Rosemary Conley Portion Pots
From my teens right through to my late thirties I had always weighed the same - just over 9 stone, and despite giving birth to 2 sons and 2 daughters I returned to my normal weight post pregnancy each time. Then something happened in my late thirties that changed this - I gained just under a stone in four years. At first I thought it was because I had developed ME and was less active than before, but many of my friends who were of a similar age to myself then began to experience the same thing.
At first I wasn't too bothered as I was still within the normal BMI for my height. However I soon began to wonder if a stone would become two, and I was concerned as my ability to exercise was limited by the ME, and I didn't want to put extra strain on my heart which is badly affected by the disease. Added to this my ancestors were all very large, and so genetically I am programmed to blossom!
I tried Slimming World once but I feel very strongly that life is too short to diet, so although I did lose the weight it was causing me to become obsessed with food which I had never been before. I was dreaming all day of my sins, and was delighted when I could use them up on a chocolate cream bar or a creme egg, which I never really ate on a daily basis before! I did lose the weight but it crept back on! I also tried Diet Chef which is excellent, and, although I don't use it now, it did teach me portion control and is ideal if you want to learn this as the meals are delivered. It takes away choice but long term is far too restrictive.
So I began to think of another strategy that would enable me to gradually reduce this weight and more importantly keep it off.
I came to two conclusions thanks to an excellent website at www.foodfocus.co.uk. This innovative and free website allows you to lose weight safely and in a controlled manor by charting your calories on a daily basis, balancing protein and fat with carbohydrates. It also enables you to chart your exercise, and this then is factored into your calorie allowance for the day. A few days of charting my intake showed me that my portion sizes were slightly too large, and that I had been eating about 50 calories a day more than I actually needed to stay the same weight. Of course if you do this for a year the result is that you eat 18250 calories more than you need, and this represents four and a half pounds in weight gain. As I put this weight on between the ages of 36 and 40 I soon realised that this was the cause. Also as my youngest child started school in the year I was 37, I actually did less exercise that year onwards as I wasn't walking to playschool at all any more as well as to school. This meant I was doing less exercise on a daily basis. It wasn't rocket science, but I was amazed how such a small change could make so much difference especially as 50 calories is nothing - only half a slice of bread!
Here Come The Portion Pots!
So what I did was to look at portion sizes rather than to diets to just tweak what I ate, and to do this I purchased a set of Rosemary Conley Portion Pots from her website.