How to avoid holiday weight gain

We all like to enjoy a holiday from time to time, especially in the summer holiday season. Whether it’s a trip overseas, a weekend away, or spending time with family and friends at home. Taking a break from our normal routine is essential for our mental wellbeing.

However, it can seem difficult to keep up healthy habits during the break and be challenging to get back into the swing of things when you return. Delicious cuisines to taste, beaches to lay on, and cocktails to sample make it difficult to stick to a weight loss plan.

This guide, from OurPath, the first online programme to be used by the NHS to support long-term weightloss, provides tips to avoid holiday weight gain and, more importantly, successfully return to a healthy routine once you get back from the break.

1. Start the day with a balanced breakfast
If you’re not preparing your own meals while you’re away and enjoying a hotel buffet, for example, it can be easy to overeat past the point of feeling full.

However, nourishing your body well in the morning with a balanced breakfast can mean you’re more likely to stay on track for the rest of the day.

Opt for higher protein options, to keep you fuller for longer. Some good examples include:

Scrambled eggs, mushrooms and a small spoon of baked beans
Natural yoghurt with a sprinkling of nuts and seeds and a small portion of fruit
Omelette with vegetables
Boiled eggs with some cured meats/cheeses

2. Stick to three main meals a day
To avoid overindulging at one meal or having sugary snacks, try to stick to 3 main meals a day. The goal should be to include a form of protein, plenty of non-starchy vegetables, and a small amount of fat in each meal.

If you have a carb-heavy meal, such as pasta, then consider choosing a protein and vegetable-heavy dish for your next meal, such as fish with spinach or broccoli.

Do not be afraid to ask for meals to be adapted to your preferences, like substituting potatoes for green vegetables or leaving the dressing off a salad and opting for olive oil instead.

If your accommodation facilitates it, picking local produce from a market and cooking for yourself can be a fun way to stick to your 3 meals a day. Plus this is a good opportunity to explore new foods and flavours, while eating something healthy, especially if you are away for longer periods. Fresh, locally grown fruit and vegetables often taste better too!

3. Stay hydrated
Our brain often confuses feelings of thirst for hunger. By keeping hydrated, we can avoid snacking unnecessarily. Especially when travelling to a warmer destination, sweating and swimming increase the chances of dehydration.

Whether you are relaxing by the pool or exploring towns and cities, try to keep a bottle of water with you at all times, preferably in the shade! On top of this, aim to have a glass of water with each meal. Sparkling water with ice and fresh lime can be a refreshing alternative to plain water in warm weather.

4. Indulge in moderation
Holidays are a great opportunity to relax and enjoy yourself, but the key is to try and not overdo it too frequently on your trip. It’s not necessary to completely avoid alcohol and there is nothing wrong with having a glass of wine with your evening meal. However, overindulging in alcohol affects weight gain both directly and indirectly.

If you are going out to a bar, for example, try alternating alcoholic drinks with sparkling water, or have a glass of water beside you to help stay hydrated too.

Choosing long drinks is a good way to reduce the alcohol concentration of your drink and make it last longer (e.g. white wine and soda water spritzer or a single vodka and soda in a tall glass). You’ll thank yourself for it the next day too!

5. Pre-prepare
If you have a long journey to your destination try not to rely on finding suitable snacks at train stations, petrol stations, or airports. Preparing healthy snacks in advance means you’ll have something to satisfy your hunger and not be stuck with unhealthy options in cafes or shops.

Nutritious snacks that travel well include unsalted nuts, vegetable sticks, plain popcorn, or fruit. Not only is this way much healthier but also much less expensive. Having satisfying and balanced main meals will also help to eliminate the need to snack excessively.

When you know you will be eating out at a restaurant, try to scope out the menu ahead of time online. This will give you an idea of what is on offer and give you the opportunity to think about the most nutritious options. This will also prevent any last-minute decisions under pressure or influence from other peoples’ choices.

6. Keep active
You may actually find that you have more time for physical activity whilst on holiday. Trying a new activity, like kayaking or swimming, can be a good way to have fun and stay active. Going for beach walks, hikes, or strolling around local towns is a great way to explore and keep moving.

On the other hand, if you’re travelling for work, you may find yourself short on time or limited in what is available. Remember that any activity is better than no activity. Try starting your day with a brisk walk or jog around the local area, a few laps in a pool (or sea!), or even a quick online yoga class in the comfort of your own accommodation.

How to get back on track after your holiday
It can be difficult to find the motivation to get back on track after a holiday. Following these steps will help you to slowly readjust to a healthy routine.

1) Revisit your goals
Sometimes we come home feeling refreshed and ready to restart our healthy habits straight away. Other times, we feel a bit flat and struggle to get going again. In these instances, it helps to think about our goals. For example, you might be focused on increasing your energy or feeling more confident in clothes.

Start by identifying your values, obstacles, and unwanted actions, then determine your goals from here. Don’t forget to write these down and put them somewhere you can see them every day, such as a post-it on your bathroom mirror. Setting goals is an important step to help you focus.

2) Rebuild habits by starting small
Now that you have reminded yourself of your goals, think about the practices you need to put in place to achieve these. It could be healthy habits you were doing before your break that you’d like to restart or new habits you think are important to set up.

Remember, when starting a new habit (or restarting an old one), it’s best to begin with small changes first, to help your brain learn and focus on this new process. For example, if you were previously going to the gym for an hour, 4 days a week before your holiday, think about a small action you can start to rebuild this routine. It might be going to the gym for 20 minutes, 4 days a week. It might be going to the gym for 10 minutes, five days a week. As you get back into this pattern and restore your fitness, you’ll find you can gradually increase your workout times back to usual.

You may have slipped out of the habit of cooking at home while you were away, and would like to get back into the process of meal planning and preparation. Instead of cooking a new recipe each night, you could choose meals that are simple and quick to make, such as a wholegrain wrap with ham and salad for lunch, or an omelette for dinner. Once you’re feeling confident with this, start to choose more advanced recipes and experiment with new ingredients.

At first, it may take a little more time and effort to reset your habits after a break. But once you’ve done this a few times, you’ll start to notice this healthy way of living becomes your ‘default’ mode, and it’s much easier to get back on track. The key is repetition, and knowing that big things come from small beginnings.

3) Moving forwards
Finally, try not to get too disheartened if you’ve gained weight, decreased your fitness, or reverted to old habits while you were away. Living a healthy life is all about balance. While we can endeavour to maintain our healthy choices when on holiday, it’s also a time to enjoy ourselves, relax, and indulge a little.

Yes, you may have gained some weight on the scales, but this will come back down once you’re eating balanced meals and exercising regularly. Instead of getting caught up in the numbers, try to turn the focus back to your intrinsic motivations for making changes. You can also take advantage of the mental energy and clarity that often comes from a holiday to set yourself new challenges.

