Body & Fitness

16 secrets of successful weight loss

Spring-clean your diet and exercise routine to lose weight.
Weight loss tips

Include protein in all your meals

It will help you to feel fuller for longer, preserve muscle mass and boost your metabolism. So if you are having a salad, for example, include meat, cheese or eggs.

Ease off the alcohol

Often we forget how many calories we’re consuming when we drink alcohol. Remind yourself that a 150ml glass of wine has about as many calories as half a 50g chocolate bar.

Slow down when you eat

It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to get the message from your stomach that it is full. If you eat slowly, you’ll have eaten less by the time your brain starts telling you you’ve had enough.

Drink more water

Thirst is often mistaken for hunger. Next time you’re hungry, try having a glass of water first. Then wait 10 minutes and see if you are still hungry – you may find that you’re not hungry any more. Water also helps your metabolism to work faster.

Fool yourself

Doing things like using smaller plates can trick your mind into thinking that you are eating more than you actually are.

Plan your meals

Work out what you are going to eat in advance – plan a week’s meals if you can – and make sure you have all the food you need in the house. If you are organised, you are less likely to be tempted by other foods.

Don’t skip meals

This is a big no-no. You may not be hungry at breakfast time, but if you miss the first meal of the day, you’re likely to be ravenous by midmorning. As a result, you could end up eating unhealthy snacks to tide you over until lunchtime, or else you could pig out at lunch.

Eat healthy fats

These will help your body to burn fat, and will help you to feel full. Avocado, nuts and coconut oil are great sources of healthy fats.

Don’t go too long between meals

If you haven’t eaten for ages, your blood sugar levels can drop, leading to cravings for something sweet that will give you a quick boost. Keep your blood sugar levels steady with healthy snacks like fruit or nuts.

Chew each mouthful 20 times

The more you chew, the longer it takes to eat your meal, and the less you are likely to end up eating, because you’ll feel full sooner.

Include eggs in your diet

They’re a great source of protein, so they will help you to feel full. They also have an essential amino acid called leucine that can stabilise blood sugar, which can help with weight loss. Have a hard-boiled egg as a snack for morning tea.

Sit down at the table to eat

Doing other things while eating – like watching TV or using a computer – can make you less aware of how much you are consuming, and you can end up eating more than you need to.

Allow yourself occasional treats

Depriving yourself of chocolate, ice cream or potato chips can lead to you craving them, and if you give in to temptation, you are likely to pig out. Allow yourself to have a small amount of the food you crave once or twice a week.

Only eat when you’re hungry

This sounds obvious, but people often snack for reasons other than hunger, such as being bored, upset or lonely. They can also see food as a reward or eat certain things out of habit. Ask yourself if you really are hungry. If you’re eating to deal with emotions, remind yourself that food won’t get rid of those feelings, it will just push them to the side

for a short while.

Don’t forget calories in drinks

Not only are alcohol and soft drinks high in calories, but fruit juices often have a high sugar content and some barista coffees are high in fat.

Exercising doesn’t mean you should eat more

Exercising can make you hungry, and often people will convince themselves it’s okay to eat large amounts of food because they will burn it off at the gym. But you may need to do a lot more exercise than you realise to burn the calories in the chocolate bar or packet of chips you’ve just scoffed. For example, it takes around 20 minutes of cycling up a steep hill to get rid of two chocolate biscuits.

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