Going to the gym requires physical and mental energy, which some of us just can’t seem to find after a long day at work, and dieting is hardly fun. But there are ways to shape up which are surprisingly hassle-free.
We’ve put together six simple suggestions that are easy to build in to your day. They don’t take much time or money, so what have you got to lose (except a few inches)?
Relax and unwind
Can chilling out really help you drop the pounds (provided you don’t do it with a grab-bag of crisps in front of the TV, of course!)? Well, there’s some evidence that being stressed or tired can lead to weight gain. Effective relaxation (such as meditation) that reduces your stress levels and helps you drop off at night should mean you’re less likely to reach for unhealthy snacks.
Eat more fat
If you’re dieting, you could well be browsing the low-fat options at the supermarket believing you’re boosting your chances of weight-loss success. But many foods labelled ‘low fat’ have just as many calories in the form of added sugar. To save yourself hours of label-checking, opt for coconut oil – it’s not low-fat, but adding a couple of tablespoons to your diet has been found to help reduce fat around your middle.
Avoid strict diets
Massively changing your eating habits can have an effect on your weight – but it’s unlikely to last. A strict regime generally isn’t sustainable over the long-term, so as soon as you start eating normally again, you’ll put the weight back on. There’s also the possibility that a restrictive diet can be harmful to your health if you’re not getting a range of nutrients. Instead, it’s better to lose weight gradually through a combination of exercise and sensible eating.
Reorganise the kitchen cupboards
A good tidy-up will burn a few calories – and could save you a load more in the long run. Putting a variety of healthy nibbles within easy reach will help prevent you grabbing sugary snacks. Even better, get those naughty snacks out of the kitchen altogether – if they’re not there, you can’t eat them! Move your small plates to the front of the cupboard and use them for meals: this is a simple way of exercising portion control.
Keep sipping water throughout the day to stay hydrated – sometimes we think we’re hungry when our body is really craving fluids. Try adding a slice of lemon, cucumber or some fresh mint to your water to ring the changes; herbal teas or no-added-sugar cordials are other low-calorie options. Even better, green tea has been shown to help you lose weight, so get the kettle on!
Stick to natural ingredients
One weight-loss supplement of proven effectiveness is Konjac Fibre (also known as glucomannan), which is taken from the root of a tropical Asian plant. Try it as a substitute for pasta or take a supplement before meals – it’s been found to reduce weight when 1g is consumed three times a day with an energy-restricted diet.