Why self-belief is vital when it comes to weight loss and fitness

In this article I’ll tell you how to get the self-belief you’ll need if you want to lead a healthier and fitter lifestyle.

Losing some weight and getting a bit fitter is something most of us probably want to do, most of the time. We all know that leading a healthier lifestyle will mean we live longer and maybe avoid all the well-publicised and unpleasant side effects that may result from NOT being fit and healthy.

Many people perceive that there’s a one-stop solution to good health – just go on a diet, lose some weight and the problem is solved.

However, the reality is that the problem is much more complex than this…and there are many more inter-connecting and influencing factors. The weight you are, and the process of losing weight, are actually just a by-product of how you lead your life, rather than what you just put in your mouth. If you change your regular habits and routines surrounding eating and activity and make them “healthier”, then you probably won’t have to worry about your weight ever again…and that would be a great place to be!

The most crucial part of this “change” process, is YOU and your self-belief. If you don’t actually believe you can make the necessary changes, then you won’t…full stop.

That’s why so many people on diets fail…at the end of the day, they just don’t really believe they can do it.

self belief is vitalSo if self-belief is so important, how can you get some?!

There are two main steps to doing this.

The first is to try and identify any negative beliefs you may have because if you start off feeling negative, then you’re probably doomed to failure. The good news is that it’s prefectly possible to change negative beliefs and I covered exactly how to do this in my article How to change negative beliefs.

The second step is to prove to yourself that you can make changes! This is sometimes the most difficult part of all…you may really WANT to lead a healthier lifestyle, but, when it comes down to it, it’s just too hard to actually do! If this is you, then you need to compartmentalise everything down into small time and objective segments.

Start by setting yourself an easy objective for just one day – for instance:

Today, I’m not going to eat any snacks between meals. 

If you make this statement just after a good breakfast, it’ll sound pretty achievable, but by 11.30am, when you’re normally having maybe a coffee and biscuit break, it suddenly will seem a huge mountain to climb! It’s so easy to just say to yourself, “one biscuit won’t hurt…and I’ll have less at lunch”, but even that objective will become difficult to sustain when lunch comes around…and so on.

So, here’s what to do.

See if you can achieve your objective of the day and if you do, then that’s fantastic. You’ve proved to yourself you can do it and if you can do it for a day, you can probably do it for the next day and the next.

If you find it hard to achieve your day’s objective straight off, then cut it down to a two-hour or even one-hour objective. Put off having a snack, for instance, for an hour. If you can do that, then congratulate yourself. If you can do it for an hour, then you can probably do it for another, and then another and so forth.

If you find even an hour tough, then don’t worry about it, just cut the time down even more…say to ten minutes. If you can put off having a snack for even ten minutes, then that’s a big step forward. If you can do it for ten minutes, you can probably do it for for another ten minutes and so forth. And once you can do it for twelve lots of ten minutes, you’ve done it for an hour, and then a day and then you’ll be well on the way to getting the belief that you can make the changes!

To many people, this may all seem a bit pointless and slow. Why not go the whole hog and start a full blown 5:2 diet on Monday and be done with it? Big action for big results.

As I’ve pointed out, this approach just won’t work for many people. It’s much better to make lots of very small, but very positive steps on your journey because these will self-perpetuate. If you end the day having had no snacks, you’ll feel a lot better than if you’ve starved yourself!

Use this “small step” approach on all aspects of your lifestyle. Drink more water on one day, go for a brisk walk (however short) on the next, avoid sugary drinks on the next and so on. By doing this, you’ll feel better about yourself, because you’ve actually DONE something instead of SAYING you’ll do something.

And because you’ve done something, you’ll have more belief…which means your next “mini” objective will be even easier.

Good luck!


If you like the sound of this approach, then check out my New In 90 plan. It will tell you exactly how to make all the changes you need to start leading a healthier and fitter lifestyle.

