10 secrets to healthy weight loss
If you’re determined to shed those stubborn pounds this year, forget fad diets that aren’t sustainable and leave you feeling miserable. To lose weight and keep it off there are just 10 simple steps you need to follow, according to experts from the British Association for the Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT):
1) Eat protein with every meal and snack. It keeps you feeling fuller for longer, meaning you’re less tempted to snack. It’s also essential for helping the body grow and repair. Try fish, chicken, lean meats, beans, pulses and nuts.
2) Don’t skip meals. Ever tried this and been left feeling faint, dizzy and tired? That’s because like a car, your body needs a regular supply of fuel to function properly. Without it you’ll eventually crash and burn, and end up recharging on sugary snacks. Eating consistently keeps you running smoothly and puts a stop to unhealthy cravings.
3) Swap white for brown. Your body breaks down white pasta, rice and bread much more quickly than brown or wholemeal varieties, leaving you feeling hungry again much sooner. White foods also contain fewer nutrients, so make that switch and you’ll feel healthier all round.
4) Watch your caffeine intake. Cutting out coffee or black tea is best, but if you can’t bear giving up your beloved brew, try limiting it to a cup a day and have it on a full stomach. Stimulants like tea, coffee and cola give you a blood sugar rush, making you quickly feel more awake, but have you ever noticed you’re then left feeling sluggish and in need of another ‘fix’ or something to eat? Drinking water, herbal tea, or the odd diluted fresh fruit juice will keep your sugar levels more even and banish cravings.
5) Reduce stress. It causes you to crave salty, high fat and sugary foods, and is believed to slow down your metabolism and make the body store fat. Deal with whatever’s stressing you out, rather than ignoring it, or at the very least try to relax while you’re eating by slowly chewing your food and focusing on what’s on your plate, rather than the TV or computer.
6) Eat regularly. Fad diets fail because you can’t go through life being hungry! The good news is, by choosing the right things you can eat more often than you probably realise and maintain a healthy weight. Having three healthy meals and two or three healthy snacks a day, will give you sustained nutrients and energy, and stop you stomach rumbling. For healthy snacks try oat cakes, unsalted nuts, or hummus with vegetable sticks.
7) Fat is your friend. Providing it’s the right kind! Good fats, such as those you get in oily fish, avocados, or unsalted nuts, keep the body functioning in a healthy manner and support the weight loss process, as long they’re eaten in moderation. Unfortunately you do need to avoid bad fats, such as those found in biscuits, cakes and baked goods – sorry!
8) Sleep yourself slim. When you’re lacking energy, you’ll crave food to give you a boost; particularly unhealthy snacks and caffeine. Getting a good night’s sleep will make it much easier for you to eat healthily, so switch off all those distractions and try going to bed a bit earlier.
9) Stop calorie counting. Portion control is a much more important. Try to remember your stomach is only around the size of your fist, so meals shouldn’t be larger than your cupped hands put together. Feeling stuffed after a meal means you’ve eaten more than you needed, so try eating slowly and stop when you no longer feel hungry.
10) Get active. If you’re not burning off enough calories, you won’t lose weight – simple advice that people still choose to ignore. If you absolutely hate exercise, don’t set yourself unrealistic goals, like going for a 30 minute run when you rarely even walk. Build up slowly with brisk strolls in the park, or by taking the stairs instead of the lift. When your body starts to feel more active, you can then integrate exercise that gets your heart rate up, and burns calories.
IF you’d like extra help losing weight, Candis Diet Club could help. Find out more today.