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  #1   ^
Old Mon, Jun-20-22, 00:27
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
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Default Tom Watson: Here’s how to keep weight off for good

Quote:
Tom Watson: Here’s how to keep weight off for good

The former Labour deputy leader explains why you should view weight loss as a journey, not a destination


Five months ago, if Tom Watson had done this interview, he would have confessed to eating too much cheese and that he’d gained 12 pounds; his father’s death, a third lockdown and the dark winter months had all knocked him off course.

Due to the training he has done in mindset and motivation though, it’s a different story today. He’s feeling great; gym-bound two to three times a week and running with his dog. “I’m perky and feeling happy. My blood sugars are in a good place and the weight is coming off again,” he tells me from his home office in Worcestershire over Zoom.

In 2018 the former Labour deputy leader astounded everyone when he lost eight stone, going from 22st to 14st in two years and reversing his type 2 diabetes, going on to write the bestselling book Downsizing.

Yet there is no happy ending for the food addict. Watson will never be free of the urge to eat sugar. The mere thought of a Hobnob can still have him salivating. If he finds himself needing to re-fuel on the go he’ll grab a packet of turkey slices from the likes of M&S. “But I could so easily go to the biscuit aisle and eat a packet there and then,” he says.

Calling his new book Lose Weight 4 Life might at first seem a bit of a boast. As Watson says: “That’s a heavy and onerous responsibility I’ve given myself there”.

However, the title in fact refers to the cycle of small setbacks followed by resets that are inevitable.

“You are losing weight for life because you’re going to have good days and bad days. You’re going to put a bit of weight on and have to learn how to put yourself in the mood to shift it. Whether it’s logging your food that week, or starting to take your measurements, as long as you’ve got a reset programme that brings you back to the journey, you’re going to be OK.”
Quote:
Tom Watson’s Week One reset

1. Food logging and daily weighing should be top of your priority list, along with measuring your step count. (Add in blood sugar level and ketone measurements if it helps.)

2.  Prepare yourself mentally

3.  Don’t let your mood spiral downwards if your weight goes up or you haven’t exercised

4.  Focus on each day, then at the end of Week One reflect on what might have led to your weight gain. Have you created an unconscious bad habit?
Multiple times during our interview he tells me that weight loss is a “journey, not a destination”.

As trite as that might sound, it’s also a reassurance for all those who have hit their target weights and then found the weight starting to creep back on. How can you maintain healthy habits, and willpower, for life?

While the 55-year-old doesn’t want to be “preachy”, he understands the emotions of motivation and maintenance more than a theoretical diet expert.

When Watson lost weight he was inundated with emails from people wanting to know the details.

Not everything he did, he makes clear, will work for everyone else, but it’s a place to start.

Setting rules that can go on to become habits is his top piece of advice. As Watson admits, it’s something he struggled to maintain after he stood down as an MP in Dec 2019 and moved from London to Worcestershire. All the positive habits, such as having his trainers always by the front door of his London flat for a morning run, crumbled away.

Then, two months later, he was plunged with the rest of us into the pandemic.

“I had to laugh when Boris talked about home-workers eating slithers of cheese from the fridge, because in ‘Lockdown Three’ I did have a setback in my programme that involved a lot of mail-order cheese and the fridge.”

Watson focused on rediscovering a positive mindset to help him reinstate positive habits, rather than becoming mired in self-pity. He is a fan of gratitude journaling and says even his cheese problem had a silver lining. “Yes, it was calorifically dense, but at least it wasn’t chocolate that was sending my blood glucose through the roof.”

Watson says he “banks” the wins, the daily achievements. “Make sure your inner voice is high-fiving you when you come out of the gym.”

The flipside of that, he says, is knowing how to deconstruct what’s going on when you’re in a slump and you’ve not trained for a week.

What’s snuck into the shopping list that wasn’t necessary? Do you need to prepare your meals a bit earlier?

