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  • Writer's pictureCYS

Thoughts and some useful hints about WEIGHT LOSS

Updated: 5 days ago

Having been a yoga enthusiast since my early 20s, keeping in good health has been my focus throughout my adult life and keeping to a good weight for my height and build is part of that.

Eight years ago I got a horrible condition called Polymyalgia Rheumatica. I became so ill that I was admitted to Perth Royal Infirmary not at all well and was put on 6Omg daily of steroids. It took away the all-encompassing pain and stiffness but as the months went on I gained more than a stone and a half in weight despite not eating any more than my usual healthy diet.

A year on, a really nice and helpful GP in the surgery told me my blood sugar was up and I had steroid-induced diabetes. I was appalled. He said he could give me tablets for it but it would give me this and that side effects.

So I told him sweetly where he could put the steroids and that I would deal with the situation myself – fortunately we both laughed. I stopped the steroids straightaway and immediately replaced them by taking daily doses of Liquid Curcumin and I am absolutely fine despite having been told by a consultant rheumatologist that I would need to be on steroids for the rest of the life! Not so as it turns out.

Re the weight, I had much to do to get back to my ‘fighting weight’ and have learnt a lot along the way, as detailed below and which I hope may be helpful -

  • We should be the same weight when we are older as we were when younger.

  • If you were overweight as a young person, you need to be honest about that and consider what is a good weight for you.

  • It is foolish to think it’s ok to be a stone heavier at 45 than you were at 25; it just becomes 2 stones heavier at 55 and will usually get worse as the years go on.

If you are overweight you are at more risk of the following –

  • Type 2 diabetes.

  • All causes of death including cancers

  • Joint problems in the legs affecting mobility/falls

  • High blood pressure

  • Coronary heart disease and stroke

  • Gallbladder and GIT (digestive system) disease

Things to do to keep to your correct weight

‘I don’t want to be fat so I don’t eat very much’. This is my personal war cry and it’s actually not nearly as complicated as it is often made out to be in the media. You don’t have to have a fancy diet or not eat this and that – you just need to halve what you eat

  • We don’t need 3 meals a day – two small meals is sufficient especially as you get older.

  • Only eat off a small side plate – that really works.

  • Obviously we should be eating a mostly plant-based diet with plenty of vegetables, salads, beans, nuts, seeds, etc. but we also need protein to maintain good muscle mass as best we can. We also need dairy produce and a good, balanced diet is what we should be aiming for.

  • Eating in a ‘window’ during the day really helps. If we eat during 8 hours of the day, or less, it means we give the gut a 16 hour+ rest – this is really important for our health.

  • I don’t eat after around 4 or 5pm in the evening and that works for me. I sometimes have a small, peeled apple in the evening and some Kombucha for my gut health.

  • If we keep to the above basic thoughts, it means that if you want a chocolate (one or two, not a whole box), or a cake from time to time, that’s absolutely fine. Even a few chips occasionally is going to be ok – just not every day.

The thing is by reducing the amount that you eat you are re-training your appetite and your stomach will reduce in size so there will come a time when you are actually perfectly happy with a small amount of food, your weight will drop and it’s happy days.

Fasting – when I had to lose the steroid weight the only way I could do it was to fast one day a week. I chose Mondays, so I would eat something light on a Sunday late afternoon then on Mondays just drink water or perhaps have a few grapes or tinned prunes; get through the day and then by late afternoon you have done the 24 hr fast – it passes quickly. I lost a clean pound each week which was really encouraging and then over the weeks and months I came down by the required stone and half and have stayed there.

Suggested meals for weight reduction, maintenance and a healthy life

First small meal of the day

A few prunes or small amount of protein – either some eggs or grilled bacon or oven cooked sausage, with wholemeal/spelt toast.

Second small meal of the day – late afternoon or early evening

Protein - meat, fish, eggs; dairy produce; vegetables, salad – a little carbohydrate, some fresh fruit. The odd small biscuit/cake is going to be fine too. You don’t need to deny yourself the occasional treat – just not too many of them.

June Mitchell

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