Many of us would probably like to achieve a svelte figure, whether it be in time for the holidays, for a special occasion or just for real reasons of health.
Any dietician or nutritionist worth their qualifications will tell you that the best way to lose weight is to do it over time and not to go for the immediate quick fix, which can work initially, but then actually end up making you put all the weight back on.
Ideally, weight loss of a stone or more should come off at the rate of one to two pounds a week and should be achieved by using the correct diet and exercise.
Looking at your diet to lose a stone in weight
You should continue to eat all the major food groups, but think about altering the amounts. Don’t just cut fats, dairy and carbohydrates out. You’ll end up craving them more and binging. Instead, swap the refined, sugary white versions of rice, pasta and bread for wholegrain versions and eat them in 50% smaller portions.
Continue to eat meat, but switch to lighter white proteins like chicken, turkey and fish. They will fill you up and keep you going without being loaded with fat. Red meat is fine to eat in small 100g portions, once or twice a week.
Trim the excess fat off and it will be healthy and good for you. Whatever you eat, accompany it with plenty of fresh vegetables, salads and fruit. Make your meals in total 50% vegetable matter, 25% protein and 25% carbohydrate. That way, you’ll be full and sustained.
Switch to eating little and often, preferably every three hours, so you never go too long without food. Five small meals a day is better than three large ones. Look to snack on healthy things like a small portion of nuts and dried fruit rather than heavily fatty or sugary treats which will cause your blood sugar to yo-yo too much.
Hydrate yourself and don’t confuse thirst for hunger
It makes sense to also cut out calorific drinks too. Try and steer clear of fizzy juices, beers, wines and spirits and try to stick to water, whether it’s hot or cold and herbal teas. You will notice an immediate difference in how much less bloated you become.
Water is also a great way of keeping hunger pangs at bay as we very often mistake thirst for hunger, when what we actually require is a drink and not food. The next time you feel you want a sugary snack, drink a cup of tea or some water. If the feeling passes, you were dehydrated.
Exercising for weight loss
As well as consuming fewer calories, we need to move our bodies more. Aerobic exercise is the best way of helping us to lose weight and get fit as it encourages every part of the body to become mobile. Into your regime think about incorporating walking, swimming, gentle running and weights.
You needn’t join an expensive gym to lose the pounds. Get off the bus to and from work a few stops early, walk the rest of the way. An extra fifteen minutes of stepping out every single day, or half an hour swimming lengths of the pool can burn a surprising amount of calories off and really help tone your waistline.