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Excuse Number 1: Eating healthily is too expensive. I can buy a bag of chips for £1!

The most common excuse we hear for not eating a more healthy, balanced diet is that healthy foods are too expensive. Unfortunately, companies are making junk food cheaper and cheaper and of course, the price of fresh produce is often more expensive. But the saying ‘you get what you pay for’ really couldn’t be truer than in this instance.

I saw an advert last night for a large supermarket chain selling a 1kg bag of oven chips for £1! It’s no wonder people reach for them first, especially those with a family of mouths to feed. But you buy the chips for £1. What do you get in the suggested portion of 60g? 6% fat, 259 calories but only 10% of your RDA for carbohydrates. Where’s the nutritional value in that? At the same supermarket, you can get a 2.5kg bag of potatoes for 40p more. Lets look at the nutritional value in the suggested portion of 100g; 0.3% fat, 70 calories and over 15% of your RDA for carbohydrates.

So, you spend 40p more but get more than double the weight, a tiny fraction of the fat and calories, plus more of your RDA for carbs. It’s a no-brainer!

We’ve come up with a healthy menu which can be made from only 20 items! So your food shopping bill will decrease along with your waistline.

 

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A Weight Loss Boost Diet – Not for the Faint Hearted!-

Learn how to control your cravings

 

This is a sample of the document we give to all of the subscribers on our mailing list. Please email us at luxcoaching@hotmail.co.uk to join our mailing list and receive this Control Your Cravings document in full. You will also receive our newsletter, plus information on any special offers we are running. We never sell or give your details to any third parties.

New Look

You’ll be seeing a new look across our blog in the coming days. We think it reflects us and our message better, and we hope you like it as much as we do! We have taken a fair bit of time off to work on the new look, so we appreciate you all sticking with us during that time. Thank you!

Monday Myth Buster: Running on the Treadmill Creates Less Stress on the Knees than Running on the Pavement

Running is a fantastic workout, but it can play havoc with your knees! Many people believe that running on the treadmill creates less stress on their knees than running on the pavement but, unfortunately, that’s not true.  Todd Schlifstein, the clinical instructor at New York University’s Medical Center says ” it is the force of your body weight on your knees that creates the stress, so it is the same whether you are on the treadmill or pavement”.  He suggests mixing up your cardio workout to include cycling and rowing, both of which put less stress on your knees.

If you really can’t do without running, try the following tips:

  1. Increase the incline on your treadmill, or run hills where possible. According to Livestrong (www.livestrong.com), a 3% incline can reduce the stress on your knees by up to 24%!
  2. Buy trainers with built-in shock absorbers, or gel insoles for your regular trainers.
  3. If you are running outside, run on grass where possible.  The softer surface provides less of an impact for your feet, which means less shock on your knees.

What does your cardio workout include? Do you mix it up or do you have a particular favourite exercise? If you’re a runner, will you be trying any of our tips? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Friday Funday: Winner Announcement Plus Ideas for an Active Weekend

We hope you’ve all had a good week, but thank God it’s Friday, right?

Our Friday Funday winner is…………(drum roll)……………..

Lyndsey Broadhead!!! 

Congratulations! You’ve won a £5 Amazon voucher! Enter for next week’s Friday Funday competition by liking us on Facebook. There’s a link to the right of this post.

Although we are all looking forward to the weekend, it’s important not to let your hard work slide. Here are a few tips for staying active this weekend:

  1. Go out for a walk with your family or a few friends. Try somewhere you’ve never been before, or haven’t been to for ages, and explore! If it’s an open field or beach, act like a kid again and have a run around. Initiate a game of tag or stuck in the mud, no matter how old the group is!
  2. Catch up with a friend. Challenge them to a game of squash or badminton and put them through their paces. Or you could join them for a walk. If you have kids, take them with you in their buggy- pushing a buggy whilst walking increases calorie burn by up to 25%
  3. Take the kids swimming. Do competitions like who can do the longest handstand, have races and just have fun! It’s great if you can get a few laps in too, but if swimming isn’t your thing, try having a running race in the shallow end. The water creates lots of resistance so it works your muscles even harder than regular running.

Have a great weekend and we’ll see you next week!

Thursday Tip of the Week: Get Up and Do It! No Excuses!

Get up and do it! No Excuses!

