Regularity and planning is key to successful weight loss. Try to map out your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the week. “To fail to prepare is to prepare to fail,” says Accredited Practising Dietitian Melissa Juergens. You may find it helpful to make a weekly shopping list – it has been proven that shopping once per week will cost you less as well. Eating at regular times during the day helps fire up your metabolism, and reduces the temptation to snack.
2. Control your portions
Further to planning your meals is portion control. One way to effectively do this is to use smaller plates, allowing you to gradually get used to eating smaller portions without going hungry. Chewing your food more is another way to help your brain catch up to your stomach: it takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain it’s full.The average person chews each mouthful 3-5 times, when really you should aim for 20-30 times per mouthful so chewing your food will enable you to recognise fullness signals. Key is to eat slowly, and stop eating before you feel full.
3. Up your fibre for weight loss
Fruit and veg are your powerhouse fibre sources. Foods containing lots of fibre can help keep you feeling full, which is perfect for losing weight. You’ll find them in plant-based foods such as oats, wholegrain bread, brown rice and pasta, and beans, peas and lentils, and obviously fruit and veg. The latter also contain plenty of vitamins and minerals that support your immune system and gut health.
4. Don’t ban foods
Do not ban any foods from your weight loss plan, especially the ones you like. Banning foods will only make you crave them more. There’s no reason you cannot enjoy the occasional treat as long as the majority of what you eat is filled with nutrient dense food.
5. Be active
Being more active is key to supporting a healthy mind and healthy body and can help with losing weight – and keeping it off. As well as providing lots of health benefits, exercise can help burn off the excess calories you cannot lose through diet alone. Weight training will have a more long-term weight-loss effect as muscle growth burns more energy than cardio, however beyond this debate, the most important thing is to find an activity you enjoy and are able to fit into your routine.
6. Drink plenty of water
Try to drink 2-3 litres water per day. People sometimes confuse thirst with hunger, and you can end up consuming extra calories when a glass of water is really what you need.
7. Cut down on alcohol
A standard glass of wine can contain as many calories as a piece of chocolate. Alcohol is calorie dense, with little nutritional value – why it’s sometimes referred to as “empty calories”. Your liver also has a special affinity for ethanol, an alcohol derivative. It turns almost all of it into energy aka calories, and when your body gets too much energy from alcohol, it starts to shunt the extra energy into the synthesis of storage products like fats. Over time, drinking too much can easily contribute to weight gain.We can help you get back on the road to a fighting fit you – ask us how.