Week 51 weigh-in: the UK food traffic light system!

Hello guys

Okay, before I tell you all about this, let’s take a look at this week’s report card:

What’s happened this week?

  • I lost 3 lbs
  • I’ve now lost more than 10.5 stone in all
  • I’m now under 13 stone
  • My BMI’s in the lower half of the overweight category
  • I’ve bought more veg! Yes, on tomorrow’s menu are homemade aubergine (eggplant) crisps and I’ve bought spinach and red peppers to make omelettes.

What could Erika improve on?

  • Increase my calories…. yes, still finding this hard and it’s now just 10 days until my ECG…

Erika’s next target(s) along with the big ones!

  • 1 lb until my weight’s in the 170s
  • 2 lbs until my BMI’s in the 26s
  • 4 lbs until I’m the same weight as 10 years ago
  • 5 lbs until I’ve lost 11 stone in all
  • 5 lbs until I’ve lost 90% of my excess weight
  • 10 lbs until I’m at my wedding weight from nearly 25 years ago
  • 15 lbs until my weight’s in the healthy range (just more than 1 stone to go!)
  • 22 lbs until my ultimate goal so that I have a 7 lb buffer to stay in the healthy range!

So, back to the traffic light system Many food producers in the UK display nutritional information on products using a traffic light system so that we can see at a glance whether it’s healthy or not. I have to say that this makes food choice reasonably easy because I make a point of staying away from anything colour-coded red. Here’re some examples:

So, okay, the Ryvita one isn’t colourful but I can instantly see if these flatbreads are okay to snack on and yes they are! These are unbelievably tasty and just 29 calories. And this jambalaya is something I could live on everyday! Virtually green across the board and just 319 calories. Do you have anything similar in your country to help people make healthy choices? Please do tell!

I’ll be back on Wednesday to talk about mouth hunger versus stomach hunger but, in the meantime, hope you have a good couple of days. As ever, please feel free to share your diet / weight-related successes, frustrations or anything else on your mind.

Take care

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss since starting to blog:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
128 lbs22 lbs180 lbs27.2
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging



Will my eating habits change after Covid?

Hey folks

It’s really been quite a year, hasn’t it? I’m SO aware that whilst I’ve spent much of the last year not working due to Covid lockdowns, I’ve been lucky in many ways in that it’s given me the space and time to focus on me. Gosh, that sounds very indulgent doesn’t it but, pre-Covid, I was just ticking along in life and focusing on everything else other than my mind and my body. Needed to go into a shop for some milk? Chocolate would quickly be in my basket! Needed to grab lunch at a drive-thru motorway service station? Couldn’t beat a chocolate milkshake and something with cheese in it. Needed to chill after a long day where all I wanted to do was to slouch on the sofa to watch TV? I could sit there for hours without thinking about how I could combine watching TV with some indoor walking or working out. But Covid has genuinely made me take stock of myself.

When we’ve come out of each lockdown, work has been busy even though I’m working only from home and I was worried whether my good intentions to keep up the fitness would abruptly stop… but I’ve carved out the time to get my body moving and, in fact, I’m loving my evening walks in particular.

But what happens post-Covid when friends ask to meet up for lunch and dinner again? What happens when there’re family events involving food? In many ways, I’ve been cocooned for the past 12 months and I haven’t faced these pressures. So, whilst I want to keep coming back to this topic over my next few posts, my thoughts today are about how I’ll cope with going to restaurants:

  • I can look online to check out the menu. By looking in advance, I can make healthy choices rather than suddenly decide when I’m there and hopefully work out calories too.
  • I can ask for substitutions to the meal. It’s okay for ask for a smaller portion of fries or swap entirely for a salad. I can ask that the sauce is on the side so that I can choose how much to add.
  • I can try to be the first to order. How many times do you think you know what you want and then, hearing a friend order something different, you think “Ooh, that sounds even better. I think I’ll change my mind“! If I go first, I won’t be influenced by others’ choices.
  • I can say “no” to a dessert! Just because others are eating dessert, I don’t have to.
  • It’s okay to rehearse my responses. If I know I’m meeting someone who’ll be quick to question why I’m not having a dessert, I can decide in advance how I’ll respond. “Mmm, that main course was lovely and I’m actually quite full“.
  • But I can choose to have a dessert because treats are okay. At the end of the day, it’s all about balance so I can always cut back on calories the next day. And there’s the option of sharing a dessert too (although I personally think that something like New York cheesecake is way too nice to share!)
  • I can leave food on my plate. Yes, although we’re sometimes conditioned as kids to make sure we’ve eaten everything, it’s okay not to – even if everyone else finishes their food.

Can you think of anything else that’d help you if you were going to a restaurant? As I’ve said before, planning ahead is key to controlling what I’m eating…. but, that said, it’s okay to still have times when I’m completely spontaneous!! Dans Le Noir (in London) and Blackout (in Las Vegas) are just two of the restaurants around the world where you actually eat in the dark, finding out only afterwards what you’ve eaten. Sounds kinda fun and perhaps I’ll give that a go one day!

I’ll be back either Friday or Saturday but, until then, take care

Love Erika xx

Can I eat ‘bad’ food on a diet?

Hey folks

I’m guessing that I’m probably not alone here but I’m very quick to label food as good or bad.

Over the past year, I haven’t eaten any chocolate, cookies or desserts (except sugar free jelly) whatsoever. You see, I LOVE chocolate!! I can’t picture myself eating one square and think “Well, wasn’t that lovely Erika. Let’s leave the rest for another time“. And I’ve always been perplexed when chocolate manufacturers name some of their products as ‘family sized’. Really?!! That bar has to be divided up by a few people?! And don’t get me started on how ‘regular’ chocolate bars have shrunk in size making them almost what would have previously been termed ‘snack-size’!! So, when I started this journey, I cut out everything that I would call ‘bad’ and, you know, I’ve completely lost my sweet tooth. I have no yearnings to eat anything chocolately so perhaps it might seem a bit odd that I’m asking myself now abut whether it’s okay to eat such food again.

Why is this? I’ll blog in the next few weeks about environmental and social pressures around eating but I’m sure I’ll have times when I just fancy eating something sweet. Having had bulimia many years ago, I don’t want to find myself in the throes of a binge where I consume 1000s of calories. I want to feel in control and eat without feeling guilty, and it all comes down to moderation. No food types need to come off our menus, even when we’re losing weight, but it really is about how much we consume. We can still have that square of chocolate…. but it’s a treat…. and part of an overall balanced intake for the day. We can have that slice of cake….but it’s a treat…. and something not to have everyday. We can have that takeaway….. but it’s a treat….. and we can slightly less tomorrow.

Whilst I’ve cut out sweet food very easily without feeling deprived, I appreciate there’ll be people who feel that this is a step too far for them and cutting out such food may result in eating okay for a few days followed by eating far more than planned. So, I guess what I’m saying is… we have to work out what works best for us individually. Go cold turkey to avoid all temptation? Still eat what we want but with much more focus on portion control? It might be a question of trial and error until we find a way that still helps us towards our next weight loss goal.

Where do I go from here? I’m going to continue avoiding sweet food for now as it’s working, certainly until my BMI gets much nearer to the healthy range, but I’m then going to reintroduce food in a very managed way which, of course, I’ll share on here 🙂 Perhaps I will be able to stop after one square!

I’ll be back on Friday with some top tips but hope you’re doing well.

Love Erika xx