People gain weight when they consume more calories than their body needs. Excess weight increases the likelihood of developing serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke and kidney problems. Without an exercise regime to work off the excess energy, the body stores will store it for future use.
Weight loss can be boiled down to a few key changes.
1. A healthy diet
We’ve all heard this before, but do we all know what it means? A healthy diet includes food from each food group – protein, carbohydrates, milk and dairy products, fruit and vegetables and fats and sugars- represented on your plate. Adopting clean eating habits is an effective way for you to lose weight and overall boost your health. The variety of nutrients found in the foods you eat help support you by giving you the energy to carry out your daily activities and protect your cells from environmental damage and toxins.
The key to is to eat the number of calories relative to how active you are. If you are not active, but eat and drink a lot you are more likely to gain weight and increase the likelihood of developing one or more health problems, such as diabetes, hypertension or heart disease.
2. Smart snacking
Keep your snacks to a minimum and when you find yourself reaching for that Mars bar, go for a piece of fruit instead as it also contains fibre for digestion and a fraction of the calorie count. Healthy snacks between your meals will prevent you from reaching for junk foods when you feel hungry. Depending on the type of snack you are eating, they can be packed with complex carbohydrates which will boost your energy levels, improve your focus and performance, increasing your productivity and concentration levels.
Examples of snacks include: mixed nuts, greek yogurt with fresh fruit, apple slices and peanut butter, houmous and vegetables sticks.
3. Control your portions
The human body was engineered in such a way that it is able to function remarkably on minimal energy. For our hunting and foraging ancestors, utilising this energy to its maximum potential was key to survival. But in the 21st century, with a cornucopia of cheap high-energy food available in mammoth proportions around every street corner, the energy piles up and we find ourselves with excess body mass, which brings us to the next point.
Ways you can control your portion sizes include: using smaller dishes at meals, serving food in the right proportions and avoid going for seconds, avoid eating from plastic containers or cartons and eat slowly.
Regular exercise has a range of benefits, including reducing fat, increasing muscle strength, boosting energy levels, reducing the risk of chronic diseases and an improvement in brain function and memory. Starting off slowly, such as climbing the stairs, biking to work, walking to the station will start to add up and you will start to slim your waistline.
5. Titanic willpower
To continue to resist those finger-licking doughnut holes, cajun fries and freakshakes, you need to want to do it. Planning your meals can help you avoid the temptation of unhealthy foods and don’t shop hungry or you’ll make impulsive purchases.
6. Drink water!
It’s excellent for just about everything from metabolism to improving skin blemishes and losing weight. Water helps to flush out the toxins and drinking around 2 litres a day can help to boost your immune system. Studies have shown that drinking water before meals can help to reduce your appetite which in turn reduces the number of calories eaten, leading to weight loss.