Top tips for healthy weight loss

12 July, 2019

Summer is often a time when we review our bodies and we may find we don’t like what we see. Everyone of us has followed a fad diet – the miracle plan that is going to transform us into a slim person overnight.

Sadly, we all know fad diets don’t help us maintain a healthy weight and look after ourselves well. Today, we are taking your through the habits that will help you maintain a healthy attitude to food alongside a healthy and trim body.

Hydration

We are big advocates of staying hydrated it has so many healthy benefits. What we often forget is that we often mistake hunger for thirst. Make sure you are drinking water regularly throughout the day. Many people like to drink a glass of water half an hour before their meal.

Water is essential for so many of the body functions we need to drink approximately 1.5 – 2 litres a day. This will increase when exercising and in very hot conditions. See our blog on Hydration for more tips!

Drinks such as tea and coffee are no substitute for enough water and ideally, if you drink tea or coffee limit it to two per day.

A good habit is to start the day with a hot water and lemon. This drink stimulates our metabolism and digestion.

Fruit juices and sugary drinks are off the menu, they offer too much sugar. This is not supportive to maintaining a balanced blood sugar level which is really important for weight control and overall health.

What to eat

Everything you eat should be a wholefood. All foods should be local and organic. The extra nutrients and lack of pesticides in organic food really support your health.

Proteins are your friends when you are looking to maintain or reduce your weight. Proteins fill us up, they encourage our metabolic processes and they help us to avoid snacks due to cravings.

Good proteins include:

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • For vegans - beans, lentils, chickpeas, tofu and soya products

Fibre

Fibre supports our digestive system; it is a bulking agent and it enables waste to pass through our bodies more efficiently. The European Food Safety Association have indicated that fibre rich foods contribute to healthy weight maintenance. Other benefits associated with fibre as part of a well-balanced diet include:

  • A reduction in the risk:
    • Diabetes
    • Heart disease
    • Bowel cancer

Include oats and barley in your diet and you may experience a reduction in your cholesterol levels if you eat 3 or more grams a day.

Sources of fibre include:

  • Legumes
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Wholegrain products – pasta, bread, cereals, oats, barley and rye
  • Vegetables are a great source of variety, fibre, vitamins and minerals. They add the colour to a plate – try eating the rainbow. An attractive looking plate of food will make your mouth water and encourage you to tuck in.

Vegetables that are low in carbs and high in fibre include:

  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Green Beans
  • Asparagus
  • Peppers
  • Spinach
  • Mushrooms
  • Aubergine
  • Courgettes
  • Tomatoes
  • Cauliflower
  • Avocado
  • Garlic

Healthy fats include:

  • Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Flaxseed oil

Healthy snacks:

  • Fruit or vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Hummus
  • Oatcakes, rice cakes

Good Habits

Set realistic goals – typically we can loose 1 -2 lb per week. Rapid weight loss often leads to rapid weight gain. Take it steady.

Try some new foods add some variety to your day.

Eat slowly, by chewing 20 – 30 times you present you stomach with food that is easier to digest and the nutrients are already breaking down allowing them to be accessible for your body.

Eat at regular times and always carry healthy snacks and water with you. This way you won’t buy an emergency snack loaded with sugar.

Appreciate and savour your food. Take a mindful approach and as you eat your food think about what each food is giving you. Think of the energy, the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals you are absorbing.

Eat a high protein breakfast to give yourself a great boost at the beginning of the day.

Try a smaller plate – this is so effective. If the plate is full your mind will be fooled and you eat less without feeling deprived.

Have a good sleep routine, good quality sleep makes a major contribution to our health and wellbeing. If we are well rested, we are less likely to turn to sugary foods as an energy boost.

Check your medications – are they contributing to your weight gain?

Be aware of foods that may make you react, take an allergy test if you have any concerns. See our blog on food intolerance's for more suggestions.

Exercise

Exercise is good for us in so many ways. It is great for:

  • Body maintenance
  • It helps relieve stress and tension
  • It is enjoyable – once you find the type you like
  • People tell me their appetite reduces when they exercise regularly

What not to do

  • Eat junk and processed foods. These foods contain high sugar and carbohydrate levels.
  • Carbohydrates and sugars are not supportive to weight loss. When we eliminate these from our diet, we lower our insulin levels and our kidneys function better disposing of excess sodium and water.
  • Drink alcohol – the occasional tipple is fine but regular alcohol consumption can pile on the pounds.

There are no short cuts to healthy weight balance and management, but following these tips can be incorporated into your daily regime. Working this way, you don’t need to yo yo through weight change you can achieve a healthy weight and stay there. Happy eating!

 

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