Slow Cooker Vegetable and Bean Stew

Delicious and Nutritious Vegetable and Bean Slow Cooker Stew

If you’re struggling to get enough fibre in your diet, this recipe boasts around 8g per portion. That’s nearly a third of the recommended daily intake (30g) in one meal so you’ll be onto a winner. Not to mention the fact it’s totally delicious and only 200kcal per serving too.

Ingredients

1 x Can black eyed beans (246g)

1 x Can green lentils in water (drain)

2 x Cans Italian Chopped Tomatoes

3 x Bell Peppers (chopped into squares)

2 x Medium Courgettes (Sliced chunky)

1 x Medium Brown Onion (diced)

2 x Vegetable Stock Cubes (Oxo)

15ml Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Coriander Powder

1 Tsp Ground Black Pepper

Pinch of Salt

Method

  • Heat a frying pan with the olive oil until hot.
  • Place all the chopped vegetables in the pan and stirfry for about 10-15 minutes until softened.
  • Transfer from the pan into the slow cooker.
  • Add the beans, lentils and tomatoes. Stir to mix up well.
  • Add coriander, black pepper and the salt as desired.
  • Cook on high for 2-3 hours until cooked through and all vegetables are soft.

Serve piping hot and enjoy.

You could add some chicken if you wish or have it with rice or pasta. I eat mine as it comes. You can also portion and freeze it then reheat when required for an easy, nutritious lunchtime meal in the week.

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How to stay motivated and deal with setbacks when losing weight

Staying motivated when you’re trying to lose weight is easy when you’re losing weight. The real test, the really difficult one is staying motivated…

Staying motivated when you’re trying to lose weight is easy when you’re losing weight. The real test, the really difficult one. Is staying motivated when you have set backs.

Oh they’ll happen, it’s inevitable. And you know it. So it makes sense that preparing for them or avoiding the common ones is important. Most people don’t prepare for the predictable setbacks and are more likely to relapse into old habits and lose all the hard work they’ve been putting in as a result.

To help you prevent this predicament, I’m going to cover a couple of helpful strategies for dealing with setbacks and staying motivated in this post. Whilst you’re reading, if you think of a friend who would benefit from this information, please share it with them and give them the best possible chance of success too, unless they’re not really your friend :).

So let’s get started.

When you’re trying to lose weight it’s really easy to get too focused on just that, losing weight. The world is obsessed with weight.

Here’s the situation. So you’ve been trying really hard all week. You’ve stuck to your diet. You’ve exercised.

You step on the scales to see how you’ve done. You eagerly watch the dial as the number creeps up and then whack. It hits you like a freight train. You’ve put weight on.

You then immediately start to think things like ‘how’s that happened’ or ‘why do I bother’ and some people quit right there and then on the scales.

The truth is, there’s many reasons you may have put on weight. From water retention to building lean muscle mass. The old adage of ‘muscle weighs more than fat’ …its true!

So then, why are we so reliant on weight if it’s not really an accurate measure?

The reason is, it’s accurate enough to get an overview. It’s easy for people to step on the scales and see where they are in general in terms of health and risk of diseases like diabetes, cancer, coronary heart disease and so on.

But the truth about weight is that when you measure it too often it becomes a lot less reliable.

The thing about weight is, it really is just a number. It’ll fluctuate naturally throughout the day, for everyone. If you don’t believe me, try it. Measure in the morning, at lunch and in the evening. You’ll see a difference.

Now that we know weight isn’t constant. It makes sense that putting weight on doesn’t always mean putting body fat on.

So what can you do to prevent getting demotivated by the scales? Adding another method of progress measurement, could be the answer.

You see, something as simple as switching your focus from completely weight related goals to other measures of progress like waist circumference or skin fold measurements can really help you keep your motivation.

You may put weight on but weight doesn’t tell the whole story.

You may have heard that most rugby players’ Body Mass Index (BMI) shows that they’re obese or very obese when measured. This obviously couldn’t be further from the truth and it’s their muscle mass that causes this.

It’s because weight includes your whole body and doesn’t break down your body composition. Setting a waist circumference goal instead of just a weight can be a more reliable indicator of progress. It can also help you stay motivated because even if the scales show weight gain, you may have lost inches on your waist.

To guide you in interpreting your waist circumference and goal setting, I’ve included an indicator chart.

Note: The risk relates to heart disease and diabetes risk.

Waist Circumference Chart

Another way to keep you motivated when you have setbacks it to get some better perspective.

It helps if you view weight management as more of a way of life and not a destination.

Making healthy lifestyle changes permanently, not as a temporary fix. It all sounds a bit fluffy, I know, but it works.