Is fruit going to be the next “danger” food? Read this to find out…

bowl of fruitIn the manic rush to avoid sugar “at all costs”, one of the biggest casualties seems to be fruit. Some parents are even stopping their children from eating bananas and primary schools are writing letters encouraging the removal of fresh fruit from lunch boxes. A recent survey by a raw fruit bar producer found that one in ten parents think all fruit is unhealthy.

This has all been an over-reaction to the current anti-sugar sentiment. Sure, fruit contains sugar, with some varieties, like grapes, coming high on the list of actual sugar content. However, fruit also contains much needed fibre, vitamins and minerals, something which cakes and biscuits do not. It’s particularly important for children to eat lots of raw fruit.

The key thing, like anything you eat, is to do it in moderation. If you snack on grapes all day long rather than biscuits, it’s probably not going to be much of an action plan if you’re trying to lose weight. Have fruit with your breakfast cereal, a banana as a snack mid-morning or mid-afternoon and a piece of fruit after you evening meal, and you won’t go far wrong.

Avoid having fruit juice rather than the real thing, and smoothies are fine for a once-in-a-while treat, but they should not become regular drinks. Most experts believe that juicing and pulping fruits is not a good thing, partly because of the high sugar content and partly because the process removes all the fibre and has been linked to tooth decay and weight gain. Researchers from the University of Glasgow (see link below if you want to know more) identified a possible link between high fruit juice intake and an increased risk of diabetes, claiming that drinking a lot of fruit juice is potentially as bad for you as cola and lemonade.

And if you think that the whole matter can be put to bed by just changing to vegetables 100%, then think again. Seemingly healthier vegetable-based smoothies and juices, currently the darling of the celebrity set, can raise your sugar count in much the same way as fruit. Whilst some veg only contain small amounts of sugar (cauliflower, kale, sprouts), others are much sweeter than you’d think (carrots, parsnips, beetroot and peas). In exactly the same way as fruit takes a different form when crushed or pulped, so does vegetables.

So, if you’re a lover of fruit and see it as one of the more pleasurable weapons in the battle against weight gain, then what are the guidelines to follow?

– Eat two pieces of raw fruit as part of your “five” each day.

– Use fruit with other foods to make the serving more tasty. For instance, blueberries and natural yogurt make for a great breakfast.

– Avoid regular fruit juices and smoothies. Have a glass of water if you’re thirsty and one piece of fruit if you’re peckish.

– Avoid dried fruit if you can. A tablespoon of raisins sprinkled on your morning cereal is fine, a whole packet of dried apricots is absolutely not!

– Never binge on fruit – a open carton of grapes is as addictive (and almost as bad for you) as an open packet of biscuits.


New In 90 is a step-by-step daily plan that shows you how to alter your eating habits and routines to lead a fitter and healthier lifestyle. It’s low priced, easy to follow and great for effective, long term results. For more details check out our product page.

University of Glasgow: Fruit juice – just another sugary drink?

Matthew Parris is hopelessly addicted to his health app regime


Matthew Parris wrote an interesting column yesterday (see link below) about his “step counter” app…how he started using it and has now become so obsessed with completing his 10,000 steps per day that he carried on walking past his house the other day in order to hit his target!

This illustrates a very interesting point, not about how effective his app is (it is, after all, just a step counter), but just how addictive making positive changes to your lifestyle  can be.

As anyone who trains regularly and eats healthily will attest, it’s this addiction that keeps them coming back for more…it’s the great mental and physical feeling you get when you know you’re doing positive things to your mind and body. Whilst many addictions can be very unhealthy, this one is a positive one to have!

So saying, you can’t get it overnight. As Matthew Parris found, it creeps up on you slowly and suddenly you’ll find you really want to do something active, or you really don’t want to eat that muffin. When you get there, it’s a great place to be because not only do you feel wonderful, but it also shows you’re back in control…not because you’ve suddenly developed amazing will power, but because your mind is telling you that’s what it wants to do.

If you want to make a positive change to your health and fitness lifestyle then all you have to do to get on the road to this very positive addiction is to start.

