Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Weight Loss Wednesday - Lack of Sleep and Weight Gain

Weight loss Wednesday
Pic from Pinterest

Hola! Those of you who are eating healthier/dieting, hope it's all going well and that you haven't been distracted too much by any leftover Christmas chocolates or biscuits.  This week on the scales at Chez Dee has been zero loss (I'm looking on the positive side by thinking it wasn't a gain!) but I think it's down to the fact that I wasn't having three meals and two snacks a day like I was the previous week but having a brunch, a snack and then dinner three days last week.

As I work shifts, some days I will start 1.30/2pm and on those days I get up slightly later than my usual 5.45am wake up time when I am working in the morning by getting up around 9am.  By waking up later and having to wait 30 minutes after taking my thyroid tablet before I can have something to eat, it is mid morning so I will have a brunch type meal as I won't have enough time to make breakfast and then a lunch as well as get ready for work in the space of 3 hours.  I've decided that to be able to eat three meals/two snacks a day I am going to have to wake up earlier (boooooooo!)  on my late shift days so that I am able to take my tablet, wait the 30 minutes before eating and then be able to have a breakfast and lunch before heading to work.  Since there have been studies that a lack of sleep can lead to weight gain, I will need to start going to bed earlier so that I'm getting my full 7-8 hours sleep a night.

Weight Loss Wednesday
Pic from Pinterest

Sleep deprivation can cause many problems including weight gain, irritability, poor concentration and wrinkles, so there is truth in the saying "catching up on your beauty sleep".  The reason a lack of sleep can cause weight gain is that while we are sleeping our bodies produce hormones; ghrelin and leptin.  When we don't have enough sleep too little leptin is produced (this is what helps us feel full after a meal) so we will eat more as we aren't getting the satisfied feeling that we would normally get when we have the correct levels.  Ghrelin controls hunger so we produce more of it when we haven't slept enough, this leads to overeating as we feel hungrier than if we had a full night's sleep.

So how do we get enough sleep?  Having a bedtime routine will help; wind down by having a bath or shower, don't drink too much before you go to bed or you will be up making trips to the bathroom all night, go to bed at the same time and sleep for the same amount each night.  Experts say you should start to wind down 30-60 minutes before you go to bed and cut out technology; so no checking Instagram/Twitter, playing video games, etc.  They also suggest cutting out watching tv in bed but I actually find that it sends me to sleep but everyone is different.  If you are lying in bed struggling to get to sleep the smell of lavender can help, spray your pillow with a lavender scent or use a couple of drops of essential oil; other things you can try is deep breathing exercises (inhale through your nose for a count of four, hold it in for seven seconds before exhaling through your mouth for eight seconds.  Do this a few times and you will slowly feel yourself drift off) or if it has been over 15 minutes that you have been tossing and turning for then get up and do something like reading a book to see if that will help send you off to Land of Nod.

How to get more sleep
Pic from Pinterest

How many hours of sleep do you get a night? Do you have a bedtime routine?

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Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Weight Loss Wednesday - Move Your Body - 7 Things To Burn Calories Without Going To The Gym

7 things to burn calories without going to the gym
Pic from Pinterest 

Well my first week of healthy eating went ok on the whole; I ate more fruit and veg, a couple of meatless dinners, recorded what I ate on my FitBit app and just drank water or green tea. The exercise part however, not so good. I work 11 hours on a Monday so I'm more likely to run a bath once I've got home than run a mile or two after work.  I just want to have dinner, watch some tv, have a bath and go to bed on those nights but after wearing my FitBit have noticed that I am more active during that day than I originally thought.  Looking back over the Mondays that I have worked since wearing one I have usually managed to hit the 10k mark most days or thereabouts.  

During the rest of the week I've not fared any better, working until 7pm 2/3 nights per week means I find it hard to be arsed motivated after work to do anything.  We do have an exercise bike but the belt snapped when Mr M was using it last week so we are waiting on a replacement being sent, so that's that idea gone out of the window for the time being and it's been far too cold to go out for a walk in the evenings as well.  I did manage to get a couple of decent walks during the week and so my weekly total was 58,650 steps, I would have had more but on Sunday my FitBit was charging and I forgot all about it until later on in the day so that made Sunday's staggering step total = 3807!! Wow! I will be running marathons before I know it at this rate!

