Thursday, 31 October 2013

Halloween Treats that Don’t Mean a Weight Gain



Copyright: Alexandria Ingham

I’m posting a day earlier than normal. In fact, I’ve just switched my schedule over from my writing blog that is usually updated on a Thursday—that will be updated tomorrow instead if you follow both!

I just had to get this post up today—I’ve wanted to do it for a few days but only just had the chance to make these delicious Halloween treats. Last week I posted about handling Halloween without a weight gain, so here are a few ideas.

Banana Ghouls and Tangerine Pumpkins

 Pumpkin Oranges and Banana Ghosts

I think this is doing the rounds but I love it! They’re so simple. All you need are some tangerine oranges and celery sticks to make the tangerine pumpkins. The celery sticks act as the pumpkin stalks.

For the banana ghouls, chop a banana in half and turn so the pointy side is facing up. Add two small chocolate drops for the eyes and then a larger one for the mouth.

They’re really quick, simple and healthy!

Monster Mouths

Copyright: Alexandria Ingham


I’ve had fun making these. They’re quick and delicious and just need apple slices, peanut butter and marshmallows.

Just chop an apple into slices—you’ll need two slices per mouth. Then place 1tsp of peanut butter on the slices of apple and enclose mini marshmallows in between them. I chopped the larger marshmallows into thirds and then into four to make teeth for my mouths.

You can switch the marshmallows for slivered almonds if you prefer them.

Chocolate Mousse Graves


Copyright: Alexandria Ingham


Want chocolate for your Halloween treats? Well, try these chocolate mousse graves.

The chocolate mousse is probably the trickiest bit—if you want to cheat, go out and buy a mousse. I like to make my own.

Ingredients:
75g dark chocolate
4tsp cocoa powder
4tbsp hot water
2 eggs (separated)
1tbsp caster sugar

Method:

1.       Melt the dark chocolate over a bowl of simmering hot water.
2.       Mix the cocoa powder and water to make a paste and then add to the melted chocolate. Remove from the heat.
3.       Beat the egg yolks and add to the chocolate and mix together. Place back on the heat to thicken.
4.       Whisk the eggs whites until stiff. Add in the sugar and beat until glistening.
5.       Remove the chocolate from the heat again and fold in the egg whites.

Pour the mousse into small dessert bowls, glasses or espresso cups—it makes up to six.

Sprinkle with some chocolate sprinkles or sugar balls in green and red to give a grass/mud look. For the headstone, just break a chocolate digestive biscuit into quarters and use writing icing for the RIP. Place so it sits in the mousse.

So, what do you think? Don’t you just love Halloween treats that won’t make you gain loads of weight? Some of these you can indulge in throughout the night, whenever the kids reach for their sugary treats.

Do you have any Halloween treats that are healthy? Feel free to share them or add a link to your own post in the comments below.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Dealing with Weight Loss Over Halloween



Get ready to lose weight this Halloween

Losing weight over Halloween may seem impossible. There’s sweets everywhere, not to mention the toffee apples in store!

If you have children, you’ll probably take them Trick or Treating too, which just adds to the sweets in the house. How do you control yourself? How do you deal with weight loss over Halloween?

It IS possible.

Trust me, it IS possible. I did it last year and I’m going to do it again this year. Here are a few tips for losing weight over Halloween.

Think About the Type of Sweets You Have

You want to have sweets for the Trick or Treaters who come to your door. They get really tempting for you, though, right? And what happens when you don’t get as many people as you thought?

Think about last year and the amount of people who came along. Do you really think you’re going to go through more chocolate and sweets?

Then think about the type of sweets that you have. Instead of getting those fattening ones, buy ones that are fairly good for you. Small multipacks with the individually wrapped sweets are great for tracking the amount you actually eat.

I tend to keep the wrappers of those that I’ve eaten, so I can track exactly just how many I’ve eaten.

You could offer healthy options instead of sweets. You may even become known as the house that doesn’t have sweets so children stop coming, saving you the hassle of having to buy in sweeties for other kiddies in later years!

Place the Sweets Far Away

We keep the packet of sweets by the door. This stops me being tempted by the yummy chocolate, sugary treats or anything else that is there.

The thought of getting up just to get a sweetie is usually enough to put you off doing it. Humans are lazy in nature and will do as little as possible, especially on an autumn night.