Start small and slowly build up. Take it a day at a time and congratulate yourself when you achieve whatever you have set out to do. This could be anything from a brisk daily walk, having a small handful of nuts instead of a muffin or cutting out sugar in your tea…to doing some box press ups before you go to bed.

If you do this regularly, you’ll become addicted and that’s when the fun and really positive benefits will start to flow because you’ll have proven to your self that you can make a change!

Good luck!


New In 90 is all about choice; your choice to make changes in your life that will improve your health and fitness now and in the future. Through a series of simple objectives delivered daily to your smartphone or tablet, the plan will tell you exactly what to do and when. Find out more on our website New In 90

Matthew Parris is hopelessly addicted to his health app

Should we really worry about being too fat?

Fat Man

The annual Social Process Index has just released its global findings for 2014 and, amongst the whole host of very interesting data provided, it emerges that the U.K. is ranked  111th out of the 133 countries covered for obesity, with a whopping 24.9% of the adult population classed in this weight bracket.

The least “obese” country is Bangladesh, with just 1.1% and the most is Kuwait, with a ginormous 42.8% of the population classed as obese.

The U.K. fares no better when one separates out Europe and North America, coming 41st out of 48 countries. The U.S. is the fattest, with a 31.8% of the population deemed as obese. Good old Switzerland, with it’s renown for having an ordered and focused population, comes out top in this sector with a figure of 14.9%.

Looking at all the other indicators in the Index, there are obvious correlations. Countries that come high on “Undernourishment”, come low on the “Obesity” aspect, as did countries with bad access to piped water. These come as no surprise – if you don’t have piped water, then it’s unlikely you’re going to have a freezer full of processed food or a Starbucks down the road.

Overall, the Index is a fascinating survey (there’s a link to it below) and other correlations are also interesting when it comes to eating and nutrition.  France, Italy and Greece all have obesity levels below 17.5%, as do Japan and China…certainly countries with an abundance of supermarkets and coffee shops. Does this lend even more credence to the well-researched effectiveness of the Mediterranean and fish-based diets…(with “diet” being used in the context of general day-to-day eating)? (For more on this read If you’re a calorie counter, then you’d better read this…).

In this country, there’s also a big misconception about just what being overweight or obese actually is. (If you’re not sure then check out this article Do I need to lose weight at all? We hope you won’t be surprised at what you discover.) There’s certainly a much more wide acceptance of being “overweight” than there was twenty or thirty years ago and lots of research has shown people to regularly underestimate just how overweight they actually are.

And this brings us back to the subject of this article…should we really worry about being too fat?

My general feeling on this is that the answer should be no. There are plenty of other things in life to worry about…things over which we have no control, so there’s no point in increasing anxiety over something which we DO have control.

If the question was re-phrased to say “Is it generally better for us NOT to be too fat”, then my emphatic answer would be yes! We don’t need to actually read all the published research about how being overweight is bad for your health and lifestyle to know that it is. Whilst most of us have no desire to run marathons or look like a catwalk model, we’d like to be a bit fitter and slimmer overall…and all the news about obesity being such a burden on the NHS can only reinforce those feelings.

So, if you’re someone who thinks that the time has come to do something about your own fitness, then the really good news is that it’s relatively easy to start the process…whatever experience you might have had in the past. The two key things to remember are:

1. You’ve got to want to make a change.

2. You got to see the change process as part of a life-long project. Making your lifestyle healthier, with the resultant weight loss, is not going to happen overnight, so you’ve got to say to yourself that you’re reaping the benefits from day 1!

Good luck!


New In 90 is a specially created three month plan that will show you exactly how to change your eating and activity lifestyle using simple daily techniques. Check it out for more details New In 90 plan.

The Social Progress Index.

Here’s a good way to start the weight loss journey…

A collection of healthy foods

A collection of healthy foods

One of the biggest problems about regularly eating and drinking too much on a daily basis is that most of us don’t really know we’re doing it! If you’ve developed “bad” eating /drinking habits and routines, then how much you’re actually putting into your body becomes a sub-conscious action, rather than a conscious one. It’s amazing how many people just don’t know!

