Learn more about body confidence
We hope you enjoyed the Boots Feel Good Forum on Real and Smooth Radio last Sunday night. If you missed the show, you can listen to it now via the podcast on our pop-out player.
Presenter Kate Thornton was joined by fitness expert Matt Roberts and psychologist and body image expert Dr Linda Papadopoulos, answering your questions on feeling good inside and out. They discussed the ways to boost body confidence, stay in shape and up your exercise and fitness. It was a great show, so let's look in more depth at some of the issues we touched upon.
Taking a realistic view on body image
Whether online, in magazines or in the papers, we rarely go a day without seeing a picture or a story about body image issues, from celebrities gaining weight, to children being too body image conscious. At the same time, we're also constantly presented with perfect images of the ideal body that have often been doctored and airbrushed to remove any flaw, unevenness or imperfection that every single one of us will be familiar with. This will certainly affect some people's view of their body image.
The good news is at Boots UK they're doing things differently by refusing to airbrush, smooth, enhance and polish their advertising and the front cover of Boots Health & Beauty magazine. Boots takes this step to demonstrate its commitment to portraying and celebrating women in a realistic and honest way.
Elizabeth Fagan, Marketing Director of Boots UK, discusses why they've taken this step: "British women don't have an airbrushed life, and capturing and celebrating realistic, beautiful moments is something we're really committed to. We want to produce real but amazing images that both celebrate women as they are and create beauty looks our customers really can do themselves."
"We might still fix the odd wardrobe malfunction - no one wants their bra strap on show - but this is an evolving journey and in the future we may also celebrate the odd wayward piece of clothing too! What matters is that we show healthy and realistic images of women that inspire body confidence, helping to change the way in which women are portrayed and how they perceive themselves."
Boots Health and Beauty Magazine is available free to Boots Advantage Card holders (or £1 to non-cardholders) and the March/April edition is in Boots stores now.
Dieting and weight oss
The right choice for you
A healthy balanced diet with plenty of exercise is the best approach for most people, but if you are trying to lose weight then you need to find the right dieting strategy for you. Before you get started with your next diet, think about your goals and your lifestyle, and then work out the method that's most likely to succeed for you. After all, as Boots nutritionist Vicky Pennington points out: "We're all different shapes and sizes and there's no one diet plan to suit us all."
"But when it comes to choosing the right plan for you, don't be taken in by the latest fad diet! If it promises 'miracle' weight loss then it probably won't work in the long term. Whilst the pounds may drop off initially, you'll soon regain them later if you go back to your old ways of eating. Be sure to choose a diet based around healthy eating principles as that way you'll get the nutrition you need to lose weight, feel energised and keep healthy."
So, whether you've got a lot, or a little weight to lose, we can all use a helping hand, and at Boots, there are weight-loss programmes and products to suit everyone. Because we're all different, it's important to weigh up the options and find the one that suits you and your lifestyle best. Here are some of the options that can help kick-start you on your road to your weight loss goal.
• Check your BMI when setting your weight loss goal - it's important that you set a goal relative to your health and body. Healthy weight check machines in Boots stores can measure your body mass index (BMI) and percentage body fat, which will give you a better steer on your level of body fat and if your BMI puts you at any risk.
• Meal replacements such as Celebrity Slim or SlimFast, available as ready to drink diet shakes, soups and meal bars, offer a simple, structured approach that's ideal for busy lifestyles. You typically substitute a breakfast or lunch with your chosen meal, and then prepare a healthy, calorie-controlled meal in the evening.
• Slimming aids like Boots Pharmaceuticals Appetite Control claim to support weight loss by helping you control your appetite or supporting your metabolism. While none of these offers a magic weight loss 'pill', they can support your efforts to diet if you keep an eye on calories and keep active.
• Weight loss aids are products that can support weight loss when used in conjunction with a healthy, lower fat diet e.g. XLS medical.
• Keeping a food diary can really help. With an online food diary-based approach, such as bootsdiets.com, you simply record every morsel that you eat and drink each day. You'll soon see where the excess calories and fat are coming from and will be able to use 'the healthy food swap' tool to make changes.
• If you want more information, or are unsure of which option to try, come in and have a chat with your local Boots Pharmacist, they're on hand to help guide you through all the weight loss options to find one that is right for you.
It's unlikely anyone reading is a fan of cellulite. Even though it's just normal fat beneath the skin, the fat appears bumpy because it pushes against the connective tissue beneath the skin and causes the skin above it to pucker.
As we all know, there's no magic cure for cellulite, but if you really want to have a shot at tackling it, the best option is exercise, and if needed, weight loss, along with a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and fibre.
According to Matt Roberts, personal trainer: "When it comes to exercise, focusing on burning fat and toning the backs of your legs and bottom will make the skin look firmer and also boost circulation and metabolism so that your skin cells hold less water, which is what often causes the appearance of cellulite."
When it comes to topical creams, the best advice is to keep your skin supple and well moisturised. Nivea Q10 Plus Rich Firming Body Moisturiser and Champneys Spa Indulgence Distant Shores Body Butter will help keep your skin well moisturised.
It's partially hereditary, it's partially exercise and it's partially diet, the key point is that it's just fat. So, if we burn fat away, there's a good chance that we can reduce a good portion of the cellulite effects that are there.
If you missed the show and want to listen to the questions posed by Mumsnetters, it's available now on the pop-out player.