THIS week we’re talking food – such a HUGE subject and one about which there is so much confusion. Food gets labelled good and bad, naughty or “a treat”, a syn and any number of other things. So It’s no wonder food has all sorts of special meanings for many of us. We give it a status when all it should be is fuel to keep us in tip-top condition to help us live our busy lives.
So I thought I’d enlist the help of one of our Slimpodders this week. Sammie Axton is such a great example of how you can change your relationship with food, lose weight and keep it off. She’s been eating consistently healthy for almost four years and has lost more than five stone and continued to effortlessly keep it off!
She’s gone from a near size 20 to a size 10 and stayed that size so Sammie’s top food tips are well worth paying attention to, I reckon!
Firstly, I asked Sammie what six foods she avoids putting into her shopping basket now and this was her reply (it’s lovely!): “I avoid Diet Coke and sugar in my cereal. I also avoid chocolate digestives (despite eating those by the packet once!), meat pies, Frosties and ready meals.
“The funny thing is I didn’t even realise I don’t buy them any more until you asked me about it! I didn’t actually think I’d stopped buying things completely but I have! Wow, that’s amazing.”
As you can see, Sammie doesn’t consciously deny or deprive herself of anything. She says if she has a small craving for something she’ll have it and then the craving disappears.
What Sammie eats each week
Next I asked Sammie for just six things she eats regularly each week. This was a big ask so I extended it a bit!
“Mackerel, chicken, eggs, spinach, broccoli, Ryvita and tomatoes. I sometimes eat potatoes, pasta and rice but my portion size has naturally reduced so much – I only eat about 5 pieces of pasta now where that used to be at least two handfuls. I now have Weetabix instead of Frosties for breakfast if I don’t have time to have eggs. I often have eight eggs a week!
“There is no effort involved in any of these healthy choices. It has become a habit to eat good food. I’m not rich by any means, but I can afford to eat good food because it really costs no more than all the rubbish I used to eat.
“In fact it probably costs me a lot less as I don’t eat ready meals or treats, which used to cost a lot of money. Plus I eat a lot less than I used to as my portion sizes are about half what I ate before. I do believe that the expense of food is actually a bit of an excuse.
“You can eat beautifully and healthily without spending a lot of money and if you get the whole family eating the same food you’re not making two meals. I obviously give my little lad more potatoes, pasta and rice than I have, but he has the same meat and fish.”
So that’s Sammie’s recipe for success!
Sammie’s way of eating is very similar to the principles of Mediterranean-style eating and I’m a great fan! I’ve been doing it for years – before it even had a name!
Sammie’s super before and after pix
So here’s the seven principles of Med eating
It’s generally low in starchy, easily digestible carbs (sugary stuff!) but packed full of nutrition. Many clinical trials have shown that not only do people get multiple health benefits from this way of eating, but they are also good at sticking to it (unlike those who go on a low-fat/calorie controlled diets) because they find it easy and enjoyable.
And when you have a Slimpod programme you’ll find it even easier because you’ll actually WANT to eat like this and really enjoy it.
ONE: Minimise bread, pasta, potatoes, processed cereals, and rice— they’re a combination of refined and starchy carbohydrates which rapidly turn into sugars in the blood. Quinoa, whole grains, beans, and lentils are good and fill you up too!
TWO: Cut right down on sugar, sugary treats, drinks, and desserts. With a Slimpod that’s easy!
THREE: Eat more vegetables. There are so many wonderful vegetables to choose from. I must admit I’ve become quite a veggie addict. I love stir fries and dishes with lots of colour. Broccoli, spinach, red peppers, pak choi and carrots are in my basket every week.
FOUR: Eat fruit, two portions a day is good. Go for berries, apples, and pears—unpeeled, as this is where most of the nutrients are – but don’t have too many high-sugar fruits like pineapple, melon or mango.
FIVE: Include plenty of high-quality protein such as meat, oily fish, eggs, seafood, tofu, soy and, to a lesser extent. nuts, chickpeas, quinoa, lentils. The body doesn’t store protein so you need to maintain an adequate level in your diet to avoid muscle loss. It also helps to reduce appetite. Processed meats (e.g., bacon, salami, sausages) should be eaten in moderation.
