Top 10 weight loss tips
Try and introduce some of the following tips into your daily routine to give yourself a weight loss head start:
Drink more water - Having a glass of water as soon as you wake will boost your metabolism and importantly re-hydrate you after so many hours without liquid. If you feel hungry, drink a glass of water and wait 15 minutes; if you are still hungry after the 15 minutes then eat. The brain cannot distinguish between the signals for hunger and thirst and more often than not, you're actually just thirsty!
Watch portion sizes
Most people aren't sure what a portion size is. Do this: hold out your hands together as if holding an open book. The right hand space should be filled with vegetables. On the left hand from the space the fingers take should be your protein and the left palm your carbohydrates. This does not mean stacked 5 inches high though! We actually require less than we think so ask yourself if you really need that extra spoon of pasta before you add it to your plate.
Chewing and enjoying each mouthful will actually give your body a chance to acknowledge the food put into it and tell the brain to tell you to stop eating. Many of us gobble our food down so we don't give ourselves the chance to register that we've had enough before we're on our second helping. Chewing properly also reduces the food to an easier to digest compound so that our guts don't have to work so hard and absorption of the food is more efficient.
Keep a food diary
Write down everything and that means everything that you eat or drink throughout the day. When you start to see exactly what you've had in black and white it will be quite revealing. Every square of chocolate, every dash of milk or spoon of sugar in a coffee. Do this for 7 days and take stock of how much you are eating.
Count the calories
Most of us understand the basic formula to losing weight - eat less calories than you expend. There is no cheating mathematics so if you count every calorie you eat and try to burn more than that each day by a little then you will lose weight, fact. Weigh your food and work out how much you are eating. There are lots of good online websites that help you track this.
Aim to lose only 1 - 2 pounds per week
In order to eat healthily and lose weight in a sustainable manner, you must do so gradually and slowly. The body requires a minimum amount of calories to keep the basic functions operating such as breathing and circulation, if you eat below this threshold you will go into starvation mode and your metabolism will slow right down as the body desperately holds on to every last calorie to keep you alive.
To lose weight safely, you must consume the minimum calories per day and create a calorific deficit throughout the week of 3,500 calories to lose one pound of weight. Divide that by seven and you can see that you need to create a calorie deficit of around 500 calories per day. Reduce your food intake a little and increase your exercise a little and this isn't so hard, but does require patience and determination.
Treat yourself with non-food items
We all deserve treats if we've done something well and the same is true for weight loss. It is recommended however to treat yourself with something other than food such as a new CD, some clothes or maybe a trip to the cinema. Avoid food treats as all your good work for the week could be undone in one takeaway!
Stick with it
You're going to hit plateaus every now and then which is part of the process as your body adjusts to its new lifestyle. The important thing is to not give up. As long as you are eating less calories than you are expending you WILL lose weight.
Some people will notice sudden weight gains of three or even four pounds overnight but don't despair. Salt plays a huge part in our daily weight fluctuations and can make this much difference. If you eat a salty meal one night such as a takeaway, then the sodium will make your body retain water/liquids and can result in a shock the next morning on the scales. Don't worry, drink plenty of pure water and watch the salt levels for a couple of days and the water will go from you body and you'll be back on track.
Don't skip meals
You need to eat at least three times per day and it's recommended that between those meals you have a snack. Eating regularly will keep the metabolism burning and will keep you alert. If you go too long without eating anything you start to get headaches, feel sluggish and worst of all your body starts to prepare for starvation and begins to shutdown. Spread your calorie allowance throughout the day so that you can have plenty of eating opportunities to keep you bright, energetic and burning a good amount of calories all day long.
Eat well, live well
Put good food into your body and you'll feel better for it. Plus, the better the food, the more likely it is to be lower in calories. Fill up on fresh vegetables and fruit. Avoid ready meals and junk food like the plague as they're loaded with salt and sugar. Wherever possible switch to organic products as they don't have all the nasty chemicals that processed food has. There's a lot of incredibly delicious food out there that is good for you, so why not go and enjoy it? Losing weight isn't about depriving yourself, it's about making good choices and moderation.
If you want help with your diet or nutrition advice, call me to arrange a session. Good luck!