Watson’s reset is to go keto, cutting back on the carbs. Today he had a bulletproof coffee (“it stops hunger pangs”). On mornings when he’s peckish he’ll have an omelette with spinach.

If he was a minister now he’d be reengineering the British breakfast away from sugary cereals back to Fay Weldon’s ‘Go to work on an egg’, he says.

And while he acknowledges that, “If you’re on a low income it really is hard,” he observes that if you’re the sort of person that indulges in Just Eat and Deliveroo, buying fresh vegetables and cooking from scratch will actually help you save money.

The government delaying the implementation of a ban on BOGOF deals meets with his disapproval. “The argument is about the cost of living, but I’ve never seen a buy-one-get-one-free carton of eggs. It’s always empty nutrients, poorly produced food, that’s on offer.”

His first intervention, if he was in government, would be to prescribe a glucose monitor on the NHS for a month to those who are overweight. “If you can visualise the effect of going to the fridge and glugging a bottle of coke when you’re hungover, that will help with behavioural changes. That would have helped me.”

Whole supermarket aisles are dead to him and he hasn’t had a beer in five years (“Too much sugar”), now favouring spirits such as vodka and gin.

Watson’s relationship with food will always be like that of Sisyphus pushing a boulder up a steep hill. “You can either be overcome by that or you can find a way of pushing the boulder and enjoying it. And that’s all mindset; taking pleasure in small things.

“If I get an early walk in before breakfast, I tell myself, “What a great start to the day.” Rather than: “I can’t believe I have to do all this”

Tom’s top tips for staying trim

1. Never eat directly from the fridge. Put whatever you’re taking out on a plate, even if it’s a few carrot sticks dipped into a keto mayonnaise. Otherwise, several trips later, you’ll find that you have eaten the equivalent of a meal.

2. Never eat anything with your hands – always get a knife and fork. As with using a plate, this technique may make you think twice about raiding the fridge.

3. Don’t con yourself about how much you’re snacking when you’re round someone else’s house or at a social function. Even one crisp is a chink in your ‘armour’ - this form of eating is part of the denial process and leads to unhealthy habits forming.

4. Don’t panic if your clothes start to feel tight again – reset your routine if you fall back into old ways.

5. Moving house, changing jobs and caring for a relative are among the challenges that can throw you off course, so have an honest think about what has unbalanced you.

6. Get yourself a support network such as a walking group or exercise buddies to get you back on track and keep you there.

7. Surviving on fewer than seven hours of sleep a night not only affects you mentally, it also impacts your weight. Set a regular bedtime and stick to it.



Lose Weight 4 Life by Tom Watson (Octopus)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lose-Weigh.../dp/1914239210/

https://www.amazon.com/Lose-Weight-.../dp/1914239210/



https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-...ep-weight-good/




You may remember Tom Watson's original weight loss story:

Leading British politician reverses Type 2 diabetes diagnosis by low carbing
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  #2   ^
Old Mon, Jun-20-22, 01:07
Dalesbred's Avatar
Dalesbred Dalesbred is offline
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Great advice.
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  #3   ^
Old Mon, Jun-20-22, 02:58
JEY100's Avatar
JEY100 JEY100 is offline
To Good Health!
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Plan: P:E/DDF
Stats: 225/150/169 Female 5' 9"
BF:45%/27%/25%
Progress: 134%
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Demi, Many thanks again for posting the whole article!
Do you think Boris reads The Telegraph? Not to be snarky, but I thought he also was in need of a weight loss reset during the recent confidence vote. He was also looking even more disheveled than usual, but that mainly a style issue
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  #4   ^
Old Mon, Jun-20-22, 05:12
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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Plan: Epi-Paleo/IF
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Keto mayonnaise? Is the vegan kind taking over the UK?

