It’s not unusual to want to lose weight, but – as a nation – our waistlines are out of control. The NHS says 26 per cent of British adults are now obese, and this figure looks set to increase. But you can uncover the best weight loss tips and step off the scales for good.
Do I need to lose weight?
The easiest way to find out is to calculate your BMI. Simply divide your weight (kilograms) by your height (metres), then divide the answer by your height again. A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 25, overweight is between 25 and 29.9, and anything over 30 is obese. Being overweight or obese has serious health consequences; you have an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure and certain cancers.
What’s making you fat?
Lack of exercise, processed foods, and poor sleep have all been linked to weight gain. In the past decade, technology has also had a big impact on our lifestyle habits – computers, mobile phones and games consoles all give us fewer reasons to get up and move around.
Our busy lives are also very stressful, a major cause of weight gain. Within a few minutes of being stressed the body releases cortisol, which leads to blood sugar cravings, insulin resistance and weight gain. A muffin top is a sure sign your extra weight is stress-induced; the liver turns excess sugar into fat, and the liver’s first port of call for storing fat is around the middle.
One reason we’re not putting on weight is a slower metabolism as we age; it’s a myth. The fact is, as we get older we tend to be less active and eat more, and that’s why we put on weight.
Top five weight loss tips
Why not combine the five golden rules below for the quickest way to lose weight?
- Exercise is keyOne of the best ways to lose weight is to exercise every day. Plus, if you build muscle, you’ll also boost your resting metabolism – the rate at which your body burns calories at rest. You’ll also boost production of the feel-good chemical serotonin, increasing your happiness levels so overeating is less likely.
- Get lean with coffee beansResearch has revealed those taking a green coffee bean extract lost just over a stone, or 10 per cent of their body weight! It’s thought a compound called chlorogenic acid, found in the unroasted beans, may influence glucose and fat metabolism.
- Stop guessing portion sizesEating too much is guaranteed to make you put on weight. Stock your kitchen with portioned foods in serving containers ahead of time, so you’ve always got food to hand that’s ready to eat in the right-sized amounts when you’re hungry.
- Sip green teaNumerous studies have shown green tea can help you lose weight. It’s thought the fragrant cuppa could help the body burn calories and fat. What’s not to like?!
- Eat mindfullyMindful eating encourages us to focus on what you’re consuming. Pause for a few moments to focus on the experience of eating and your sense of satiety. This helps switch off the appetite centre in the brain when you’re full, so you can lose weight more easily.
Want more ways to shape up for summer? Find more diet and weight loss tips today.
This article has been adapted from longer features appearing in Healthy, the Holland & Barrett magazine. Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP before trying any remedies.