Keep a food diary
While many of us might try to pin the blame for our wobbly bits on a slow metabolism the truth is that if we’re overweight it’s because we’re eating too much. Take the time to write down everything you’re eating – chances are you’ll underreport but at least it’ll help you to get a handle on where you’re going wrong.
Low fat diary helps you lose weight
The calcium found in dairy binds itself to fat creating a combination which cannot be digested by the body, and therefore has to be excreted. Your body says so long to unwanted fat, and you get to munch on some tasty dairy snacks to boot. Result.
Soup fills you up for longer
Research has shown blending your meal into soup is an effective way of staying full for longer. Soup takes up a far greater surface area in the stomach, and therefore stays in there for longer compared with solid food which can be digested within an hour or two.
Protein keeps hunger at bay
By adding an extra 10% protein to your breakfast you’ll stave off hunger pangs for much longer. When you eat food the hormone PYY is released to suppress the Grelin hormone which tells the brain you need food. Protein releases far more PYY than any other food, staving off hunger for longer.
Count your calories carefully
Until you begin to tot up how much you’re taking in each day you won’t be able cut out the foods which are leading to problems. Swapping favourite foods for low-cal alternatives is a quick and painless step on the right path and can halve your daily intake in an instant. Sounds obvious but it’s surprising the number of people who don’t count healthy foods as part of the daily calorie count – big mistake.
Use a smaller plate
Using smaller plates really will help you to lose weight. Experiments have shown that people given larger portions will eat more before they realise they’re full, as much as 22% more. Restrict your portion sizes and there’s a far better chance of avoiding over eating.
Eat three square meals
Although logically you may think by skipping meals you’ll lose weight, the truth is by doing so you’re more likely to worsen the problem. When you’ve fasted the body produces a hormone called Grelin which tells the brain your stomach is empty and to seek out the unhealthiest, fuel-laden food around to fill it up.
Small changes make big differences
No one can be expected to go from couch potato to marathon runner, but making small changes to your routine can have a huge impact. Get the bus instead of driving, stand up throughout the journey, get off one stop earlier and walk, and take the stairs instead of lifts. It all adds up.
Exercise is vital
The effects of exercise may come as a surprise – did you know you burn more calories in the hours after a workout than during it? The reason for this is that in exercise the body burns up your store of carbohydrates, meaning afterwards it has to use the reserve energy supply to keep you going: fat.
Slow down when you eat
When you’re eating larger meals take your time – rather than wolfing down a big portion, savour it. Not only will this make the dining experience more enjoyable but will give your body a chance to let you know when it’s full, and stop you overindulging.