Google+ Forget dieting forever: September 2011

If you love cooking and experimenting with new recipes - you've come to the right place! Not only do we have delicious recipes - we also share our SUCCESSFUL WEIGHT LOSS story.

Friday, 30 September 2011

A walk in the hills

We took the opportunity of escaping to the hills for a couple of days to enjoy the late sunshine. The Malverns in Worcestershire were beautiful. The climb to the top was approximately 1000 feet - and what a steep climb it was. Yesterday we had a sandwich for lunch and took lots of water with us. We ended up walking around 8 miles in total - and that includes a quick wander round the town after a few beers.
We certainly deserved our pint after the walk, and descended with this in mind. Later we enjoyed a good old pub curry and some wine. Sleep was easy! Today we awoke to find our legs still working and managed a second climb right to the top. We had obviously refuelled much better, and replaced our salt adequately (suspect the curry did that, and the full breakfast). Our friend in the Chinook was showing off, and trying to get as close to the hills as he could.
We were impressed with our ability to ascend the Malverns so much quicker second time round. We completed 5.5 miles today, with half of these pretty hard going. As we have had a relatively heavy couple of days, we are going to enjoy some salads and bbq meat over the weekend.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Wednesday menu

For breakfast I'm going to have strawberries with full fat greek yoghurt and a little honey. This is one of my favourite breakfasts, as it is so filling. I will have about 80g yoghurt and top with as many strawberries as I fancy. As this fruit is going out of season, it's not quite as sweeet, so I use a bit of honey to balance this out. I think I'm going to have a sandwich at lunch time, as my other half is travelling away. With the weather being so fantastic, I am going to make the most of it and go shopping. I'll also add some extra walking into this. Take yesterday for example, I clocked up around 2.5 miles just walking between shops and gardening. It all adds up. This evening we have half a chicken marinating in a peri-peri seasoning (dry rub). I'll cook this under foil for about half and hour then remove the foil and continue cooking in the oven until it has crisped up. We'll eat this with a rocket and parmesan salad, well seasoned and coated in olive oil. There will also be some buttered new potatoes on the side, and some sweetcorn. The sweetcorn is in season, and we boil one cob that has been chopped into 4 pieces, for about 20 minutes, then serve with a dab of butter and salt/pepper. I was surprised how long the cob took to cook, but the taste is quite fresh, sweet and crispy. If I eat between meals, then I know I haven't eaten enough during the meal, and our way of eating has taught us to actually eat MORE at mealtime. Like yesterday's lunch - it was so filling that I didn't get the hunger pangs around 4pm. We just try and keep within our calorie allowance, this is our only boundary. We've set that boundary to suit OUR lifestyle. It's worked, we have both lost so much weight.

Wednesday weigh in ...

What a wonderful day. After a miserable summer, where we've had to skip between showers, today is so beautiful and fresh and....sunny. With that autumn freshness, I'll be making sure I walk everywhere today. My weigh in was successful. I've reached an all time low. Just half a pound down, but the scales have registered a new low weight. I've been eating specific things to see if they make a difference, and I suspect they do. My partner is down half a pound too. I have a feeling our weight would have been lower, but we walked to the pub last night as it was such a lovely evening. We also ate when we got home at 9pm, so we ate much later than we normally would have done. Never mind. Apart from our weight dropping again, our shapes are definitely changing. For me, I can report a waist appearing! My watch is almost able to creep round my wrist now, and my spare chin is disappearing. My partner is much the same, only his watch spins on his wrist now. In fact, he bumped into a member of his family who he hadn't seen since starting this eating regime, and his reaction was pretty amazing. Yesterday we ate the following: full fat yoghurt and fruit for breakfast, full fry up for lunch - 2 rashers bacon, 1 sausage, 1 double yoker, tomatores and mushrooms and toast, and a homemade "freezer" curry for dinner. You may think the lunch was unhealthy, but we don't have this every day, and cook with wonderful, farm fresh ingredients. The sausage had very little fat for example. As it was so filling, we didn't pick or snack on anything until we ate our evening meal - and even then we both said we were not really hungry. So, another good week, with the reflections in the mirror confirming our new lifestyle is WORKING. We do not "diet", we eat what we want. The walking is toning our lower body in a way that we would never have imagined.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Weekend here we come!

Feeling a bit under the weather with a sore throat and cold, but still hope to enjoy the weekend. It takes away the appetite, and I feel more like eating starchy foods. I get to eat my FULL calorie allowance for the next three days, and I'm looking forward to that. Today I've had weetabix with full fat milk for breakfast (200 cals), peppered salmon and new potato salad for lunch (400 cals) and a couple of biscuits with coffee (150 cals). That leaves me with 1250 cals for the rest of the day. I'm thinking what to have for dinner. We usually go to the pub on Friday, but that all seems a bit too much like hard work today. I'm sure I can drag myself there, and I suspect we will walk as the weather is dry. It's a two mile round trip, so that adds 200 calories (100 per mile) to my Calorie Bank. We may just get fish and chips from the chipshop. We always share a large piece of battered cod, as there is more cod and less batter that way. We think the fish and chips will take care of around 800 calories at most. So that leave 650 cals for me and around 1150 cals for my partner for a few drinks. That sounds a lot doesn't it, but a pint is around 280 cals.

