OK – so you’ve over indulged during the holidays and are now feeling slightly pudgy and more than a little guilty. Before you vow to go on a diet, go to the gym everyday and eat 10 portions of fruit and veg daily, sit down and have a think about what you can really achieve. Is it better to change 5 small things for life than everything you can think of for 3 days and then give up with hunger and exhaustion?
This is the first week of a 4 week plan that will help you to change small things for life. There are no quick fixes here – just sound advice. So grab a pen and paper or print out this page and stick it on your fridge but make sure it’s handy…
- Swap refined products for wholemeal.
- Eat 4 – 6 small meals a day to keep yourself satisfied and avoid cravings and hunger.
- Cut out sugary/fizzy/alchoholic drinks and replace with water.
- Buy a pedometer and record your daily steps for the week.
- Increase your daily activity levels by taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking to the shop instead of driving and walking to colleagues desks instead of emailing. Be creative and make reasons for getting up from the sofa!
Foods containing wholemeal flour are full of nutrients and keep you fuller for longer. Refined products (containing white flour such as white pasta and white bread) are digested very quickly and cause your blood sugar level to rise quickly. Your body then releases insulin to reduce the blood sugar level but this brings it down too low and you get hungry again quickly. Wholegrain products take longer to digest and therefore have a slower impact on your blood sugar levels and require less insulin. Wholegrain foods also contain more vitamins and minerals as the refining process removes nutrients from the grain.
Eating 4 – 6 small meals a day will stop you from getting hungry. When you are hungry you tend to make bad food choices and reach for the crisps or biscuits. I found that the hardest meal to adapt was my evening meal but it is very important to reduce the size of this meal to compensate for the extra food you will be eating during the day. Reducing the size of your evening meal means you no longer feel stuffed and prone to flake out on the sofa after your evening meal which makes you more active in the evening.
A pedometer is a great way of measuring how active you are in your daily life. This week just make a note of how many steps you take each day and next week we will look at increasing these.
Being active burns more calories! Get up out of your chair whenever you can – at work, at home, getting to and from places. The more calories you burn the more weight you can lose.
That’s it. By making small changes and sticking to them you will be making a difference for life not just losing weight from Christmas. Stay tuned for week 2….