15 Apr The top 5 ways to guarantee you lose weight
One of the most common goals people have when they come to see me is to lose weight. So instead of going on a fad diet (see my previous blog on why you should never diet), follow my top 5 ways to not only help you lose weight but to keep it off for the long term.
1. Eat breakfast
There is an old saying, you should eat like a king for breakfast, a prince for lunch and a pauper for dinner. We should eat the biggest meal at the start of the day when we really need the energy and fuel compared to the end of the day when we are less active.
Starting the day with a healthy breakfast is like starting the car with a full tank of petrol. People who skip breakfast are more likely to grab something sugary later in the day to give them a quick energy boost. Studies have shown that eating a healthy breakfast is linked to good health, lower body weight, healthy diet and a lower risk of problems with cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes.
2. Fill up on veggies and fruit and drink lots of water
The Australian Dietary Guidelines, Australian Guide to Healthy Eating and consumer resources suggest to eat more of the following for weight loss and a healthy diet:
- Vegetables and legumes/beans – 5 servings a day
- Fruits – 2 servings a day
- Wholegrain cereals
- Reduced fat milk, yoghurt and cheese
- Fish, seafood, poultry, eggs, legumes/beans (including soy), nuts and seeds.
- Lean meat
Drinking lots of water can also help make you feel full. Often when you feel hungry you are actually dehydrated so keep some water near you at all time.
3. Keep away from bad fats, sugar and salt
It’s common sense isn’t it, eat more of the good stuff and less of the bad. Again the Australia Dietary Guidelines suggest eating less of:
- Refined cereals (usually full of sugar)
- High and medium fat dairy foods
- Red meats
- Food and drinks high in saturated fat, added sugar and added salt (such as fried foods, most take-away foods, cakes and biscuits, chocolate, confectionery and sweetened drinks)
- Drinking less alcohol (for healthy men and women, drinking no more than two standard drinks on any day)
4. Portion control
This is a big one – people often say to me they eat well but when I ask how much are they eating, they usually admit it is too much.
Buy some antique plates, bowls and cups. That is a better guide as to how much you should actually be putting on your plate. If you compare today’s plates with the ones we used years ago, they are two to three times bigger. Plus we are always taught to eat everything on our plate and not to waste any food – no wonder we are more overweight than ever.
So think about reducing your portions by a half or a third – then wait 30 minutes before having seconds. You may be surprised to find out you don’t need as much food as you think.
5. Exercise more
We were born to move but unfortunately most of us spend the majority of our time sitting down and hardly doing any exercise. The Australia Department of Health guidelines recommends two and a half to five hours of moderate intensity physical activity or 1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours of vigorous intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities, each week. They also suggest to do muscle strengthening activities on at least two days each week.
According to a US study called the National Weight Control Registry, 90% of people who’ve lost an average of 30 kilos and kept it off for over five years, exercise for an average of one hour a day (less than 4% of your day).
So there you have it – just five simple ways you can start now which will help you shift the weight and keep it off for good!