Jennifer Ginley was so overweight that she told her boyfriend of 11 years not to propose to her, because she thought she was too heavy to go down the aisle and didn’t want to be a “fat bride“.
Jennifer, needing a seatbelt extender when travelling by plane, was so shocked when she looked back through her holiday photos that she decided she needed to make a huge change and finally get fit! In the following 12 months, Jennifer lost “half her size” but became “double the person” after losing 126 pounds and dropping from a size 26 to a size 8.
On her Instagram, @Slimmingworld_jsg, Jennifer detailed out her top 10 best weight loss tips to help her followers get slim and healthy. Find out what they are below!
Be Sure To Follow Jennifer On Her Instagram Here: @Slimmingworld_jsg
“I’ll be posting a weight loss tip every morning for the next 10 days. I hope they help. Let me know what you think.”
“If you’ve followed me for a while you’ll know that I use each transformation picture I post to share aspects of the mental transformation. My attitude, outlook and coping mechanisms because weight loss is absolutely a mental game! These tips over the next 10 days are what I physically do, what I change to make it easier for myself. Weight loss is my aim right now so these are the things that I personally rely on to achieve weight loss.
These are the things I focus on and the things that work for me. Everyone is different although, people have different approaches as people have different issues. What I needed @slimmingworld food optimising to be in the beginning was different to how I needed it to be later on. I became healthier and worked towards better choices overall.”
Tip 1 of 10 – SIMPLICITY
Take it back to basics and eat simply. Buy ingredients and just keep yourself full with the simple flavours you enjoy. Don’t overwhelm yourself with recipes and the new must have foods/healthy extras/low syn options. This is especially relevant with people on Instagram sharing their food. Put you first and don’t focus on making meals that make for an interesting or pretty Instagram feed. I think people sometimes feel the need to explain when their meals may not be particularly interesting.
If you are using Instagram as a food diary as a tool for yourself, don’t worry what others think! They’re not going to eat it, you are. I really like to prepare very simply meals quickly that keep me full – fruit salads, salads, stir fry’s, soups, steamed veg and a protein based food. Weight loss is difficult enough with 1 million things to contend with physically and mentally, keep it as SIMPLE as possible at every opportunity.
Tip 2 of 10 – FREE FOODS – WHOLEFOODS
Furthering my focus on simplicity I take the plan in its most basic form. I see SW as a wholefoods plan with the freedom to eat without restriction. The free foods laid out in your book are basically fruits, vegetables, plant based proteins, lean animal based proteins and grains. Focus on those foods! I cut out processed foods as much as practicable. When I’m in serious weight loss mode I really focus on this.
I eat wholefoods seasoned well and further this approach with my B choice by having nuts. There is a difference between a food that listed and syn free and a food that is FREE. Focus on those delicious FREE wholefoods to keep yourself full. Your pallet will be cleansed too and fruit will be tasting better than any sweet. Your body will thank you in the way of weight loss, skin, energy and your cravings will be reduced massively. It can seem hard at first but once in it you flyyyy
Today’s picture is me exactly one year ago today at my Miss Slinky press call! I fit into one leg of my old size 26 shorts! The shorts that dug in me as they were so tight and I had unbuttoned with a tied jacket to hide that fact. @slimmingworld transformed my whole life!
Tip 3 of 10 – TAKE A WALK
As you may know exercise weren’t a part of my weight loss. Exercise as in gym going or planned exercise. I did although increase my activity as I’d walk the dog rather than ask Luke to. I was completely inactive with a sedentary job so this was a change for me. I didn’t have big weight losses each week but when I increased my walking I had my best weeks! You don’t have to walk fast or for any length, just walk.
When wanting a good loss I go on an evening walk. This not only helps with the physical, I find it mentally resets me. It keeps me out of the house away from food and gives me some thinking and refocusing time. Time away from my phone and pictures of food. It is thinking time to see whether I really do want to eat the food in the house I was trying to talk myself out of, therefore allowing me to work out if I’m hungry or just fighting cravings. It also gives me time to focus on how I physically feel, you can actually feel yourself getting smaller through the walks each week.
