I was recently asked for a few top tips of mine to help people avoid getting on the “dieting” bandwagon whilst at the same time helping them learn to eat well and shed a few pounds.
I recommended that just two or three of these tips are introduced at a time with others being introduced later. This is because sometimes if too many are attempted at once, the change can be too dramatic and people may find it hard to stick too.
Remember that behaviour change and weight-loss take time. There are no quick solutions so be ready to dedicate some months towards this and to wait a while for results!
Exercise is important for weight loss maintenance but nutrition is far more important in initial weight loss.
Top Tips for reaching a Healthy Weight:
1.) Have Regular Mealtimes –
Regular eating patterns are really important for stabilising hunger. Try to eat your meals at similar times each day and importantly, avoid letting yourself get hungry in between.
2.) Introduce some healthy snacks –
It may sound odd but eating MORE and more often can actually help to regulate weight. To avoid hunger and letting your blood sugar drop in-between meals try to include one or two healthy snacks each day! These snacks don’t have to consist of much. You could try – a handful of nuts and raisins, a piece of fruit, a slice of wholemeal toast, some vegetables and hummus dip. Having these will help you keep your blood sugar and appetite stable.
3.) Eat Mindfully –
Taking time over your meals is key to allow your body to register and effectively digest what you have eaten. Try, as much as possible, to sit down to eat and enjoy your breakfast, lunch and dinner, you will find you feel fuller much more easily.
4.) Make Lunch at home –
Shop bought and processed foods lack fibre, essential vitamins and minerals and are often laden with fat and sugar! It is a good idea to make something at home in the evening (see our blog on packing a healthy lunch for some examples). Additionally, you could make a little extra for your evening meal and take leftovers for lunch the next day.
5.) Slowly Reduce Portions –
Most of us eat too much and too bigger portions.
GRADUALLY reducing portion sizes is a proven way to help with weight loss. Try some of these things:
– use a smaller plate than usual for meals
– take a smaller portion initially and then go back for seconds
– sit down and eat your meal (no TV dinners as eating in front of the TV has been shown to increase the amount of food we eat)
– If you do go back for seconds opt for mainly vegetables where possible
6.) Swap White carbohydrates for wholemeal –
Gradually swapping your white carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, bread for wholemeal varieties will help to fill you up more and keep you fuller for longer. Wholemeal varieties also contain much more fibre and B vitamins and zinc too!
7.) Top up your meals with —>
Vegetables, lentils, pulses, beans and salads. These should be making the majority
of the dish. Then opt for some protein foods, some wholemeal carbs and a little dairy food.
8.) Drink plenty of water –
It is recommended that we should be having 6-8 glasses of fluid a day. This can include water as well as tea, coffee and other fluids but I recommend avoiding soft/fizzy drinks as these are linked to obesity and may be a major contributor to weight gain!
9.) Get your 5 A Day –
There is a reason this campaign is being pushed so much by the government so make sure you are consciously aiming for more than five portions of vegetables and fruits.
10.) Don’t over restrict yourself –
Allow yourself some treats to ensure you keep the enjoyment in the food you are eating just be mindful that you are not having too much.
For more information or any questions please contact us at SR Nutrition