Hear me out. How many people do you know who’ve initially lost weight and then put it back on? Probably a few.

It’s highly likely these people slipped back into old habits after attaining their goal weight (the destination). If you instead treat weight management and weight loss as a way of life or a journey you’ll be able to better appreciate that it’s full of ups and downs.

When you know you’ve slipped a bit, make sure it’s the exception and resolve to do better the next day. This way you allow yourself to still be human and also make progress towards your goals.

I really hope this post has helped you and again if you think of a friend who may benefit from this information please be a good friend and share it with them.

Don’t forget we’re also on Facebook and Twitter.

The Golden Rules of Weight Loss

3 Golden Rules for Weight Loss

So many people are either trying to lose weight or have done in the past and failed. This is where the term yo-yo dieting comes from. Currently the UK is in the midst of an obesity epidemic. Current estimates place roughly 1 in 4 UK adults as obese.

Across the world, in 2016, 39% of women and 39% of men aged 18 and over were overweight. [World Health Organisation]

The messages are clear and we know the health benefits of losing weight. We also know about the links obesity has to both our long term physical and mental health. So why is it that we find it so difficult to make the changes and lose weight? The answer is quite simple really. We are creatures of habit. Let me explain…but before I do let’s see my 3 golden rules.
That doesn’t mean we can’t change though. It takes some work but it is entirely possible, for everyone!
My 3 golden rules for weight loss are:

1. Know how much energy your body needs.

By knowing this you can work out how much food you need to eat. If you eat more than your body needs it naturally stores some of the excess as fat. There are loads of online calculators that will help you with working out your recommended calorie intake depending on your goal. There are a number of different equations you can use to do this. The most accurate in my opinion, and the one used most widely in the UK is the Schofield equation.

2. Know what you put in!

Eat only the energy required from food according to your goal. For weight loss to happen you need to eat less than your body needs (calorie deficit). This is, very broadly, to encourage your body to metabolise the body fat you’ve got stored as energy and therefore lose weight.
To lose weight safely and lose roughly 1 lb (approx 1/2 Kilo) a week you’ll need to eat around 500 calories less than your body uses. This doesn’t have to mean starving yourself. If you try and cut too many calories you can do yourself harm so a longer term approach is best!

3. Behaviour change!

This is the bit most of us find difficult. It all boils down to changing your behaviour. Changing what or how much you eat and exercising more. Sounds easy right? But time and time again this is where people fall down (or off the wagon). There is no silver bullet for weight loss. Certainly not a safe one, that I know of.
As humans, we find it really difficult to change our behaviour. A study in the US revealed that 50% of people who had been prescribed life saving drugs had stopped taking them. This is despite the fact the drugs could literally save their life! It sounds shocking and you may be thinking, as I did, that they’re just stupid. Why wouldn’t you take them if they save your life? Except it’s not stupid, it’s human nature. That doesn’t mean we can’t change though. It takes some work but it is entirely possible, for everyone! This is the whole reason we started The Habit Foundry. To help people form new habits and achieve their goals.
You can succeed, I promise!
Being realistic, taking small steps towards your goal and being consistent is the key! That’s where the team at The Habit Foundry come in.

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Recipe: Vegetable Stirfry and Noodles

This Vegetable Stirfry and Noodles recipe comes in at around 470kcal per portion. Check your packets to work out the exact amount in your meal.

Serves 2.

Mine contains 2-3 of your 5 a day too!

Ingredients

Vegetable Stirfry Mix – I used tesco.

5 Sliced Mushrooms

2 Sliced Bell Peppers

Low Calorie Stirfry Sauce

Dried Noodles

15ml Olive Oil

Method

Heat a dry wok until hot.

Add 15ml Olive Oil

Add the mushrooms and peppers and stir.

Prepare the noodles.

Stir for 2 minutes then add stirfry mix. Stirfry until the veg starts to soften.

Add the noodles and mix in.

Add the stirfry sauce and mix.

Serve immediately and enjoy.

This is quite a versatile recipe. Depending on your requirements you could add some chicken or quorn pieces to add some protein.

5 things to do to lose weight quicker

5 Simple Weight Loss boosting tips.

Weight loss can be difficult at the best of times. You’ve been watching what you eat, you’ve not been cheating on your meal plan. Wouldn’t it be great if you could do a few simple things to really supercharge your efforts? Well it’ll come as no surprise to you that there are. These are just 5. There are tons of ways but if you focus on doing the basics well, the rest will fall into place…and off your waistline.

Continue reading “5 things to do to lose weight quicker”