So it’s a really useful exercise to take five minutes out to write yesterday’s food and drink diary. This will enable you to see exactly how much you’re actually eating on an average day. If you can, do it for several days…that way more habits and routines may emerge even more clearly.

The key objective of this exercise is to try and identify excess food and drink that you can remove easily and without undue effort, rather than make huge drastic changes. If the end objective is to “balance the books” (or, in other words, equalise the amount of calorific energy going into your body with the amount your body needs to remain fit and healthy), then this is a great way to start the process.

So how does this work in practice? Take a look at the following table…remember, these are “average” days only and different people will obviously require different amounts.

An “good” eating day An actual eating day

Wake-up: Cup of tea, semi-skimmed or skimmed milk. No sugar. A glass of water.

Breakfast: Poached egg on wholegrain toast and butter. An apple. A glass of water.

Mid-morning: An Americano coffee with semi-skimmed milk. A small handful of unsalted nuts.

Lunch: Smoked salmon sandwich on wholegrain bread with butter, a sprinkle of pepper and squirt of lemon juice. A glass of water.

Mid-afternoon: A cup of tea, semi-skimmed or skimmed milk, no sugar. A small fruit salad with a tablespoon of natural yoghurt.

A glass of water

Dinner: A piece of lean chicken stir fried with mixed vegetables, chilli, ginger and a small handful of whole wheat noodles. A glass of wine. A glass of water.

Evening: A fruit tea and 3 small pieces of dark chocolate.

Wake-up: Cup of tea, full fat milk, one sugar.Breakfast: Bowl of cornflakes. Full fat milk. Slice of white toast, butter and marmalade. Cup of coffee with full fat milk and one sugar.Mid-morning: Cappuccino with full fat milk. A “skinny” muffin.Lunch: A cheese salad sandwich on brown bread with “low calorie” salad cream. A small bottle of smoothie.

Mid-afternoon: A cup of tea. Full-fat milk. One sugar. A couple of sweets.

A “diet” cola.

Dinner: Fish fingers with mashed potatoes (with full fat milk and butter mashed in) peas and tomato ketchup. Three glasses of wine.

Evening: A hot chocolate with full fat milk. An apple.

At first glance, the actual eating day doesn’t look too bad…and it’s not (no large quantities of anything “unhealthy” there). However, a more detailed look provides ample opportunity to make things healthier with little real effort.

So, let’s look at that actual eating day and highlight foods and drink that could easily be removed and/or replaced.

Key: Suggested replacements in italics

Try to remove the crossed out items altogether (if you can’t do it immediately, phase it out over a couple of weeks).

An actual eating day with “good” revisions.
Wake-up: Cup of tea, full fat milk [semi-skimmed or skimmed milk], one sugar.Breakfast: Bowl of cornflakes [shredded wheat/porridge]. Full fat milk [semi-skimmed or skimmed milk]. Slice of white [Slice of whole grain] toast, butter and marmalade [as little as possible]. Cup of coffee with full fat [semi-skimmed or skimmed ] milk and one sugar.Mid-morning: Cappuccino with full fat [Americano with semi-skimmed or skimmed milk, or a fruit tea]. A “skinny” muffin.[A piece of fruit].Lunch: A cheese salad sandwich on brown [whole grain] bread with no salad cream. A small bottle of smoothie [a bottle of water and a small fruit salad, or, better still, an individual piece of fruit].

Mid-afternoon: A cup of tea. Full fat [semi-skimmed or skimmed] milk. One sugar. A couple of sweets [A small handful of raw vegetables or nuts].

A “diet” cola [A glass of water or fruit tea].

Dinner: Fish fingers with mashed potatoes (with full fat milk and butter mashed in) peas and tomato ketchup. Three [One or two] glasses of wine. A glass of water.

(NB If you mash potatoes extra hard, they’ll go creamy just like you’ve added milk and butter).

