Updated: Aug 12, 2021
1. Drink Water/Stay Hydrated
Hydration is important for health so aim to drink 1.5 to 2 litres of water a day. This can be still or sparkling water, tap water or mineral water and you can add fruit such as chopped strawberries, or limes and event mint to your water to spruce it up with a delicate flavour. Water is fantastic but (low sugar) juices & herbal / fruit teas can also contribute to keeping your body hydrated. Your body requires water to help metabolise fat and thirst can often be mistaken for hunger, leading to eating when you should be drinking. So, drink up, stay hydrated. It makes a difference.
2. Shop Smart
It is not necessarily true that through buying healthier food your grocery bill will be higher. In fact, you can choose nutritious, healthy food options and they don’t always have to be expensive and fresh. Yes, opt for fresh fruits & vegetables, lean meat & fish but you can save by choosing the wonky vegetable options which are often very low prices. You can also opt for tinned or frozen fruit and vegetables which will also have a longer shelf life. For tinned products avoid those with added salt of sugar e.g., fruit in syrup, instead chose fruit in its own juice or the no added sugar and salad sweetcorn. Also, buy seasonal, the foods are usually in abundance so often cheaper.
3. Go Non-stick
If you can, invest in non-stick pans which will help in using less oil to cook, therefore reducing unnecessary added calories. Remember fat is needed by the body for many key functions but it is also important to not eat excess amounts that will contribute to excess unnecessary calories. Calories in and of themselves are not bad, calories = energy, but excess energy = weight gain. If your goal is to manage your weight or lose weight, then, this can help towards it.
4. More Fibre
As you may have seen from my previous article, How to add more fibre to my diet, dietary fibre helps to make you feel fuller for longer and is essential for a healthy digestive system. Therefore, whenever you can, choose wholegrain ‘’brown’’ versions of starchy carbohydrates, such as oats, wholegrain rice, brown rice, Quinoa are all good options and there are plenty more. Have a read of my previous article.
5. Chew Slowly
Take small mouthfuls of your food when eating and take your time to chew your food slowly. Try to stop eating before you're complete/overly full. Studies show that it takes 20 minutes for your brain to realize your stomach is full. If, after that time period, you're still hungry, eat more. Chances are, you won't.
6. Remove Distractions/Mindful Eating
Try to avoid eating whilst distracted such as whilst working, watching TV or reading. Aim to take the time to sit and focus on eating & enjoying your food – to reduce the chances of mindlessly eating whilst doing three other things at once and as a result not enjoying your food or acknowledging those fullness cues your body may give you. When we eat distracted, it can increase the chances of overeating as you may not recognize when you are full.
7. Moderate Alcohol
Limit your alcohol intake as alcohol is packed full of ‘empty calories’ and can dampen your resolve to make healthy food choices. Empty calories are those that come with no nutritional benefit. So, moderation is key here. Consider alternating your alcoholic drink with a low sugar nonalcoholic alternative and remember to STAY HYDRATED.
8. Keep Track/Food Diary
Keep a food diary and log everything that you eat and drink and be honest with yourself. This action is just for you and can be for as long or as short as you want but ideally, a minimum of 3 days can help to give you a picture of your eating pattern. You may be surprised. Being informed is a key first step to making any necessary changes to meet your goals.
9. Gradual Changes/Small Steps Daily
Make an effort every day to take steps to contribute towards your goals. This can be gradual and it doesn't have to be a lot all at once, but you'll see results by doing this over time and will be more likely to stick to your goals.
10. Balance & Wellbeing
There are various ways you may feel when trying to lose weight, hunger, frustration, elation, joy or guilt. There are many emotions people experience on the journey to weight loss. However, healthy sustainable weight loss is more likely if you are kind to yourself, take each day as it comes and try to limit judgement on yourself. As I always say to my clients, it is not about perfection but making healthy changes gradually while allowing yourself that leeway to veer from perfection and know that you are still on the right track. Aim to eat in moderation knowing that if still hungry you can go get some more. Whereas if we load our plates for many this leads to the feeling of needing to finish everything on the plate.
Let’s work together to reduce the hunger and eliminate the guilt and be healthier overall -a much better feeling.
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