The only time you have to worry about dealing with your weight loss over Halloween is when you need to go to the door.

Go Out for Halloween

Don’t get any sweets in and go out for Halloween. We did that a few years ago and it really helped keep the need for sweets in the house to a minimum.

If you want to stay in but don’t want to answer the door, keep the lights to a minimum. You could watch a movie in bed, have a small lamp on to read a book or stay in a room at the back of the house. You could just have the lights on and not answer the door but you could face annoyance from your neighbours or the kids in the area the next day!

For those with kids, dealing with weight loss over Halloween is great. You can take your kids out Trick or Treating so you don’t have to get sweets in for the other kids in the neighbourhood, since you won’t be in when they’re going around.

Get Your Children to Hide Their Sweets

Convince your children to hide the sweets that they get. It stops you from munching on them but means they don’t eat all of them at once.

Of course, you could say no to Trick or Treating, but do you really want to be the only parent who doesn’t let their kids go out.

Another option is to take them somewhere for Halloween. There are often parties held or special events in local areas. This will limit the amount of treats they bring home with them, allows them to get dressed up and will mean that they can enjoy the whole night.

Remember that you can have a few treats and still deal with your weight loss over Halloween.

Do you have any tips for dealing with weight loss over Halloween? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Image and content copyright: Alexandria Ingham. If you would like to use the photo or content in this post, please ask for permission.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Weekly Weight Loss Catchup -- Weeks 49 to 51

I'm sorry! I've been really useless at getting my weekly weight losses up.

I had to go to a different Weight Watchers class for the last two weeks, which has thrown me off a little but it is no excuse.

So, here are my posts at Bubblews:

http://www.bubblews.com/news/1294638-weekly-weight-loss-weeks-49-and-50

http://www.bubblews.com/news/1343032-weekly-weight-loss-week-51

I'm just half a stone away from goal and it's so exciting. I was recently asked by my Weight Watchers leader to submit my success story for a chance to be involved in some local PR. I may get to meet Patsy Kensit next week, since she's one of the Weight Watchers Ambassadors. That's really exciting to think that I could get that after this really long but worthwhile journey.

I'm back to my normal class on Tuesday but one week a month I'll be at the Monday classes. I have university tutorials on a Tuesday night now but that is not going to stop me from getting weighed and finding out how far I've come.

How is your weight loss going? I hope you're having success!

Goal Setting Tips: Best Way to Keep Weight Loss Motivation


Business have them so what are your weight loss goals?

If you have a lot of weight to lose, like I did, you’re probably staring at the figures. You’re wondering if it will ever happen.

I wondered that the first time and so have many more. Now, I say I had a lot to lose—when I started, I weight 14st 4.5lbs. My final goal weight is 10st 6lb, so just under 4st to lose. There are people who have 5st, 10st and even 20st to lose.

Knowing that, it can be difficult to keep the motivation week after week, especially when you’re doing it the slow healthy way.

I’m about to give you some goal setting tips to help you along the way. I’m about to teach you the best way to keep your weight loss motivation.

Stop Focusing on the Big Goal!

It’s so easy to become fixated on that big goal. I knew I wanted to lose between 3.5 and 5st. You get drawn into it and just think how long it is going to take you.

That’s where many people struggle. They see how slow it is and start wondering what the point is. So, stop focusing on it!

The biggest of all goal setting tips is to set mini goals along the way. Set the goal to reach your next half a stone. Set a goal to get into the next dress size down. It could even be to lose 5% of your starting body weight.

There are lots of mini goals along the way. I’ve had various half stone marks, the big 25lb mark (and I’ve got the 50lb mark in mind at the moment), and dropping into the next stone bracket.

They don’t all need to be about your weight. Set weight loss goals for your body measurements or getting into the next dress size. These are great if you stay the same or gain weight one week. You can take your measurements or try on old clothes and see how close you are to those goals.

What Are Your Reasons?

Why are you losing weight? Everyone will do it for different reasons and there’s no wrong or right reason—whatever motivates you. My reasons were for my health, because I hated the way I looked and felt and I wanted to be a good role-model for my daughter.

Setting reasons is a really important step in these goal setting tips. When you have a bad week, you can look back at your reasons and remind yourself why you’re doing this.

These are goals in themselves. If you don’t like the way you look, your goal is to get a look that you do like. If you’re worried about your health, your goal is to reduce the risk of various illnesses that are linked to obesity.

