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Eating for Weight Loss: Get Started with 3 Simple Steps

The summer holidays are just around the corner and the pressure to crash diet once again increases for us as women. This week on the Rider Performance Herd Podcast, Lil and I will be discussing how our holistic approach to coaching can support any weight loss goals you have by training your brain as well as your body

In the Rider Performance Herd, we promote health, confidence and sustainable habits. We are a positive vibe tribe and will support your goals, without judgement. We are also huge advocates for horse welfare and, without prejudice, feel it is also important to educate: 

saddle on a bay horse
we use a saddle to distribute the riders weight
  • Horses were not designed to carry humans - it is our responsibility to train their muscles to be strong enough to carry us in the job that we are asking of them. Muscle is built through progressive overload, which takes time, and if not worked just like in us it will atrophy. 

  • How well we ride impacts the forces we exert on the horses back - it is not all about weight. Our balance, symmetry and self-carriage influence this and ultimately your horses soundness. 

  • We use saddles to distribute our weight over the horses ribcage - it is imperative we have a saddle that fits both rider and horse, in order to find a force distribution that is acceptable for the horse. 

What can I do if I think I am too heavy for my horse? 

  • Stop riding. No horse was ever harmed by not being ridden, permanently or temporarily.  

  • Work with a saddle fitter* who can assess the whole picture: what size of saddle your horse can support, how you need to show up and your riding ability.

  • Seek support to lose weight (read on!)

How can I lose weight? 

Let's start with the unavoidable cold hard truth: weight loss requires a calorie deficit, in other words calories consumed are less than calories used.

Now I know for some of us, the mere thought of this can be enough to send us spiralling straight for the comfort of the cookie jar with images of cabbage soup diets, fasting and being hungry. Decades of yo-yo dieting and failed attempts can reinforce that stress reaction to restriction.

There IS another way. In the Rider Performance Herd we will give you the tools that will allow you to enjoy life around a diet that gives you the confidence to wear that dress, the energy to ride that test and the grit to do everything you dreamed of.

Get ready to begin with us in three simple steps.

Step 1: The What

Imagine that you are saving up for new big expense, maybe it's a car or a house deposit. In order to reach your target savings you need to know two simple things:

  1. How much you have coming in and out each month.

  2. How much you need to save i.e. where are you now vs where you want to be.

The exact same thing applies to weight loss. We know we simply need an achievable calorie deficit, and we cannot work that out without knowing how much we need to save, and how much we are currently consuming/spending.

Task 1: For one week, without judgment or changing anything, record your food and drink. I recommend using a free app such as MyFitnessPal because it will record the calories for you.

Step 2: The Why

This is only going to happen if it is truly important to YOU. Not to anyone else passing judgement, not even to your horse, you have to want it.

Imagine first what you will be doing when you have lost the weight that you desire. Will you be hiking up a mountain? Riding around Badminton? On a beach sipping cocktails?

What will you be wearing?

How will you be feeling? Sexy? Energised? Youthful?

Who will you be enjoying this with?

Task 2: Find your 'why'. This is the personal reason that motivates you, the driving force that is going to keep you going when you need to make choices between short term gratification and long term gains. No-one else can find your why for you.

Step 3: The How

Create the habits that are going to help you break your big goal (target weight loss) into small simple steps for success!

Here are some of our top tips:

  • Establish accountability. Have a friend, family member, work colleague, or the Herd, keep you accountable.

  • Make the steps small enough that you guarantee will succeed. A little, done a lot, is easier than a lot, done a little.

  • Make sensible swaps. It is much easier to swap a food for a choice that more closely aligns with your goals than it is to totally cut something out.

  • Set boundaries. We've all got our weakness, whether that's a glass of wine or a pudding. Set yourself up for success by not putting yourself in the position to slip e.g. if you simply cannot exercise willpower, don't bring chocolate in the house.

Task 3: Pick one small, simple step, that you simply cannot fail at, to begin TODAY. Drop us a message in the Herd when you have been consistent with that for a week and we will help you create your next target/habit.

Listen to this weeks podcast or join the Herd on FB for more tips and support!

*If you are local to the MME studio, I highly recommend you speak to Dawn Britnell. She has a breadth of experience as a coach, saddle fitter and most importantly as someone who has personally lost an incredible amount of weight AND maintained it. Her story was even featured in Horse and Hound!


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