So if you are like me and want to exercise more without going to the gym, what can we do?  Well I have made a list of 7 things we can do to move our bodies without going to the gym to burn off calories: (remember the amount of calories you burn will vary from person to person as it depends on your weight and the intensity you exercise at)

Walking: Easy to do, costs nothing and if you walk for an hour you could burn 80-140 kcal.  Walk with a friend and you can both catch up on the latest gossip at the same time or if you have one, take your dog as I'm sure they won't be complaining having a longer walk.

Hula Hooping:  This is something I used to be good at when I was younger and am now looking at getting a weighted hula hoop so I can do this at home.  As well as burning up to 7 calories per minute it also helps tone your tummy muscles.

Dancing:  This can be anything from slow paced ballroom dancing (if you have been inspired by strictly over the last few months) which can burn 150-220 calories per hour, to Zumba where you can lose between 350-650 calories depending on your intensity.  Even a night on the dance floor with your friends will burn off calories but don't negate your loss by drinking fizzy drinks, cocktails, etc with their high calories.

Washing your car:  Instead of putting your car through the car wash or getting someone else to do it you can burn 153 calories by washing it yourself.

Sex: This is self explanatory! Men can burn up to 120 calories and women 90 calories in 30 minutes.

Housework: You can burn around 100 calories in 30 minutes making sure your house is spic and span.

Fitness Console Games:  Wii, PlayStation and XBox all have fitness games that you can play to burn calories such as Just Dance, Zumba, XBox Fitness, etc.

What do you do to burn off calories without going to the gym or are you a dedicated gym bunny? Let me know what your favourite non-gym exercise is as I might give it a go.

Oh nearly forgot my weight loss for the week was 2lb! Better than what I was expecting!

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Sunday, 17 January 2016

Muchacho Mexican Takeaway Review

Mexican Takeaway Aberdeen

Last Thursday I was lucky enough to be invited to the sneak peek week of Muchacho, a new Mexican street food takeaway opening in Aberdeen.  Seeing as my experience of Mexican food is limited to Chiquitos and Old El Paso I jumped at the chance to be able to sample authentic Mexican fare.  Muchacho is situated in the Rose Street area of Aberdeen and is the brain child of Elena Aspe, Lee Brandie and Darren Wilson.  While travelling, Elena and Lee loved the food so much that they decided to bring it back to Aberdeen by opening its first Mexican street food takeaway and that's how Muchacho was born!

On arrival we were served delicious mocktails (sadly we were both driving) in cute little jars and there were nachos laid out along with some fresh tasty dips for us to try, the sweetcorn one being a personal favourite as well as with most of the other people there, believe me when I say it tastes ah-mazing!  Shout out to Segundo, the chef who makes this delicious dip using the ingredients; sweetcorn, mustard, cream cheese and honey, it tastes divine. We were then given a box with three small corn tacos that were filled with either chicken, beef or pork along with some shredded lettuce, salsa and a wedge of lime.  They all tasted really good but the adobo chicken was definitely my favourite, it had enough spice to give it a kick and had a fresh, citrusy flavour to it as well.  The Guerrero beef and the pork carnitas were spicier than the chicken but not "burn the roof off your mouth" spicy, however if you have masochistic tendencies and that is your thing then you can add "Punch in the Face" sauce to your dish.  This salsa has a four chilli rating and I can only presume as I'm not brave enough to try, that this is so hot and spicy it feels like being punched in the face.

After Lee gave us the background on how Muchacho came about he invited us to order something off the menu, I decided on the adobo chicken burrito so I could let Mr M try at home since he was unable to come with me.  The burrito is made from a large flour tortilla filled with rice, black beans,  your choice of salsa (had to be the sweetcorn one for me) and cheese, if you are gluten free like me there is a naked burrito which is basically the filling minus the tortilla.  Other GF choices are: tacos with the corn tortilla, nachos or salad and for the vegetarians amongst you, there is a roasted vegetable filling.

After tasting Mexican street food for the first time it gets a huge thumbs up from me, the flavours are incredible; and along with the lovely staff that work there and the funky graffiti decor I will definitely be heading back to Muchacho for some more of their Mexican tastiness.  Next time I will be giving the nachos a try (but not the Punch in the Face sauce, I'm not ready for that yet!).

Muchacho are open 7 days a week 10am-10pm.

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Weight Loss Wednesday

Weight Loss blog
Pic from Google Images

This is going to be a new series on trying to lose some weight and to get fitter. I was going to be starting this last week but I was ill with the flu and the last thing that you want to do when you feel crappy is start a diet and get fit!