Evening: A hot chocolate with full fat milk [Fruit tea with a couple of pieces of dark chocolate]. An apple.

It all may seem very obvious but once you have done this exercise in detail over a few days, it’s easy to see how many calories you could save over a longer period without making any real effort. You’ll still be having the same “core” food and drink and doing the same routines, but you’ll be going without a lot of the “unhealthy” options.

Once you’ve done this process, then it’ll be time to look at the main meal ingredients and see how you can swap them out with the least possible aggro. I’ll look at ways to do that in a future article.

The ultimate objective must be to get as near the “good” eating day (give or take depending on your circumstances) as possible. If you can do that, then you can slot in the occasional Indian takeaway, full English breakfast, pepperoni pizza or over indulgence on the alcohol without worrying about it!

Good luck!


Do you want to know the truth about snacks?

A healthy snack - oatmeal and blueberries

A healthy snack – oatmeal and blueberries

In today’s weight obsessed world, “snacking” has definitely become an unhealthy pastime, hasn’t it?

That’s a shame, because it’s a nice substantive word and has a real feelgood factor about it.

The actual dictionary definition is “a small portion of food or drink or a light meal, especially one eaten between regular meals” – no mention of being unhealthy there so I think it’s about time to get rid of the negative connotations!

The blame for the word’s downfall can be laid at the food manufacturers/retailer’s door…the term “snack” has been well and truly hijacked and used to sell us all sorts of foods and drinks that we cannot resist and are of little nutritional value to us. If you don’t agree, then next time you’re in a supermarket, head for the “snacks” section and quickly try to ascertain what proportion of the products on display are actually good for you from a nutritional point of view. If you’re lucky, there’ll be a handy “healthy snacks” section (although you can guarantee it’ll be small in comparison) although the whole concept of “healthy” food sections makes a mockery of the retailer’s assertions that they want their customer to eat healthily at all!

I strongly feel that most people know deep down what they should be eating…what’s healthy and what’s not. A fascinating programme last year by the University of Surrey studied a group of children eating their lunch. Half were offered chopped fruit and veg from a separate table and the other half  had all their healthy food in amongst the normal serving of hot food.

Much to the researcher’s surprise, the second group of children picked nearly twice as much of the healthy options as the first…demonstrating that kids are likely to pick the healthy choices unprompted provided it’s easily to hand.

What’s the relevance of this?

Well, apart from illustrating that humans probably start off life with an innate sense of the right foods to eat (no baby is born with an inner desire to eat a chocolate bar) if left to their own devices and uninfluenced by adults or peers, it also shows that if you have plenty of fruit, veg and other healthy options readily to hand you’re much more likely to snack on these first. And once you have eaten them, you’re much less likely to snack on the bad stuff.

Likewise, our lives have developed around things called “mealtimes” which way back were connected with our physical requirements; get up, eat something, go out and hunt and if you were lucky eat something, go to bed.

The mealtimes and meals have stuck, but they’re no longer the necessities they were. We tend to eat set quantities with no real correlation between what we eat and what our bodies need. If you were stranded on a desert island, snacking on wild fruit and impromptu meals based around successful hunting expeditions would quickly become the norm (and one’s weight presumably would not be an issue after a relatively short time!).

What can we take from all this?

1. Snacking doesn’t have to be bad for you…only the choice of snacks.

2. When you go shopping, load up the basket with “healthy” snacks from the fruit, veg and nut sections and COMPLETELY MISS OUT the crisp/biscuit/cake/fizzy drink aisles. Walk straight past them and don’t look back. Once you’ve done this once, you’ll feel great about yourself!

3. Bring out the child in you and make sure you make these snacks easily available. When you get home, take a minute (and that’s all it is) to prepare the fruit and veg and have them ready to eat in the fridge or on the side.  That way you’ll ensure that you are snacking on the good stuff, and won’t be tempted (or, after a while, need) to seek out the bad.