SIX: Enjoy dairy products and eat more healthy fats and oils. Until recently people thought they should be avoiding full-fat dairy products. In 2014 a review by the British Heart Foundation which looked at the results of nearly 80 studies involving more than half a million people found no evidence that eating saturated fats leads to a greater risk of heart disease. In fact, they found that people with higher levels in their blood of a particular saturated fat called margaric acid (the sort you get in milk and dairy products) had a lower risk of heart disease. More recently scientists have said if you drink full fat milk you are 46 per cent less likely to develop diabetes! So use fats! They make food taste better. They are an excellent source of slow-burn energy. And, although ounce for ounce they are higher in calories than carbs, they keep you full for longer. Adding fat to starchy food (butter to potatoes, for example), will actually slow the rate at which the starch is broken down into sugars and absorbed. Eating healthy oils (olive oil, coconut oil and avocado) also improves the absorption of the essential fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K).
SEVEN: Vinegar has been found to help reduce weight and shift deep-rooted abdominal fat. It has been shown to suppress appetite and also delays the breakdown of food into sugars in your gut. Amazing eh?!
There are a few good recipe books which follow these principles:
The Blood Sugar Diet – (ignore the word diet!!)
And new this week – The Pioppi Diet by Dr Aseem Malhotra, a colleague of mine on the All Party Parliamentary Group for Obesity. I’m a huge fan of Aseem’s work and I also support Action on Sugar, the campaigning group he co-founded. I’ll definitely be buying his book!
As you know, with Slimpod programmes we don’t tell you what to eat and what not to eat. However, over the past 10 years, my experience has led me to believe people are so confused about food that I feel some guidance is always welcome!
So my Boot Camp friends, your task for this week and beyond is to follow the principles of the Med way of eating. Invest in one of the recipe books but there’s also plenty of free info available online if you want to find out more. Post up pictures of your plates in Slimpod Club!
Sammie has also kindly offered to answer any questions you have. Simply tag her in Slimpod Club or write the question below this blog and I’ll make sure she sees it. Have a great week!
37 thoughts on “Boot Camp week 3 – your guide to consistent healthy eating”
Very interesting reading. I have been really trying to keep myself mindful of what I am choosing to eat. Since my breast cancer diagnosis I have become more focused, but how foolish is that, so sensible to acknowledge food as fuel. thanks
Hi Jo Stinton, there’s also a book called “take breast cancer off the menu” which also covers prostate cancer as these two issues belong in the same category as these organs belong to the lymphatic system. This is just one useful book.
Great advice; well done Sammie!
Thank you Hannah ?
Thank you. Excellent advice ?
Great to see I’m already eating like this – even on holiday. Good advice about the book x
Well done Lynn!
Many thanks – I’m very inspired by this. I’ve ordered The Pioppi Diet book. I, too, am discovering lots of veggies (some I’d not even heard of). Am also cooking more from scratch. Fabulous.
Great stuff Jenny!
Very interesting and informative I am sure this will influence my choices in future
Brill advice and well done Sammie x
Will pass that on!
Thank you Judy ?
I found this advice to be very helpful and try to stick to a diet including more protein
Frances, if you have a Slimpod then you won’t need willpower, just trust your Slimpod and your unconscious. You’ll be wanting to eat healthily.
Hi, I’m still confused! If there is no calories in diet coke and lots of people who have lost weight still drink it… why is it not good practice to drink this??? By the way I’m trying to wean myself off of this by drinking carbonated water and have reduced my sugar intake drastically. The weight is coming off albeit slowly and more importantly staying off and wonder is it because of my age (70) and my energy levels have slowed right down as well?
Hi Joe, there are lots of studies to suggest diet drinks aren’t good for you. this is just one of them: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/11/23/diet-drinks-may-preventing-losing-weight-study/
You’re doing exactly the right thing with the water!
Glad you have been able to lose the weight Sammie. However I think that most people in the UK know what to eat to get the weight off and keep it off. And there is not one person in the UK (Or anywhere else come to that) who would intentionally eat junk food, knowing it was resulting in weight gain and ill health. People who simply say, “Eat Less or eat healthily and move more, then the weight will come off” have absolutely no idea because if it were that easy, we would have all lost the weight by now. . Clearly something is stopping us all. And that’s emotional eating. ie using junk food as a drug to change the way we feel. I am guilty of this behaviour and I think it is the answer as to why there are so many people who are overweight.. They are emotional eaters. On the rare occasion that I have lost weight, I have been in a good place emotionally speaking and I believe everyone needs to be in a good place too to lose weight. Either that or they need more emotional support than diet clubs can offer or have to find a great deal of strength from somewhere to not need their drug any more. Would you say you were in a good place or are in a good place? When all said and done, if weight loss were just about the food, nobody would be overweight but I believe that the food side of weight loss is the tip off the iceberg.