Take home message
Aiming to stick to 3 balanced, satisfying meals a day reduces the chances of slipups and sugary snacks.
Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water is incredibly important, especially in hot weather.
There is no need to completely avoid alcohol on holiday, but try to indulge in moderation, such as having a glass of wine with your meal.
Pe-prepare healthy snacks for when you are going to be out for a while and plan ahead when you are eating out by reading the menu ahead of time.
Use your holiday as a chance to try exercising in a new way, such as hiking or walking around a new town.
When you return from the break revisit your health goals, start small, and try not to harbour any guilt for enjoying yourself.
Once you start eating balanced meals and exercising regularly, your healthy routine will become automatic once again.

About OurPath

OurPath is an app-based 12-week programme which helps people to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way. It was the first online programme to be used by the NHS to support long-term weight loss.

As part of the programme, you are provided with your own personal health coach (a registered dietician or nutritionist) who guides you through the educational materials and is there for daily support and guidance.

The main thing that makes the OnePath approach different is that there is not an emphasis on calorie counting or strict meal plans. Though this can work short-term, ultimately normal life gets in the way and the weight comes back on again. Instead the plan tries to look at building healthy habits that are easy to stick to, taking learnings from mindfulness and CBT to address some of the root causes of things such as binge or stress eating.

There are two different packages offered – the first is the NoTech package, which includes the 12-week programme with full support as well as a physical copy of the recipe book and handbook. The Tech package has the addition of smart scales and an activity tracker.

Fruit and vegetables lower risk of depression – new research reveals

Increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables people eat lowers their risk of clinical depression, new research has found.

The study discovered that eating, for example, four extra portions of fruit and vegetables a day can boost people’s mental health to such an extent that it can offset half the negative psychological impact of divorce and a quarter of the psychological damage of unemployment.

Other studies have used people’s subjective responses to surveys to discover a link between eating fruit and vegetables with improved wellbeing.

But this is one of only a few studies that has found objective evidence of the association between fruit and vegetables and psychological health.

Redzo Mujcic, of Warwick Business School, author of the paper alongside Andrew Oswald, of the University of Warwick, said: “This is an interesting finding and makes the case for an empirical link between fruit and vegetables and improved mental wellbeing more powerful.

Redzo Mujcic, of Warwick Business School co-authored the paper

Andrew Oswald, University of Warwick co-author

“The effect is not small as well. If people eat around seven or eight portions of fruit and vegetables a day the boost in mental wellbeing is as strong as divorce pushing people the other way, to a depressed state.

“We found being made unemployed had a very bad and significant effect on people’s mental health, greatly increasing the risk of depression and anxiety. But eating seven or eight portions of fruit and vegetables a day can reduce that by half.

“And the effect is a lot quicker than the physical improvements you see from a healthy diet. The mental gains occur within 24 months, whereas physical gains don’t occur until you are in your 60s.

“This is an important preliminary finding as governments and healthcare policymakers are currently more interested in the determinants of mental ill-health, such as clinical depression and high levels of anxiety, rather than people’s subjective assessment of their wellbeing as used in previous research.”

Dr Mujcic and Professor Oswald used data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey, which has been done annually since 2001.

In it respondents are asked if they have been diagnosed with depression or anxiety along with several questions about their diet and lifestyles.

The study used a representative sample of 7,108 respondents who answered they had not been diagnosed with depression or anxiety in 2007, to see if their diet could predict their chance of depression two years later.

The results revealed an inverse relationship between fruit and vegetables and future depression or anxiety – ie the more fruit and vegetables people ate the less likely they were to be diagnosed with a mental illness in later periods.

“If people increase their daily intake of fruit and vegetables from zero to eight they are 3.2 percentage points less likely to suffer depression or anxiety in the next two years,” said Dr Mujcic.

“That might not sound much in absolute terms, but the effect is comparable to parts of major life events, like being made unemployed or divorced.

“We tested for reverse-causality – ie whether it might be that depression or anxiety leads to people eating less fruit and vegetables – but we found no strong statistical evidence of this.

“However, the next natural step is to do a randomised controlled trial to examine the causal relationship between diet and psychological wellbeing in society.”


Skipping breakfast does not cause overeating, new research reveals

Eating breakfast is supposed to lead to less calorie consumption during the day. But new research suggest that skipping breakfast may not cause us to overeat later.

Juggling the demands of modern life can leave little time for breakfast, despite it being hailed as the most important meal of the day. But contrary to previous research, a new study suggests that skipping breakfast may not necessarily cause us to eat more later on.

The study, which involved 40 teenage girls, found that participants consumed more than 350 fewer calories on days when they missed breakfast, compared with the days when they ate breakfast.

Lead study author Dr. Julia Zakrzewski-Fruer, of the University of Bedfordshire in the United Kingdom, and colleagues say that their results challenge previous research suggesting that skipping breakfast may lead to overeating later in the day.

The researchers recently reported their findings in the British Journal of Nutrition.

For many, having breakfast is a major part of our daily routine. For others, those extra few minutes in bed are preferable to a slice of toast or a bowl of cereal. In fact, a 2015 survey found that only 47 percent of people in the United States eat breakfast every day.

But what effect does skipping breakfast have on our health? Previous research has linked breakfast omission to poorer heart health, while other studies have suggested that missing a morning meal may lead to overeating and increase a person’s risk of obesity.

For this latest study, Dr. Zakrzewski-Fruer and colleagues sought to find out more about the latter.

Fewer calories  eaten after skipping breakfast
The study included 40 girls aged 11–15 years. Each subject was required to participate in two 3-day breakfast conditions. In one condition, participants consumed a standard, low glycemic index (GI) breakfast, which contained 468 calories. In the other condition, participants did not eat breakfast.

Dr. Zakrzewski-Fruet and team say that the aim of their research was to “examine the effect of 3 consecutive days of breakfast consumption compared with breakfast omission on free-living energy intake and physical activity in adolescent girls.”

As part of the study, each participant was required to keep a food diary, and their physical activity levels were monitored with an accelerometer.

The researchers found that on days when participants missed breakfast, they consumed a total of 353 fewer calories than on days when they ate breakfast.

Breakfast consumption appeared to have no influence on physical activity levels, the team reports.

“There are many reports,” says study co-author Dr. Keith Tolfrey, of Loughborough University said that show missing breakfast is associated with obesity, which may have led to premature assumptions that breakfast can be used as an intervention for weight control.

He adds: “But we do not know why eating breakfast is associated with a lower likelihood of being overweight or obese, or whether eating breakfast can be used effectively as a weight control strategy.”


Tuscan White Bean Stew – the perfect cool weather warmer

A traditional Tuscan soup that is low in fat and calories and a perfect cool weather warmer

Serves 6

For the croutons
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 cloves garlic, quartered
• 1 slice whole-grain bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

For the stew
• 2 cups dried cannellini or other white beans, picked over and rinsed, soaked overnight, and drained
• 6 cups water
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 bay leaf
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
• 3 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
• 6 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, plus 6 sprigs
• 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock or broth

To make the croutons, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes to infuse the garlic flavor into the oil. Remove the garlic pieces and discard. Return the pan to medium heat. Add the bread cubes and saute, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

In a soup pot over high heat, combine the white beans, water, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover partially and simmer until the beans are tender, 60 to 75 minutes. Drain the beans, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Discard the bay leaf. Place the cooked beans into a large bowl and save the cooking pot for later use.
In a small bowl, combine the reserved cooking liquid and 1/2 cup of the cooked beans. Mash with a fork to form a paste. Stir the bean paste into the cooked beans.
Return the cooking pot to the stove top and add the olive oil. Heat over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion and carrots and saute until the carrots are tender-crisp, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until softened, about 1 minute. Stir in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, the pepper, chopped rosemary, bean mixture and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the stew is heated through, about 5 minutes.
Ladle the stew into warmed bowls and sprinkle with the croutons. Garnish each bowl with a rosemary sprig and serve immediately.