4. Whilst your normal daily routine should consist of three meals with little in between, if you have snacked a lot during the morning (for what ever reason), then miss out your lunch…your body won’t need it and will easily last until supper.

Good luck!


Here’s my current top three snacks…guaranteed healthy!

Grapes and walnuts
No matter how much you love either, there are only so many you can eat. That’s because grapes are super sweet and walnuts are even more filling. A small cup of grapes and a handful of walnuts together are a power-combo of natural sugars, fiber, healthy fats and protein — all of which make for more long-lasting energy.

Greek yogurt with raspberries
Sweet, creamy, and filling, this duo feels completely indulgent. The combination of fiber, healthy fats and protein are sure to get you over any 3pm slump. Plus, the Vitamin C in raspberries increases your body’s fat-burning ability, according to research in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Combine a single-serving container of Greek yogurt and small cup of raspberries.

Oatmeal and blueberries
Oats aren’t just for breakfast — they’re good any time you need a hearty treat. Full of fiber, they help regulate blood sugar levels to keep you from crashing. Meanwhile, blueberries add a kick of sweetness (and vitamin C) without any table sugar. Try a packet of plain, microwaveable oatmeal topped with a half cup of blueberries.

“Politicians and GPs are turning a blind eye to the obesity epidemic” – true or false?

Alice_Thomson_140_445744aAlice Thomson wrote a hard hitting article in The Times on Tuesday about the problems of children growing fatter. In it she makes some very sobering points including:

– One in ten children will start primary school and one in five children will start secondary school clinically obese.

– 3.4 million people in Britain suffer from type 2 diabetes, the primary cause of which is obesity.

– The NHS is spending £15 billion a year treating diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, cancers, liver failure, hip and knee joint problems, and other consequences of overeating.

She points out that, whilst Britain leads the way on tackling smoking (plain cigarette packaging would have been unthinkable five years ago), there seems to be an ominous silence when it comes to obesity and weight issues – politicians seem to be more relaxed talking about porn and sex education. GPs also find it difficult to talk about weight issues with their patients. They will refer people to smoking cessation services but rarely make suggestions for the obese. When the major of Oklahoma City, Mick Cornett, realised his city was on America’s fattest list, he tackled the problem head-on and launched a weight-loss drive that helped his citizens become amongst the fittest in the US.

The talk of a fat or sugar tax, however commendable, will come to nothing because the food and retail lobby is much too strong and anyway, such taxes will always hit the poor hardest…and no politician will ever be part of that if they can help it.

So, like many things in life, it’s down to us. We can be our own Mich Cornett by saying “enough is enough” and making the necessary changes that will see both us and our children get fitter, healthier and, by logical extension, slimmer.

We moan enough about the “nanny state” but when it comes to our weight and fitness, we are seemingly happy to sing to the food producers and retailers tune.

It’s time things changed…and my philosophy is that it’s not too hard if you approach it in the right way!


If you want to know more about New In 90 and its approach to weight loss and fitness, then check out the website now.

Artificial sweeteners…no miracle solution

Stevia-rebaudiana (1)
A relatively small company called PureCircle hit the business headlines over the weekend because they have managed to corner approximately 80% of the global stevia market.

For those who don’t know, stevia is an obscure plant-derived additive that’s being hailed as the miracle of all artificial sweeteners…and is the key ingredient in the latest version of Coca Cola…Coca Cola Life which has about a third less sugar and calories than regular Coke.

Stevia is a plant native to South America that until a few years ago was mainly used in soy sauce. It’s now in everything, from Heinz tomato ketchup to Wrigley’s chewing gum and Tesco own-label yoghurt.

The substance is popular with food manufacturers because it’s up to five times more efficient than sugar, meaning it’s kinder on the environment to supply and can be used in much smaller quantities. All good news for the industry that’s under huge pressure to reduce the overall sweetness of their products. Analysts reckon the demand for sweeteners could make this a £6.5 billion market in five years time.

That sounds good for the manufacturers and retailers but where does it leave the consumer?

