Eating better

I’ve been trying for a while to lose weight. Anyone who takes the dreaded prednisolone will know how hungry you always feel. I tend to eat really healthily 50% of the time then really lapse the other 50%. I’m trying to figure out why this is. I think it’s for these reasons:

  1. Convenience – often get in a state where I’ve run out of food and eat the nearest thing at hand. This is often junk or convenience food that takes zero energy. So I’ll end up eating an entire packet of biscuits in one sitting. I also get too tired to calorie count and give up on diets.
  2. Emotional Eating – if I’ve had a bad day I’ll try to cheer myself up with a take out or some chocolate. My excuse is that it’s just today, then the next day I feel ill and treat myself again.
  3. Late Night Binges – this is the worst part of the day for eating and eating badly. I tell myself I’ve been really good then binge on anything bad I can get my hands on including crisps, chocolate and cheese.
  4. Inactivity – since the beginning of the fatigue and inflammatory problems I have become more and more inactive. This leads to weight gain and it being more difficult to exercise. 
  5. I’ll start tomorrow – this is a double edged sword. Whilst it’s good to carry on with a diet even if you slip up, slipping every day doesn’t help. 

There are ways in which I can challenge these struggles. 

  1. Making meals ahead for the freezer for bad days
  2. Changing the ratio of good to bad eating to 80% good and 20% treat
  3. Using apps such as weight watchers and Treat to plan meals and track my intake. I really like the new smart point system as it not only counts calories but encourages you to eat good calories such as fresh and low sugar and salt. Treat is a personalised app for one to one nutritional coaching. I love the fact you post a picture of your food and get advice from this. It also holds you accountable to someone other than yourself! 
  4. Keep my excitement for cooking. I love it and trying new things. I have a Pinterest board with loads of ideas to try out.
  5. Surrounding myself with better treats and snacks so I don’t break!
  6. Being more active – I really like that Fitbit now encourages you to move around every hour. Little steps!
  7. Oh and I’m starting today…

Do you have any tips you could share for weight loss and healthy eating, I’d love to hear about them in the comments…

Digital Life | A Guide to Healthy Apps

I spend A LOT of time connected to devices. In fact I’m rarely disconnected and even find it hard to sleep at night without a film or podcast on. I always want to do a bit of a digital detox but fail miserably. Looking at it in a different way though there are lots of apps, and games out there that are amazing. I thought I’d share my faves:

Pacifica | A CBT app for catching those thoughts

slides-moodWhat They Say:

MANAGE STRESS. LIVE HAPPIER. Daily tools for stress and anxiety alongside a supportive community. Based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy & Meditation.Learn to identify and correct distorted thinking patterns.

What I think:

Pros: This is the most user-friendly and easy to use CBT app I have come across. Having explored CBT in ‘real life’ I have found it easy to continue to use these techniques within this app. My favourite bit is the Thought Tracker which enables you to capture your thoughts, then explore behaviours such as ‘fortune telling’ or ‘mind-reading’ (two of my habits). It then gives you the chance to turn these thoughts around to balance them. It also has a voice recording capability which I haven’t yet tried out.

Cons: I’m not sure how this would be for someone who was completely new to CBT. I love it because I understand all the terms. I also feel the loss of someone human or a trained professional to guide you. They often will pick up on issues within your responses to thoughts and catch those places where you are still being negative. It’s a useful tool but not a replacement for real therapy.

Breathe | Mindfulness with achievement badges

What they say:

GET MEDITATING IN 5 MINUTES. EASY.With this app, you can develop and apply kindness and compassion in your daily life through a process called STOP, BREATHE & THINK.

STOP | Stop what you are doing. Check in with what you are thinking, and how you are feeling.

BREATHE | Practice mindful breathing to create space between your thoughts, emotions and reactions.

THINK | Learn to broaden your perspective and strengthen your force field of peace and calm by practicing one of the meditations.top-slide-1536.png

What I think:

Pros: I loved this app instantly on appearance and for the ease of use. The best thing is closing your eyes for ten seconds and scanning your body and mind. It then recommends you different meditations depending on your current metal and physical state. I also love the badges as rewards and have even woken up early to get the early bird one.

Cons: My only issue is that I seem to get the same meditations all the time which gets repetitive and puts me off.

Never Alone | Truly demonstrating the potential of games to create learning 

Nuna

What they say:

Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna) is the first game developed in collaboration with the Iñupiat, an Alaska Native people. Nearly 40 Alaska Native elders, storytellers and community members contributed to the development of the game. Play as a young Iñupiat girl and an arctic fox as they set out to find the source of the eternal blizzard which threatens the survival of everything they have ever known.

What I think:

This game is utterly beautiful. It demonstrates the power and potential that video games have as an interactive learning tool. The storytelling is powerful, the game is absorbing and there’s a documentary thrown in there too. So far I haven’t found a con!

I’m also glad that the world is waking up to the potential of video games. They are not all unsociable and violent, but provide a creative and interactive platform for learning. TED talks have plenty of debate on this here.

My Pain Diary| a comprehensive diary to keep track of chronic illness

mpdiconWhat they say: CHRONIC PAIN & SYMPTOM TRACKER. Track one or more chronic pain conditions and keep your entries organized with Color Flags.

What I think:

Pros: This is a nice app with lots of detail. You first of all identify the type of pain or condition you have then add details. This includes adding photos, triggers, symptoms and even the weather. It’s helpful for me because you can download a report to take to the doctors or rheumatologist.

Cons: It takes quite a while to set up all the tabs for different conditions and options.

Daily Yoga | Easy to follow, high quality yoga routines

part2-bg.pngWhat they say:

The world’s most dedicated yoga app – fitness on the go!

What I think:

Pros: The routines are easy to follow with both written, spoken and image based instructions. Theres a wide variety of routines even on the free app.

Cons: If your workout gets interrupted mid session, for example a low battery, I cannot see a way to restart where you left off.

 

Headspace | Techniques and meditations to heal the soul 

What they say:

GET SOME HEADSPACE | Headspace is meditation made simple. Learn online, when you want, wherever you are, in just 10 minutes a day.

hero-get-headspace_1.png

What I think:

Pros: Like Breathe this is another great looking app with lovely design. The 10 day plan is easy to follow and a good starting point. Theres lots on the app in the free version to keep you going for a while. I like the fact you can link up with friends as this motivates me.

dfulnessCons: I got a bit bored after a while and felt reluctant to pay for it when there other free trials around. As a general point I love practicing mindfulness but find it difficult to concentrate when very anxious.

So these are my 5 apps or games. Please comment below with ones you love…