Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Are your beliefs about yourself sabotaging your weight loss?

THERE are many reasons why people find it hard to stick with healthy eating and good lifestyle habits – and more often than not the biggest problem is what’s going on inside their mind. We all know how powerful the mind is and the stories you tell yourself and the things you believe about yourself can really have a massive impact on your life, both positive and negative.

There is a direct link between our beliefs and our behaviour and of course this includes the way we behave towards food too. If you believe you CAN lose weight your actions every day will reflect those beliefs.

And likewise if you’ve given up believing losing weight is possible, you’ll behave very differently.  This can mean you don’t care any more because you’re resigned to being fat all your life and there’s no motivation.

It can also mean you do care but you are full of fear and anxiety about yet another failure, so your heart isn’t in it.  I come across a lot of people who are full of fear and find it much easier to believe they can’t lose weight and this then becomes a subconscious protection tool so that they don’t get disappointed.

Dr Carol Dweck, a psychologist at Stanford University in America, is famous for her research on two different types of mindset, the fixed mindset and the growth mindset.

Here’s a really cute video that explains her research in nice simple terms:

The big thing about Carol’s research is that it talks about the connection between what you believe and how that then translates to what you do.

For example, if you believe things about yourself like “I can’t lose weight” or “It’s hard for me to lose weight because I’ve got a disability” or “I’ve got no willpower” – that’s the fixed mindset.

It means you’ll avoid doing things where you might feel like a failure and as a result you prefer to stop the healthy eating regime, and this will inevitably mean you self sabotage.  On the other hand, someone with a growth mindset tends to overcome challenges rather than avoid them and learn from comments and criticism, seeing them as inspirational and even motivational.

One of the limiting things about having a fixed mindset is it causes you to avoid experiences where you might feel like a failure. As a result you have a reluctance to learn and you avoid personal development because it’s too much of a risk.

I notice fixed mindsets nearly every day with people I serve. In so many cases they’ve come to Slimpod when everything else has failed.  They’ve been on 20 or 30 diets and have just given up believing it’s possible to change. They may not even have been that type of person before they started dieting.

So what can be done about this?  How can you change the things you believe about yourself?  How can you kick out the fixed mindset and achieve your goals?

How small daily actions can change your beliefs

Once you’ve identified that you have a fixed mindset and you would like to change the things you believe about yourself, the most important thing is to do something about it and take some action.

You can change your self-limiting beliefs by thinking of yourself as the person you’d like to become and getting there with small actions repeated every day.

When you enjoy the process of getting to the goal, this begins to change the way you think of yourself and will also start the process of changing your perception of yourself at an  identity level.

This is crucial because it’s at the identity level that real change happens.  If you want to lose three dress sizes and become a UK size 12, you MUST believe you can do it and then start becoming the person who IS the size 12.

This will help you to not only believe it’s possible but behave like a size 12 person.  It totally shifts your mindset.

The way of achieving this is to start with small steps.  You definitely need the goal in mind but that big hairy goal is not going to be achieved tomorrow so you can put it to the back of your mind right now.

The important thing is to start with the small steps and enjoy the process.  The process will then become a habit and you’ll gain loads of confidence along the way because you’ll start seeing results and begin to believe you CAN DO IT!

You’ll start to think of yourself as someone who CAN lose weight. So let’s break this down into small chunks, too:

  1. Set the big goal/intention.
  2. Set yourself a small action each day – this can be to eat protein three times a day, or reduce your full fat sugary lattes from three cups to one cup. Or plan your lunch and dinner in advance so you’re not grabbing the processed convenience junk. Or do a Hiit session three times a week.  Then DO THIS EVERY DAY!
  3. The thing that will make a difference is your dedication to the daily practice of your small action.  This will change everything because the process will help you form different beliefs about who you are. It will help you become a person who believes they CAN DO.

Too many people think that the result will define who they are. “If I’m a size 12 it will transform my life and make me happy.” But this is not the case.

It’s your daily behaviour and actions that will change what you believe about yourself and the size 12 person you become. It’s all about focusing on the everyday process of eating healthily rather than constantly worrying about the number on the scale.

Are you a person with a fixed mindset and if so, what small daily actions can you perform to start changing your beliefs?  Do let me know in the comments below –  I look forward to hearing from you!

There are quite a few videos of Carol Dweck on YouTube, by the way. Take a look for yourself:

If you want to delve deeper into Carol’s work, she has a fascinating book which I often dip into called Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. You’ll find it on Amazon.


The post Are your beliefs about yourself sabotaging your weight loss? appeared first on Slimpod.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The inspiring story of Drew Lynch, the comedian who stutters

IT was my 20-year-old daughter who introduced me to Drew Lynch. “Mum, my favourite comedian’s doing a show in London this week and I’d love to take you with me to see him,” she gushed. How could I resist? “He’s one of my favourite You Tubers,” she said.  “He’s fabulous and the thing is, he stutters. Really badly.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. A stand-up comedian who stutters? Do I really want to sit through an hour of that, I thought?

Well, I did. And do you know what? It was the most inspiring and emotional hour I could ever have imagined.

