10 weight loss tips worth listening to
Another new year, another ‘miracle’ diet – full of false promises, right? Wrong! Deprivation and obsessive calorie counting aren’t on the healthy agenda for 2015. Get real and feel good with our no-nonsense long-lasting weight loss tips.
1. Set a realistic weight loss target
Set out aiming to lose a stone in the first week of your diet and you’re going to fail miserably. Aim instead to shed two pounds a week and you’re in with a chance. Realistic weight loss goals are extremely important because the overwhelming feeling of failure when you step on those scales and haven’t met your target, makes it all too tempting to give up.
2. Look at your long-term diet plan in manageable four-week chunks
If you lose two pounds a week for four weeks you will have lost just over half a stone. If what you really want to lose is two stone, then aim to lose half a stone a month for four months. It may seem like a slow and long process but reaching your target weight each week will be so much more rewarding than the almost certain failure of trying to lose it all immediately.
3. Cut calories not meals
Too many dieters think that the best way to lose weight is to starve their bodies throughout the day and the thought of having fish and chips for dinner on a Friday night will bring them out in a stress rash. This really doesn’t have to be the case though. Women should aim to eat around 1250 calories a day when they are trying to lose weight and those calories should be spread between breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack. And if you want a curry or a roast? Well, you can have it – just make your own healthier version rather than heading to the local take away or pub.
4. Make friends with fat
Fatty foods such as butter are often perceived as the devil’s food to those looking to lose weight, but in actual fact we need a certain about of fat in our diet to keep our energy levels up throughout the day. Swirl a teaspoon of coconut oil into morning porridge or drizzle a little buttery almond oil over your bowl of tomato soup.
5. Seek out a healthier version of your favourite snack
We all get peckish between meals and one of the most common foods women crave is chocolate. If you’re looking to lose weight a family-sized bar of milk chocolate probably isn’t the answer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a snack at all. Next time you find yourself reaching for the Milk Tray, try having a small handful of chocolate covered nuts, three thin dark chocolate rice cakes or a natural flavoured liquorice bar instead.
6. Plan your meals in advance
Sticking to your healthy eating plan is hard when you find yourself with just an hour to grab something during your lunch break or you’re heading home late from a meeting and don’t have anything in for dinner. These are the times we’re all too easily tempted by junk food and processed ‘treats’. To prevent these situations from arising, plan your meals for the week each Sunday before doing a big food shop. Draw up a chart with a column for each day and a space for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack. This is also a great way of keeping track of your calorie intake.
7. Break out of boring food routines
It may seem easier to buy a bag of porridge and have that for breakfast every day but it is also immensely boring. Food is fuel but food should also be fun – so try and put as much variety into your meals as possible. Mix up your breakfasts with scrambled eggs, avocado on toast or a super-trendy chia seed pudding.
8. Eat the rainbow
Many of us struggle to eat enough fruit and vegetables each day – and let’s be honest, if we are getting our requisite five, how much variety is there in your routine fruit snacks and side salads? Set yourself the challenge of eating a variety of colours each day. This could be the perfect excuse for trying that purple cauliflower or red Brussels sprouts you keep noticing down the local market
9. Read the labels on your food
Most of the time we don’t have a clue what goes into our store cupboard staples, so if you’re serious about losing weight you’ll need to start reading their labels. Choose foods that have less than 3g of fat and 5g of sugar per 100g. Chances are your favourite pasta sauce has more sugar and salt than that, in which case, stop buying it and learn to make your own instead!
10. Don’t be afraid of trying new foods
Just because you hated cauliflower when you were little doesn’t mean you will still dislike it now. Try to incorporate one new healthy food into your diet each week to create more variety and fill you with extra nutrients.
What weight loss tips do you swear by? Tweet and tell us @healthymag – go on, it’s nice to share!