Women juggle work & life balance better with age

British women are struggling to bring balance to their lives, with only one in four (27%) saying they successfully juggle the demands of work, family and a social life. But over-40s are the most likely to get it right, with almost one in three saying (31%) saying they strike the right balance and more than half (57%) say they sometimes get it right.

Four out of five (84%) women say there are times when they are trying to keep too many balls in the air and a similar number (81%) fear their frenetic lifestyles could lead to health problems in the future.

Hormonal balance

This worrying picture of women’s health and emotional wellbeing has emerged in polls conducted for Kira, one of the nation’s most trusted names in women’s health and herbal supplements.

The One Poll surveys of 1,000 women — half aged between 20 and 40 and half aged 40 to 60 — found that older women are the best when it comes to resisting the pressure to be perfect, with two out of five (41%) saying it was never an issue, compared to less than a third (29%) of 20 to 40-year-olds

Older women are also less likely to look enviously at their friends’ lives, with almost two out of five (38%) saying this was never an issue, compared to less than a quarter (23%) of the 20 to 40-year-olds.

They are also less likely to fall prey to pressure from social media with only one in 13 (8%) saying online activity made them feel they were being short-changed by life, compared to almost one in five (18%) of the younger women.

Body confidence as we age
Body confidence also grows with age, with seven out of ten (69%) of the older women saying they had no interest in cosmetic surgery or procedures, compared to six out of ten (59%) of the younger group. The 20 to 40 group was twice as likely to want a boob job or new nose, 18% compared to 8% and 10% versus 5%.

However, anxiety about the future was a factor across the board, with almost nine out of ten (89%) women in both age groups saying they worried about what lay ahead. Money and debt was a cause for concern for one in three (32%) and two out of five (45%) admitted they were struggling financially.

Dr Catherine Hood, a women’s health specialist and an advisor to Kira notes: “It’s reassuring that experience brings a little more stability and contentment, but these surveys show women are balancing different demands throughout their lives.

She adds: “The demands of our bodies change too, which is why bone health becomes much more of an issue as we age. Top up vitamins can be helpful during periods of stress or when busy lifestyles makes it difficult to exercise and eat healthily.

“But I would advise any woman over 40 to take special care to protect their bone health with a high calcium supplement such as Kira Body Balance.”

How to find balance, bone health and avoid hormonal blips
Kira Hormonal Balance is a one-a-day food supplement which is great for women on the go as it does what it says on the pack, and helps keep your hormones in balance.

It contains a combination of essential B vitamins, which are important for hormonal metabolism and balance. Vitamins B2, B6, B12, vitamin C and folic acid also help reduce tiredness and fatigue, while vitamins B1, B6, B12, folic acid and pantothenic acid may help to maintain normal mental performance and normal psychological function.

Regular breakfast may protect against diabetes in youngsters

Children who eat breakfast regularly, particularly a high fibre cereal breakfast, had lower risk for type 2 diabetes than those children who ate breakfast infrequently, according to new research

Wheat 1 copy

The results came from research among 4,116 9–10 year old children attending 200 schools in London, Birmingham, and Leicester participating in the Child Heart and Health Study in England (CHASE), a study examining risk factors for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in children.

Researchers took various body measurements of the study participants and their levels of insulin, glucose, and other blood markers of diabetes risk. All the participants reported how often they ate breakfast and 2,004 children also completed a 24-hour dietary recall questionnaire.

Seventy-four percent of the children reported that they ate breakfast every day, 11% and 9% reported that they ate breakfast most days and some days, respectively, whereas 6% reported that they rarely ate breakfast.

Children who ate breakfast every day had lower risk markers for type 2 diabetes (eg fasting insulin levels were lower) than those children who ate breakfast infrequently. In particular, the children who ate a high fibre, cereal-based breakfast had lower insulin resistance than children who ate other types of breakfast such as low fibre or toast-based breakfasts.

Studies of this type are often associated with confounding factors that can reduce the strength of the findings. However, in this study the association between eating breakfast and having a favorable type 2 diabetes risk profile remained after allowing for differences in socioeconomic status, physical activity levels, and amount of body fat.

Family GP, Dr Paul Stillman and advisor to the Breakfast Cereal Information Service (BCIS) commenting on the results said: “These findings are very encouraging and suggest the need to conduct further trials to see whether altering the breakfast habits of children can alter their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

“This study suggests that if all the children in England who do not eat breakfast daily could be encouraged to do so, it might reduce population-wide fasting insulin levels by about 4%. Moreover, encouraging children to eat a high fibre breakfast, instead of a low fibre breakfast might reduce population-wide fasting insulin levels by 11%–12%. Persuading children to eat breakfast, particularly a high fibre breakfast cereal regularly, could contribute to reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Breakfast cereals are a nutritious and convenient choice for breakfast as they contain a range of micronutrients. Choosing a high fibre breakfast cereal may offer additional benefit to health with regard to type 2 diabetes risk profile.”

For more information log onto:

Prunes help to combat obesity and curb hunger, new research reveals

Eating a small portion of prunes daily can help weight loss and decrease appetite, according to new findings from the University of Liverpool.

The research also reveals that prunes contain no more sugar than a plum, its fresh fruit equivalent.

The study showed that including a modest portion of prunes as part of a weight loss diet, produced significant changes in body weight and waist size. There was also a trend for the prune eaters to achieve greater weight loss during the last four weeks of the study and long term effects on appetite were also observed.

CA Dried Plum finals

The researchers concluded that including prunes into weight control diets may be of benefit to long-term success, by tackling hunger and satisfying appetite.

CA Dried Plum finals

Natural dried fruits
Dieters have tended to shy away from dried fruits believing them to be higher in sugar than fresh. This perception has been reinforced by the introduction of dried fruits with added sugar, such as cranberries and fruit juice infused dried fruits. But traditional dried fruits, such as prunes, are simply dried plums, with the same natural sugar content as their fresh counterparts and no added sugar. One plum becomes one prune, water removed, so the calorie content remains the same.

Plums beneficial to teeth and gums
Another concern about snacking on dried fruit, is dental health. Cariogenic bacteria utilise sucrose to produce harmful acids and dental plaque, yet sucrose is minimal in prunes (0.15g/100g), the main sugars being fructose and glucose. California prunes also contain 26.5% carbohydrate as non-fermentable sorbitol, which is used widely in chewing gums for its low cariogenicity. Research on prunes is confirming that they contain certain bioactive compounds with antimicrobial properties, capable of inhibiting the growth of bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease

Professor Jason Halford and Dr Jo Harrold, Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, Liverpool University, presented initial results at the 2014 European Congress on Obesity , having assessed the effects of prunes on weight and appetite by studying 100 overweight and obese low fibre consumers – 74 women and 26 men; 43 years; BMI 29.8 in a 12-week study. All subjects received the same standard dietetic weight loss advice, plus the prune intervention group were provided with 140g/d (171g for men) prunes for snacks, whereas the active control group were advised on healthy snacks.

