Are you struggling to lose weight? There could be all manner of things stopping you on your weight loss journey but the following few tips may help:
- Eat your food slowly and chew it well. When you eat, the body releases a hormone (cholecystokinin or CCK), which indicates when you are full so you know when to stop eating. If you eat too quickly this hormone takes longer to take action, so you carry on eating. So eating more slowly helps you to feel full more quickly and so you eat less.
- At the end of each meal, wait 20 minutes before having second helpings or eating anything else. This gives CCK time to take action. By the end of 20 minutes you’ll probably feel full and that second helping won’t seem so desirable.
A common mistake is to eat too little when embarking on a healthy eating regime. Going too low on calories can decrease metabolic rate and increase fat storage and chronic undereating increases levels of stress hormones, which promote belly fat.
- Drink a glass of water or hot water and lemon before each meal. This can help to curb hunger so you eat less.
- Don’t watch TV or sit in front of a computer when you eat! Really focus on your food, think about what you are eating – appreciate each mouthful.
- Try not to eat when you are stressed as it is difficult to focus on what you are eating and how much you are eating when your mind is on other things.
- Examine your portion sizes. Don’t put too much on your plate – you can always come back for more if you are still hungry (remember the 20 minute rule). Even too much healthy food can lead to weight gain.
- Examine exactly what is on your plate. Do you have the right mix of protein, carbohydrates and vegetables? Around half your plate should be made up of vegetables or salad at your main meals, at least a quarter should be protein (meat, fish, pulses) and at a maximum a quarter non-starchy carbohydrate. If you have a lot of weight to lose, you can miss out the carbohydrates in the evening.
- Drink plenty of water and cut down on alcohol as it is high in calories and also plays havoc with your blood sugar. Caffeine also interferes with blood sugar and so is best kept to a minimum.
- Don’t eat while standing up as this will discourage you from snacking.
- Monitor your progress but not using the scales! Take your hip and waist measurements every couple of weeks (ideally first thing in the morning before eating) to monitor your progress.
If you would like more advice on losing weight or generally getting healthier then contact me! Do you feel that you are eating well but still not shifting the weight? There could be a number of issues going on that we can explore and get you feeling good again. Remember, everyone is unique so any weight loss advice I give will be personal to you.
I am also teaming up with Personal Trainer Gillian Rainbow of Bodyfit Training to devise some 8 week group programmes combining nutrition and exercise. The first one will kick off in January so watch this space!!
Have a wonderful day,