Drew Lynch is 26 and looks about 18. A few years ago he was playing softball and was hit in the throat by a ball, damaging his vocal nerves. Worse, he fell backwards and hit his head – and didn’t realise he had suffered concussion.

Without treatment, his brain never recovered from the damage caused by the fall and Drew was unable to speak normally again.

But he looked adversity in the face and vowed he would conquer his disability. Remarkably, Drew Lynch auditioned for America’s Got Talent and on his first appearance on the show he had the audience, the judges and most of America in tears.

Here’s a video of that emotional night…

What’s so powerful about Drew Lynch’s act is that he tackles his disability head-on and shows that there’s no obstacle in life that can’t be overcome if you have the determination to succeed.

That’s a great lesson for all of us. If you think you can’t do something – like lose 20lbs or run a mile – you’ll never get anywhere.

But if you use the obstacle to your advantage it can help you succeed.  When you vow to succeed, even if it’s against all the odds, as Drew did, you can triumph!

If you want something bad enough, you’ll get it!

Drew Lynch didn’t win America’s Got Talent. He came second – which is an astonishing achievement for a man who can hardly put two words together without struggling.

Here’s another video which shows you how has won the hearts of audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.

One more thing. Drew has a special helper dog called Stella who is trained to raise the alarm if Drew has breathing problems because of his throat injury.

I took a quick snap of Drew and Stella together as we left the theatre the other night.

My daughter was in tears so I asked her if she was crying because she’d fallen for Drew (who is adorable). “No,” she sighed. “It’s Stella. She’s so beautiful.”

I love them both. Because they are one of the most inspiring couples I’ve ever met.

Please tell me what you think of Drew Lynch’s videos. What lessons can we all learn from people with that kind of courage?

The post The inspiring story of Drew Lynch, the comedian who stutters appeared first on Slimpod.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Drink more water for a healthier mind and body

MOST people know it’s important to drink more water but just can’t seem to drink as much as they would like – so I thought I’d help you with a few tips on how to make it a habit. But first let’s remind ourselves exactly why we should drink more.

Many people underestimate the importance of hydration when it comes to having a healthier mind and body – and of course there’s also the benefit of fat loss.

If you drink more water it’s one of the easiest steps you can take for a healthier body and mind. But it’s surprising how many people still get dehydrated.

Water makes up almost two thirds of our body and it plays a vital role in everything from regulating body temperature to keeping our skin healthy. It can also help reduce injuries when you’re increasing your movement because water helps to keep your joints lubricated.

When it comes to fat loss, hydration aids metabolism, so keeping your body well hydrated is so important in helping it to burn fat.

When you’re drinking the correct amount of water (see below), some of the key benefits include:

  1. healthier skin
  2. healthier teeth and bones
  3. healthier joints
  4. improved digestion
  5. reduced fatigue
  6. increased fat metabolism

Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink more water

Instead of waiting until you’re desperate and knocking back a whole bottle at a time, aim to drink water consistently throughout the day from as soon as you wake up in the morning. I carry a water bottle with me all the time and it’s become a habit now. Water is constantly on my desk and there’s always in a bottle in my bag.

The body loses water through breathing, sweating and digestion, which is why it’s important to rehydrate by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water.

Vegetables that contain more than 90 per cent water include cauliflower, broccoli, red cabbage, peppers, aubergine and spinach. Carrots are 87 per cent water and green peas and white potatoes are 79 per cent water.

Your body uses water in all its cells, organs and tissues to help regulate its temperature and maintain other bodily functions.

So how much more water should I drink each day?

The amount of water you should drink depends on a few things like whether you live in a hot or cold climate, your age, your body type (slim, overweight, muscular, flabby) and also how active you are.

But as a general rule between two and four litres a day is what’s recommended by doctors. I can hear you say right now, “wow that’s loads – I don’t drink anywhere near that amount!” – and you’re right.  Most people don’t even drink one litre a day!

Let’s do something about this right now! Here’s some tips on how to build a habit and drink more water.

  1. Make water more pleasurable to drink throughout the day; try adding some fresh mint for flavour. You can buy infusion bottles really cheaply and they work brilliantly. Or add pieces of fruit to tap water as I’ve done in the photo above.
  2. Use a water app! These are fabulous and there’s loads to choose from.  One of these can be your trigger – which is what starts every habit.
  3. If you’re a member of our Slimpod Club community, join in the water challenge which will be starting today! It’s always great to do things as a group!

Do drop me a comment below and let me know if you drink enough water already or if you really need to get a good water habit going!

The post Drink more water for a healthier mind and body appeared first on Slimpod.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Thai cod with basmati rice – a super healthy recipe idea

Fish is the dish for healthy living. And this delicious recipe from hospital superchef Simon Smith will have your tastebuds drooling. It’s quick and easy – shouldn’t take more than about 20 minutes or so. Please leave a comment below to let Simon know what you think – he loves reading all your great feedback.


(Amounts are for one serving)

I fillet fresh (or frozen) cod, cut into large cubes

1 tablespoon frozen peas

1 dessert spoon green curry paste

Half tin of coconut milk

1 teaspoon fish sauce.

