With so many weight-loss tips, diet trends and celebrity endorsements out there, it can be pretty overwhelming to know where to start when it comes to trying to shed fat. Sorry if this comes as a surprise, but there’s no “secret” exercise or foolproof diet pill out there that’s going to have you instantly dropping dress sizes, no matter what that online pop-up is trying to tell you.
When it comes to losing weight there are so many factors to consider that will be individual to your own journey. To lose weight in a way that’s healthy and sustainable, you’re not likely to see results overnight — it’s going to take time, dedication, and determination. But it can be done. You’ve got this.
In this article you’ll find:
Healthy snack alternatives
Unfortunately for most people, snacking is not something you can go cold turkey on. How would you make the hours pass at your desk job, or enjoy a TV series without snacks?
What we’re saying is that snacking for some is just an inevitable — but it doesn’t have to become a setback in your weight loss journey. You just have to change how you snack.
There’s more good news: it’s widely considered to be better to keep your metabolism working throughout the day, so eating little and often can actually be better than sticking to three big meals and nothing in between.
If your vice is salty snacks, ditch the crisps and try rice cakes, or carrot sticks with hummus. Nuts and seeds are good too, just as long as you get the unsalted kind.
You can also make a change to your hot drinks too — many of us are guilty of relying on one too many coffees to get us through the day, and these often come with extra calories from milk and sugar. Switching to green tea is an excellent boost for your metabolism.
Supplements to support weight loss
Supplements should be used alongside a balanced diet and regular exercise — not in place of them. They aren’t an instant solution to suddenly shedding pounds, but they can certainly help you on your weight-loss journey.
This is one of the purest protein powders out there and is a great way to support your weight loss goals by giving you only the cleanest nutrients. It contains over 90% protein and only 1% fat, making it the perfect supplement after training or any other time of the day as a healthy snack substitute. There are also plenty of delicious flavors to choose from, so you’ll never get bored of being healthy.
These capsules contain a powerful blend of raspberry ketones, CLA, and choline, which is involved in normal lipid metabolism, as well as normal liver function.
By supporting your metabolism, they can be the kick-start your body needs to get closer to your weight loss goals.
Skipping meals and portion controlling
Don’t skip meals
Aside from being a very unhealthy approach to dieting, skipping meals is not actually a sure-fire way to lose weight. It actually slows down your metabolism as your body tries to conserve energy.
You enter survival mode, meaning that when you do eat again, almost everything from that meal will be converted to fat and stored as a prevention against starvation. So skipping breakfast is never a good way to start your day.
You’re also much more likely to binge on sugary snacks later on if you deprive yourself of all sustenance. Your body will intensify its hunger signals, making it hard to think of anything except what you want to eat, but shouldn’t.
A sustainable way to diet is to make sure you eat small meals regularly, with healthy snacks along the way to curb cravings and keep your metabolism active. If you’re full from the right foods, you’re much less likely to be daydreaming about the biscuit aisle.
Do portion control
Portion control is a good way to stop yourself from overloading your plate out of habit and then eating everything on it because you feel obliged to — rather than because you’re actually hungry.
Simply using a smaller side plate for your main meals can help you stick to standard-size portions without it feeling like you’re having less.
Your meals should be split so that you have double the amount of vegetables as protein or carbs on your plate. Try to avoid doubling up on carbs too, for example, if you’re having a curry pick between either rice or a naan instead of having both.
It’s important to measure out ingredients before you cook as well, as it’s rare to be able to accurately guess how much a standard serving of pasta or rice is without using cups or scales. It’s easier not to overeat if you haven’t cooked too much in the first place!
What food/drink should I avoid?
When it comes to weight loss, restricting yourself to only eating handfuls of kale and sticks of celery isn’t the most realistic approach. If you enjoy your diet, you’re much more likely to stick to it — and everyone deserves a treat now and again.
That said, these are a few things you should generally try and steer clear from.
Also known as simple/processed carbs because they’ve been stripped of their nutritional value and vitamins. Stay away from biscuits, cakes, white bread and cereals that aren’t 100% wholegrain.
These may seem convenient, but they’re almost always packed with salt, sugar, or fat. Plus, the actual microwaving process can zap away what little nutrients the raw ingredients might have contained.
It’s all too easy to forget, or ignore, that most drinks are very high calorie (and can often lead to more calories in kebab form). If you can’t sacrifice a drink from your weekend, then try to stick to white spirits with a diet mixer.
Why is drinking water important?
When trying to tone up or lose weight, drinking water is vital.
You should be aiming for around 2 litres a day at least, as staying hydrated allows your liver to metabolise fat efficiently. Drinking water can also stop false hunger — before you go for a snack in between meals, try having a glass of water and you may find you were actually just thirsty.
Water also helps the body to naturally detox and is a vital part of the digestion process. Keeping a bottle with you at all times makes it easy to sip throughout the day, and if you struggle with the lack of flavour then you can always infuse your water with fruit overnight.
Should I be tracking what I eat?
Whilst you don’t need to become obsessive, it’s good to know what you’re eating and how many calories you’re actually taking on every day.
Keeping a note of this will also make you more aware of your eating habits, which means it’s easier to spot repeat offences, e.g. when you realise every cup of tea actually comes with three spoons of sugar.
As part of this, you’ll find that you begin to really read food labels too, which is important as it helps you stay clued up on what nutrients you’re getting. It’s easy to be caught out sometimes, especially as some supermarket foods will replace low fat content with higher sugar content.
Cooking for yourself instead of buying ready meals or pasta/curry sauces is another great way to stay on top of exactly what you’re putting into your body, as many of these pre-made products sneak in a lot of unnecessary salt, sugar and additives.
Take Home Message
Losing weight is a process that takes time and dedication, you can’t expect to a change overnight. It’s important that you have a consistent training routine as well as a careful approach to nutrition – and you should always listen to your body. You’re going to have days where temptation takes you off track, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. Keep going.