Right now, I bet you’re sitting down. At your desk, on the sofa, on your bed. Stand up! Right now! Walk across the room, or downstairs, or to the coffee machine. I’ll wait for you to get back…

How many of you actually did that? If you did, well done! If you didn’t, why not? It’s tiny decisions like these that you make every day that have got you to where you are now, and will get you to where you want to be. Make the wrong one, and you’ll still be overweight and unfit 10, 20 years from now. Make the right one, and I guarantee you’ll be looking and feeling better in a matter of weeks or months.

Any activity is better than none at all. Even that tiny little walk you did just now is better than nothing! If you did that every day, it would soon add up to a fair bit of walking. Start small, with manageable activity, and build up as and when you can.

Here are some things you can do right now to add to your activity level (After that little walk of course!):

  1. Leg curls. Sit up straight, with your feet flat on the floor. Now raise your lower legs at the knee until they are at right-angles to your body. Hold for 3 seconds and lower. Do as many of these as you feel comfortable doing. This will work your thighs, calves and core.
  2. Butt clenches. Sit comfortably in your chair. Now tense the muscles in your bum, hold for 3 seconds and relax. Repeat as necessary!
  3. Thigh clenches. Ok, this one might need to be saved until you get home, especially if you are in a shared office! Put a cushion or pillow between your legs, and squeeze it with your thighs as hard as you can. Hold for 3 seconds and then relax. Repeat at least 20 times.

If you do 20 repeats of each exercise, that’s only 3 minutes of your day gone. Do this every day or at least every other day and you’ll be able to feel the benefits very soon. This is just your starting point, something you can do whilst sitting down. To get maximum results, you need to be doing a bit more, but we can work up to that!

Check back tomorrow for Friday Funday! We’ll be announcing the winner of our weekly competition! To enter, just like our Facebook page. There’s a quick link on the right of this post.

Wednesday Question Time: I don’t like water, what should I drink instead?

This question comes to us from Rachel Lewis: I don’t like water, what should i drink instead?

Water is one of the most important aspects of losing weight. Follow your diet and exercise routine every day for a week. Then follow it, and drink 2litres of water every day and see and feel the difference.  It’s a fact that if you’re not staying hydrated, you’re not going to see the numbers fall on the scales as quickly as you’d like.

Water reduces fluid retention, encourages the regular removal of toxins and waste, speeds metabolism and increases the effectiveness of exercise. Not to mention the wonders it does for your skin!  So unfortunately, even if you don’t like water, it really is necessary.  Many people find drinking water to be boring, as it has little or no taste. Here are a few tips to make sure you’re getting enough water, but making it a bit more interesting too:

  1. Add sugar-free fruit squash. On average these have roughly 4 calories per 250ml, so in your recommended 2 litres per day, you’ll be getting 32 calories.  My favourite flavour is lemon, as it’s great to have hot or cold (especially useful for people who, like me, aren’t lovers of tea or coffee).
  2. Add tea or coffee.  As a majority of your cup of tea or coffee is water, it does count towards your daily allowance. Limit coffee to 2 cups per day, or less if you can. Try fruit and herbal teas, as these have added benefits besides keeping you hydrated. Green tea has been proven to aid weight-loss, mint tea aids digestion, camomile tea promotes relaxation, ginger tea aids the treatment and prevention of colds.  Try to have your tea and coffee black with no sugar. If you need the sweetness, add sweetener to your coffee and a teaspoon of honey to your tea.
  3. Add a slice of fruit. Lemon, lime and orange are great additions to any water. Allow the fruit to sit in the glass for a few minutes before drinking. If you like a slightly stronger fruit taste, squeeze the juice into the water.  This can be quite a strange taste for some people to begin with but you get used to the taste very quickly and the nutritional benefits are worth it!
  4. Keep your water in the fridge or add ice. Studies have shown that people drink more water when it is chilled, than at room or tap temperature.  Drinking colder water also boosts your metabolism, since your body recognises the colder temperature and works extra hard to regulate your body temperature again.

DO NOT drink fizzy drinks, soda, pop, whatever you want to call it. Even the diet types! They are full of sugars, aspartame and the carbonation can play havoc with your digestive system.  Try one week of cutting out these drinks, choosing water instead (use the tips above) and see how much better you feel. You’ll find you have much more energy and lots of your cravings will have disappeared! Try it, I dare you!

Tuesday Choose Day: Choose this Healthy Pizza Instead of Your Usual!