Tip 4 of 10 – SYN ONLY WHEN NECESSARY
I do not use 15 syns every day just because it’s a part of the plan. Not because syns are a problem and should be avoided. People lose weight eating 15 a day! Syns are mainly processed and that is why I go low syn/syn free when weight loss is my absolute priority. They’re a very small part of the plan – the third and final part, and are essentially only an extra 300 calories a day (20 calories = 1 syn). Your main meals being fantastically food optimised gets you the weight loss. I have lots of practice being low syn/syn free and mentally it’s how I operate best. Keeping processed foods to a minimum and keeping myself full with wholefoods (see previous tips), keeps my cravings minimal and makes me feel more in control.
There are of course days I need syns, especially since being vegan (meat/dairy replacement products etc.) but that’s ok, I eat them without hesitation. I just see it like this, the average healthy, slim person doesn’t get to the end of the day after eating fantastically well and think right I need a freddo and some low cal crisps etc. SW want you to lose weight in a way that you can sustain, if you feel the need for 15 syns a day go for it! I certainly did in the very beginning. Just have syns when YOU NEED them.
Tip 5 of 10 – HYDRATION
We constantly hear how important hydration is for us generally, and weight loss but I cannot overstate how important it actually is! When I began increasing my water intake I notice a massive difference in lots of ways. Especially the last 3 stone I fought to get off. I really made a point of ensuring I drank 2 litres of water a day at least. It massively helps our digestion, especially as a healthy diet is so high in fibre. It takes a bit of getting used to, I used to go the loo more drinking lots of water but my body has absolutely adapted. I think it expects 2 – 3 litres a day now.
I also drink green tea, peppermint tea and decaf coffee. I love sliced lemon in hot water or in my filled cold water bottle too. You can infuse your water with fruit, add sugar free, syn free juice cordials. Whatever it takes for your to increase your hydration do it! I feel dehydrated now without my usual. Your skin will thank you for it too and something that I find so important – your mental functionality. A lot of the time we also mistake thirst for hunger. I try to drink a litre of water with each meal, that helps keep me full. Make sure you are hydrated in and around your food intake.
Tip 6 of 10 – DON’T PLAN TOO MUCH
This is contrary to what lots of people encourage I am sure but as I said this is my approach, some people may relate. There are of course people that find great success planning everything. I find if I plan every meal for the week and don’t follow it can make me feel slightly negative. Things don’t always go to plan so I just want to focus one the fact that meals are on plan, not whether they follow my plan. I also find this way ensures I just rely on my routine to stay on plan, it doesn’t take too much effort.
I don’t ever feel like I’m eating in a way that is so different that I have to plan being on plan if that makes sense?! Food optimising is just my default. I like the freedom of waking each day and thinking what shall I have?! I just have my favourite essentials in and get extra ingredients as needed if I want to make anything in particular. I eat really simply though (see tip 1!), so of course if I was more chef like extra planning would be required haha. Over-planning stresses me, my only plan ever is to stay on plan.
Tip 7 of 10 – BATCH COOK
I’m a person who does not like to spend hours in the kitchen. If I do I want a good few meals out of it. I’m not one for planning (see tip 6) but I like to have my favourites ready to hand if I feel like them. I do this once every two weeks, or three dependant upon what I have used. I batch cook soups, vegan bolognese, lentil cottage pie, lentil ragu, chikpea curries, nacho beans and vegan nacho mince usually. The vegan bolognese is great as I can use for lasagne, the nacho beans and mince I use for tacos, wraps and just with jacket potatoes. I like to cook thinks that are versatile. I’m lover soup, I’d say at least 75% of week days I have soup for lunch.
