How I Beat The Bloat

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Hello everyone,

With the prospect of joyous summer holidays just around the corner, it’s a great time to consider how to look and feel our best, even if our travels only take us as far as our back garden. Unwanted weight around the waistline can make the thought of the hot weather seem daunting, so I’ve given some thought to how to enter this summer feeling a little trimmer. Although it can be easy to get ahead of ourselves and start daydreaming of shedding all the unwanted fat on our stomachs, it’s important to remember that you can’t target weight loss from a specific area on your body; it’s natural for women to put on weight on their hips and lower body. However, a conscious decision to make healthy lifestyle changes is the best way to go about shedding from those key areas.

Identify Food Intolerances

A great first step is identifying any food intolerances you may be unaware of, as these can contribute to inflammation and insulin resistance. They can also have wider health implications, such as raising stress hormones, so don’t ignore the signs if you suspect a gluten or dairy intolerance. This is also true of alcohol, our favourite way to hinder our diet; eliminating it from the offset of a diet will shrink your calorie intake and eliminate the bloat that follows one too many glasses of Pimm’s.

Go back to the basics

The essential mentality to remember when perusing any weight loss goal is to maintain consistency. It’s best to start with the basics: replacing processed, high sugar foods with lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, whole grains and heart-healthy fats. This lifestyle change will transform your diet from one which caused weight gain and a lack of energy and nutrients, to a diet that will truly aid your weight loss, and improve your overall health.

Cut down on sugar

Limiting fructose, the sugar that mainly occurs in fruit, will prevent the liver turning fructose into fat as a result of being overloaded. Fructose will indicate to your brain that you’re not satisfied, which will probably lead to overeating and large portions. Cutting down on fructose will leave you feeling fuller for longer, and will contribute to a less fattening diet!

Get exercising

Along with the sunshine may come the inclination to get outside and be more active: cue high intensity interval training, the most effective form of cardio. This involves short spurts of intense exercise followed by less intense recovery periods, a method which has been shown to burn fat faster. Interval training also has positive effects of your metabolic rate, giving your metabolism a boost for up to 2 days after the workout, meaning your body is working extra hard at burning fat for that time.

I hope you find these tips useful in time for Summer!

Have a lovely weekend,

Jane xx

Fighting the comfort cravings

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Hello everyone,

This week I spotted a great article in Women’s Health about food cravings when you’re on your period, and I was instantly intrigued. It’s a familiar feeling when you have your period and all that goes with it – the pain of menstrual cramps, feeling moody and possibly tired, thinking how unfair it all is! It’s all too easy to use it as a legitimate excuse to comfort eat because we tell ourselves that we deserve it, need it even, as a pick me up to make it through. The same goes for when you’re hungover, had a sleepless night or are feeling a bit under the weather!

But the truth is we don’t need it. Yes it’s a great excuse, but sadly there’s no sudden biological change so that at certain times of the month women need to eat a whole 120g Cadbury’s chocolate bar. So why do we tell ourselves that it’s OK?

Well I think deep down we know that we don’t need the unhealthy snacks to make ourselves feel positive and less moody. Needing food is different from craving comfort food. When you’re hungry, you need to consume calories so that your body can function properly. But when you crave a specific comfort food, like chocolate or a share pack of crisps, your body doesn’t need it to function normally, it’s a psychological impulse.

More and more research is being done into why this is. When you crave food, your body is releasing dopamine, a chemical that makes us want something. Having your time of the month can trigger its release because you want to feel more positive and your brain can link this food. Your body then goes to unhealthy food to try to improve your mood, even though rationally you may know that exercising or snacking on something healthy would be better for you.

Next time you find yourself reaching for the share bag of Doritos, be honest with yourself about how long eating the whole bag will make you feel positive and satisfied for. Maybe for the 10 or 15 minutes it takes you to get through the bag, but the guilt and negative feelings that come after can often make you feel worse than you did before.

So next time catch yourself before you reach for the unhealthy snacks. Think how much better you’ll feel if you fought your cravings and snacked on something healthy or exercised instead.

Have a lovely weekend,

Jane xx

Why you shouldn’t skip meals or snack at night

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This week a Jane Planner emailed us asking whether she’s ‘allowed to eat carbs after 4pm’. Whilst it seems like a slightly unusual question I can only imagine where it’s coming from. The media seems more and more focused on not just what we eat, but when. Some say eating 6 meals a day is better than 3 large ones, others say that  dinner should be the smallest meal of the day and breakfast the largest. Sadly there’s a lot of conflicting information about when you should eat, and how many meals you should be having each day, so I thought I’d try to cut through the confusion and answer some common questions about timing your meals.

  • Will I lose weight by skipping meals?

It’s so tempting to think that skipping lunch three days a week will cheat your way to reducing your calorie intake, but you shouldn’t skip meals! It might sound contradictory, but skipping meals may actually be connected to abdominal weight gain, because fasting can make your liver insulin resistant. This may mean that your body doesn’t stop producing glucose, and if you aren’t using up this extra glucose as energy, the bad news is it turns into fat, resulting in weight gain.

  • How many meals should I have a day?

Eating every 3-4 hours helps to regulate your blood sugar levels and can control sugar cravings and hunger, so you’re less lilely to snack or overeat.

  • Is there anything wrong with night-time snacking?

Nutritionists still debate night-time grazing, but it’s best to avoid snacking at night. Food gives you energy and eating just before going to bed can disrupt your sleep and lead to digestion problems.

  • When is the latest I should eat?

As a rough guide, I would try to finish eating by 8pm. It you’re fond of having a snack after dinner, be prepared with some healthy snacks that aren’t too high in sugar.

I hope this helps clear up any confusion!

Have a lovely weekend,

Jane xx


Don’t Tell Me I Can’t!

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Hello everyone,

Having spoken to our clients and lost weight myself, I know how difficult it can be to lose weight. Breaking deep habits and overcoming barriers can take a lot of work and can sometimes seem practically impossible, but everyday we hear from Jane Planners who have lost weight and kept it off. We feel so inspired by all your stories, which is why our 2016 motto is ‘don’t tell me I can’t!’ We want to encourage you to push yourself to take on new challenges and have new experiences, which can be anything from trying to lose weight or training for a marathon to having a makeover and getting a radical haircut! This week I feel as though I definitely lived up to this motto, I took part in Tough Mudder and featured in the Daily Mail as a mumpreneur!

On Saturday, team Jane Plan plus family and friends completed the Tough Mudder London West Race. If you haven’t heard of Tough Mudder – it’s a 20km course up and down hills with obstacles as well, but instead of your usual egg and spoon race, the obstacles involve being electrocuted, going down a slide into an ice bath and wading in waist deep mud! I’ll admit that I was slightly terrified going into it, but I ended up having a great time, and I was so pleased to complete it alongside the Jane Plan head office. We all took a leap of faith when we signed up, but the risk paid off and we’ve proved anyone who said we couldn’t do it that they were wrong.

But completing Tough Mudder wasn’t my only achievement this week – on Monday I featured in the Daily Mail! When I started Jane Plan in my kitchen, I would never have imagined how quickly Jane Plan would grow. This week alone we’ve shipped orders to Hong Kong, Beijing and France, and have heard from lots of new Jane Planners who saw the Daily Mail article.

I hope you’ll all feel inspired this sunny Bank Holiday Weekend to try to push yourself out of your comfort zone – let me know what you achieve!

Jane xx