With the festive season rapidly approaching, we thought we'd take a preemptive swipe at the bathroom scales in case they try and tell us things we don't want to hear come the New Year.
We all know that Christmas time is the Season of Goodwill and usually good eating and drinking too. The shops are packed to the rafters with a bewildering array of tasty festive treats that quite frankly, are hard to resist. It's that time when we love to stock up with all those naughty things that we may not normally buy during the other 11 months of the year.
Whilst the lighthearted notion of "reaching for the nearest bar of chocolate" when we're upset or stressed is something of a cliche, the sad reality is that comfort eating can have negative, long-lasting psychological consequences.
Although it's often seen as a source of amusement when we joke about comfort eating with friends or family, emotional overeating is a very real and tangible condition that glosses over the deeper problem of an ineffective coping strategy when we're faced with problems in our lives.
It's a commonplace reason given for weight gain and a subsequent inability to lose it. As a consequence there are queues at the doctor's to check for an under active thyroid!
But there are a number of rational reasons why this weight gain theory is clearly an obesity red herring.
- Weight excess was far less prevalent 50 years ago. If we are to assume that slow metabolisms are the cause of a sudden increase then we have to accept the unlikely possibility that a human evolutionary change is taking place across the world at miraculous speed.
- The distinction between energy that we use to stay alive (metabolism) and energy used through our daily activities is an artificial one and the boundaries are a bit blurred. The combination of both categories represents our total energy expenditure and again, 50 years ago, irrespective of vocation, build, height, age, gender we were much better at matching our calorie input to output. There's no set amount we need to consume. It's just a case of matching our consumption to our expenditure. If it were true that someone only used up a total of 500 calories a day they would be less hungry than the rest of us and they just wouldn't need very much to eat!
- Our metabolism includes our heart and respiratory functions, digestion, brain function, body temperature and cell maintenance, and these tasks carry on largely unnoticed all the time. All that work needs lots of energy. I would invite anyone to explain which aspect of metabolism could slow without the individual affected being aware of it. And even if it could actually occur, with or without awareness, surely appetite would reduce accordingly to compensate? Losing weight is already extremely difficult and building unnecessary barriers is not going to help.
Most people consider exercise an important part of losing weight but might they be expecting too much?
There is now mounting evidence that slimmers won't necessarily derive much benefit from pounding the treadmill and a compilation of over 60 studies confirms this view.
The main shortcomings of exercising for weight loss are:
- Starting from scratch it will take a long while, months or even years, to build up to a meaningful contribution.
- Exercise is often followed up by a recovery period and resting obviously negates some or all of that extra energy expenditure. Can you be sure that more calories have been used up going to the gym, compared to a normal busy day?
- Burning more calories : consuming less calories, are just opposite sides of the same coin. Both involve going hungry and succumbing to a single snack bar after a workout may be all it takes to nullify all of the previous hour's efforts.
There's still time to catch up and see 'The Truth About Slim People', Channel 4, 8th November. A programme about weight loss that's a bit more science based for a change!
Two slim individuals were followed around to see how they did it and for those who don't have time to see for themselves the highlights were.....
The participants had a low alcohol intake (an obvious one).
They didn't eat late in the day.
Their diet was auto-balancing. In other words, times of excess were instinctively followed by corresponding periods of deprivation. Eating was primarily a response to stomach, not mouth hunger.
Exposure to our celestial friend can have a downside so now’s a good time to tackle any unfortunate consequences that may have arisen.......replace some moisture, clean up some uneven skin tone, add a bit more sparkle even.........in essence, now the children are off your hands, you definitely need to lay back and enjoy a comprehensive facial treatment.
The last nine months have zipped through a bit sharpish and thoroughly refreshed Laura will be rejoining the team in just 2 weeks; which is handy because it coincides with our seasonal demand for MD facial expertise. MD products, you may recall, use glycolic based products to deliver benefits exactly where they’re needed....really, really dippy deeply.
Naturally, all our usual facial treatments are still available but to synchronise with Laura’s return, only through October, we’ve put together an absolute bargain £17.00 taster ‘Moisture Quench’ MD facial which fits neatly into a 30 minute slot during a lunch break.
Incorporating cleanse, scrub, hot towels, mask, serum, eye crème, SPF and lip balm. Alternatively, you might like to buy the products for use at home for around £700 (OK, I’ve exaggerated a bit).
Please don’t arrive late because we won’t have time to complete the treatment and it will be embarrassing walking home with the mask on!