Welcome To Week One
In week one, we are looking at some of the basics of a healthy diet, begin our exercise program and mindfulness courses. As the weeks continue, we will be building upon the blocks that you have learnt the previous week. In addition, recipes will be provided each week so that by the end of the six weeks you will have a bank of delicious meals to try.
Don’t skip this one! You have definitely heard it before when it comes to managing weight but have you ever really tried it? Does it actually work?
Slowing down is a very effective way to help manage weight. All too often people rush through their meals, wolfing down what is in front of them. People are usually in a hurry to get the food out of the way so they can move on to the next thing. What does this mean? It means you are not paying any attention to what you are eating or how full you are feeling.
Did you know it takes your brain anything from 15-30 minutes to realise that you are eating? Your body does pay attention to food as it arrives in your stomach. It notices the weight in your stomach, it notices how much your stomach is stretching. It notices when food starts to leave your stomach and make its way into your bowel to be digested. These are all ways your body measures how much food you are eating. And your body uses this to let you know when to stop eating. The problem is that this takes time. It takes time for the messages about the weight of the food in your stomach to get to your brain. It takes time for the food to start leaving your stomach and trigger the messages from your small bowel. It takes time for all those messages to reach the point where you notice them and stop eating.
How often have you finished a meal feeling fine and then felt quite uncomfortable a few minutes later? This is always a sign that you are eating too quickly. You should still be at the table when you start feeling full.
Eating slowly makes a huge difference here. Eating slowly gives your body and brain time to notice what, and how much, you are eating. It gives time for your body to let you know that you have had enough. It lets the messages about when to stop get through before you have eaten more than you need. Hunger is a strong signal and you will keep eating as long as you feel hungry. Slowing down gives you time to see if you are still hungry all the way to the end. Studies show that the amount of time needed to notice when you are full is different between different people. Some people will notice after less than ten minutes. For others it takes longer. Lots of studies have found that people who really struggle with their weight can take up to 30 minutes to notice that they have had enough to eat.
Aim to take 15-20 minutes over meals. At the start this seems like a huge amount of time but you will get used to it. This may be a struggle to do at every meal so you can pick one – maybe dinner – and start with that.
Set a timer to help you keep track. If you usually finish your meals in under 3 minutes, maybe aim to get to 5 minutes for the first few days and then work from there. It helps is you can eat your meals with someone who is a slow eater – young children are often great models of how to eat (maybe without all the mess…). Young children are usually quite slow at eating and this is a good thing! How often do we try to get children to eat faster? It’s great to let children go at their own pace.
Split your meal in two haves on your plate as a way of helping to remind you. When you get to half way you can check and see how quickly you have been eating and stop for a moment and check in with how you feel. You might find that you need less than your usual amount.
Once you can slow down to 5 minutes, try to get to 10 minutes and eventually up to 15. If you do really struggle with weight, you may need to go even slower – see what works for you.
Where To Start?
A healthy diet includes wide variety of foods from lots of different food groups. So what do you need?
Ready To Go?
Check out our recipes for this week. This is not a menu plan but a collection of ideas that you can try as you go. We will add some new recipes each week along with more tips and a focus on a different aspect of nutrition from immunity to heart health.
Pilates Week 1
Join Suzanne Clarke on your exercise plan as we cover everything from cardio and flexibility training to strength and overall fitness. Included in your programme are 3 video workout sessions per week where Suzanne takes you through movements and correct form as well as additional training days that include walking and core exercises.
In the couch to 5km you will begin your run walk program. Remember to allow time to warm up and cool down. Ideally 10 minutes either side of the given session (10 minute walk to warm up and 10 minute walk to Cooldown down).
Some of you will only do the exercise sessions and that is perfectly ok. If this is your choice, then I would advise that you still try to get in 10,000 steps per day on the cardio days.
You can, if you choose, pick one of the warm up sessions from your exercise days as the warm up before your cardio day. As mentioned above, a 10 minute slow walk works well for a Cooldown after your run/walk and will give plenty of time for those elevated heart rates to return to normal.
Remember to drink plenty of water after your cardio session to replenish the water lost through sweat on your run/walk session.
On your exercise session days, there are 2 levels of warmup session available to you. Level 1 and Level 2. Have a browse through the videos and pick the one that best suits your level.
If you feel you need a longer warmup you can always do Level 1 followed by Level 2 if your ability allows.
In week 1 – sessions 1 and 2 - there are 3 exercises per session. Each exercise is performed 12 times (12 reps). When you have finished the 12 reps, move straight onto the next exercise.
When you have finished the 3 exercises, take 30 seconds rest before you start your next set.
Complete 3 sets to finish.
Be guided by your abilities. If you need extra rest, you can add in extra rest between each exercise.
Make sure to have a bottle of water on hand and have a water break as needed and at the very least between each set.
All the exercises will be explained as you go through the videos so don’t be concerned if you don’t recognise the name of the exercise detailed in the days session.
The third session of the week will be at a much slower pace where we concentrate on core, mobility and stretching.
These sessions will be different every week and again all movements are fully explained during the video.
Feel free to put on your own music and once you are familiar with the session you can always mute the sound and just follow the movements.
Every week the exercises will progress to more advanced levels and the number of exercises will increase by 1 each week.
By week 6, the exercise sessions will have 8 exercises.
Enjoy your first week and the very best of luck with your health and fitness journey.
If you have any underlying health conditions (for example, osteopenia, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, diabetes to name but a few) or injuries please make sure to speak to your doctor or health professional before you start the program.
Feel free to contact me on email@example.com with any questions or queries.
An Introduction To Mindfulness
- What is it?
- How can I be more present?