 

When asked their favourite fast food, 62% of Americans said pizza! Unfortunately most of the pizzas around have thick crusts, stringy cheese, oily meat…making you hungry, right? Well, if you are one of the ones who would put pizza at the top of your list (it’s definitely pretty high up there for me!) then don’t despair! There are ways you can make your calorific pizza into a healthier, lighter option.

If you’re eating pizza at a restaurant:

  • Choose the thin crust, preferably wholemeal if it’s available. ‘I don’t like wholemeal!’ I hear you cry. Well, the taste is almost unnoticeable once you factor in the toppings
  • Share a pizza with a friend, and get a salad on the side. You still get your beloved pizza, but half as much as you would normally eat, and a nice nutritious salad to boost your vitamin intake too!
  • Ask for low fat cheese instead of mozzarella. Just 1 ounce of mozzarella contains 6g of fat, compared to 3g of fat in reduced fat cheddar!
  • Stay away from pepperoni and salami. In some places they fry these in oil before putting them on your pizza. In other places, the meat is so cheap, it’s mainly fat anyway! Choose ham or chicken instead. If you like the spice, ask for tandoori chicken or add peppers or jalapenos.
  • Load your pizza with vegetables. Tomatoes, green peppers, sweetcorn, baby spinach. This will increase the nutritional value of your pizza and fill you up more quickly.

If you’re eating pizza at home:

  • Make your own! You have no idea what goes into the pizzas you get from the supermarket. Next time you’re there, check the food label on your favourite pizza. Shocked by the fat value? Check out the salt value! People underestimate how simple and inexpensive it is to make your own pizza at home! Here’s a recipe I brought home from my holiday in Italy:
    Ingredients:
    500g strong bread flour (I use half white, half wholemeal. It tastes like white but contains less carbs)
    1 packet of dried yeast (you can use live yeast if you can get it, but the dried version works just as well)
    300ml warm water (you can use 100ml milk and 200ml water if you prefer a richer taste)
    pinch of salt
    Directions:
    Pour the water into a jug or bowl (the water should not be hot, or it will denature the yeast. You should be able to put your hand in it comfortably and it not feel cold)
    Add the yeast to the water and stir until it has dissolved (it may fizz if it has been activated already)
    Measure out the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the pinch of salt.
    Slowly, a bit at a time, add the water and yeast mixture to the flour, stirring all the time.
    It should form a soft dough. Knead this for 10 minutes to activate the yeast, then cover with a cloth and leave for 30mins-2 hours to rise. It should roughly double in size.
    Knead the dough again and either roll out into a circle, or mould it into your baking tray (I prefer the latter, as it is a lot quicker and easier, and gives a more rustic look).
    Once you’ve put your toppings on the pizza, it usually takes about 25 minutes to cook in an oven at 180C, but this will depend on the toppings you use.

    Experiment with toppings. I once used a can of chopped tomatoes as the sauce, but it was too wet and made the base soggy. Yuck! So the next time, I tried it with a sieved tomato sauce (passata) and it worked perfectly! Half the fun is in the experimenting!

  • Use the same principles for eating at a restaurant- keep the crust thin, include a salad, use low fat cheese, load the pizza with vegetables, and stay away from oily meats
  • If you’re really pressed for time, you could try my super-quick pizza, ready in a few minutes! The secret is to use a pitta bread or folded tortilla wrap as the base. Then add your toppings as usual, and cook under the grill for 7-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. If you use this method, only use cooked meat on your pizza, as the cooking time won’t be enough to fully cook raw meat.

So how do you think the recipes sound? Have any of you had your own faux pas with pizzas? If you try either of the recipes, do let me know, I’d love to hear how they turned out for you!

Today is a New Day

Today was a really important day for us at Lux Coaching, as we officially re-branded as a weight loss and weight management specialist.  Our company name has been changed to Lux Coaching & Weight Management, and we have a new website: http://www.happy-healthy-weight.co.uk, as well as a new Facebook page.
We hope this re-branding will help us to break into our niche successfully and enable us to concentrate more on the areas of life we are most passionate about- health, diet and fitness.

Please feel free to check out our website and let us know what you think. We’d really appreciate any feedback you have! And don’t forget to sign up to our free weekly newsletter to find out how to beat your food cravings!

Here’s to the future! May it be a happy, healthy and successful one for us all!