Weight management

20 November 2013

Personal trainer Lucy Wyndham-Read answered your weight management questions.

AXA PPP healthcare asked: Hello and welcome to our live chat about weight management

Alan asked: Hi Lucy. I am a 46 year old male who (embarrasingly) is overweight by about 2.5 stone. I am 5' 7" and weigh about 14 stone. I was wondering if you could give me some simple dietary advice about how I can lose the weight steadily and incoporate some low(ish) impact exercise into my daily life style?
Thank You. Alan.

Lucy Wyndham-Read answered: Hi Alan, the first bit of advice is we should only ever look at losing between 2-3lbs of weight a week, this is a healthy amount and the second bit of advice, is believe you can do it and you will. For exercise I have always been a big fan of walking as it is the most natural exercise for us, it is low impact , works all our joints and all our major muscle groups. I suggest you aim 5 days a week to do 10 minute walks, the other idea you could do is invest in a pedometer  and aim daily to clock up 7 thousand steps, ( sounds a lot but you would be surprised how quickly they add up). Nutrition is key not only in weight loss but also feeling our best, eat plenty of vegetables, pulses, lean meats, fish, and fruit, the most important thing is avoid processed food and if you can always prepare food yourself. 

Kaz asked: I am 46 and working in an office, so most of my day is spent sitting down.  Over the last 5 years I have put on a stone in weight , which i feel is around my middle. What changes can I make to my diet and fitness routine that will help to reduce / target this area? Thank you.

Lucy Wyndham-Read answered: When we sit for long periods our metabolic rate slows down , so we daily  start burning less calories,  if we sit for 20 minutes with little movement its slows down, so a good tip for anyone sat at a desk all day is every 20 minutes, stand up and even if it is just walking from one end of the office to the other , this will keep you calorie burn higher. Also make the most of your lunch hours and go for a short brisk walk, just 10 minutes, then you will have toned up, burnt off excess calories and increased your energy levels for the afternoon ,lunch if you can always make your self and aim for a healthy option winter time, soup is great with a wholemeal pita and then a a piece of fruit. Lucy :)

AXA PPP healthcare asked: Hi, a Q from Twitter; Is it true that drinking lots of water can help you lose weight?

Lucy Wyndham-Read answered: Weight loss ideally should be done through being active, eating well and definitely drinking plenty of water, this should ideally be 6- 8 glasses a day, but you would not need to drink more than this. It is about balance, but always keeping hydrated is a good aid in fat loss but not that alone. Lucy

Anonymous230 commented: It's a good idea to drink plenty while eating as that will make you feel fuller quicker. That's right isn't it?

Lucy Wyndham-Read commented: Yes it is a good idea to have a gall of water with every meal and snack, definitely, and often we can confuse thirst for hunger, so by staying hydrated we can prevent this.

Anonymous215 asked: Hi Lucy - there's lots of talk about the 5:2 diet. Is it a good way to lose weight or is it dangerous to only have 500 calories on the diet days?

Lucy Wyndham-Read answered: This is an interesting one as Yes I think 5:2 is a healthy way to help people lose weight and maintain weight BUT what is important is that people make the right food choices and eating clean and lean means on your fasting days you can eat well, say for example breakfast could be a egg white omelet with mushrooms and spinach, a mid day snack apple with thin spread of peanut butter, lunch grilled chicken breast with half a sweet potato, dinner roasted cherry tomatoes and courgette with a small portion of brown rice. Yet if you are following it and eating processed foods than it will not give enough good quality foods. It should not be followed if you are under your recommend BM1 or if your are pregnant. Lucy

Anonymous215 commented: Thanks Lucy, that's really reassuring to hear and some brilliant recommendations for foods to eat on the diet

Lucy Wyndham-Read commented: There are so many lovely foods that we can eat, if we eat from fresh :)

AXA PPP healthcare asked: Hi another one from Twitter; What’s the best way to stay motivated when you’re trying to lose weight?