The study showed that including prunes as part of a weight loss intervention, produced significant changes in body weight (1.99kg/2.4%; p<0.000) and waist circumference (2.5cm/2.3%; p<0.000) from baseline. There was a trend for the prune eaters to achieve greater weight loss during the last four weeks of the study and enduring effects on appetite were also observed with AUC (area under the curve) analysis demonstrating increased fullness in the prune group after week 8 (p=0.05). It is worth noting too that study compliance was good and, despite the high daily doses, the prunes were well tolerated. The researchers concluded that including prunes into weight control diets may be of benefit to long-term success, by tackling hunger and satisfying appetite.

Win the must-have diet book that helps you Talk Yourself Slim – now closed!

This is the book for anyone fed up with diets that don’t work.  So if you want to lose weight and keep it off – enter our competition at the end of this page.  We have three copies of this bestseller, each worth £9.99 to give away.All you need to do is answer the simple question below.

Talk Yourself Slim with the Self-Chatter Diet was written from John Richardson’s childhood observations of his grandfather and mother. His grandfather was slim, and a naturally healthy weight, whereas his mother was not, and this was the true cause of her early disablement.

Talk Yourself Slim by John Richardson

Diets don’t work, do they? Not conventional, out-of-date, orthodox, restrictive diets – these are one of the fundamental instigators of obesity in the world today, fueled by the same diet industry that masquerades as a ‘solution provider’. It is not food that makes people overweight, but the behavioural manner in which food is eaten, and until obesity is addressed and treated behaviourally, no solution will ever be found.

In this book you will discover the true cause of obesity: beliefs, habits and associations. Richardson first provides a way in which these rogue behaviours can be identified. He then questions them and challenges them, allowing readers to form a general understanding of a method through which they can be changed.

Talk Yourself Slim was written to facilitate permanent weight-loss success, and nothing more. This simple yet highly effective method is uniquely innovative in its approach, ideal for anyone fed up of diets that don’t work, who wants to lose weight and keep it off!

John Richardson is founder and owner of The Feelbetterfast Clinic, home of the original Dr Rocket’s Hypno-Gastric Band Procedure. He gained his diploma in Holistic Hypnotheray under the guidance of one of the UK’s leading analytical holistic hypnotherapists, and was also taught the secrets of the stage hypnotist by David Knight, principal of The British Academy of Hypnosis, of which he became Master Hypnotist.

THE WINNERS OF THIS COMPETITION ARE: Helen Dooher, from Chesterfield; Tom Bains, from Liverpool.

Win competitions at – See more at:

Dr Rocket’s Talk Yourself Slim with The Self-Chatter Diet by John Richardson

Talk Yourself Slim with the Self-Chatter Diet was written from John Richardson’s childhood observations of his grandfather and mother. His grandfather was slim, and a naturally healthy weight, whereas his mother was not, and this was the true cause of her early disablement.

Diets don’t work, do they? Not conventional, out-of-date, orthodox, restrictive diets – these are one of the fundamental instigators of obesity in the world today, fueled by the same diet industry that masquerades as a ‘solution provider’. It is not food that makes people overweight, but the behavioural manner in which food is eaten, and until obesity is addressed and treated behaviourally, no solution will ever be found.

In this book you will discover the true cause of obesity: beliefs, habits and associations. Richardson first provides a way in which these rogue behaviours can be identified. He then questions them and challenges them, allowing readers to form a general understanding of a method through which they can be changed.

Talk Yourself Slim was written to facilitate permanent weight-loss success, and nothing more. This simple yet highly effective method is uniquely innovative in its approach, ideal for anyone fed up of diets that don’t work, who wants to lose weight and keep it off!

John Richardson is founder and owner of The Feelbetterfast Clinic, home of the original Dr Rocket’s Hypno-Gastric Band Procedure. He gained his diploma in Holistic Hypnotheray under the guidance of one of the UK’s leading analytical holistic hypnotherapists, and was also taught the secrets of the stage hypnotist by David Knight, principal of The British Academy of Hypnosis, of which he became Master Hypnotist.

Buy at Amazon for £8.20 by clicking on this image:

Talk Yourself Slim by John Richardson

Would you eat clay in a detox diet?

The mineral clay, traditionally used to make pots and ornaments is becoming a new trend in detox diets.

The Clay Diet involves mixing edible clay, such as Bentonite, with water and drinking it along with your regular food.The clay is supposed to absorb and remove toxins, impurities and chemicals from the body.

Clay diet

The diet’s biggest fans, are as usual and allegedly celebrities such as Zoe Kravitz and Elle Macpherson

Although humans have, most probably accidentally been eating clay for hundreds of years, health experts do not necessarily think it is a good idea.

US gastroenterologist Dr Roshini Raj, a regular contributor on the Today Show said it was likely eaten because it was the only way to get certain minerals such as calcium or iron

The clay diet industry is now worth some £2billion and many women claim to have lost a dramatic amount of weight on the diet. But that is in sharp contrast to a health warning from the US’s Food Standard’s Agency which issued the following warning about consuming clay in 2012:

“Exposure to arsenic can be associated with an increased risk of lung, skin and bladder cancer. Exposure to lead presents a risk for infants and children in particular, as it can be detrimental to brain development and affect intellectual performance. For the same reason, pregnant women are also advised to avoid eating or drinking clay due to the potential risk to their unborn child.”

In the UK, the NHS and British Dietetic Association disagree with the whole concept of detoxing. They say there is no scientific evidence to show that our bodies need help to get rid of waste products – this is what our kidneys do And there is no scientific proof that detox diets work.

The British Dietetic Association has said that “the idea of ‘detox’ is a load of nonsense. There are no pills or specific drinks, patches or lotions that can do a magic job.”

What is your view? Do let us have your opinion in the comment box below this article.

Dieters inclined to ignore alcohol calories, says new medical research

Alcohol is almost as calorific as fat but many dieters tend to ignore it, according to research from the World Cancer Fund.
A drinker may get nearly 10% of total calorie intake from alcohol but many regard it as ’empty’ calories. But having a large glass of wine at 178 calories is the same as eating two chocolate digestive biscuits. And to exercise if off you will need to go for a brisk 30 minute walk. Added to which there is no nutritional value in alcohol.
 Kate Mendoza, head of health information at WCRF, said: “Recent reports have shown that people are unaware of calories in drinks and don’t include them when calculating their daily consumption.”
She said that cutting down on drinking has a big effect of maintaining a healthy weight as well as reducing the risk of cancer.
Alcohol has been linked with breast, bowel, mouth and liver cancer.
If you don’t want to abstain entirely, there are ways that can help you cut down, including opting for smaller glass sizes, diluting alcohol with soda water or a low-calorie soft drink, alternating between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and keeping a few nights each week booze-free.
Find out your calorie intake through alcohol: the WCRF has produced an Alcohol Calorie Calculator for different drinks that shows approximately how much exercise you would need to do to burn off the alcohol calories you consume.

