Fed up of feeling low about your weight? Want to do something positive about it, that will jumpstart your weight loss and keep the weight off for good? Apart from regular exercise, what you put on your plate and into your mouth at meal times are really important too. Here are some practical tips to help you reach your weight goals.
13 Easy ways to Jumpstart your slimming programme and help with weight loss are:
1. Don’t Skip Meals! This slows down your metabolism by 20% to 30% and could lead you to overeat later on.
2. Eat a Big Breakfast before 9 A.M.Research indicates that people who eat breakfast tend to consume fewer total calories throughout the day. A combo of high-fiber protein and carbs works best to keep you fuller longer (try high-fiber cereal with blueberries and milk, or eggs on an English muffin).
3. Choose your meats carefully. Where you can, opt for fish instead. Cut back on fatty red meat like sirloin, and go for ground beef that’s at least 93% lean. Limit higher-fat “prime” or “select” cuts. Opt for sushi or sashimi if you can – that will increase the omega3 in your diet, and this sort of protein is healthier than red meat.
4. Remember the 25-25-50 rule: Fill your plate with 25% complex carbs (whole grains, beans, or root vegetables like sweet potatoes), 25% lean protein, and 50% vegetables and/or fruit.
5. Get enough sleep. Studies have found that sleeping fewer than 8 hours a night is linked to a higher body mass index (BMI); lack of sleep influences hormones that regulate your appetite.
6. Cut back on simple carbs like white bread and sweets, which may cause spikes in blood sugar and lead to water retention and puffiness—not to mention a crash in energy levels.
7. Visualize portion sizes and put everything on a plate so you can see exactly how much you’re eating. Don’t over eat by taking multiple portions of food – you will loose track.
8. Don’t eat the same lunch (or breakfast or dinner) every day. Our bodies get used to the same foods—mixing it up will stoke your metabolism.
9. Rate your hunger on a scale of 1 (not at all hungry but could nibble) to 5 (famished); aim to eat only when you’re in the 3 to 4 range so you don’t binge and overeat.
10. Make a list of lighter substitutions and post it on your fridge. For example, dip baked chips in salsa instead of nacho cheese and spread toast with jam instead of butter.
11. Sprinkle chili or red pepper flakes on corn rather than using butter.
12. Eat the right foods after exercising. Avoid a post-workout binge by deciding what you’ll eat ahead of time (try yogurt with fruit and a few nuts, or a glass of skim or soy milk).
13. Make nothing totally off-limits. A study published in the journal Appetite found that labeling foods as “forbidden” can actually increase your cravings for them.