Lucy Wyndham-Read answered: Motivation is what drives us forward, and often this gets over looked, the best way t keep motivated is to step away form the weighing scales, and focus on your fitness ( as one big side effect of fitness is weight loss) so every week set a goal of doing 4 short quick workouts, each week you do this you are on track for reaching your weight loss goal. Try this workout, 20 star jumps, 10 squats, 10 lunges, 10 press ups and 20 sit ups, repeat twice) your Motivation will be sky high the next week as you will feel so much fitter and lighter when you do them, so to make them a little harder do 3 rounds.

AXA PPP healthcare asked: Q from Facebook; I was thinking of trying the low GI diet. Would you recommend it?

Lucy Wyndham-Read answered: This diet was originally created for people who suffered form diabetes as it helped to keep blood sugars under control. So following the Low GI is a good diet as it helps keep your blood sugars stable and energy levels raised.
As with most diets it goes back to basics, and generally, the less processed a carbohydrate, the more likely it is to have a low-GI score and the more processed like white bread, biscuits ect the higher the GI which again we would always be best to avoid these foods, so yes I think this is a safe and healthy diet to follow.
AXA PPP healthcare asked: Hi, a question from Twitter; I’ve been told my son isn’t overweight but has ‘puppy fat’. At what age should this disappear?

Lucy Wyndham-Read answered: This varies with every child and it is so important with children not to put them under pressure to look a certain way and they are still growing in to their bodies up to 15 and beyond. It is just about making sure they are active and getting plenty of the right foods, for kids now day's it is hard for them as life is more sedentary and we can not blame them for that. So a good idea is get them all involved in designing a fun family fitness game , so if your son likes football he could create a game you all play. kids have the most amazing imaginations and simply moving more will help any puppy fat disappear, plus the more active children are a a young age the more active they are likely to be as an adult. 

AXA PPP healthcare asked: Q From Facebook; I read that using weights is a good way to lose weight. Is that correct?

Lucy Wyndham-Read answered: Yes it is and also using our own body weight, so for example doing squats, lunges or press ups, are great as they increase our active muscle fibres,  which requires our body to burn more calories, and the more toned your body is the more you will burn, so the easier it is to maintain a healthy weight. So whether it is pushing weights in the gym or doing squats at home it will help. This is why we should always combine fitness with diets, as you get results so much faster plus, being fit is good, in fact essential for our health. Lucy

AXA PPP healthcare asked: Another Q from twitter; Why do you think some people are successful at losing weight and others just keep failing? What is the magic ingredient to weight loss?

Lucy Wyndham-Read answered: This is a good question, and everyone is completely different and some people may struggle with weight loss for medial reasons but on the whole, it comes down to one thing SHEER DETERMINATION, and knowing that is dose not happen over night you have to work at it, but when you understand   living a healthy lifestyle can be fun and tasty at the same time it then becomes easier, now days we know  shorter workouts are best, so we can all find the time, nutrition is about simply making the right choices and right sizes. when you start this journey you feel amazing and you can keep going, so I personally think the magic ingredient is determination,believing and not giving up. Lucy

AXA PPP healthcare asked: Question from Twitter; I’ve just read a good question on a forum – is it more socially acceptable for a man to be overweight than a woman. What do you think?

Lucy Wyndham-Read answered: In this day and age I think Women are under more pressure about their appearance and we see in the media unrealistic images of women. So my view is that we should all aim to be our healthy weight as that says to the public we respect our health and have discipline and take care ourselves. But it is a very interesting one and keen to look at that :)

AXA PPP healthcare asked: Q from Twitter; I’ve been dieting for three months now and am doing really well. I’m beginning to panic about Christmas though. Any tips to make sure all the weight doesn’t pile back on?

Lucy Wyndham-Read answered: Firstly well done for doing as well as you have, and at least you know you can achieve this so that is great, so instead of panicking lets just set up a plan set up and allow a couple of days off so definitely Christmas day, where the lbs can creep on is all the biscuits, mince pies and sweets, so try to avoid these and why not try this recipe and make you own healthy Christmas cookies, use a banana, mash it up so it is runny, then add hand full of oatmeal, then a few dried cranberries and sprinkle of Cinnamon, then spread this on a plate so it is in the shape of a cookie and cook in microwave for 90 seconds, (1 banana makes two cookie) so this is a great Christmas healthy snack to have instead of a mince pie or chocolates. Plus everyday in December do 20 Star jumps, this will keep that calorie rate burning higher :) Lucy