Want successful weight loss? Clue: it’s not by following the latest fad diet.
These are the tips you actually need to slim down for life
Do: Lose weight gradually over time
Making small changes to your regular routine might require more patience, but you’ll have a better chance of keeping the weight off for good.
For example, rather than cutting out sugar altogether, slowly decreasing your intake (such as having half a teaspoon of sugar in your tea instead of two) can help your body adapt and gradually curb those sweet cravings2.
And instead of diving into a punishing exercise regime, start off with workouts you enjoy a few times a week, such as walking the dog or a dance class, for a more sustainable approach to reaching your ideal weight.
Don’t: Exercise without also addressing what you’re eating
As gym buffs are fond of saying: “You can’t out-train a bad diet”. So even if you’re pounding the treadmill several times a week, all that effort will be in vain if you’re eating the wrong foods.
A healthy diet, supplemented with whey protein and strength-training exercises – such as body pump and kettlebells – will build muscle mass, which is helpful for losing weight, as the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you’ll burn1.
Do: Eat more slowly
Not only is chewing more slowly and thoroughly better for your digestion, it also takes roughly 20 minutes for your body to realise it’s full3.
So taking your time means you won’t be raiding the fridge immediately after you’ve polished off that roast dinner.
Don’t: Starve yourself
Eating next to nothing, not only leaves you feeling zapped of energy, grouchy and obsessing over food (which can trigger binge eating), but causes your body to enter “starvation mode” meaning it will start burning muscle and storing fat4.
Other health risks include having your periods stop, as well as hair loss and osteoporosis. A better approach to losing weight is to eat smarter – not less.
Cutting out junk is the obvious one, while prioritising fibre-rich foods such as wholegrains and vegetables will help maintain energy levels so you’ll be less prone to hunger-induced grazing.
Do: Find alternatives for your favourite foods
Rather than eliminating your most-loved treats completely, there are ways to compromise so you don’t feel like you’re missing out and blow the diet completely. For example, instead of having a glass of wine, swap it for a vodka and diet tonic. Or rather than snacking on chips, try making sweet potato wedges.
Pasta-fiend? Switch to healthier wholegrain spaghetti. And when it comes to dessert, frozen yoghurt or sorbet are less likely to pile on the pounds than ice cream and cake.
Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP before trying any remedies.