We get through an awful lot of pasta in our house; partly due to the fact that it’s a free food on Slimming World (dried pasta, anyway), and also it’s one of the boys’ favourites! A pasta bake is always a great idea; you’re able to just throw everything in and have a family dining experience with it. Take the dish to the table, and let everybody tuck in!
Tinned tuna is really quick and easy to add to a pasta bake, and as strange as butternut squash sounds to accompany it, it’s really quite nice! I use sour cream in this tuna pasta bake to make it a bit creamier, but you could make it syn free by using Quark or the like instead.
Did you know that doctors and researchers now accept that exercise doesn’t help you lose weight? This is a significant change from the advice that everyone, from fitness gurus to the NHS, has been giving out for years. You were supposed to exercise more and eat less, and the two always went together.
Only we now know that the advice wasn’t based on evidence. The push to ensure that all medical information is evidence-based has overturned quite a few accepted truths, but none so entrenched as the “diet and exercise” mantra. Even NHS websites contradict each other, with the ones that have recently been updated giving the new message that only controlling your calorie intake will help you lose weight.
That doesn’t mean that exercise isn’t good for your health – it’s one of the key ways to ward off type 2 diabetes. But it does mean that if you want to lose pounds, going to the gym for an hour and then coming home and over-eating is not a sensible way to go about it.
The Weight Reduction And Regain Rollercoaster
There are several reasons why exercise won’t make us any slimmer in the long term.
One is that extreme and exhausting exercise regimes allow us to continue eating higher levels of calories, when in fact we need to be cutting down on portion sizes. Then when the weather means we don’t want to exercise, or we can’t afford to renew our gym membership, we haven’t changed any of the habits that made us overweight in the first place, and the pounds are soon piling back on.
We now know that it takes about a year after a significant weight loss, for the body to settle down and stop thinking it’s been hit by a major famine and needs to eat everything in sight.
What’s important, therefore, is increased exercise as part of a daily routine that you don’t even think about, like getting off the bus a stop earlier, or walking for short trips when you’d usually use the car. Things that you are likely to continue after the “diet” regime is over. Same with the changes to eating patterns – you need to make changes that you can live with forever. Otherwise, you’ll never get off the weight loss rollercoaster.
The Body Adapts To Extreme Exercise
Among the many studies that have shown no link between exercise and weight loss, some have also pointed out a possible negative role for excessive exercise. As we know, when the body feels threatened it tends to act to protect itself. And when extreme exercise is experienced, the body may make adjustments elsewhere, reducing how many calories it uses for other activities. So it’s possible your resting calorie consumption may fall, counteracting all that effort jogging around the park.
Exercise Is Still Vital For Our Health
Don’t give up exercise because of these findings. It is the most important activity we can do to maintain our health and cut the risk of stroke, heart attack, dementia and a myriad of other diseases. Just don’t expect it to take the weight off – you’ll need to restrict calories to do that.
I love a good curry, and my slow cooker chicken curry seems to be mighty popular amongst Slimming World followers! I’m guessing, because it’s quick and easy, and you can just put it on and forget about it. I do like to cook a curry on the stove sometimes though; the smells that fill my kitchen from the spices are just delightful.
This particular chicken & potato curry recipe involves grinding of spice seeds; you could just stick them in a mini hand blender, but doing it by hand with a pestle & mortar equals extra body magic! Kind of 😉 Also, this recipe is completely guilt free as it contains zero syns.
It’s been a few months now since I reached target; just over three of them, in fact. It does actually feel like it’s been longer to be honest. I haven’t shared an update since becoming a target member so I thought it was about time I got my thoughts down on paper; well, virtual paper! I was going to say, I can’t remember the last time I went to weigh in dreading getting on the scales, but that wouldn’t be entirely true. The truth is, I’ve been really struggling for most of the year already, and it’s almost March! Read more
January; the most popular month of the year for people to decide they want to lose weight, or to get a bit fitter and healthier. I certainly know that was the case for me a couple of years ago when I decided to join Slimming World; but, my main focus at that time was just to lose weight.
During my weight loss journey I haven’t really exercised; with the exception of taking up running for a few weeks and then life got in the way, and I haven’t really done any since. This year though, I want to focus on getting fitter. I pretty much have the healthy eating down to a tee now; most of the time, anyway! We all want need to let go once in a while, right? Read more
I do love my slow cooker but admittedly, I don’t use it as often as I mean to. One of my favourite dishes that I always make in the slow cooker is a stew. I’ve been fancying something a bit different to a beef and vegetable stew, so I bought a gammon joint, and then just randomly chucked loads of ingredients in to make this smoky gammon stew; it turned out lovely! Perfect for a cold winter day. It’s also completely syn free on Slimming World!
I think last week’s weigh in had to be my favourite one ever; I reached target! It took a few days for it to sink in, but I didn’t really go overboard in celebration like I might have expected to… In actual fact, I was still on plan for most of the week. I did have a Subway for lunch on the day of weigh in, but it was the first thing I’d really had off plan.
I don’t usually eat heavily on a weigh in day, but I decided that I had my target range to ‘play’ with, so it didn’t matter so much. Of course, it doesn’t mean I should do it all of the time, which I won’t; I just won’t restrict myself so much on a weigh day any more! Read more
Christmas is upon us, and that means lots of festive food consumption is underway! Though for a lot of us, I think it has been for a couple of months already, as seasonal products seem to enter stores earlier and earlier these days.
One of my favourite Christmas foods has to be a warm mince pie, with lashings of double cream; not so good for the waistline, but mighty tasty! I usually make my own mince pies with shortcrust pastry, but this year I decided to use filo pastry instead; mainly to cut down the syns*! They are still really good though, especially fresh from the oven when they are warm and still crispy. Read more
Last week I had fairly mixed emotions after my weigh in. On the one hand. I was happy because I had another good loss of 2lb; on the other hand, I was a little frustrated because I only had that half a pound left to reach my target. I didn’t let it put me off though; if anything, it made me just that little bit more determined! I’ve had plenty of half pound losses before, so surely I could do it this week?
I was on plan for most of the week. In fact, I guess I was on it all week. With it being Children in Need last Friday, we usually have some nibbles to watch it with but I did plan ahead and made some low syn sausage rolls, some syn free hummus to have with veg sticks, some low syn mince pies, and some of those mini cheese squares that are half a syn each. Read more
It’s definitely that time of the year right now, where I’m eating a lot of soups. Sometimes I will just open a tin for convenience (though not very often these days, as most have syns with following Slimming World) but I don’t think there’s any soup better than home made soup. The smell of it bubbling away on the hob, and the delicious flavours we can create depending on our mood.
I usually make a pot big enough that it does 5 or 6 bowls, or freeze it so I have got some ready for when I actually can’t be bothered to make any. Because the pepper in this roasted pepper and carrot soup is roasted, it gives a lovely charred flavour to the soup along with the sweetness of the carrots.