I haven't always had a problem with my weight as I was really skinny growing up and could eat anything I wanted but once I hit 23, bang!! I had to start watching what I ate more but not excessively as I was still around 8 stone 5lb (I am only 5 foot 2") and wore size 10 clothes.  I lived in London for a couple of years and on returning the weight had crept up to just over 9 stone and a year later I joined Weight Watchers in October 2002 as at 9 stone 6lb, this was the heaviest I had ever been.  I started losing weight and got to 8 stone 5 lb by Christmas which was really good and then......I never went back and gained some more weight but maintained it at 8 stone 10lb by watching what I ate.

In the Summer of 2003 I split up with my Fiancé and lost a lot of weight in a short period of time, I went from 8stone 10lb to under 7.5stone in just a few weeks and had to buy a load of new clothes as everything I had just fell off me.  I looked awful as I had bones sticking out and my psoriasis had flared up due to not eating very much.  I barely ate as I felt sick all the time and I suppose part of me felt that by not eating was something that I could have control over as I certainly couldn't control the way I felt. After I met Mr M a few months later I started to eat a bit more and got back to normal for a few years and the weight slowly crept up again to 9stone 2lb so I decided to watch what I ate more.  Then I started my first IVF treatment, everyone is different but for me, I gained half a stone with each attempt.  I'm guessing that it was the hormones that I was injecting myself causing this as I was certainly eating much healthier.  I managed to lose some of the weight before starting the next cycle but never the full amount so four cycles later I am now 10 stone 4lb and my clothes are starting to get too tight!!  I have just started Levothyroxine as it has been picked up I have sub clinical hypothyroidism which could be the reason why I can't get pregnant as optimum TSH levels for getting pregnant is between 1-2, I was 4.26.  If your TSH levels are too high then you are at a higher risk of miscarriage or implantation problems, which is where my problem lies.

Before I start cycle number 5 I am going to lose weight, exercise more and be the healthiest I've ever been so it's going to be more a lifestyle change rather than a diet as long term, diets rarely work.  Everyone knows that drink more water + eat more fruit and veg + move more = weight loss so this is how I plan to do it.  I have a Fitbit so I have started recording my water intake as well as what I've eaten that day on the Fitbit app, it lets me know how many calories I have left to eat that day so I can (hopefully) lose 1lb a week as I don't want to lose the weight too quickly as that's a sure way to gain it again since that's what's happened before.

My stats are:

My current weight: 10 stone 4lb
My target weight: 8 stone 13lb
Calorie intake 1333kcal/day
Aiming to lose: 1lb/week
Length of time to reach target: 19 weeks

I found Model my Diet which is a site where you enter your vital statistics and you will see a computer generated image of how you look now and how you will look at your target weight, you can even change your eye colour and what you are wearing. As I am only wanting to lose around 19lbs or so the differences between the now and then aren't too dramatic but if you have quite a bit of weight to lose then the changes will be more obvious.  It would definitely be a motivator seeing how you could look at your target weight so it might be a deterrent for when you you fancy a cheese feast pizza instead of a vegetable pasta dish.

The top pic is how my body looks now and the bottom one how it will look when I lose 19lbs.

Have you started a weight loss journey? If so, let me know and I will drop in by your blog for a visit to see how you are getting on and maybe get some tips too :)

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Thursday, 7 January 2016

What I Got For Christmas 2015

Do you like my new blog design? The lovely Jess from Cake Crumbs and Pages designed it for me and I would totally recommend her if you want a new look to your blog, Jess came up with a design which was exactly what I was looking for.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and here is hoping that 2016 is a fabulous year for everyone.  I absolutely love seeing what people got for their Christmas whether it's on YouTube or reading their posts, so thought that I would join in this year and show you what I was lucky enough to receive this year.

From Mr M, I got the following:

What I got for Christmas
Daisy Dream Gift Set

Bambi Pyjamas, Socks & Bunny Footsies

What was in my Stocking

From my Mum and Dad:

I also got money from them that I forgot to put on the photo

From my Cat (yes, my Mum buys me presents from my pets!)

From my Auntie and Uncle:

From my friend Nicola:

From my Brother in Laws:

My Mother & Father in Law:

I also got a couple of extra presents that I've packed away for next year, I got a Christmas Tealight Board from one of my cousins and a silver bowl with matching Tealight holders from another cousin.

What was your favourite present this year?

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