I usually batch cook on a Sunday evening. My freezer usually only contains batch cooking, frozen berries and Linda McCartney sausages! Each morning if I feel like any of the batch cooked options, I’ll leave them out to defrost, come home, warm up whilst cooking a fresh accompaniment and taaddaahh, a syn free delicious meal in less that 10 minutes. No time to inhale food when hungry waiting for your dinner to cook.
Tip 8 of 10 – EAT THE RAINBOW
This tip not only aids weight loss but your overall health too. My nutrition motto is and always will be eat the rainbow. The fruits and vegetables we have available to us are so colourful and that is because they’re full of many vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants. All of which cannot be replicated in any supplement. The more colourful and brighter your diet, the more nourished and replenished you will be. You will feel great from the inside out. You will feel so full as fruit and veg is so high in fibre and so satisfying. I find I’m particularly satisfied after lots of colourful fruit, as you get that carby, fructose hit. A non fruit breakfast never satisfies me, I always follow a savoury one with fruit. Fruit is recommended to be the best food to break your fast (breakfast) because it is so easily digested and provides the body with the simple carbs it loves.
Focus on having as many green vegetables too, they’re insanely good for us. Of course focus on what you like, some people prefer veg, some prefer fruit, just make sure you’re eating the rainbow as much as possible. The overwhelming majority of fruit & veg are speed foods on Slimming World too. So you’re keeping yourself full with nutrient dense, low calorie food. SW is all about food satiety, fill yourself on the good stuff until your hunger is satisfied. I always reach for fruit and to snack on. My motto – if you won’t eat an spple, you’re not hungry, you’re just craving.
Tip 9 of 10 – WEIGH IN EVERY WEEK
Weigh in every week regardless of the week you’ve had! And if you’re in a group stay to group. This was absolutely how I worked my way to target. 1 – 1.5 hour a week in my Slimming World bubble; that is self care and a commitment to your own weight loss. I would also add that I don’t own home scales and never will! If you weigh at home of course that doesn’t apply, but I would encourage anyone to join a group. I went back to my group head held in shame because I was a serial rejoiner but I was welcomed with warm smiles and endless support. Put you first, let your pride go. If you’ve had a bad week, so what?! Seeing the numbers on the scales is a line drawn and allows you to refocus.
I maintained my second week and cried, I had a couple of gains too. I see my weight only once a week stepping on that black box of expensive machinery. It doesn’t dictate my mood, it doesn’t rule me. One consistent weigh time (and weigh in clothes). It’s my routine and I will forever be attending my group. I now know taking advantage of the target members only need weigh every 6 weeks let me down last year. If I don’t weigh weekly I find I get in my head too much, have moments of complacency and feel less focussed. Weekly weighing and group for me really is so important.
Tip 10 of 10 – FOLLOW THE PLAN
This may seem really silly but the weight loss for me always comes down to this. The @slimmingworld food plan never stops working ever, it’s only our ability to follow it that affects the losses. There are of course weeks that varying factors may prevent a loss or give a small gain and those weeks are rare and can be frustrating. The weight loss although will eventually happen if you are absolutely on plan 100%. Are we having 1/3 of our plate at least speed free? Not serving up lots of speed free fruit after a big meal of free foods. Are we weighing an measuring our healthy extras? Are we checking syn values of foods before we eat them and keeping a proper count? Are we staying within our weekly syns even though we went over one day? Are we tweaking the plan in a way that we shouldn’t? Are we over eating free foods past being satisfied as they don’t need to be weighed or measured?
The weight came off me consistently as I was 100% all of the time. I had 3 gains in 54 weeks; a holiday, Christmas and one week I done lots of exercise (2 lb gain and lost 4.5 lb the following week). Have a diary and be very honest with yourself. If you’re in group take a SAS log or food diary. Consultants have lots of tools to help you follow the plan fully. The plan is magic! We simply need to do what that food optimising book tells us. Sort of follow it and the results may not be waiting. Follow it 100% and your dreams will come true. All I done to half my body weight in just over one year – follow the plan and focussed on the other 9 tips I’ve shared with you all.