Award winning diet coach John Howard understands how hard it is to lose weight – and keep it off. He lost seven stone in five months – and nine years on has kept his new shape.
If you asked me whether I would prefer half a bottle of smooth rioja or spicy shiraz red wine – or a pork pie – I know I would choose the wine.
Half a bottle of average strength red wine is 322 calories – and a 440g pork pie has about 384 calories. And with the pork pie, a lot of this treat is fat.
I was, I confess, tempted recently by the said pork pie from a garage after a very long day driving home late.
But on checking the calories popped it back immediately like I had been scolded.
Sandwiches, chocolate bars or crisps (one bag of Cheesy Wotsits is about 214 calories) all pile on the calories with little joy in the food.
Food and wine in moderation are not the enemy, they are a pleasure and a joy, but the trick is to enjoy mindfully and not use food or alcohol as a smoker might at times use a cigarette in stressful situations.
The key is to know what our own triggers to eating other than hunger are and then manage them.
This way we can easily lose the weight we want to and not be unhappy with how we feel, with tight clothes, or feel tired and sweaty.
I know I can be tempted to eat poorly if I am tired, face stressful situations or want to celebrate.
Through the last nine years of keeping the majority of my seven stone loss off most of the time, I have found the key is to know yourself, know your own personal triggers to eating, and manage them more often than not.
So if it is tiredness, take breaks properly; if stress, manage it well; if boredom find something else to fill the moment.
If you weigh 13 stone to burn off just 238 calories (about one bag of Wotsits) you will have to walk briskly for 30 minutes.
If you are happy to do that, then enjoy the treat, but earn it with exercise.
We all want to look and feel great but if we do not address the triggers to poor eating we will either have success but struggle, or we fail when something knocks us off track.
Identify your own eating triggers and seek one to one support to help you reach your own goal, making sure this is your last diet, a successful diet.
With Christmas coming, it is even more important to lose a little before the party season adds calories, as we all, myself included, have a little more than we should because we love our food and maybe our wine too.
But if you do have the odd treat in the build up to Christmas, make sure it is a lapse and not a relapse, enjoy it, put it behind you, go for a walk, and start afresh the next hour, or the next day.
n Diet coach John Howard supports dieters on a one to one basis at Eye, near Diss, and Stowhealth centre in Stowmarket, to lose about a stone a month and no longer be unhappy with their weight.
He can be contacted by calling 0787 231 4653 or 01379 678416, or by email via firstname.lastname@example.org