Why eating right can save your sight…

London: Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in the UK, known to affect some 608,213 [i]. AMD is the most common cause of registrations for blindness or partial sight[ii] and is more common in women than men (vii).


AMD affects the macula, the part of the eye that allows a person to see fine detail and gradually destroys the sharp, central vision, which is needed for seeing objects clearly, and for common daily tasks such as reading and driving2. Although it rarely results in complete blindness, it robs the individual of all but the outermost, peripheral vision, leaving only dim images or black holes at the centre of vision and often stripping those with the condition of their confidence and independence.


With many of us valuing sight over any other sense, it is essential that we maintain our eye health, this can helped by ensuring you are receiving key nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamins C, E and A and Carotenoids. So during AMD Awareness Week (22-30 September) is a good time to remind you about what your eyes need from your diet:



·         Omega-3 fatty acids: Our bodies are unable to produce Omega-3 fatty acids, so we must obtain them through our diet. DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) is one such Omega-3. The highest concentration of DHA in our body is found within the retina, where it plays an essential role in regulating its function[i]Omega-3 fats are also thought to protect the arteries that supply blood to the retina[ii]Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in: Oily fish, such as salmon, herring, mack
erel, anchovies and sardines.


·         Vitamins C, E and A:  Are essential for eye health as they have antioxidant properties and therefore help protect against free radical molecules. Produced by the interaction of light and oxygen, free radical molecules can cause chemical damage to the retina. Studies have shown that people who eat adequate levels of antioxidants, which counteract free radical damage, tend to preserve their eyesight for longer than those who don’t[iii]Vitamins C, E and A can be found in leafy greens = Kale / spinach / cress / parsley / leafy cabbage.


·         Carotenoids: Are natural fat-soluble pigments found in certain plants and provide the bright red, orange, or yellow colour of many vegetables.  Lutein and zeaxanthin are two carotenoids that accumulate in our retina, and are most concentrated in the macula and also occur in the lens of the eye. They act as antioxidants, protecting the tissue of the eyes by absorbing harmful blue light and neutralising harmful free radicals. As the body can’t produce lutein by itself, it has to be absorbed from food. Peppers, Carrots and Tomatoes are all a great source of carotenoids.


Your vision-boosting shopping list


  • Oily fish, such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies and sardines
  • Leafy greens = Kale / spinach / cress / parsley / leafy cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Seeds and seed oils, such as sunflower and safflower
  • Nuts and nut oils, such as almonds and hazelnuts
  • Red pepper
  • Blackcurrant
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Red meats, especially beef, lamb and liver



In an ideal world, our diet would provide us with all the vitamins and minerals we need – but evidence from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey shows that a significant proportion of the UK population simply doesn’t achieve nutritional sufficiency through diet alone[1]

Ian Grierson, Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Liverpool notes: While research suggests that vitamins A, C, E and zinc can help keep the eye healthy, it is carotenoids, the pigments that occur naturally in plants and algae, which offer the most precise way of targeting the damage that causes sight loss. In particular, the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin act directly to absorb the damaging blue and near-ultraviolet light, in order to protect the macula. Any yellow or orange plants or vegetables contain them. They are also abundant in green vegetables such as kale and spinach.


“We should be eating 6mg of lutein a day, but the average consumption is only 2mg, which is way too low. In the Second World War, our average intake was 4-5mg and we weren’t even trying. But you cannot just eat vegetables alone, as lutein needs fat to be absorbed.  Egg yolk is one of the UKs main sources of lutein – there is not much there, but the little there is absorbed efficiently. That is why eggs Florentine is such an effective meal – the spinach is a high source of lutein and the egg yolk maximises absorption In fact, a 2005 study at the Ohio State University, Columbus, found that carotenoids absorption was enhanced by the consumption of avocado oil and fruit.”


So, what to do is you aren’t gaining all the nutrients you need from your diet?



Ocuvite Complete Eye Vitamins & Minerals 60 CapsulesBausch + Lomb’s Ocuvite® Complete is an advanced supplement, formulated to provide nutritional support for the eye based on the most current research. Ocuvite® Complete contains high quality omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamins C&E, and zinc. Available from Boots, independent pharmacists and optometrists, priced £15.25 (RRP). “The advantage of nutritional carotenoid supplements is that the levels are much higher than those found in food, so supplementation is a much more reliable way of ensuring consistent levels of essential micronutrients are absorbed by the body. A supplement providing the right balance of lutein, zeaxanthin and Omega-3s is not only safe, but could protect eyes against future age related changes when diet alone fails to deliver,” note professor Grierson.




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Think More Eat Less – use your mind to change your body by Janet Thomson MSc

This is a self-help book with a difference – what is says actually makes sense!

Think More Eat Less
One of the dominant themes of this book is that you mustn’t take any SHIT!  And it’s not what you are initially thinking.  It stands for thinking any Self Harming Invasive Thoughts – these are the kind of thoughts and thinking that we use without realising that sabotage our efforts to do stuff including loosing weight and getting fit.
This book is designed to help you reprogramme your thoughts surrounding food.
Janet Thomson is a life coach with experience of neuro-linguistic programming, tapping (thought field therapy) and clinical therapy who believes that we (humans) have not yet learned the full power of our thoughts – and that our (individual) negative thoughts, for example, might well collectively get together out there together and have a nasty influence on our lives.
So now I have NO SHIT stickers all over my flat – on the fridge door and on the mirror! And it does work.  I have second thoughts all the time about reaching for the chocolate or comfort food.  No self-sabotage for me how that I take No Shit! It’s well worth the read.
Think More East Less costs £12.95 and is available in paper ]back.
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Athlete Kriss Akabusi motivates coach potatoes

Many of us often worry whether we are as healthy as we should be, but how many of us actually do anything to find out whether we are, or in fact, even know how to go about checking?

coachpotato.jpgFrom cholesterol tests, blood pressure monitoring, diabetes checks and even just following a healthy diet and exercise plan, trying to get and stay healthy can seem overwhelming, not to mention time consuming, especially for those of us who lead busy lifestyles and find it hard to fit in the day to day pressures as it is.

In reality, finding out what you need to be monitoring and improving when it comes to your health doesn’t need to be hard; it’s all a matter of getting the right advice and making a commitment to a healthier lifestyle.

Akabusi Headshot resized.png

Athlete Kriss Akabusi pictured above

One man who knows all about the benefits of health and fitness is Kriss Akabusi, and he’s encouraging everyone, from those of us who might classify ourselves as couch potatoes, to even those who already engage in a healthy lifestyle to make sure they’re fully informed about the state of their health.Kriss is backing health progamme, All About Health, that provides detailed information and advice on what you should be monitoring and how you can receive further support from your local pharmacy.

