Losing and reaching a healthy weight can be difficult, and sustaining these changes can be even harder. Unfortunately, there's no magic pill that will help shred the pounds, but there is plenty of changes you can make right now to help lose weight and be a healthier version of you.
1. Move more
This is no doubt stating the obvious, and I am sure you have heard this numerous times before. However, moving more is an incredibly effective, tried and tested, proven method to help push the scales down.
As you move more, you will be expending more energy. This means you will be pushing your body into an energy deficit. An energy deficit is when you are burning (expending) more energy (calories) than you consume.
I know that people are often a little apprehensive about moving more or engaging in exercise. But what I would like you to remind yourself is this does not mean you need to go for long runs or sign up to your local high-intensity gym class. It simply means moving more than you already are.
If you are relatively sedentary at the moment then why not start off with a daily 10-minute walk around the neighbourhood? If you already go for a daily walk, why not increase the duration by 10-minutes, or increase your pace by 10%?
Moving more than you already are right now will mean you are forcing your body to expend more energy, thus help push your body into an energy deficit. Moving more does not need to be a drastic change, and there are lots of exercise variations you can do to fit your own circumstances.
2. Keep your meals filling
Keeping your appetite under control is an incredibly important factor when losing weight. You will find it much easier to resist cravings and reduce daytime snacking if you are not feeling hungry to do so in the first place.
Packing your plate full of high-fibre vegetables and complex carbs like spinach, kale, asparagus, broccoli, quinoa and brown rice is a great way to make your meals nourishing and filling. Fibre slows down the digestion of food, known as 'delayed gastric emptying', which helps leave you feeling fuller for longer.
Another nutrient with unique satiating properties is protein. Adding a lean source of protein with your meal such as chicken breast, lean beef or fish, is a great way to accompany the high-fibre vegs to leave you feeling full and satisfied.
There are many reasons why you want to stay well-rested. But did you know feeling tired, or a lack of sleep can leave you feeling more hungry? Our hunger hormone ghrelin is significantly elevated after a poor night's sleep, which could be down to our body searching for quick energy-dense food to wake us up!
It seems looking after your sleep is therefore a helpful strategy to reduce those hunger pangs throughout the day. You can experiment with some tried and tested methods to help improve your sleep such as:
Stick to no screen time1-hour before bed
Try some breathing exercises, meditation, or other mindful practices to help you relax before sleeping
Allow plenty of time to digest your evening meal before heading into bed
4. Be mindful of your alcohol intake
Are you eating all the right foods and exercising daily? Great. But what about your alcohol intake? Alcohol is the hidden source of calories very few people think about when seeking to lose weight.
Remember, you're looking to push your body into an energy deficit, and if you are enjoying a few drinks every night then this can certainly hinder your progress.
This doesn't mean you should refrain alcohol completely, as there's absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying a few drinks on occasion. However, if you drink alcohol on a regular basis then cutting this down is definitely advisable.
5. Stay organised
While it is very helpful to understand what you need to do to lose weight. It's even more important to understand how you will apply and practice what you know.
Planning your meals and finding a time to schedule in your exercise is so important to help lose and sustain weight in the long-run. A meal and exercise planner is a great way to help stay on top of your healthy eating and exercise habits!
If you would like to learn more and receive individual support to suit your individual needs and health goals, then you can find out more about what I offer here. Don't forget to check out my other articles too!