1 teaspoon chopped fresh or dried coriander

Small amount of basmati rice

Fresh basil leaves


Cook a serving of the rice according to pack instructions.

Brush a saucepan lightly with oil, add the green curry paste and fry for one minute stirring continuously.

Add coconut milk and bring to boil.

Stir in the cod and frozen peas and simmer gently for about 10 minutes.

Season with fish sauce; draw off the heat and sprinkle over fresh basil leaves.

Serve immediately with rice. Garnish with lettuce and tomatoes.

The post Thai cod with basmati rice – a super healthy recipe idea appeared first on Slimpod.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Floral omelette recipe that’s packed with goodness

NHS superchef Simon Smith says: “One of the joys of cooking in a  hospital is that every day I know that by giving people nutritious meals I’m helping them to enjoy a more healthy lifestyle.” Today he’s got a delicious idea for a weekend brunch that will absolutely fill you with goodness – it’s called a floral omelette, and the picture shows you exactly why.

This recipe contains nearly 100 per cent of your daily requirement of Vitamin C thanks to Nature’s wonderfood the red pepper. Adding the cheese (the harder the better) means it is also high in calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B2 and Vitamin K and contains magnesium, iron and potassium.

The protein in the eggs helps to make you feel full for longer, so it’s a great late breakfast/early lunch on a busy day like a Saturday, when you know you’re going to be on the go. By the way, it only takes about 10 minutes to make.

Floral omelette


(amounts are per person)

Two eggs

One red pepper

Seasoning and herbs to taste

A few slices of your favourite cheese

A few cherry tomatoes

A bit of greenery for garnish


Whisk up two eggs, add seasoning (herbs and spices, salt and pepper or chives and spring onions).

Chop 3 slices of red pepper, fry in a pan for about 1 minute then add the beaten eggs, pouring them inside and outside the pepper flowers.

Sprinkle the cheese inside the flowers (in the picture we used camembert because we like it) .

Fry on a low heat until the base of the omelette has set, then transfer the pan under a hot grill and grill the top until it has cooked to your satisfaction.

Garnish with greens and cherry tomatoes in the middle of the flowers.

The post Floral omelette recipe that’s packed with goodness appeared first on Slimpod.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Try This Hearty and Healthy Vegetable Soup

You can’t beat a thick soup on a cold winter’s day. In this vegetable soup use whatever you can find in your vegetable drawer and add fennel to give it a nice tang and cumin to add extra warmth. The mixture of different coloured vegetables adds a great selection of vitamins, minerals and fibre to your diet.

Here’s a good tip: If you like a thick, smooth soup puree it all in a blender; if not, puree half the soup and add it back to the pan to make a lumpy but thick soup.

Hearty Winter Vegetable Soup

Serves 2

Time: 40 mins


1 onion

1 stick celery

1 clove garlic

1bsp olive oil

1 carrot

1 medium potato

Other vegetables of choice (in the picture I used a small chunk of aubergine, a small chunk of fennel and a parsnip)

1 stock cube ( I use chicken stock as I am not vegetarian, but vegetable stock is good too)

1 tsp cumin

Mixed herbs


Chop the onion and celery finely, crush the garlic and fry all of them together in a saucepan in the olive oil until soft.

Dice up the other vegetables into small chunks, add to the pan with the stock cube, the herbs and the cumin.

Cover with boiling water and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Sample one piece of each kind of vegetable you have used to check if it is done.

The post Try This Hearty and Healthy Vegetable Soup appeared first on Slimpod.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Yes, there is such a thing as healthy fat!

There’s a misconception that all fat is bad. In fact, what are known as “essential fats” really are essential – they are, indeed, healthy fat. Their benefits include speeding up your metabolism, strengthening your immune system and helping your body fight degenerative disease.

Don’t avoid these foods because they’re “fattening”. They are healthy, real foods, full of nutrients. Processed fats, on the other hand, offer your body no nutritional value and many low-fat products are actually much higher in sugar than the full-fat alternatives..

Healthy fat – the Goodies

• Oils found in avocado, nuts, seeds, eggs and oily fish.

• Extra virgin olive oil (must be cold pressed i.e. not heated during production, which kills its nutrients).

• Coconut oil is an incredibly nourishing oil and its nutritional value is unaffected by being cooked at high temperatures.

• Other great oils are cold pressed rapeseed oil and hemp oil.

The Baddies

• All the fats in processed foods, pastries and cakes.

• Hydrogenated fats, also known as trans-fats, which are very highly processed and a threat to your health (their carcinogenic effect is well documented).

How to use healthy fat

• Extra virgin, cold pressed olive, rapeseed, or hemp oils are best used cold – drizzled on salads, bread, pasta, or vegetables. They are not ideal for cooking – when you heat them, you destroy their taste and most of their health benefits. Buy the best you can afford, looking for a dark coloured bottle (so light doesn’t damage the oil).

• Coconut oil is the healthiest cooking oil, brilliant for pan frying or stir-fries. It’s not compromised when heated to high temperatures and doesn’t make food taste ‘coconutty’. You can also dollop it in a smoothie, spread it on toast, or use it as moisturiser.

The post Yes, there is such a thing as healthy fat! appeared first on Slimpod.