Log on to our live Web TV show which takes place tomorrow (6 October at 14.30 GMT)  by clicking on the link below . Ask questions and  Kriss will give you tips on how to stay fit and healthy with minimum fuss, while All About Health pharmacist, Ajit Malhi, will outline how your local pharmacy can help you assess your health

Kriss Akabusi and All About Health pharmacist, Ajit Malhi join us live online at   on Thursday 6th October at 2.30pm

Click here to submit questions before the show   






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The 10 Best – Weightloss Kickstarts

Skinny Sprinkles.jpgFULFILL PLUSFulfilDIGESTIVE MIXDigestive Mix 


GREEN TEA DIET BLENDGreen Tea Blend Diet.jpgFIBRETRIMFibretrim.jpgSANAFILSanafilcropped.jpegZUCCARINZuccarin

Klamath Green AlgaeSUPER OMEGA-3Super Omega-3

Avoid the usual diet mistakes – Podcast

diet bad!According to research undertaken by M & S, 14 million of us started a new year diet this week. However, for most of us this will end by mid-february. 

Each time we start a diet, we are resolving to be healthier but still can’t resist those treats. How do we find the willpower to be successful? It seems to be just that little more difficult if you’ve had a baby and want to lose weight, or you’ve just gone through the menopause.

In this podcast, exclusively recorded for Elixir, Nutritionist Claire Hughes gives us the lowdown on why our diets fail, what women and older people can do to lose weight and how we can make a difference to our way of thinking about food in 2011.


US health watchdog refuses to OK new diet pill

Lorcaserin [320x200].jpg The US’s Food & Drug Administration has refused permission for the manufacturers of Lorcaserin, a new diet pill, to put it on the market.

The FDA told Arena Pharmaceuticals this was because of concerns about its marginal effectiveness and about cancers that occurred at higher-than-usual rates during clinical trials with rats. The FDA’s decision comes just two weeks after the makers of the prescription diet-pill Meridia was banned in the US and Canadian markets at the request of the FDA.

Lorcaserin was developed by Arena Pharmaceuticals, the San Diego drug company in partnership with Eisai Co.

Among the FDA’s concerns were weight-loss results that failed to rise to the FDA’s standards for approval, and an  increase in cancerous breast and brain tumors in rats that were given a dose of the drug that is higher than that proposed for humans.

A clinical trial of Lorcaserin published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that two-thirds of patients lost at least 5% of their body weight, while a third lost at least 10% of body weight, with an average loss of 17 to 18 pounds.

Diabetes Type 2 – You Can Reverse it Naturally by Dr Sandra Cabot

Reverse Type 2Diabetes [320x200]-thumb-213x320-337

Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic disease in the world. This volume shows that with the right diet, nutrional supplements, and lifestyle changes , you can not only control Type 2 Diabetes but you can actually reverse it.

Diabetes, which usually begins in adulthood and is caused by a poor diet and lack of exercise, causes poor health and shortens lifespan.

This book teaches you how to use protein to control blood sugar and help weightloss and how to reduce the risk of diabetic complications such as blindness, heart attacks, nerve damage, kidney disease and erectile dysfunction.

Dr Cabot has an easily understandable style and explains the medical detail so its easy to understand.

Costs £11.69 Buy here:  Diabetes Type 2: You Can Reverse it Naturally!

The Eat-Clean Diet by Tosca Reno

The Eat-Clean Diet by Tosca Reno

Eat-Clean Diet [640x480].jpgTired of yo-yo dieting, self-deprivation, and unhealthy eating?  Want to lose weight, get fit, and stay that way for the rest of your life?  This book is filled with solid nutritional advice, a two-week meal plan, delicious healthy recipes, and real-life stories to keep readers motivated.


Tosca Reno’s THE EAT-CLEAN DIET cuts through the maze of fad-diet misinformation, presenting a lifestyle plan that guarantees healthy, steady weight-loss by eating five or six meals a day.

Reno, who struggled with her weight for more than twenty years, discovered the Eat-Clean lifestyle at age forty.  Within a year, she not only lost weight, but gained body tone and overall fitness – so much so that she became a cover girl, bathing-suit model, and an inspiration for other women who want to look and feel great.  For the past several years, Reno has been a columnist and spokesperson for the women’s fitness magazine Oxygen. 
According to Reno, the Eat-Clean Diet works because it incorporates healthy eating habits into daily life.  “It’s not just a diet; it’s a lifestyle,” she explains.  “Eating Clean isn’t about
denying yourself or going hungry, it’s about eating with thought and planning.  By adopting the Eat-Clean lifestyle, your body will have a chance at looking its all-time best.”

THE EAT-CLEAN DIET focuses on consuming delicious, nutrient-rich “clean” foods at regular intervals throughout the day, beginning with breakfast.  Eating five or six smaller meals a day allows the body’s metabolism to burn steadily, keeping insulin and blood-sugar levels stable – preventing hunger pangs and cravings for unhealthy foods like soda or chocolate.  For Reno, a “clean” food is anything nutritious that is as close as possible to how it occurs in nature, with no added color, taste, or preservatives, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, poultry, fish, dairy, whole grains, and more. Costs $16.95 (£8.60, €12.68)

Buy here:
The Eat-Clean Diet: Fast Fat Loss That Lasts Forever!

US diet pill ban over heart attack and stroke risk?

The US watchdog, the Food and Drug Administration, has yet to decide whether diet pill, Meridia, should stay on the market after a report revealed that it may cause heart attack and strokes in some individuals.

Merediabig [320x200].jpg

Meridia, also known as sibutramine, was first approved in the US in 1997, but a large study released last November shows that people who took the drug had an 11% risk of cardiovascular events, while those who took a placebo had a 10% risk.

The study, called the SCOUT trial, prompted regulators to order the drug off the market in Europe. And demands for it be banned in the US are now being made.


Meridia: Risks vs. Benefits

Meridia has been shown to reduce weight in many patients – on average 4% more body weight below what they might lose with a placebo, an amount considered a modest benefit. About one-fifth of patients lose more. But the drug also causes increases in heart rate and blood pressure, both of which pose a danger to patients with cardiovascular disease.

Patients with known cardiovascular disease are not meant to be prescribed teh drug. But experts said they were troubled that many patients with undiagnosed disease could be at greater risk if they use the drug to lose weight.

The FDA’s own monitoring linked 14 deaths to the use of Meridia.The patients who died were in their 40s 71% were women.

Conflicting Viewpoints

The Public Citizen Health Research Group,in the US, which first petitioned FDA to ban Meridia in 2002, says the drug poses a “deadly tradeoff” between modest weight loss and the danger of heart attack and stroke.

Others say Meridia can be made safe by closely monitoring things like patients’ pulses and blood pressure readings.

Abbott, which manufactures Meridia, had pledged step up warnings and educational efforts for doctors and patients if the drug is allowed to stay on the market.

Meridia’s popularity has plummeted in recent years, particularly since the release of the Scout trial’s data in November. Only an estimated 280,000 prescriptions were filled last year in the US.

The FDA now has to decide if the clear benefits of even modest weight loss to most patients is worth a rise in cardiovascular risk in some of them. The FDA will also likely consider what vital signs doctors should monitor, and how often they should monitor them, to minimize the drug’s risks.