I have always been an emotional eater and agree completely it is easy to say eat less cut the junk exercise more but when your brain is telling you to eat these things to keep happy it is very difficult to ignore this thats why i found slimpod worked for me so well it helped to retrained my brain not to need this kind of crutch to cheer me up. I have whilst losing weight been in a very sad situation with the breakdown of my marriage however, with the help of my slimpods and my love of martial arts i remained focused on losing weight and didnt fall back into my old habits. Now i am in a much more positive frame of mind and happy and still listening to my slimpod and enjoying all the foods i used to ignore for the quick chocolate fix
Hi Sammie, Thanks for your reply. Yes I definitely think emotional eating is the main reason for weight gain . I equate emotional eating to taking drugs, or like I recently told my friend, see it as an alcohol drinking wine or something to drown his sorrows. Junk food is our alcohol. So definitely really hard to simply eat less or eat healthily and move more. If it were so easy, nobody would be overweight. I have actually got a Slimpod on my other phone. But it didn’t work for me. Perhaps I was too doubtful and queried too much, how it could possibly work. Maybe that blocked it from helping me. How long did it take the Slimpod (Which Slimpod) to retrain your brain not to need that crutch. Really sorry to hear about the breakdown of your marriage. It’s great that the Slimpods and your love of martial arts helped you to keep focused and from falling back into old habits. It must be wonderful to be in such a positive frame of mind and be hay too. Do you think you will always have to listen to the Slimpods or will a time come when you don’t have to? Wish I could enjoy all the foods I am ignoring and stop using my junk food drug once and for all but I’ve struggled for so long now, I don’t think it’s possible. 🙁
Hi Shirley i noticed a difference in my eating habits within 21 days of using it…nothing drastic at first just realising id not eaten a biscuit or instead of a biscuit i fancied some fruit subtle changes at first but still changes. I actually dont feel the need to listen to my slimpods anymore but i still listen as trevors voice helps me settle and sleep so i just continue to listen for that reason now…i do love food but have found that i actually enjoy the food i used to avoid like vegetables and fruit i like to experiment with different flavours and i also find im not always thinking about food or when my next opportunity to eat will be. I started listening to drop 2 dress sizes and after a while i had a few different ones including chillpod which i do listen to reegularly…i listen to the all but tend to always go back to drop 2 dress sizes..hope i can help x good luck and try again its been fantastic for me x
Hi Sammie, Thanks for your reply. So it took 21 days to notice a difference in your eating habits. Yes those subtle changes are a good start aren’t they. My problem however was discovering how “Simple” Trevor’s messages were and wondering how they could possibly work. Also if something doesn’t work for me as soon as I think it should, I tend to give up too quickly. So needless to say, Trevor was short lived for me. It’s good that you don’t feel the need to listen to the Slimpods any more but good to hear that Trevor still helps you settle on a night. I’m no good with vegetables and fruit either. Usually I only eat Strawberries, Raspberries, Bananas and Pineapples. Veg wise I only eat carrots, onions, peas and swede. So my veg and fruit intake is very limited. I think I need to start experimenting more with fruit and veg. I think I’ve got, “,Drop two dress sizes” too as Chillpod. Trouble is they are on an old phone and it would need me to charge the battery up, if it will, then transfer the pods onto my newer phone if I were going to try with Trevor again. I wonder if it’s worth trying again or if my mind has too many doubts and that’s what stopped it working before. I know one thing. Diets aren’t the answer. I have lost weight a couple of times over the years with SW and WWs but if they worked long term, I would not have gained all the weight back on again. I have struggled with my weight for almost 25 years now. God knows, it’s so hard to deal with. Perhaps I should see if I can charge the battery in my old phone. Thanks again. x x
Shirley its definitely worth trying again try not to put so much pressure on yourself and do your daily 5 positives that definitely helped me keep motivated in the beginning…keep me posted how you get on…im always happy to help if i can.
The Harcombe Diet (ignore the word diet) is very helpful too. Once you read the book you will see what perfect sense it makes!
Yes I agree Christophine. I love Zoe!
I have the Blood Sugar Diet book and for a while found it helpful and I lost about 10 lbs using the recipes. As per usual though I gradually slipped and lost motivation and regained all the weight again. I feel better if I don’t eat bread and wheat but I miss it – there’s something about a cheese and pickle sandwich. I think what Sammie has pointed out is that it’s all about portion size and not everyday. I think this is what I am going to take from this – I can have a cheese and pickle sandwich just not everyday and maybe with 1 slice of bread. Thanks for this. I have ordered the Pioppi diet book.
Hi Beth, Slimpod will help you keep on track and control your appetite too.
Thank you excellent advice
I am going to give this type of eating plan, maybe combined with my book the Obstacle it will work for me.
Well done Mary!
I like your thoughts Sammie, your meals are very simular to mine… X
Thank you Lisa x