Make sure you have enabled picture downloads      View this email in your browser
In 1972 I launched my very first slimming class. Click here to read how it all began.


Over the years many initiatives have been introduced by Governments to try and steer us away from foods that make us fat or that are generally bad for us. High sugar drinks, sweets, crisps and snacks, alcohol and cigarettes are easy targets.

For over 25 years, stating the calorie content on the foods we buy has been mandatory which I think is a very good thing but I could never see the point in it telling me there were ‘84 calories per 100 grams’ if the item I was devouring weighed 175g. I’m not a mathematician. So, when I worked as a consultant for M&S for their healthy food range in the mid-90s, I suggested they put the calories and fat content per serving on the front of their ready meals as well as on the Nutrition Panel on the back of the product. This enabled shoppers to make informed choices quickly and easily. Soon the other brands and supermarkets followed suit. It wasn’t rocket science. It was just common sense.

The latest initiative to be introduced in an attempt to stem obesity is for menus in restaurants, cafés and take-away outlets to state the calorie values of all their meals. This also applies to their websites and delivery platforms and it became mandatory in England for outlets with more than 250 staff at the beginning of April.

I was contacted by a researcher from BBC 4’s Today programme asking me my views and would I be happy to go on the programme the next morning. My view was simple. If we have the facts in front of us, we can make informed choices. Personally, I am all for it.

Of course, there are those that are against the idea. Here are some of the objections:

  • Calories are ‘old hat’ and irrelevant.
  • More food would be wasted.
  • It would take so much time for the chefs to work out the calories
  • Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity, felt that fixating on calories would cause anxiety and distress for people affected by eating disorders.

So, let’s consider these observations:

Calories are a scientific measurement as relevant today as when first discovered over 150 years ago. Calories are used to measure the energy (heat) content of food. Counting calories may be boring and yes, today it is seen as unfashionable and impractical but we need to be calorie-aware otherwise we can seriously deceive ourselves. If you are trying to watch or lose weight, knowing that dish ‘A’ yields a whopping 1156 calories whereas dish ‘B’ offers a mere 560 calories whilst selecting from the menu, surely that is really helpful, isn’t it?

Food Waste. Why would food be wasted? Food in restaurants is usually cooked from scratch and fast-food outlets serve mass-produced meals according to demand anyway. Restaurants will soon see if the high-calorie dishes are proving less popular and they may adjust some of their ingredients to reduce the calories making them healthier. More good news!

Calculating the calories in recipes is significantly simpler than it used to be thanks to computer technology. Once you have entered the ingredients, at the click of a button it tells you the calories per serving.

Eating disorders are complex and the 1.25 million sufferers in the UK is a significant number sadly, but so is the fact that over 30 million people in the UK are overweight or obese rendering themselves at risk of serious health issues.

We have never been more aware of the benefits of exercise in burning calories and helping us to get healthier and stay that way. Mary will explain in more detail how to maximise your calorie-burning in her Fun, Facts and Fitness section, but the overriding view has to be understanding the facts so that we can make wise choices!
It may refresh your memory if you watch How to Lose Weight.

Recipe of the Week

This quick and easy Mackerel Pâté is really delicious and ideal to serve with crispbreads or on a jacket potato as a lunch or as a starter for a dinner party.

Serves 4
Per serving: 185 calories
Prep time 5 mins

1 pack of two fillets of boneless smoked mackerel
250g 0% fat live plain yogurt
3 heaped teaspoons horseradish sauce

  1. Remove the skin from the smoked mackerel fillets and break into pieces into a mixing bowl
  2. Add the live plain yogurt and the horseradish sauce and stir well until the fish is well-mixed and the pâté is smooth.
  3. Place the pâté in individual ramekin dishes and chill until served.
For more recipes click here to visit the website

Fun, Facts & Fitness from Mary Morris MSc.

Rosemary and I have spent almost all of our working lives encouraging people, through diet and exercise, to achieve and maintain a healthy weight allowing them to live a full and active life.

I have always been hugely disappointed when the statistics show yet another rise in the numbers of people at an unhealthy weight.  So, when something, anything, comes along that has the potential to stem that rise I fully support it.  Of course, more needs to be done but I have come to accept that change comes slowly in society (remember the campaign against smoking took over 40 years to come to any sensible conclusion!) and calorie awareness on menus in restaurants has to be a step in the right direction.

