Have you ever considered that losing weight doesn’t have to be difficult or tortuous and can be surprisingly easy? I believe it can simply be a case of making small changes to your daily routines, that are healthier and more rewarding, inspiring you to continue for longer until you do eventually achieve your goal.
The most important factor that will ensure success is consistency. As with all goals, if you are consistent with the changes you initiate, success will follow. After all, it is consistently less healthy choices, meal after meal and day after day that have eventually led to weight loss. Thus, it makes sense that making a better and healthier choice for each meal, each day will result in better health and success if weight loss is your goal.
Sifting through the endless articles, videos, webinars can be confusing and worse still could lead you to making changes that are might sound easy to initiate but are difficult to maintain. Sustainable weight loss is about consistently changing your behaviour on a day-to-day basis and this is much easier than you may imagine.
However, there is no quick fix, but there are a number of weight loss tips that you can incorporate into your daily life that will help you achieve your weight loss goals and they’re surprisingly easy.
My top weight loss tips….
Plan your meals & cook from scratch
If you’re serious about losing weight, you cannot adopt a haphazard approach to your food choices and you will need to put in the effort. With weight loss, this must be right from the outset, until you find you are naturally making great choices as your eating habits change. Planning a few key breakfasts, lunches and evening meals will ensure you have the ingredients to hand when you open your fridge, freezer or larder. It’s very hard to stick with your plans otherwise, particularly if you’re starving or pushed for time, or indeed both!Meal planning: Top tips to get you started
Eat more Vegetables
You’re aiming for 7 portions a day, with an absolute minimum of 5. This is easy to do if you are considering at least 2 or 3 portions for each meal. Plan your meal by starting with which vegetables you are going to include. Low in calories and high in fibre, they provide the perfect combination for weight loss, whilst of course also plenty of essential vitamins and minerals. Eating more fibre also helps you feel full, which will help you to avoid overeating and sabotaging your weight loss efforts.
Watch the carbs
Carbohydrates are essentially sugars and although not to be avoided completely, reducing these will encourage the body to resort to providing energy using its stored fat reserves. Limit portions to only 1/3 of your plate at each meal. You could also only include complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, sweet potato or butternut squash for 2 of your meals and avoid all together for at least 1 meal. For example; try a protein rich breakfast of scrambled eggs, spinach, mushrooms and tomato or this spiced Shakshuka for a protein rich brunch. A roasted vegetable, feta and cashew nut salad for lunch is also a great choice
Avoiding temptation is much easier if you are already full and not craving sugary foods such as chocolates, biscuits, crisps or fizzy drinks. This can be achieved by ensuring your meal is planned and well balanced with plenty of vegetables as well as a good portion of good quality protein such as meat, fish, chicken, eggs, tofu or quinoa. Try to avoid keeping junk food in the house or if you have to, keep it all in one place that you never allow yourself to get close to! Recent research now suggests that going for longer gaps without eating helps to keep insulin levels low which in turn helps to release body fat.
Ultimate Snack Guide
Why is it that sometimes snacks can get the better of us? Find our why in this ultimate guide, which explains the science behind why we snack and how we can choose our snacks more carefully. There are 9 interesting and of course healthy full recipes which are ideal for the whole family and also as part of a weight management programme. DOWNLOAD HERE
Drink more water
Thirst is often mistaken for hunger and you can end up eating when actually you simply need to re-hydrate. Limit your choices to water and herbal teas only. Don’t forget that soups and smoothies also contribute to your fluid intake and can help to satiate hunger. Try this Healthy French Onion Soup recipe for a nutritious twist on this classic soup.
Use smaller bowls and plates
A big part of weight loss is about reducing your portions and using smaller bowls and plates is a simple swap that will help you to eat smaller portions. Psychologically, it appears that you have a good amount of food to eat and that you are not missing out.
Restrict alcohol completely
If you’re serious, there’s no way round this. Alcohol contains a high calorie count with zero nutritive value and will negate most of your weight loss efforts. Consider it a temporary measure to help you achieve your weight loss goals.
Respond to your body’s signals
Eat when you’re hungry and not necessarily because you feel you ought to and then only eat the meals you have planned. Do not make a quick grab for something less healthy or graze whilst distracted at your computer, with your phone or watching the TV. Mealtimes must be respected with healthy meal choices and to ensure efficient digestion and to avoid overeating. Sit down at a table if possible or if you’re at your desk, take a quick 10min break for your meal if your workload is relentless and you’re unable to allow a more relaxed lunch period. Eating your meal slowly also helps to ensure the meal takes longer, so your brain has a chance to register that you are full; this takes around 20 minutes. Allowing this time before you consider a second helping or another course is crucial
Increasing your exercise and daily activity is essential for general health and particularly if you are trying to lose weight.
Factor in more activity every day, without fail
Joining a gym or working with a personal trainer is certainly an option but not always feasible. However, making time to go out for a brisk walk alongside some simple resistance exercises at home is more practical, cheaper and easy to plan into your day. You can invest in some inexpensive weights/bands or simply use some household items as weights but also consider exercises such as push-ups, lunges and squats. Building muscle mass will help boost your metabolism and encourage weight loss
Not only will this avoid the need to snack but it also gives yourself a longer period of “fasting” until the morning. For more details on the benefits of Intermittent Fasting and a comprehensive guide to getting you started CLICK HERE
Once you have finished your evening meal, do not eat a single thing afterwards. Leave the kitchen and only return for a herbal tea or water until the morning.
If you’re hungry after you meal, distraction is key; pick up a book, have a bath or call a friend.
You’ll find that the cravings will pass and you will be able to avoid the temptation to continue to eat more easily
Weigh yourself daily
This advice is often contested but frankly, if your goal is to lose weight, your weight either needs to stay the same or reduce on a daily basis. Weighing yourself daily will establish whether this is the case and if you have gained a pound or two, this will immediately alert you to give more attention to the points noted above. Aiming for weight loss and achieving weight loss is the best inspiration, but it is very important that you are realistic with what you expect to see on the scales on a daily basis. Most days, there will be no change, but over the course of the week, you should aim for 1-2lbs loss, depending on how much you have to lose. Generally, you may lose more than this when you first start making changes to your diet and lifestyle and if you have a lot of weight to lose, you can also find your weight loss to be more rapid at the outset.