Is my nose getting bigger?

Or is my face getting smaller. I think my partner prefers the second idea. This question arose after my partner was asked if he had broken his nose recently. A colleague of his hadn't seen him for quite a few months, and suddenly came out with this question the other day. My partner replied that his nose had been broken for the last 15 years - way before he had even known his colleague. He broke it playing rugby. I laughed and said maybe the weightloss in his face is finally being recognised. In a round about way, the question is really a compliment. His colleague probably couldn't work out why my partner's face looked different, and after a short study....spotted the broken nose. Losing weight slowly but surely is bringing a lot of strange comments. The great test will be when my partner goes to a conference in November. The attendees will be people he will not have seen since the last conference which was a year ago. By November, the weight loss should be around 3.5 stone. A big difference. So it will be VERY interesting to see what people say to him then. But for now, we have a good old chuckle at some of the comments. My last one being - have I had my hair done? Not quite as funny, but when people see you on a regular basis, they don't realise the bigger picture.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Wednesday weigh in.......

After a few days of eating and drinking everything we wanted, we have had a couple of days of "good" eating. This means we are STILL eating what we want, but we are watching the energy intake and trying not to snack. We aim to eat 500 calories less per day on our 4 days of "good" eating. Now, in doing this, we have to ensure that what we eat sustains us enough so we do not feel hungry. How do we do this - well, we eat higher fat (healthy) foods. The fat content also helps slow the metabolism of the food we do eat, so we are fuller for longer. Yesterday we had minced beef bolognese served with gnocchi for dinner. We were surprised at how high in calories the gnocchi was, but - decided on balance - that it would compliment our home made bolognese. The meal would probably add up to around 550 calories, but it was certainly worth it in taste and the fact that we were very full afterwards. We didn't get our walk either because of the rain. Our weigh in this morning was interesting too!! My partner is down 3/4lb and I am down 1/2lb. I have now officially booked my lowest weight too. My fat content is down, and my BMI has dropped another notch, so inside my fat is redistributing itself quite nicely. I did receive my first real comment on my "changing shape", in the pub the other day. Someone asked me where my midriff had gone - proof enough my shape is changing in the right direction! It's great to be losing the excess fat that I really can do without - and keeping hold of the bits I love. People have commented in the past, but it's a slow ongoing process, and our regular friends don't seem to say much, but this particular comment last week was from someone I hadn't seen in a while.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Belated update

Our weigh in on Wednesday was pleasing. Another pound weight loss for my partner, although I seemed to stay the same. However, on Thursday I weighed 3/4 lb less which cheered me up a little. We have been away for a few days, and chose to walk through the Wye Valley. Our walking route was a bit of a test, through woods, hills and muddy riverbanks. We walked for about 3 hours in total, and felt quite tired at the end of it. We rewarded ourselves with a cool drink or two at a local pub. After a long shower we made our way to the restaurant, and feasted upon a mixed grill with chips and salad. We didn't take long getting off to sleep. The next day our legs were really tired and our calf muscles ached a bit. We realised we needed to drink more water and replace our salt levels, so made time for a ham and cheese sandwich for breakfast. I find if I need salt, I can be eating something which is usually salty, and I won't be able to taste the salt. It's only once my body has replenished its salt levels, that I start to taste the salt. Strange, but true! Friday night we had a take away curry, and although we thought we wouldn't eat all of it, we did. We tucked in as if we hadn't eaten for months. In fact, this curry was our first takeaway for a very long time. We must have needed the energy. The weekend has shot by and we have managed a walk or two between the rain. We ate roast pork and apple sauce with roast potatoes, cabbage, carrots and tasty gravy. I've no idea what we will weigh next week, but right now I feel so full I could burst. The amount of food we have eaten in the last 4 days is amazing. We decided we needed to have a blow out, because in the past when we've done this it appears that our bodies let go of some extra weight. We think this is our secret to eating normally, then still losing weight. I felt my weight loss was slowing down a bit too much, and this increased intake may just help it get back on track. We'll see next week.

