Weight Loss Secrets
Weight Loss Secrets
By Rebecca Gawthorne
Losing weight is not always easy, and keeping the weight off can be even harder. Successful weight loss requires commitment to a healthy lifestyle. But everyday temptations and busy schedules can make it difficult to stick to weight loss goals.
Following is a Top Ten list of diet and weight loss secrets that will help you eat better, feel healthier and shed those extra kilos and keep them off!
1.. Hunger is the best guide
Learn to stop eating when you’re comfortably full, not bloated or ‘stuffed’. Once you’ve finished a meal, wait 20 minutes before you have for seconds to see if you are actually hungry.
2. Portion size
Don’t upsize your portions, especially when eating out. Portions are extremely important and upsizing can increase your kilojoule intake and lead to weight gain. The larger the portion of food on your plate, the more you will eat. Try serving your dinner meals on a smaller plate and aim to fill half your plate with coloured vegetables.
3. Think before you eat
Before you go to the fridge or pantry, stop and think about what you are about to eat. Avoid mindless eating – don’t sit down in front of the TV or computer and eat. Use a food diary (written record of what and how much you eat) to help you keep track of what you eat and when you are vulnerable to mindless eating. Once you’ve identified these danger times, you can figure out strategies to avoid them.
4. Enjoy eating
Don’t rush your meals. Sit down at the table, eat slowly and enjoy your food: chew it well and savour the taste. Aim to take at least 20 minutes to eat your meal. This will give your brain enough time to register that you are full. Choose a variety of foods so you don’t get bored – aim for at least 20 different food items/ingredients daily.
5. Limit sugary drinks
Soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit juice and cordials are packed full of extra kilojoules that will sabotage your weight loss efforts. The energy in these drinks can be equivalent to a whole meal. They are low in nutrition and not needed in your diet. Choose water instead: it contains no kilojoules and is the best fluid for hydrating the body.
6. Plan your meals
Plan what you are going to eat for the day (or week) and stick to it. And don’t skip any meals, especially breakfast. Eating a healthy breakfast kick-starts your metabolism and gets you going for the day.
7. Snacks and seconds
Small healthy snacks between meals can regulate your metabolism and help you avoid eating extremely large portions at other meals, especially at night. However, continual snacking or grazing can also add up to an incredible amount throughout the day. If you are hungry between main meals, pick one snack from the list below and stick to it.
8. Have healthy foods ready to eat
Keep your fridge and pantry full of healthy foods. Make sure they are visible and ready to eat. Keep a bowl full of fruit on your bench and chopped-up fruit and vegetables in the fridge so you can grab them for a quick snack on the run. Keep a handful of dried fruit and nuts in sandwich bags for snacks and small yoghurt tubs for delicious desserts. When you have healthy food available, it will make it easier to avoid unhealthy ones.
9. Avoid temptation
The best way to avoid unhealthy, energy-dense foods is not to bring them into the house. And if you do buy them occasionally, keep them ‘out of sight, out of mind’. You are more likely to snack on chocolates if you have a box sitting on your table.
10. Use the 90/10 rule
Aim to eat healthy 90% of the time, and the other 10% you can treat yourself to your favourite food. This way you won’t deprave yourself and will be less likely to binge or over-indulge in your favourite food.
- 1 serve of fruit (1 medium-sized piece of fruit, 1 cup canned or chopped fruit or 1½ tablespoons dried fruit)
- 4 low-fat crackers with tomato and avocado or low-fat cheese
- A fruit smoothie with skim milk, blended fresh fruit and honey
- Slice of raisin toast with honey or low-fat ricotta
- Small tub of low fat yoghurt
- ¼ cup raw, unsalted nuts (such as walnuts and almonds)
- Small tin of tuna/salmon with salad vegetables
- Pita bread with some low-fat dip
Rebecca Gawthorne is an accredited practising dietician and nutritionist. For more information, email: Rebecca.firstname.lastname@example.org or check out her website, rebeccagawthorne.com.au