Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Shop and You Drop by Jeni Banks Book Review*

A few weeks ago I received a book from the lovely Jeni Banks to review, called Shop and You Drop. When I first saw this on Twitter I was so intrigued and straight away I was so interested in reading it. I'd never read a book like it and as I am currently trying to lose weight (and have been for years) I really wanted to give this book a go and see what it was all about and how it could maybe help me finally get my head around how to eat well and lose weight but still enjoy treats when I feel like it.
Before I say anything else about the book I just want to mention how beautifully packaged the book was. I mean look at it! I've never received anything wrapped so lovely and I could tell that Jeni really had gone to some effort with it. It instantely put a smile on my face!
This book is all about weightloss and what plan Jeni decided to follow and stick to, and now she wants to pass that onto others and hopefully help them in their weight loss journey. Jeni, after struggling with yo-yo dieting for years and trying all the different diet plans there is, decided to try something new and came up with the idea that calories = ££££. Instead of trying more diet plans that required drinking just juices, or cutting our carbs etc. she decided to pretend calories were pounds, and eventually the weight started to come off. She gave herself a set amount of calories each day and treated them as if they were money, what food was she willing to spend money on each day within her budget? She gave herself 2000 calories a day but acted as if it was £2000. It made her realise how many calories were in certain foods and gave her chance to try new things and swap some things for others meaning she got the most out of her calories each day, and lost the weight she wanted to, without missing out on anything. She is basically making calorie counting a bit more fun and looking at it in another way.

When I started this book I couldn't put it down. It's only small so isn't one that will take ages for you to read, but gives you enough information to give the shop and drop idea a go. I found this book so easy to follow and Jeni explained the whole process perfectly, from how she started it, simple swaps you can make in your diet, the importance of meal planning etc. Everything just made sense and I felt like something just clicked. I completely understood what Jeni was trying to get across and I actually think it's a really clever idea to think of calories as money. I've heard of that idea before and thought it might be worth a shot one day.
Jeni makes it quite clear in the book this is something that has worked for her so is only passing on her tips and advice. She explains how many calories men and women are supposed to have each day and the amount they should reduce them by if they are wanting to lose weight. She also explains the whole process of losing weight and how many calories 1lb is, making it clear what you need to burn each week to lose a pound. It all made perfect sense. She also goes into detail about metabolism and that is something I've never really got my head round until now. And also explains why your body can hold onto calories sometimes and also the damage it can do to your body if you don't get enough calories each day. She also explains things like the importance of breakfast and what you can do each day if you don't have time for a proper meal in the morning. I loved the tip of each morning if you really can't grab anything else, have an ice cold glass of water with either lemon or lime as that gives your body a big wake up call and kickstarts it into action for the day. I do tend to go without breakfast most days as I just either don't know what I fancy or don't have time so I'm definitely going to be at least using that tip from now as I know it will get my body going and not store calories because I haven't eaten. I really feel like she has taught me something about weight loss and that's before I even got onto the whole calories=money idea.

So for a woman to lose weight Jeni recommends reducing your calories to between 1200 and 1800. I've been calorie counting for a while now and I tend to stick to around 1590. Jeni explains in the book that the whole point of this is that you don't have to deprive yourself of anything, it just has to fit within your budget each day. So to try and hopefully make a bit more sense and give you an example here is one day last week where I calorie counted and how it would be in £££ and what sort of swaps I could make.
I think that day I made some pretty good choices and I allowed myself to have things that were maybe considered a bit of a treat, because they fit into my budget. For example the pop tart which I was just craving and was basically looking at me, I could have. Yes it was £200 out of my £1590 but I had enough for it. Also with my tea I had a big salad, not counted as it was literally just lettuce, cucumber and tomato, but that really filled me up and it was really low in calories so I had calories spare to spend on what I wanted. In future if I wanted to make even better choices on a day like that and give myself even more calories to use on other stuff I could swap the whole milk for semi skimmed milk, I could swap the salt and vinegar twists for maybe a pack of Hippea Puffs which are only 90 calories and the fruit and nut biscuits I could maybe swap for a few rich teas which are much lower in calories, if I'm need of a sweet treat. Jeni has so many swap ideas in the book meaning if you do want to use your calories wisely and be able to spend them on more things, you can. I really liked her idea of sometimes swapping from beef to turkey, and that's something I've done for a while now. I very rarely buy beef mince as turkey mince is lower in calories and actually lower in price. There are just some really simple things you can be doing each day if you want to lose weight that you might not even think about.
What I love about this book is that Jeni is just like everyone else and has had her struggles. She's also completely aware that some days you do just go off track and eat what you want and that's absolutely fine, the most important thing if you're wanting to lose weight and lead a healthier lifestyle, is just getting back on it the next day. Life is for living so no point beating yourself up if you go over budget one day and use a few too many calories on alcohol or chocolate.

This book just makes total sense to me and I know I'm going to go back and re-read it, probably a few times over in the future when I'm needing a bit of motivation and a few ideas! I struggle sometimes to get my head round certain things but Jeni had a brilliant way of explaining everything and like I said earlier I really feel like I've learnt something. I now feel I can go onto make better choices with food and I'm looking forward to more days where I follow the principle of calories = money because it does make counting calories a bit more fun and really does make you think.
I really hope I've done this book justice and you all understand everything I've said. It's a really easy concept to follow and is definitely worth taking a look at if you're trying to lose weight at the moment. It's just a clever way of looking at what food you're eating and assessing each day what you're really willing to spend calories on and what could maybe be swapped for a healthier alternative.

I'm so glad I had a chance to read and review this book. It came at the perfect time and I can't wait to carry on with this concept and hopefully lose the weight I want to!

If you want to have a read of this book yourselves, it is available on Amazon here for just £5.99 which I think is a bargain. 

*I received the book to review on my blog. As always all opinions are my own.

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