If you’re someone who manages to stick to a new diet for a few days but then slowly but surely finds themselves reaching for the biscuit tin, don’t despair – you’re far from alone! Millions of people find themselves in this predicament, yo-yoing from one unsustainable diet to another. Our weight loss diet tips will set you on the right track!
To put it simply, for a weight loss diet to be successful it has to become a sustainable lifestyle change and therefore something enjoyable, satisfying and fulfilling. Fundamentally, a successful weight loss diet involves a greater understanding of both the foods you eat and yourself.
Below are a handful of tips which are easy to follow and will lead to significant - and most importantly, sustainable progress if taken on-board.
Ideally we should drink 8 glasses of water each day, but if you find water is too bland then a low calorie and sugar drink will also suffice. Also, when you’re exercising it is important to take on additional fluids so you remain hydrated.
You can use the colour of your urine as a rough guide to how well you’re hydrated, aiming for a fairly clear / light yellow colour. If your urine is dark it’s usually an indication you should consume more fluids.
Staying hydrated helps when it comes to calorie control. Many people tend to snack out when they are thirsty, confusing thirst for hunger.
One of the main reasons most people trip up when it comes to dieting and losing weight is they religiously try to follow a diet plan which doesn’t include any of the foods and treats they love. This is a recipe for disaster.
Instead we should aim to eat healthily within a calorie restricted diet, but that diet must allow for the occasional treat. In fact, you can use the foods you love as a motivating tool, such as allowing yourself a “cheat meal” (such as a take-away) to reward yourself at the end of the week.
While you should not out-right ban any treats from your diet (see above tip), any successful weight loss diet will likely involve cutting down on a lot of the unhealthy choices you’ve been accustom to. With this in mind, it is far easier to stick to a diet if your food cupboards are stocked with mainly healthy foods instead of being filled with an array of tempting snacks!
If you’re constantly on-the-go or tend to have limited time around meal times it would be a wise choice to sit down in the evening and plan tomorrows meals in advanced. Most of the foods people consume on-the-go are unhealthy options and incompatible with weight loss, such as chocolate bars, crisps and fast food.
Lots of healthy meals and snacks can be prepared in advanced, providing a much better option than putting a ready meal in the oven when you get in from work.
Alcohol doesn’t have to be cut out of a diet completely, but limiting alcohol intake does have numerous health benefits outside of losing weight including reducing high blood pressure and stroke risk.
Many popular alcohol drinks, whether it be beers or wines, are calorie dense. A single pint of beer typically contains over 200kcal, and for many people alcohol does contribute a significant proportion of their caloric intake. Cutting down on your alcohol consumption can not only improve your health but also your waist line.
Apart from the obvious health benefits you gain from eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables they are also the perfect food choice for those looking to lose weight. They are both low in fat and calories yet have high fibre content, meaning they make you feel fuller for longer, without the calories.
Another very common mistake people make when trying to lose weight is skipping meals. It’s understandable why some think cutting down on a meal will help, but in fact eating regularly results in the most effective weight loss.
The reason for this is twofold – firstly, a body which is regularly fed will burn calories at a much greater rate than one which is been withheld food. This makes perfect biological sense; when food is scarce the body tries to retain energy, including fat storage! Secondarily, skipping meals leads to hunger and general unhappiness, neither of which are unsustainable and almost always results in the diet going down the pan completely.
Eat regular, calorie restricted meals instead.
A common dieting pitfall is to avoid anything with a high fat content. This is smart in some cases (fat is high in calories and some fats are unhealthy), but is far too crude a measure as to whether to include certain foods in your diet.
Generally speaking, the fats to avoid are primarily trans-fats and saturated fat – cutting these from your diet where possible is a good idea to limit their intake.
However, there are also so-called “good fats”; monounsaturated and polyunsaturated (including omega-3s) which should definitely be included within your diet as they will help regulate your body weight, hormone levels, insulin levels, blood sugar, cholesterol and other good stuff!
Foods with an ample supply of these good fats include fatty fish, mixed nuts (always unsalted), olives, avocados, flaxseed and seeds.
As bizarre as it may sound, eating food more slowly can help you lose weight, especially when following a weight loss diet.
The main benefit of eating at a measured pace is it gives the body ample time to recognise it is full. It usually takes a little while (15-20 minutes) for the brain to register that we’re full, so taking a little more time at meal times is a great way to feel more satisfied and avoid over-eating.
Eat more slowly will also aid digestion!
While this guide is mainly aimed at weight loss diets it would be foolish not to advise increasing your activity levels if you’re looking to lose weight. As with a diet, exercise doesn’t have to be boring – in fact, it shouldn’t be. Instead of running on a treadmill why not ask a friend if they want a game of tennis or go out for a light jog in the countryside? Even the basic choices we make can add up, such as using the stairs instead of the lift or cycling to work instead of using the car.
Increasing your activity levels elevates your caloric expenditure, meaning you will lose weight quicker, be much healthier and won’t feel quite as guilty when you rightly take a bite into that hard earned treat!