Thursday, 8 September 2011


Hooray for another week of success. My partner has lost another whole pound, and I have sneaked another half pound down in weight. As we are both eating normally, this is quite a miracle of sorts, and proof that small steps eventually turn into big weight losses - if you keep going like we have done. We tend to eat a lot more salads these days, but occasionally we get the urge to have sandwiches. Yesterday we had crab sandwiches, using some wonderful crab (white and brown meat mixed) from the fishmonger. I used a little mayonnaise on the bread and sliced up some lettuce. The crab was quite powerful and I suppose I didn't need to use as much as I did - about 80g per person. On the side we had some spring onions, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and - dare I say it, crisps Just a few crisps, nice and salty. I think when we go for walks there is a delayed reaction, where we eat saltier foods over the next 24 hours. In the evening we had a stir fry. Just a tub of stir fry ready made from the supermarket, which we bulked out with a few more mushrooms. We used pork tenderloin this time, rather than beef or chicken. I know we slightly deviated from our white meat only week, but I quite fancied pork. The tenderloin is very cheap, and goes a long way, it is also perfect for a stirfry. The recipe has been done before, and the result was perfect. So filling, I couldn't eat all of it either! I did take a picture, but it is a bit dark - I've put it on my blog anyway, just to give you some idea.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Today's menu

This is day 2 of our 4 days of "good" eating. That means less calories, but still having all the food we want to eat, packed with goodness and nutrition. Today I ate a boiled egg and toast for breakfast. I know when I fancy this, that I am hungry and lack salt, because I use marmite on my toast. This must have been my body's response to so much walking on Sunday, filtering through, and telling me to eat something with salt? Lunch was our gut-busting tuna, egg, cheese and potato salad. We calculate that would be around 400 calories. This evening, despite the grotty weather, we made time to go for a long walk - and clocked up about 3.5 miles. On return we were welcomed by the aroma of the chicken cooking in the oven. We bought a whole chicken from the discount store called Lidl. The cost of our chicken was £4.20. It is farm assured, and weight about 2.2kg. I checked in the local "big" supermarket, and found they were selling chicken at around the same weight for £6.00, so we had a good deal. We cut the chicken in half, and for tonight's meal, we took some peri-peri seasoning and mixed it with a teaspoon of oil and marinated for around an hour. We put this in the oven to cook while we went for a walk (one hour). Upon return, we turned the heat up to 200 degrees c and crisped it up for about 15mins. The potatoes were cooked and ready by then, and we buttered and seasoned them. The salad was simply rocket and a few left over leaves from lunch, mixed with oil, seasoning and parmesan shavings. The total cost for this meal PER PERSON was around £1.50 each...... Calories would be - at a guess - no more than 500? I hope you don't mind us not diligently counting calories, but we have a rough idea - and as we are still losing so much weight, we must be on the right track!!
So here is our home made platter for 2 - half a good chicken (which didn't shrink because of water content), a good green salad, and some new potatoes. Simple. Tasty. Delicious.

Curried grey mullet

Yesterday we ate grey mullet for dinner. This is a cheap fish, with a texture similar to bass, and does well if marinated in curry powder. We make our own mix - see earlier recipe - but you could just use any curry powder, mix with a bit of oil (add some garlic and ginger if you have any to spare). Let this mingle for an hour or so, and fry the fish as you would normally do.
As you can see we ate this with salad - strange combination, but it worked. We also had some new potatoes, which were boiled, then fried (very yummy). The yoghurt dressing was simply plain (full fat) yoghurt mixed with chopped mint from the garden, some chopped cucumber - with skin removed - and some ground cumin to taste. Just a dash of salt and pepper, tasting as you go, and you have a very refreshing dressing. It was extremely filling, and we would estimate the calorific value for the whole meal at around 350 - 400 calories. We think you would enjoy this meal, and especially if the weather is good enough to get the bbq out, as it crisps the skin up so much better.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Back to work

Ah the summer holidays are all but over. I have been unable to blog in recent days but can confirm we are both still chipping away at the weight loss.

We weighed on Wednesday as normal, and are happy to report another week of weight loss. My partner is down another whole pound and I am down half a pound. Our shapes are changing and the fat is disappearing. I think our legs are developing muscle due to all the walking we do.

Interestingly we found that when we walk for a long time - that's about 5 miles - our bodies will hold water. And that means we can weigh more when we step on the scales. We think this is down to dehydration more than anything. So after a few days of walking, and not drinking enough (again) our weight seemed to go up. But, just one day later, increasing our fluid intake, our weight stabilised then lost weight. Another couple of days later, and weight simply dropped off.

We are loving the results of our way of eating. There is no secret to it all. One of the biggest contributors to weight loss is TO STOP SNACKING. It's difficult when food is around. More importantly though, we have found we must keep hydrated and ensure our salt intake matches our level of exercise.

Today we are having a prawn salad with pasta for lunch, and as we are off out to see some friends tonight, we'll have a chilli con carne and rice. Today is one of our higher calorie days, so enjoying a night out should not affect our weight loss programme too much.
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