Artificial sweetner link to premature births?

sweetners.jpgArtificial sweetners may be linked to a higher risk of premature births, new research suggests.

The findings followed research carried out on almost 60,000 pregnant women in Denmark found that those who drank artificially sweetened soft drinks, whether fizzy or still, were more likely to give birth early.

It was found that those who drank one serving per day of artificially sweetened fizzy drink were 38 per cent more likely to give birth before 37 weeks gestation and those who consumed four servings a day were 78 per cent more likely to have their baby prematurely.

It is thought the artificial sweeteners are broken down in the body into chemicals which may change the womb, the researchers said.

Dr Shelley McGuire, spokesman for the American Society of Nutrition, said: “These findings may be really important in terms of preventing premature births, especially those that are medically induced by a woman’s health care provider.

“Certainly, until more experimental work is done, this study suggests that pregnant women should steer clear of artificially sweetened drinks. Quite frankly, pregnant women should be focusing more on nutrient-rich drinks anyway, like milk and fruit juices. And don’t forget the water.”

The study conducted by Thorahallur Halldorsson, of the Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen, did not examine which artificial sweeteners were contained in the drinks.

The effect was limited to women whose birth was deliberately induced early suggesting the drinks do not trigger premature labour but rather cause changes in the body that mean an early birth is necessary.

It was suggested that this could due to a rise in blood pressure or development of diabetes but the researchers ruled this out.

Dr Halldorsson wrote in the research paper: “In conclusion, our findings suggest that the daily intake of artificially sweetened soft drinks may be associated with an increased risk of preterm delivery.

“The relative consistency of our findings for carbonated and noncarbonated soft drinks and the absence of an association for sugar-sweetened soft drinks suggest that the content of artificial sweeteners might be the causal factor.

“However, the replication of our findings in another experimental setting is warranted.”

The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Eat more to loose weight – new diet advice


London: Eat more to loose weight, is the latest advice from experts at the British Nutrition Foundation(BNF).

IIn a new leaflet entitled ‘Eat more, lose weight’ the BNF shows how slimmers can eat enough food to feel really full without consuming too many calories. The advice provided by the BNF is based on scientific evidence that lowering the energy density, or the amount of calories per gram of food consumed, can help people lose weight without feeling hungry1.

By manipulating the energy density of the diet, you can eat much more food for fewer calories,” says Bridget Benelam, Senior Nutrition Scientist at the BNF.

“For example, a home-made burger, fried chips, ketchup and a standard soft drink can provide over 1000 calories and weighs about 650g. Whereas, you can eat nearly double the amount in weight (about 1200g) for about half the calories, with a low energy density meal of, for example, soup, a low-fat sandwich, a diet soft drink and a fruit and yogurt dessert.”

What is energy density?

Energy density is the number of calories per gram of food (kcal/g). It is mainly affected by the water content, but also by the fat content of the foods.

Foods with a lower energy density include those with a high water content, such as soups and stews, foods like pasta and rice that absorb water during cooking, and foods that are naturally high in water, such as fruit and vegetables. At the other end of the scale, higher energy density foods tend to include those that are high in fat and have a low water content, for example biscuits and confectionery, fried snacks, nuts and full-fat hard cheese2.

The energy density of the diet overall is determined by the balance of higher and lower energy density foods consumed. Small amounts of food with a high energy density can be eaten as part of a low energy density diet, as long as some food with a medium energy density and plenty of food with a low energy density is consumed alongside. Also, by eating foods with a low energy density first, for example, having a salad without oily dressing or a broth-based soup, you’ll naturally feel fuller and less tempted by the high energy dense foods3, 4.

Menu makeovers

The ‘Eat more, lose weight’ leaflet shows how simple changes to your daily meals can make a significant difference to the amount of food you can consume for the same number of calories. For example, choosing fruit and cereal, instead of pastries for breakfast, soup and salad instead of burger and chips for lunch, and making a wholemeal pasta dish with a low-fat cheese sauce and extra vegetables, instead of white pasta with a standard full-fat cheese sauce for dinner, means that instead of consuming 2285 calories in 1487g of food, you can have 2321g of food for 1495 calories.

And it doesn’t mean completely changing your eating habits – favourite recipes also get a makeover in the BNF leaflet. A 400g portion of spaghetti Bolognese with standard mince, bacon and full-fat cheese contains 760 calories. However, a few simple changes can cut its calorie content by well over half. Using lean mince instead of standard mince, choosing wholemeal spaghetti, adding plenty of vegetables and using a smaller portion of a reduced-fat cheese brings the calorie content of a 400g portion down to 330 calories.

Avoiding weight-loss pitfalls

The leaflet also addresses key behaviours that can make or break attempts at weight loss. Benelam continues “It’s important to remember that we live in an ‘obesogenic’* environment’ and that we need to consider other aspects of our lifestyle, as well as the foods we eat. Things like keeping active, avoiding distractions while eating and resisting the temptation to try every dish at a buffet can really help keep weight control on track.”

*Factors tending to make people overweight

1Benelam (2009) Satiation, satiety and their effects on eating behaviour. Nutrition Bulletin 34(2) 126-173

2 BNF’s ‘feed yourself fuller chart’ provides examples of foods with a high medium and low energy density. Find here at Feed Yourself Fuller Chart

3 Flood JE & Rolls BJ (2007) Soup preloads in a variety of forms reduce meal energy intake. Appetite 49(3) 626-34

4 Rolls BJ, Roe LS & Meengs JS (2004) Salad and satiety: Energy density and portion size of a first-course salad affect energy intake at lunch. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 104 (10) 1570-1576

Low energy density recipe

Spaghetti Bolognese**

Serves 6

The picture below shows the low energy density recipe on the right, and a higher energy density version on the left. Although the low energy density version is nearly double the weight of the higher energy density dish, they contain the same amount of calories.

**Recipe provided by Slimming World


Low calorie cooking spray
1 onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely diced
2 celery sticks, finely diced
1 red pepper and 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
200g/7 oz button mushrooms,thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 tsp dried oregano
400g/1lb extra lean minced beef
A handful of fresh basil leaves
2 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tsp artificial sweetener
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
380g/13½ oz dried wholewheat spaghetti
grated reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, to garnish (optional)


1. Spray a large, non-stick pan with low calorie cooking spray and cook the vegetables, garlic,red chilli and oregano for 4-5 minutes. Add the minced beef and fry for a further 3-4 minutes.

2. Reserving a few leaves for garnish, finely chop the basil. Add to the pan along with the chopped tomatoes and sweetener. Season well, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions, drain and keep warm.

3. Remove the sauce from the heat, divide the spaghetti between four warmed plates, and spoon the sauce over. Garnish with the remaining basil and the grated cheese, if using, and serve immediately.

Calories per serving: 330 kcal Energy density: 0.75 kcal/g

Mixed berries, yogurt, granola, honey

Below is the mixed berries yoghurt and honey recipe, compared with a portion of strawberries and cream. Although the portion sizes are clearly different these two dishes contain the same number of calories.