I was recently booking a group into an Italian restaurant for a pre-theatre meal and we were shocked to find that three main course dishes all exceeded 1000 calories!  The description of each of those dishes was SO lovely that I am sure many of us would have chosen one of them, but we all avoided them simply because the calorie count was so high. A good move!

Watching how many calories we consume is key to weight loss and my job, as an advocate of exercise, is definitely a secondary role.  Over the years many, many clients have told me about the enormous amount of exercise they have done yet not lost an ounce in weight.  The maths is quite simple... too many calories are being consumed over and above what they have spent!  This means they have under-estimated how many calories they have consumed and over-estimated how many calories they think they have spent through exercise. On top of that, they often reward themselves after exercising by eating a treat, again under-estimating the calorie values!

Now, we have to be careful here as it is never quite as simple as that, and there can be a number of factors that make weight loss a challenge for many but my basic mantra has never changed... use exercise as the metaphorical ‘icing on the cake’, and see any calories you spend moving and exercising as a bonus! Get your calorie consumption under control and you will lose weight!

 A final point to make here is that maybe many of you who subscribe to this Newsletter do not need to lose weight but simply want to maintain your current weight by balancing your eating and exercise regime.  So, let's review some great calorie spenders through everyday activity and exercise which we know to be the very best way to maintain a healthy weight:

Activity                       Calories per 30 minutes for a person 11st (70kg)

Walking 3.5mph                                                  180

Walking 4.5mph                                                  230 

Swimming (steady)                                             255

Cycling 10mph                                                    145

Aerobic dancing                                                 200

Playing golf                                                         165

Gardening (moderate)                                        200

Strength training                                                 220

Please note:  If you are approx. 2 stone lighter than 11st, deduct 50 calories per activity and if you are 2 stone heavier add 50 calories per activity.


 For further information including a more comprehensive list go to:

So, if you are weight conscious, as most of us are who care about our health, choose activities that give you the best calorie spend and it will be SO much easier to control your weight.

This Week's Fitness Challenge

  1. You can see from the calorie list above that walking at 4.5 mph seriously increases your calorie spend.  Try to up the intensity this week on your daily 30-minute walks, maybe in intervals of 2 minutes at 3.5mph then 1 minute at 4.5mph. Or similar to suit you.
  2. Do a Strength Programme 2 - 3 times this week.  Strength training works our muscles harder so has a more significant ‘thermogenesis’ (the after-burn of calories which keeps on working even when you stop) than aerobic work (eg walking, dancing) meaning we are burning extra calories for up to 14 hours after we have finished the session.  Great information! Go to the Strength & Toning section and select your workout.
  3. Do one session of Ballet or Pilates at an appropriate level for you.
  4. Find time this week for a thorough Stretch Programme.  By lengthening the muscle after working it you increase blood flow to it, reducing muscle soreness and the risk of injury.

Did you know...

A calorie is a unit of energy, not a measure of weight or nutrient density.  While we all talk about "calories", the scientific term is actually Kilocalorie, often shown on food labels as "Kcal."

Calories in our food all come from one of the three macronutrients: protein, carbohydrate or fat, and one kcal is the amount of energy required to heat 1 kilogram of water by 1 degree Celsius. In a laboratory, the calorie content of food can be calculated by placing the food in question in a sealed container surrounded by water and heating it until the food is completely burned off. Scientists then record the rise in water temperature to determine the number of calories in the product.

Sadly, the truth is that we can "burn off" the calories in a 50 Kcal apple much more quickly than we can with a 350 Kcal doughnut!

And finally...

Keeping a healthy weight and exercising regularly is all part of developing a winning formula for aging well. If we eat foods that are healthy and enjoy our physical activities, we are far less likely to suffer from mental health issues and we are almost certainly going to live a happier and longer life. Cheers to that!

Have a great week!

With love and best wishes,

Rosemary Conley CBE DL


Copyright © 2022 RosemaryConley.Com, All rights reserved.

Don't want to receive further newletters?  unsubscribe from this list.