Losing weight is never easy and with so much conflicting advice and so many diet regimes to choose from, how do you know which eating plan is right for you? Here we present ten tried-and-tested practical weight loss tips, sure to shed the pounds and see you achieve the body you always dreamed of.
Artificial sugar (or, as it has become recently known, ‘the new tobacco’), is an unnecessary and addictive source of empty calories with fat-promoting effects. When we consume an excess of sugar and refined flours this can cause blood sugar levels in the blood to increase. The body does not like anything that is different from its optimum composition, and as a result when there is an increase in blood sugar the body releases the “fat storage” hormone, insulin. When insulin is secreted this acts to convert free glucose in the blood to glycogen which can be stored in the liver- decreasing blood sugar levels back to normal.
Most people look to cut all fat out of their diets when trying to lose weight, however, eating a diet rich in healthy fats ( fish, meat, seeds, nuts, olive oil, avocados etc.) will not only leave you feeling fuller, but make food taste better and provides the fuel our bodies need to burn calories. So cut the sugar- and not the fat!
…or skimp on them either. Hunger is the downfall to all diets, and a successful weight-loss plan will promote regular, planned meals throughout the day. Our metabolism is like a muscle, it needs to be used to function at its best and therefore skipping meals could actually be sabotaging your weight-loss efforts, as well as making you more susceptible to overeating later on.
The average person’s diet is overloaded with chemicals, preservatives, toxins, artificial sweeteners and food colouring. By removing all refined and processed food in favour of natural, organic produce, we cut out all that hidden sugar and hyper-rewarding artificial chemicals that make us crave junk food and refined ‘simple’ carbohydrates.
A healthy diet is a balanced diet, and in order to shift the bulge you’ll need to give your body what it wants. So, instead of counting calories or cutting out whole food groups, focus on nutrient balance – making sure each meal you eat contains a good source of carbs, protein and fat. By ensuring each of the major food groups are represented in your diet plan, your body will receive all the energy and nutrients it needs to function properly and be at its best.
Many of us have too much salt in our diets and given the out-of-control levels of sodium in many processed foods, it can be difficult to stay within the recommended guidelines. However, salt is a big cause of weight gain and can also cause us to feel hungrier and thirstier, thereby eating and drinking even more. While a certain amount of sodium is essential for good health (around 1-3 tsp a day, depending on level of activity), try balancing out your salt intake with other seasonings such as herbs and spices. Capsaicin, an ingredient found in hot chilli peppers, is particularly good for adding flavour while aiding weight loss as it is believed to temporarily increase a person’s metabolic rate and curb appetite at the same time.
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