Make Them Difficult but Realistic

You don’t want goals that are really easy to achieve. You won’t have to put that much effort in and you won’t feel like you’ve really gained anything from it. At the same time, you want goals that you can realistically achieve.

There’s no point saying that you’ll lose 10lb in a week. It’s not realistic or healthy! You should lose between one and two pound per week on average. Some weeks you’ll only lose half a pound while other weeks you may lose three or four. Your first week you may be lucky enough to lose half a stone (I know people who’ve done it) but don’t expect to keep that up every week.

Make your goals difficult to reach so they’re worth reaching but something reasonable. Two pound a week is a reasonable goal but is difficult to maintain every week—that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try though! However, keep it in mind that it is difficult so you’re not overly disappointed if you don’t reach it.

Put a Time Limit on Your Goals

My last of my four goal setting tips is all about setting yourself a time limit. It’s fine saying that you want to lose 5st but how long are you going to take to do it?

I decided near the end of the summer that I wanted to reach goal by Christmas. I worked out how far I had to go and then whether there was enough time. There definitely was and that’s what my mind has been set on since.

It’s better than just having the number in mind. I stay focused each week and don’t let myself slip. I’m more motivated than ever before because I really want to reach that goal. I’m not letting anything stop me from losing this last half a stone I have left.

Those are my goal setting tips. I find them really important to keep motivated whenever I have a bad week.

What are your goal setting tips? How do you keep the weight loss motivation? Share your tips and stories below in the comments. I love to hear from other people!

Image by Phillie Casablanca

Friday, 11 October 2013

Boost Your Weight Loss with Small Changes



Boost your weight loss by making small changes. Don’t think that’s possible? Actually, that’s the best way to lose weight!

Making small changes means that you’ll lose weight and keep it off afterwards. Isn’t that better than all that yo-yo dieting?

Here are just a small number of reasons why small changes are better.

You Won’t Feel Like Your Dieting

Don’t you just hate it when you start losing weight but you have to give up everything you love?

Depending on the diet, you could have to give up pasta, bread, meat (yes, some diets cut this out) and even cooked food—have you heard of Madonna’s crazy diet? Your body starts craving the things that you’re so used to eating.

You try not to give in but guess what—you do! And then you blow the diet completely.

By making small changes, you slowly cut down on the bad stuff and add more good stuff to your diet. Your body doesn’t reject the process and you’re less likely to crave stuff. Sure, there are times you’ll crave the chocolate (trust me!) but you won’t feel the need to give in—or completely blow the diet!

You won’t feel like your dieting in the end. It’s a liveable plan that you can enjoy!

It’s Sustainable Afterwards

You more likely keep the weight off after you boost your weight loss. Isn’t that great?

That’s what everyone wants, right! No more yo-yo dieting. No more limiting everything for a few weeks to just gain it all and more afterwards.

By making small changes, they become habit. You’ll start adding them to your normal life afterwards instead of going back to old ways. Imagine having the figure of your dreams for the rest of your life.

Be Healthier While You Boost Your Weight Loss

Making big changes at once isn’t good for your body. That’s why you don’t find it easy or successful. Losing weight should be healthy and making small changes makes that possible.

It also prevents the yo-yo dieting, which really isn’t good for the body.

You may think that the weight loss is slow but think about how long it took you to gain it—it definitely didn’t happen overnight! It should take just as long to come off. Remember that you are doing this for your health and not just because you look good.

You Won’t Notice the Changes

Boost your weight loss by making changes that you don’t notice or forget happened. After a few months, the changes become habit and you forget what it was like beforehand.

It’s really easy to go about your day without even thinking about old habits. You’ll forget all about the hard parts of the diet (even liveable ones have hard parts) but still keep the weight off afterwards. You won’t even think about healthy eating as it all comes natural to you.

It’s Not as Daunting

If you were told that you’d have to give up all carbs, would you really think it was possible? Sure, people do it for diets like the Atkin’s Diet but does that mean they find it easy?

It can be really daunting to start. But by making small changes it’s not and you really will boost your weight loss. You can take it one step at a time, wait to get that step right and then move on. Dieting works at your pace and your motivation.

Stop focusing on big changes and boost your weight loss. Did you make big or small changes to lose weight? Share your stories in the comments!