Week 9 - Forget the calories and try veggie! This week, for all you meat eaters, have two whole days ‘vegetarian’ and will post two full day menus for you later, if you are Vegetarian or even Vegan you can also join in on this because these two days will also be quite ‘eye opening’ for you, I promise! Week 9 is on us already, and some of the feedback has been fabulous and some of you are really starting to notice the changes, very soon you will be having your bloods redone and then we can really see where these positive changes have been made. Whatever your thoughts for doing this 12-week challenge were, the focus on losing weight should really be a small part of it. Too many of us focus purely on weight loss and calorie intake, I did when I first started, but to be honest this then that leads to even worse eating habits. Calorie counting doesn’t make you change what you eat, you just make sure your calories are adjusted to fit your favourite foods.! A well-known ‘diet’ club recommends a KitKat over an Avocado, because of the calorific content, that is just plain bonkers!! For a very few people these types of club’s work, but in the main they don’t, and you put all your weight back on because you are not educated properly in changing your basic eating habits, because of stupid things like that! To estimate a sedentary (inactive) woman's calorie needs, you multiply her body weight by 13. If you weigh 140 pounds, then your calorie intake should be around 1,820 calories. Let’s say your target is to lose weight and get more heart healthy, so we reduce our calorie intake to say 1500 a day, but we still eat whatever we like, loads of starchy food, take away, carbs, chocolate, fizzy drinks, wee glass of wine, but we stay on our calorie target. You will lose weight - guaranteed! But I also guarantee that even though you are losing weight, by not changing what you are eating will still impact hugely on your heart and overall health. During this challenge we want you to recognise what is good for you and start adding them to your everyday diet. It’s not about cutting out all the stuff that we know isn’t the best for us, it’s about having them less and more as treat. For me calorie counting isn’t the way forward to losing weight and getting healthier, it’s about recognising ‘real’ foods and their benefits to you and recognising what doesn’t have a benefit. I have cut down my sugar and ‘bad carbohydrates’ intake over the last 3 years, doesn’t stop me having a blowout now and then, but when I do, I can notice the impact on my body, its like a bit of a hangover! But it does teach me, not to get back to my old habits. So, for week 9 we want you to step up your exercise, check out the Facebook page for the best way to do this and I will also ensure this sent round to the others who don’t have access to Facebook.