How to lose weight

exercise more eat less

There’s a lot of tosh written and spoken about losing weight. Bunkum. I like old fashioned words – they have a strength. Tosh. Bunkum. Piffle.

Watched a TV doco last night that debunked all the crazy theories and told it like it is. Worryingly, it started with a lean looking middle aged gent who actually had more than his fair share of internal (visceral) fat, which can be dangerous. In other words, he had no muffin chops or love handles or rolls of Michelin tyres, but he was fat (on the inside).

So, here’s how to lose weight, and keep it off… each will not do enough on its own, they work together, and over time.

– count calories (average intake 2000 a day, for women; slightly more for men)
– it has nothing to do with metabolism, it’s just about calory intake and the right exercise
– skipping meals does not work, as that just gives you huge hunger pangs for high calory foods; eating 3 times a day, but less intake, works.
– use smaller plates: shifting from 12 inch to 10 inch will reduce your intake by 22%
– avoid buffets: they lead to 30% increase in food intake
– protein makes your stomach feel less hungry for longer (tests were done on meals with the exact same calory intake but with different amounts of protein) – lean ham, eggs…
– skimmed milk and low fat cheeses help wrap around fat and double the amount that passes through the body
– making soups out of the same food intake makes you feel less hungry for longer (tests were done with exact same food, one as a soup, one as individual meat and veg) as it fills the stomach for longer
– exercise obviously is important, but fat burn off does not happen immediately, it continues to happen, and you can lose more weight as you sleep that night than from the workout itself
– the best exercise is consistent, walking, cycling, swimming, over a good period of time (at least half an hour) many times a week
– building movement into your working day helps tremendously (take the stairs, walk around as you are on the phone…)
– all people seriously underestimate how much food they take in (food diaries only record 60% of what is actually eaten); a lot of snacking occurs, which is easily forgotten. Stamp this out
– small switches in behaviour make large effects over time: black coffee has a third the calories of latte, 2 apples are much better as snacks than a quick packet of crisps, etc.
– cool it on the alcohol intake – alcohol is (by definition) essence of sugar.

So that’s it really. We live in a high calorific society, and most of us have a sedentary lifestyle (we sit a lot). This was not how it used to be, but how it is now. High calory options scream at us from every corner. It takes a lot of self will to lose weight, when the society we live in is predisposed to us gaining it.

I’m hovering around 85 kilos; and remember my fit weight (when I was in my early 30s and playing a good standard of sport) was in the early 70s. So let’s see if I can get back to this “fighting weight” in this (my 50th) year. Will keep you posted, and if you want to join me, dear reader, or have any other advice or comments, happy to hear from you …

Photo credit: mash up from ‘2000 calorie‘ & ‘dog walking

Are you Blooming?

are you blooming?

My other favourite speaker from today’s TEDxPerth was Tasha Broomhall and her talk about mental health – Are You Blooming? It was extremely personal for me, as my Mum suffered with terrible mental illness problems all the years I knew her; but Tasha deftly handled the subject, with some light hearted touches despite the serious subject matter. Here are my notes…

1/5 Aussie adults experience mental illness this year. Some are short term illnesses, some are long term, year after year.

48% of us will experience mental illness in our lifetimes. If it’s not you, then it’s your partner, your child, your best friend. It is part of all our lives.

You can’t diagnose it by looking at people. Examples include – substance use disorder, depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, psychosis. Most common mental illness is anxiety disorders. 14% experience it every year. We may call it “stress”. It can be debilitating, yet there is a lot of help out there. Too much shame and self stigma. People do not want to disclose.

To stay mentally well, check yourself out, and if you are not well, get help. It does not have to be everyone’s business, but it should be yours. Lifestyle balance used to be 8-8-8 hours of work, rest and play.

Bloom = things we believe in are the things we do

Find four. Four things a week that nurture you.

Wake up and review, not just on those two days a year.

Show compassion to others that experience distress; look after yourself and take charge.

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