Serves 1


100g low-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon granola
5 fresh strawberries (60g)
15 fresh raspberries (60g)
50g fresh blueberries
1 teaspoon honey


1. Rinse the strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.
2. Place in a bowl or tall glass and cover with the low fat yogurt.
3. Sprinkle the granola on top and drizzle with honey.

Calories per serving: 215 kcal Energy density: 0.7 kcal/g

The leaflet ‘Eat more, weigh less’ is published by the BNF and available on the BNF website at Leaflet This leaflet is based on research in the area of satiety and appetite control, published by the Foundation

BNF was established over 40 years ago and exists to deliver authoritative, evidence-based information on food and nutrition in the context of health and lifestyle. The Foundation’s work is conducted and communicated through a unique blend of nutrition science, education and media activities. BNF’s strong governance is broad-based but weighted towards the academic community. BNF is a registered charity that attracts funding from a variety of sources, including contracts with the European Commission, national government departments and agencies; food producers and manufacturers, retailers and food service companies; grant providing bodies, trusts and other charities.

The Foundation thanks Slimming World for their advice and help on the content and design of this leaflet.

The British Nutrition Foundation is a registered charity. It promotes the wellbeing of society through the impartial interpretation and effective dissemination of scientifically based knowledge and advice on the relationship between diet, physical activity and health.

How to make the hot red dress work for you this summer!


This season it’s all about Red, as Marks & Spencer team up with Kellogg’s to give you the hottest dress of the summer.

We all want to get the perfect dress for the season, the one which makes us feel and look great and now some bright sparks in the buying industry have decided to give you what you have been after. Marks & Spencer has signed a deal with cereal giant Kellogg’s to create the first ever Special K red dress to go on sale to the general public.

That’s right, this stunning dress is now available in M&S stores and online. Launched last week the dress allows you to be your very own Special K girl. Special K, is famous for its iconic advertising featuring the ‘Special K girl’ dressed in red and lucky for you we have celebrity Stylist Zoe Lem and the Head Buyer at M&S Lottie Tarpey at hand to give you some tops tips on how to wear the dress and make sure you look fabulous in it this summer.

Greg Peterson, managing director, Kellogg’s UK Marketing & Sales, explained: “Special K consumers have been asking us for years where they can buy the dresses featured in our advertising and this partnership with M&S has given us the opportunity to finally be able to offer women the chance to do so.

A spokesperson from M&S said: “The M&S red dress is an extremely versatile summer essential which can be dressed up or down and is sure to flatter any figure. The Special K dress has become a fashion icon in its own right so we are proud to be the first retailer to offer this famous dress to customers.”

Click here to hear Zoe Lem and Lottie Tarpey on how to make the Red Dress work for you.

How to Make the Red Dress Work for You

For more information visit

*The Special K red dress at M&S is priced at £19.50 and will be available at selected stores throughout the UK and online.

Why eating a healthy breakfast saves time and money


British mums do the equivalent of three hours work every day before they’ve even left home for the office, new research by Hovis bread shows. From getting the kids dressed to making the beds there’s a lot of time and energy lost to basic household duties which means something usually have to give way.

Although breakfast is often regarded as the most important meal of the day, many mums are forced to skip it if they want to get everything done and still get to work on time. Fortunately there’s an easy way to get a healthy, nutritious and filling breakfast into your stomach which helps you feel fuller for longer.

Fronted by World Olympic Champion Victoria Pendleton, Hovis Wholemeal Breakfast Week (April 12th-19th) encourages you to try wholemeal bread for breakfast. An equally healthy alternative to cereal, wholemeal bread is high in fibre which helps keep you feel fuller for longer. Would you prefer your breakfast to feature fresh-cooked eggs and mushrooms on toast? Or does the sound of cream cheese, walnuts and honey take your fancy?

Victoria has a clear message to parents, “A substantial breakfast is a vital part of my training so I make sure I never skip it. I can’t perform at my best either physically or mentally without a good start to the day and I would certainly not be able to achieve my long term training goals. It is easy to forget that rushing around after the family can be a workout in itself. The temptation when working to a busy schedule is to neglect yourself, but my advice would be to make the time for a healthy and filling breakfast…”

Watch this video to get nutritionist Lindsey Ormond’s take on wholemeal bread and get five great recipes to help keep you powered through to lunch with less temptation to snack unhealthily!

Video with nutritionist Linsey Ormond on how to make a healthy breakfast

UK health experts warn of selenium diet deficiency


London: An intake of 50 micrograms a day of selenium in addition to the usual dietary intake is required to maintain optimal selenium blood levels according to a new UK study.

Commenting on the study and the need for selenium in our diets, Dr Carrie Ruxton, independent nutrition advisor to the Health Supplements Information Service notes: “In the UK, intakes of selenium are low. Data from the 2006 UK Total Diet Study showed that the mean intake of selenium was 48-58 micrograms a day, which is below the UK recommended intake of 75 micrograms a day for men and 60 micrograms a day for women.

Similar findings emerged from the latest UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) in which intakes of selenium fell below the Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) in both adults and older children. Adult women overall achieved 72% of the RNI. while adult men achieved 74% of the RNI. Around half of adult women and older girls and a fifth of men and older boys had intakes below the Lower Reference Intake (LRNI). Such low intakes are associated with reduced blood levels of selenium and significantly increased risk of mortality in both Europe and the US.

In this new study, the aim was to evaluate the amount of selenium required to establish optimal blood levels of this essential nutrient. A randomized controlled trial was carried out in which 199 healthy men and women aged 50-64 years, living in the UK were divided into 6 groups and studied for 12 weeks. Four groups were given selenium enriched yeast tablets containing 50, 100 or 200 micrograms of selenium each day, or placebo tablets. The other two groups were given either selenium-enriched onion meals, providing 50 micrograms of selenium daily, or unenriched onion meals providing 4 micrograms selenium daily.

Blood levels of selenium increased in all the groups which consumed additional selenium from supplements or diet. There was a significant difference in blood levels of selenium between the supplement group and those taking the placebo tablet. However, there was no significant difference in blood levels between those consuming the enriched meals and those consuming the unenriched meals.

Moreover the blood levels of those taking the 50 microgram tablet increased by 28.3% while the blood level of those consuming the 50 microgram enriched onion diet increased by just 8.6%. This suggests that the selenium enriched diet was much less effective at increasing blood levels than the selenium supplement.

The study concluded that to establish optimal selenium status required the addition of a 50 microgram daily selenium supplement to the usual daily dietary intake of approximately 55 micrograms. These findings suggest that adequate selenium intakes are not being achieved in the UK by diet alone and that either a multi-nutrient or selenium supplement taken daily can help to ensure an optimal selenium status.

RNI: Reference Nutrient Intake. The amount of a vitamin or mineral that is enough to ensure that the needs of nearly all the group are being met.
LRNI: Lower Reference Nutrient Intake. The amount of a vitamin or mineral considered to be sufficient for the few people in a group who have low needs. Most people will need more than the LRNI and if people consistently consume less they may be at risk of deficiency of that nutrient.