January is the month of the ‘fat purge’. Christmas lured many into the comforting clutches of chocolate, sweets and 1001 other calorie-laden indulgences. Traditionally this is the month in which we promise ourselves that we’re going to live a fit and healthy lifestyle … but then the novelty wears off.
Here is a list of tips for healthy weight loss that doesn’t include pounding a treadmill in the gym or starving yourself with the latest ‘celebrity diet’.
Rule 1 – No skipping meals
When trying to lose weight never skip a meal because that will just slow down your metabolism. The reason for this is because throughout human evolution, our body’s have learnt to deal with famines to ensure the species survives. Skipping meals tricks the body into thinking there is an imminent famine and in response, your body starts conserving energy by laying down fat reserves. So skipping meals only results in extra inches.
Rule 2 – Never feel hungry
Make surre you never feel hungry because tthis only leaves you feeling miserable, deprived and adds extra temptation to snack or binge on unhealthy, fattening foods.
Rule 3 – Always eat breakfast
It is a scientific fact that people who eat breakfast are less overweight and keep excess weight at bay longer than those who do not. If you aren’t a breakfast fan, make sure you eat at least some fruit and/or natural live yogurt to get your metabolism going and within half an hour of waking up. A vegetable omlette without any cheese is also a great choice. Eggs contain chlorine which encourages the body to burn fat and make for a substantial breakfast which will curb mid-morning hunger pangs.
Rule 4 – Take a walk
To lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume and the obvious and easiest way to do this is to increase your activity levels, but this doesn’t mean you have to be down the gym twice a day. Simple changes like taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking to the corner shop or going swimming can really make a difference. Walking is a fantastic exercise so go for a stroll during your lunch break or enjoy the lovely long summer evenings with a post-supper stroll.
Rule 5 – Eat carbohydrates once a day
Only eat processed carbohydrates (bread, rice, pasta, cereals etc) once a day and fill up on raw fruit and vegetables instead.
One meal every day should consist of a large salad. You can add tuna, salmon or chicken but make sure you eat a good variety of raw vegetables because they are full of minerals and vitamins such as chlorine and biotin which will naturally help you lose weight.
For variation, try grated cabbage and carrot salads as an alternative to lettuce, and limit salads to three or four ingredients. It is better to have several different bowls of salad than many ingredients lumped together. And try and avoid fat-laden dressings such as mayonnaise. Instead drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and a splash of vineagar, or make your own mustard vinaigrette.
Visit the Food and Drink channel for some mouth watering ideas.
Rule 5 – Water, water, water
Drink at least eight half pint glasses of water a day, and always drink an additional glass before you eat anything, be it a snack or a meal to help you feel full. Often when we think we are hungry, we are actually a little dehydrated, so you may find you might not need that snack after a glass of water.
Rule 6 – Safe snacking
Talking of snacks, try and cut out all biscuits, chocolate, crisps and cakes. As we all know, denial is worse, so if an uncontrollable sugar craving takes hold, indulge, but only in moderation and perhaps once a week.
Instead, eat fresh fruit, frozen fruit lollies or a handful of nuts or seeds when a snack attack gets the better of you. Nuts and seeds are high in fat but it is monosaturated fat, known as the ‘good fat.’ Eaten in small quantities they instantly satisfy and will actually do your health more good than harm. If you find it hard to stop eating nuts once you start, buy them in the shell. Cracking them open will soon slow you down.
Rule 7 – Slow down
It takes 20 minutes from the first mouthful for the food to hit your stomach and send messages to the brain that you are full – so slow down, chew each mouthful properly and eat mindfully. Watch portion sizes too – we all have a tendency to over-eat and consume the majority of what is on the plate.
Rule 8 – Nothing fried
Eat as little fried food as possible. Steam or grill all meat, fish and vegetables.
Rule 9 – Avoid caffeine
Limit your caffeine intake and avoid fizzy drinks. Chemicals in fizzy drinks, and caffeine in tea and coffee hinder weight loss and make it harder for your body to process the food you eat.
Rule 10 – Relax!
Don’t take it too seriously! Moderation, no denials, and plenty of fruit and vegetables are the keys to weight loss. So, if you are going out for a meal, don’t starve yourself before hand because you will only eat more. If you feel inclined, go for the healthy option but if you fancy steak and chips, have it! Just stick to the rules 95% of the time and weight loss won’t even be an effort.
By Rachael HannanLast modified: June 10, 2021