Fad diets come and go all the time; Atkins, Juicing, Caveman… the list is endless!
Deep down everybody knows that the best and healthiest way to lose weight is by eating the right stuff and moving more. Yes we all want a quick fix, but jumping on the next diet craze band-wagon won’t guarantee you keeping the weight off.
Before you jump to any drastic and invasive weight-loss surgery, have a read of our top tips for losing weight and getting healthy. Always remember to consult your GP before embarking on your weight-loss adventure.
Take Your Time
A really simple trick to lose weight is to eat at a slower pace. So often we rush our food, eating on the go or wolfing down our breakfast so we can make it to work on time.
Instead of guzzling down everything on your plate in record time, give yourself at least 20 minutes to eat each meal. Cut your food into small pieces and make sure that you chew properly. For the majority of foods, especially meat, we should be chewing each mouthful around 30 times before we swallow.
By making time in your day to sit down and eat slowly, you’ll find that you get fuller sooner and in turn eat less.
This is because when you rush your meals, your brain doesn’t have enough time to figure out that you’ve had enough to eat. Therefore, when you eat at a leisurely pace you might feel full before you’ve finished your meal because your stomach has more time to send the “full signal” to your brain.
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Another top tip which contradicts many fad diet rules is to give in to your cravings!
It’s human nature that when somebody tells us not to do something, we instantly feel the irresistible urge to do it. So when we’re told to cut out wheat or gluten, the first thing we want is a big fat sandwich.
If you crave something sweet, treat yourself to a small piece of dark chocolate instead of a slice of cake. You can still satisfy your cravings and eat sweet treats, just in moderation. You’ll be more likely to stay motivated this way, and you don’t need to cut out food groups all together.
Rather than setting an overall target goal and getting disheartened if you don’t get there straight away, be realistic about your body. Try setting weekly or fortnightly targets, and be practical!
If you’re not working out every day, you’re not going to shed the pounds as quickly as somebody who is. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, and don’t worry about it; have faith that you will get to your target weight and still be healthy.
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Eat the Right Stuff
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Swap crisps for nuts and seeds, replace white potatoes with the more nutritious (and tasty!) sweet potato, and substitute white bread for wholemeal.
By substituting rather than completely cutting out unhealthy foods, you’ll be less likely to miss them. You do not need to starve yourself to lose weight; be healthy and fill up on fruit and vegetables instead of sugary snacks and you’ll start to see – and feel – a real difference.
You’ll feel more energetic and motivated to work out, and it won’t take long until you start dropping the weight.
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Drink Lots of Water
Surprisingly a lot of us can’t always tell the difference between thirst and hunger. It is recommended that women drink at least 1.6 litres of fluid a day, and for men that figure jumps up to 2 litres; fluids include water, milk and fruit juice.
You’ll find that by drinking more water, you won’t snack as much or crave food. Also, swap sugary carbonated drinks for water and milk (skimmed or 1% fat is best) and not only will you lose weight, your skin, hair, nails and teeth will be healthier too!
Get Plenty of Sleep
It’s called beauty sleep for a reason! In a study carried out by the University of Michigan, an extra hour of sleep a night can help you lose up to 14 lbs. over the course of a year.
Getting an early night means you won’t be tempted to late night snack – a sure fire way to pile on the pounds – and you’ll feel refreshed each morning.
A refreshed and energised mind = a more motivated mind. So, you’ll be completely prepared to continue with your new healthy lifestyle.
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This top tip is arguably the most important of all. Working out is the best way to ensure that you lose weight, especially when coupled with all the other suggestions in this post.
The important thing to remember is to know your abilities; it’s great to push yourself to run that extra mile, but don’t get carried away and hurt yourself. If you join a gym, make sure that an instructor tutors you on how to use the machines correctly and safely.
However, you don’t need to fork out on a gym membership to lose weight. At home work out DVDs can be effective when you stick to a regular schedule, and simply running around the park is a fab way to shed the pounds.
Create a weekly schedule that you know you can stick to, and remember to give yourself a couple of rest days to recuperate.
The first step to losing weight is to believe in yourself. After you’ve done that, the next steps will fall into place and you’ll start to feel a real difference.
Header image courtesy of telegraph.co.uk