If you’re one of those people who has a lot of fizzy drinks, swapping out your regular favourite with one containing a third less calories is really not going to make much dent in your overall food and drink intake…not to mention the fact you’ll still be drinking a load of artificial ingredients. Hailing stevia as a “miracle” cure for weight-related issues and problems is surely like reducing the amount of nicotine in a cigarette and saying “that’s alright then”.

The truth is, whilst we have all become used (some may say addicted) to a vast array of food and drink that’s actually not that good for us, our bodies don’t need unnecessary, high calorie drinks and foods. Drinking water instead of a Coke is infinitely better for you and, as long as you take it from the tap, considerably cheaper!

And, before I get shot down with such a “boring” suggestion, I’ll be the first to say that a “healthy” eating and drinking regime is NOT about denying yourself any particular type of food or food group…it’s about moderating how much, what and when you eat.

Get that right and you won’t have to worry about which Coke you have, you can just get on and enjoy it!

Good luck!


New In 90 is a three month plan devised by experts to alter your eating and activity habits and routines simply and easily. If you want to lose some weight and get a bit more active for the long term, then check it out here and read some of the testimonials.

Wikipedia stevia

Here’s the most useful weight loss advice ever…

It’s not WHAT you put in your mouth, it’s HOW MUCH you put in that really matters!

Empty dinner plateEmpty plates are not always good!

Whilst the majority of diets and slimming plans are fixated on the calorific value of this food and that drink, on what’s “good” for you and what’s “bad”, the simple fact of the matter is that if you can get control of the quantity of food and drink you consume, then you’ll be well on your way to a weight that suits both you AND your body.

And that’s where most of us want to be…in a place where we can eat pretty much what we want, without having to worry about the waistline!

So, take a few moments to think about the amount of food and drink you consume.

Start with portion size because, for most of us, the actual quantity of food we eat has little bearing on whether or not our body needs it.

Think about it.

We’re bound by habits and routines instilled into us since our childhood “eat everything up” practices. We tend to fill our plates (or have our plates filled by others…even more problematical) with food, even though the size of it has nothing to do with our requirements. We eat as part of social rituals, with a complete disconnect between our current needs and the situation. We graze on snacks throughout the day, snacks made specifically to taste fantastic and “moreish”. We go out specifically “to drink” even though our bodies have no requirement for liquid…and the list goes on and on.

With our mindset stuck on “eat at every opportunity and eat everything that’s in front of you”, it’s little wonder we all tend to have more than we need!

So, one of the first things to do if you want to lose some weight is to forget about going on some sort of fad diet that restricts certain foods or food groups. Instead, take some simple steps to bring the amount you eat more into line with what your requirements actually are at that time.

1. Try and only eat when you are hungry…refer to our hunger scale – you should aim to eat at stage 2 and 3. If you’re not hungry then don’t eat just because you “normally” do at that time.

2. When you do sit down to eat, put a very small amount (much less than usual) on your plate to start. Eat it slowly and then really consider how much more you want…you’ll normally be surprised at how satisfied you feel without eating too much more.

3. Stop eating as soon as you feel a little full...that’s your body saying “enough”. And, when you do, remove your plate from in front of you…get up and get on with other things. If you sit there with half a plate of food in front of you, you’ll tuck in again!

4. Try these three things for a few days and start adjusting how much you eat and when…remember, you’re getting yourself in tune with your body’s actual needs and requirements. Don’t worry if you end up throwing some food away to start with…we’re talking about your health and long life here!

5. If someone else serves you, or you go out, follow these same guidelines. Don’t be persuaded to “have some more” just to be polite and try and ask yourself “do I really want/need this” before you eat or drink anything (the only exception here is water…drink this often throughout the day).

6. Don’t resist your favourite treats or takeaways…just don’t have too much of them, too often and don’t pile your plate high to start – eat bit by bit.

7. Alter your normal habits and routines when it comes to eating and drinking for a day…just to prove to yourself you can! Miss out supper, go for a  walk instead of the coffee shop, have a fruit tea instead of a latte, do (or don’t do) something different…the aim is to throw in a “disruptor” which will kick start your system into doing things differently.

