There are many diets, pills and potions that promise quick weight loss but unfortunately they do not provide long term success. These fad diets are also difficult to maintain. The key is to be sensible. Change your lifestyle don’t go on a diet. Incorporate exercise into your day. Every little bit counts. Can you do without that bowl of dessert? Try a yogurt or healthy smoothie instead.
Tips and Tricks.
1. Drink more water every day. Cut out the soft drinks, fruit juice and cordial. They are full of sugar and empty calories. Try to drink on average 8 glasses of water a day. Sounds a lot? Try one before and after a meal or have a bottle nearby and sip throughout the day. If you do drink tea, cut back on the sugar or try herbal or green tea instead.
2. Cut down on those “white” or refined foods such as white bread, biscuits and white rice. Yes yummy I know but these carbs give a quick sugar release and don’t keep you satisfied for long. Try low GI foods instead such as whole grains, brown rice and sweet potato. These will keep you satisfied for longer and help curb those sugar cravings.
3. Decrease your portion size. Amazing how big our portions have actually become and we still eat it all. Try using a smaller plate, increase your serve of veggies or salad and add a small portion of low GI carbs such as sweet potato. Your protein serve should be about the size of a deck of cards. (Jo Beer – Nutritionist and Diabetes Educator from Revitalise has an excellent portion plate that comes with the 6 week Revitalise program)
4. Decrease your intake of Saturated and Trans Fats and watch out on labels for Partially Hydrogenated oils. Saturated fats can be found in animal products such as meat, eggs, dairy and seafood. Don’t stop eating them but watch your servings and try trimming the fat off your meat and choosing lean cuts. Choose low fat dairy instead of full cream. Avoid processed and packaged food with all that Palm oil. Instead look for polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats such as olive or canola oil. Try using avocado instead of butter in your sandwich and have small snacks of nuts such as almonds instead of reaching for that biscuit.
5. Eat slowly. Chew your food properly. Sounds simple but really many of us are in such a hurry we shovel our food down without even enjoying it. Take your time and your body will get a chance to register that it is full before you shovel in the second plate!
6. So you are still hungry and having a sugar craving after dinner? Try having a yogurt or making a healthy fruit smoothie with low fat milk and yogurt. This should help curb your sugar craving.
7. Non Negotiable 30 minute walk a day. Walking does not get your heart rate up and racing but it is a simple thing that anyone can do. Getting into the habit of 30 minutes every day is important and is not unrealistic. Increase your activity, park your car that bit further and walk, take the stairs, walk the kids to school or get up from your desk during the day and go for a walk.
8. Fit in some form of weight training 2 to 3 times a week. Many women are scared of weight training but you don’t have to lift huge weights. Using moderate weights increases your muscle mass which in turn increases fat burning. Not to mention it improves your strength and tone. Maybe even incorporate small hand weights into your walk and move those arms.
9. Be smart when eating out. Don’t stop eating out altogether you can still have a nice meal, just go for the healthy options such as grilled fish, avoid chips have veggies instead and ask for the sauce on the side.
10. Last but not least this has to be a realistic and sustainable change. It is a long term plan not a quick fix, so don’t deprive yourself. If you have been eating a healthy diet there is no reason why you can’t enjoy the occasional glass of wine or that yummy dessert. Make it a treat and you will enjoy it so much more.
All sounds very easy but it is difficult to break those habits when you are in a hurry and don’t have the time to make healthy meals. So be prepared, organize yourself and plan ahead. Have a list at the shops so you don’t just snatch and grab whatever is quick. Healthy meals can be quick and easy and you don’t need to be a gourmet chef!!