Here are a few tips to help you lose weight and, more importantly keep it off for good. Firstly – don’t be tempted to put yourself on a strict “diet” – the majority of people who do this not only regain the weight they lose, but put on more weight besides.
Making small sustainable changes to your diet and lifestyle that can be kept up for the rest of your life will not only mean that you lose weight – but will also help you to maintain your weight loss.
Examples can be snacking on vegetables, having smaller portions and moving around more – these changes all add up over the long term.
Ensure you eat 3 balanced meals a day, keep hydrated and don’t skip breakfast.
Planning is key to success – most of us lead busy lives and find ourselves hungry, and then can make poor food choices such as high fat or sugary foods - knowing what we will eat and what to buy helps to avoid this happening.
Try not to have tempting snacks such as chocolate and crisps at home – few people can have these foods around without eating them.
Try making a simple vegetable soup with onions, leeks, celery and garlic – this will provide bulk with few calories, help draw excess fluid from your body and leave you feeling less bloated. When laying out your main meal, fill half your plate with vegetables or salad, a fist size portion of carbohydrates - ideally wholegrain such as brown rice or pasta, and a palm size portion of lean protein such as fish or chicken.
Try to cut back on alcohol – it is full of empty calories and has no nutritional value. Slow down the pace of eating – it takes 20 minutes for your brain to receive a message from your stomach that you are full – if you eat quickly this is easily overridden. Place cutlery down between mouthfuls, have a drink and chew slowly, appreciating the flavours and textures of the food.
Beat sugar cravings by drinking green or peppermint tea, have sugar free mints or chewing gum – cleaning your teeth is also a proven technique to beat cravings.
Never weigh yourself more than once a week, and always do it first thing in the morning. Weighing yourself several times a week, or even every day, can make you give up, as failure to see progress often leads to a feeling that the changes you are making are not working. Be realistic - do include some treats – completely depriving yourself will only make you miserable and lead to cravings – it’s all a matter of balance.