If you follow these steps, you’ll start to get control back, and then you can really change things for the long term…try it and see!

Good luck.


New In 90 is a special eating and fitness plan that will slowly change your eating and activity habits over a three month period. Unlike traditional diets and exercise regimes, it aims to change things for the long term, without using restrictive diets or gyms.


How active are you…REALLY?

New In 90 woman exercising

“Being physically active is crucial to good health. If a medication existed that had a similar effect on preventing disease it would be hailed as a miracle cure.”

At a UK Active conference last year one of the speakers brought up a slide with this quote from Professor Liam Donaldson, who was the Government’s Chief Medical Officer in 2010.

The Government’s present guidelines are that adults over 16 should be doing a minimum of 150 minutes of activity per week, but research tells us that 80% of the population do not achieve this.

The nation’s health seems to be heading for a double whammy…obesity levels going through the roof combined with disease and ill-health caused through inactivity rising to worrying levels. Physical inactivity accounts for around 16% of all deaths in adults and the annual cost of inactivity in England is £8.2 billion per year.

With all these dark statistics in public knowledge, why is doing some exercise..and motivating oneself to exercise, so damn hard? There are many reasons but here are some:

1. Like eating and diet, many of us get habits and thoughts about exercise instilled at an early age. Some get put off mainstream sports at school and there are just not enough facilities for people to find a niche sport they like. By the time people are grown up, the “moment for sport” has passed. It then takes a lot of effort for most of us to go along to the local badminton club, for instance, and ask to try it out…even though the welcome would most likely be very warm.

2. A lot of people believe that you either have to be an exercise fanatic or not…there is no in-between. That’s why so many people take out a new gym membership at the start of the year with the good intention of “going every day” without even working out how they can spare the one or two hours required (because realistically that’s how long a gym visit takes). The general “belief” is that exercise is only useful if done a lot and very vigorously!

3. One of the most used excuses for not exercising is the “I just don’t have the time.” Well, it’s true…most of us don’t these days. Whether you are commuting in the car or train, picking your children up from school, sitting at a desk, doing the household chores, there’s just no time!

4. Despite the world being a better place (probably) than forty years ago, there’s no doubt we do less “activity” than we used to. Children don’t tend to walk to school, jobs are less physical and more desk bound, playing fields have all but disappeared etc etc. We drive everywhere and spend what little time we do have on social media or watching the TV.

As a result, we are all becoming inactive and sluggish, and the more inactive we become, the harder it is to actually start doing something beneficial. And, to most people, exerting yourself is a right pain in the ass…no fun at all!

The great news though, is that exercise can be fun and very addictive. Ask the 20% of people who are very active why they do it. Most will say they LOVE doing what they do. It makes them feel amazing, less stressed, sleep better, healthier and more full of life.

So are they just mad? Or do they know something that 80% of us don’t know?

The answer, of course is no and no.

So, if you’re not generally an exerciser, next time you feel you should actually do some, say and do this.

Say: “I want to do some exercise but that does not mean rush to a gym or run 5K”

Then just do something…anything: This could be as little as standing up instead of sitting down! Every hour slowly stand up and sit down 3 times without pushing yourself up. Feel the legs working up and down. If that’s easy, do it ten times and then twenty. And when you finish, we guarantee you’ll feel good! Not only because your body releases endorphins that are “feelgood” hormones, but also because you have achieved something, no matter how small.

Go for a brisk walk…do it after supper and before you sit down and watch some TV…walking is the best exercise out there and it’s totally free!

Get in the habit of using your downtime (watching TV, waiting for the kids to come out of school etc) to do something active (remember… however small) and you’ll find it gets easier and easier and more and more fun…and you’ll be that exercise fanatic before you know it!

If you want some more information about activities that are easy to do and will slip into your day, then read this article from the New In 90 team 6 easy exercises to get you active.

Good luck.