For those unaware, mayo has eggs and that won't do, so there's all kinds of sugar and plant-based starchy stuff in it. I shuddered just reading the label, so I have no idea what it tastes like

Also, I like the journey metaphor, because I've been at this thing since 2003 and I'm STILL learning stuff. Now that's a useful hobby
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  #5   ^
Old Mon, Jun-20-22, 05:19
JLx's Avatar
JLx JLx is offline
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Plan: High protein, lower fat
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Default

Quote:
Yet there is no happy ending for the food addict. Watson will never be free of the urge to eat sugar.


That hasn't been true for me. It's been about 10 years. I have no urge to eat sugar. Sweet taste, yes. Sometimes. I eat Lily's choc or something like that and it satisfies without leaving me feeling like I must have more and more, as sugar always did.
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  #6   ^
Old Tue, Jun-21-22, 02:46
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
Posts: 24,783
 
Plan: HP/LC/IF
Stats: 238/163/160 Female 5'10"
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Progress: 96%
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JEY100
Demi, Many thanks again for posting the whole article!
Do you think Boris reads The Telegraph? Not to be snarky, but I thought he also was in need of a weight loss reset during the recent confidence vote. He was also looking even more disheveled than usual, but that mainly a style issue
You're welcome, and yes, I expect he does read The Telegraph. He used to write a regular column for it before he became PM, and does still write the occasional article.

As for in need of a weight loss reset, he did lose weight after being hospitalised for Covid, but seems to have gained it back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WereBear
Keto mayonnaise? Is the vegan kind taking over the UK?
Lol, no.

Most mayo brands in the UK (e.g., Hellmans, Heinz) are made with rapeseed oil and also contain sugar. Whereas 'keto' mayonnaise is made from either avocado or olive oil, are sugar free and have no additives, such as the Hunter & Gather brand.
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  #7   ^
Old Wed, Jun-22-22, 08:55
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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Posts: 13,790
 
Plan: Epi-Paleo/IF
Stats: 220/125/150 Female 67
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Demi
Most mayo brands in the UK (e.g., Hellmans, Heinz) are made with rapeseed oil and also contain sugar. Whereas 'keto' mayonnaise is made from either avocado or olive oil, are sugar free and have no additives, such as the Hunter & Gather brand.


Thanks! Same here, I use the Primal kitchen brand, with avocado oil. Something about the sentence didn't get that across in my state of mind.

One thing I've noticed as I've gotten more into real food, the better it tastes. Then the junk really is less appealing.

Though I'm never above a good substitute
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  #8   ^
Old Wed, Jun-22-22, 15:39
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bkloots bkloots is offline
Posts: 10,072
 
Plan: LC/HiProtein
Stats: 195/154/150 Female 63in
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Default

Journey. Yes, that it is. Occasional side trips? Yes.

I envision the Weight Creep as an actual being, always ready to move back into my life the minute I stop watching out for it. Daily weighing seems to be very important. In retirement, boredom eating is a great hazard, even if I keep quite busy most days.

Without a doubt, to avoid the Weight Creep, you have to change your life forever.
The secret? Find new ways to enjoy what you eat, and never look back. That's the Weight Creep sneaking up behind you!
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  #9   ^
Old Fri, Sep-02-22, 09:25
Enomarb Enomarb is offline
MAINTAINING ON CALP
Posts: 4,831
 
Plan: CALP/CAHHP
Stats: 180/125/150 Female 65 in
BF:
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Default

thanks for the article and comments. Maintaining isn't exciting and there's not much action here but this is really what it's all about. The health benefits of staying on a LC plan and staying the course keep me going. I'm still doing my plan- also since 2003. I changed it up a bit when Covid started and I was limited in shopping, but still do my plan. And I still feel so good on LC.
Hope everyone is doing well-
E
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  #10   ^
Old Mon, Sep-05-22, 09:23
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GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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Plan: Very LC, Higher Protein
Stats: 227/186/185 Male 6' 0"
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Quote:
"Today he had a bulletproof coffee (“it stops hunger pangs”)."

Not sure this tracks well with his comments about the dangers of slithers of cheese and caloric density. He's still learning, but overall a good set of advice to those starting the journey.
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