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Help for DM please?

(8 Posts)
RoseC Wed 13-Jul-11 11:17:15

My lovely Mum wants to lose weight but hates energetic exercise and has no real idea how to go about losing weight. I don't know how to help her as my weight loss (myfitnesspal + lots of exercise) isn't ideal for her - she doesn't have the time or enjoyment of computers to subscribe to something like that. I also feel guilty as DSis and I over the last few years have promised (when living at home) that we would lose weight with her but we've both moved away (NE & North Scotland - she's in the South) and unlikely to move home soon.

She's mid-fifties, very low self-esteem (so no gym or gym with friends - no close friends) and pre-babies was a size 6 (1970s), was size 10 in my childhood and 12 most recently. Now she's creeping into size 14 and very unhappy about it. She is naturally very petite. Her diet is restricted by several potentially/definitely fatal allergies (nuts - so no ryvita etc., vinegar - so no salads when out, lots of fruit) and my father who will only eat meat item + carrots + potato for dinner. He cooks (retired) and when she cooks she's too tired to cook two meals. He won't eat fish and asks her to cook (which she enjoys) roast joints etc. She's a fantastic cook grin

She enjoys walking, but can't swim. We would walk together but can't now I live away. Does anyone know of a DVD that she could do at home that involves gentle exercise? She has an old whiplash injury that would preclude anything vigorous, plus she is very unfit.

She was so eager on the phone yesterday to hear about how I'd managed to lose weight and so despondent when she heard what it involved. I hate hearing her unhappy. Does anyone have any ideas I could help her with please? It's something I would need to present to her in one go (I don't think her self-esteem would cope with a drip-drip 'have you tried this?') and gently. Any ideas are gratefully received, thank you!

foreverondiet Wed 13-Jul-11 12:26:15

Honestly, I think for her at her age, esp as she can't do anything vigorous exercise I think its down to diet.

Even if you found a suitable DVD which involved gentle exercise, and she did it every day, she'd be even more despondent when it hadn't resulted in any weight loss.

I actually think a pile of low fat / low carb cook books would be a better bet. So change of diet plus brisk walk each day...

Joby1970 Wed 13-Jul-11 13:01:28

Can she do slimming world. You can cook basic food on it & still lose weight. Plus the first time I did it I lost 5 stone with v little exercise. Doing 10,000 steps a day walking will help on the exercise front

bubaluchy Wed 13-Jul-11 13:59:15

Oh wow I'm glad I came across your post, my DP's mum was in the same boat, a year and a half ago he bought her a tread mill, she has been going on it every day whilst watching TV and has lost 2 stone she also looks great now- if this is an option for you I would thoroughly recommend smile

RoseC Thu 14-Jul-11 10:24:21

Thank you all for your replies. I think the best bet would be checking that she gets her 10,000 steps and buying her a pedometer (she works in a call centre, so not an active job) and maybe buying her a book that talks about how many calories are in things. She would find it hard (because of my father) to change her diet towards different meals, so maybe cutting out or eating less of certain foods and drink will help. I think although she knows some foods are 'high calorie' she doesn't have a point of reference to see how bad it is. For example, I used to eat three slices of cheddar every day and haven't touched any since starting losing weight not saying anything about the wedge of brie I ate the other day because I didn't really realise how many calories there were.

foreverondiet Thu 14-Jul-11 11:17:24

Good idea re: pedometer - but also its not so hard to change diet even if someone else cooking for you. I think ask her to note down a weeks worth of eating and then use MFP to estimate calories per day for her and then suggest manageable changes:

eg - switch breakfast to eggs and fat free yoghurt
switch to lunch of tuna salad or bean salad (she'd have to take to ensure no dressing)
dinner have the meat and carrots but add extra veggies (even something super easy like microwaved frozen spinach) & miss the potatoes.

Also yes any drinking would make a big difference.

Also Paul McKenna - because might help her eat smaller portions?

RoseC Thu 14-Jul-11 11:59:06

That week's worth of calories idea is great, thank you! I know she wouldn't use the website every day but it might help her to understand what she can and can't cut out. She does eat a lot of vegetables - she's turned the garden into a veg paradise & Dad cooks carrots+one veg, she takes homegrown salad in sandwiches at lunch - but substituting potatoes for extra veg might work. She loves vegetables.

I've never thought (although I haven't been at home for the last six months) that she eats an awful lot. She usually has one slice of toast + home made jam/marmalade for breakfast, a yoghurt and a sandwich for lunch and then a cooked meal (meat + two veg + potatoes) for dinner. She does snack on crisps and drinks at least two glasses of wine every day. She will have a yoghurt or some kind of pudding every day as well (we're a very pudding loving family). At the weekends she'll eat a bigger lunch - usually baguette + cheese/ham + salad + crisps and then a larger special dinner, like a roast or stew.

Looking at what I've just written I think it's not the portions but the type of food - crisps, alcohol, too much yoghurt maybe? Finding a bread substitute is tough as everything has raw grain in it. I'll have a wander through Tesco this evening and see what I can find. She's just had some bad news about a friend so I won't mention anything until next week I think - plenty of time to get everything organised smile

foreverondiet Thu 14-Jul-11 14:24:15

Well there you are - cutting out the wine (140 cals a day) and the crisps (185 cals a day) and pudding (200 cals?) is 525 a day. Cut that out and get a 1lb a week weight loss without even changing the meals.

Plus toast for breakfast (and jam) and sandwich for lunch is high GI, hence likely to feel hungry and reach for the snacks.

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