After about eight years of trying to lose weight, testing new diets, cutting out entire food groups and drinking ‘detox teas’, I have come to the realisation that none of those fads work in the long term nor are they healthy and certainly don’t aid actual weight loss.
Nutritionists are now telling us to eat healthy fats and carbs and that makes me pretty happy. However, no one knows your body better than it’s owner: you. These tips are just a few pointers in the direction to go in if you want to achieve weight-loss (however much and for whatever reason) in the healthiest way possible and in a way that’ll make you feel so good, you won’t revert back to those old ways.
Don’t count calories, count sugar
Sugar is a real devil when it comes to weight-loss, much more so than the number of calories you consume overall. Refined sugars are found in baked goods, soft drinks and many other processed foods. They contain barely any nutritional value giving your body no real fuel. Plus these sugars give you a great high when you first eat them, due to an increase in blood glucose levels, but that subsequent slump will only cause you to want more sugar, leading to weight gain.
I’m not saying never go for a dessert or fizzy drink again, but the point is to limit this intake. Swap your daily can of coke for sparkling water and fresh lemon and that Mars Bar for a banana or handful of almonds. It’s all about moderation, so don’t forget to treat yourself once in while and enjoy it!
Make friends with fibre
Consuming foods high in fibre could not be a better match for aiding weight loss. It keeps you fuller for longer and aids the digestion of other foods eaten. Apples, strawberries, tomatoes and kale are all high in fibre along with grains such as oats and rice bran. Make sure the majority of your meals contain a high amount of fibre and weight loss will be easier than you think.
Get drinking water
You can’t drink enough water each day, well you probably could, but it would be hard. Water gets your metabolism going, aids digestion and staves of hungry cravings (thirst can often be mistaken for hunger). Aim to drink about 2-3 litres a day, more on the days you work out or if you live in a warmer climate (lucky you). If you work in an office get yourself a fancy bottle, that looks über cool and makes you want to drink from it such as Bobble Bottles which incorporate a water purifying filter in them. And if you really can’t stand plain water try a bottle that allows you to infuse fruits such as lemons, strawberries and apples to ease into drinking more like Infruition.
Sodium and cholride (the two key ingredients to salt) are needed to help our body function properly, they help to regulate blood pressure and aid digestion. But too much of the stuff can be bad for us. Processed foods are full of salt, along with restaurant meals where you don’t know how much salt has been added. If we consume more salt than is needed our body retains more water than is necessary meaning we look and feel heavier. To avoid this simply prepare your food from scratch, so you know exactly how much salt has been added and swap the salt ridden cinema popcorn for your own homemade version. And try to avoid table salt by using sea or Himalayan rock salt, much fewer chemicals in them.
Make sure it’s pretty
If you find yourself regularly eating plates of beige food and looking at packets unable to pronounce, let alone understand all of the nasty ingredients it contains then you should rethink your food intake. According to experts if food isn’t colourful and beautiful it doesn’t excite us or make us very happy meaning it’s not really worth eating.
So goodbye white pasta and processed white bread and tap into a rainbow of foods out there ready and waiting to brighten your plate and your day.
Protein is known for decreasing your appetite and crushing any unhealthy cravings. Aim to get about 20 grams of protein in every meal and snack you have each day, instead of counting the calories. Doing this will naturally boost your metabolism meaning you are much more likely to eat less during the day. You can’t go wrong with chicken, fish and eggs as great protein options and beans, soy and quinoa for those who would rather get their protein from plant based foods.
Make up with food
We’ve all had that feeling where we don’t know what to eat, so grab something unhealthy and then feel awful afterwards, most likely causing a binge and then creating bad habits.
But it doesn’t have to be that way, find a love of the best foods you can eat that satisfy your cravings but don’t pile on the pounds. Naturally occurring sugars found in fresh fruit are fine! Not to mention the abundance of vitamins, minerals, fibre and water they give you with each bite. Fats are good for you too and actually help to burn existing fat. Avocados, olives, salmon and nuts will all keep you satisfied after eating them and prevent unnecessary snacking. The point is to find healthy foods you love and make sure they’re always to hand when those cravings hit.