced a call to all stakeholders requesting the submission of any available documentation on aspartame.

Intake of Aspartame
Like many food additives, the safety assessment for aspartame has led to the setting of an Acceptable Daily Intake, or ADI. This is an estimate of the amount of an additive that could be routinely consumed every day over a lifetime with no appreciable health risk. In the case of aspartame, the ADI is set at 40 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. This is equivalent to 2800 milligrams for an average British adult. For an average 3-year-old child the amount is of the order of 600 milligrams.

The ADI applies to all sections of the population, including children and infants from the age of 12 weeks. The only exception is for people suffering from a rare genetic disease phenylketonuria (PKU) (see below).

It is not necessary, however, for each person to calculate their intake of additives in order to make sure that they keep within the ADI. Indeed, it would be extremely complicated and time-consuming to do so. Instead legislation on food additives specifies the categories of foods in which aspartame can be used and the levels that can be added.

These levels are set after considering food consumption patterns and the likelihood of exceeding the ADI, combined with knowledge of the amount that is actually needed in the food to have the desired sweetening effect. In the case of aspartame, an adult would have to consume 14 cans of a sugar-free drink every day before reaching the ADI, assuming the sweetener was used in the drink at the maximum permitted level. In practice most drinks use aspartame in combination with other sweeteners so that the level is considerably lower.

Labelling
As well as the general requirement for foods to carry a list of food additives and other ingredients, products containing sweeteners such as aspartame must show the statement ‘with sweetener(s)’ on the label close to the main product name.

Foods that contain both sugar and sweetener must carry the statement ‘with sugar and sweetener(s)’. In addition, foods that contain aspartame must be labelled with a warning ‘contains a source of phenylalanine’. This warning is specifically to aid individuals who suffer from phenylketonuria (PKU), so that they can avoid such foods (see above).
Source: The food standards agency

Conclusion
It seems from reading the information above provided by the Food Standards Agency that you need to consume a large amount of aspartame on a daily basis to be at any health risk. However it is concerning that it can cause some types of cancer if a large amount of it is consumed.

My personal conclusion/view is that in my current circumstances I am happy to continue to consume foods containing aspartame but at the same time I will be aware of the amount of it I am consuming. I do not consume 14 cans of diet drink a day (in fact I probably consume about 5 cans of diet drink a week and the maximum amount of Muller light I consume is 3 x pots a day so I know I am not consuming a dangerous amount. It has made me more aware of what foods contain and I will be studying labels more in the future. If I cut out aspartame from my diet I would struggle to find a substitute for it and Muller Light seem to be my comfort blanket at the moment (my chocolate and crisp substitute). Once got used to my lower calorie intake then I will look at other foods that I can consume instead of Muller Lights etc and so avoiding aspartame but for the time being I don’t think I need to panic.

What are your views and opinions on aspartame?The link below will direct you to useful websites with more information on aspartame.
http://www.aspartame.info/links/links.asp

24 Hours after weigh in and why I am even more determined.

It’s over 24 hours after weigh in and I still feel positive and on track to loose all this weight. I keep referring to the picture which is an image of what I look like based on my current weight and what I could look like if I weighed 7 stone less and that picture gives me hope and determination to get through this.

Its my 40th birthday in June and it would be so nice if I was slimmer than I am now for my birthday. We are also hoping to go on a beach holiday this year and if we do it would be nice to wear a swimming costume or bikini without feeling that everyone is looking at me saying, cor look at the size of her.

People who know me would probably say that I am a confident person. Well I am on the outside but on the inside my insecurities are eating me up (get the pun)!! Most of these insecurities are about my weight so this is another reason for having to loose this weight. If I ever go out somewhere special I try on at least 5 outfits before deciding what to wear (I am sure slim people do this as well) but I hate looking at myself in the mirror. I don’t like what I see and so I avoid looking in that mirror unless it is necessary. It’s the same with photos. I don’t like what I see. I am sure that when some of the weight has gone I will feel better about myself and my confidence will improve. Any of you reading this blog who are also overweight I am sure will be able to relate to this.

Because of my confidence and because I hate looking in the mirror and hate having to look at photos of myself and because I have a gorgeous little girl who I love very much. I will loose this weight and I will be healthy again. I have so much to live for.

And the Good News is………

I LOST 3.5lb!!!!!! and yes I am very happy. I know what I need to do now and if I can eat similar foods and quantity to what I have consumed this week every week then I will be on the road to slim.

I was one of the biggest loosers in my Slimming World group this morning so I was very happy. Something must have clicked last week and I plan to continue in the same way this week. If I loose 2lb next week I will have lost 1/2 a stone so that is my target for next week. Woohooo 🙂