In this series we are looking at permanent changes to your diet and lifestyle rather than temporary quick fixes. This week we look at how to ramp up your weight loss.
- Start a diary
- Base your meals around vegetables rather than meat
- Do not eat after 8pm
- Aim for 30 mins activity every day
So, if you’ve been following our plan for weeks 1 and 2 you should start to be feeling some of the benefits of a more healthy lifestyle. You may have noticed your clothes feel a little looser or that you have more energy – it’s a really good idea at this stage to start recording your progress in a diary. Keeping a note of measurements, weight or how you feel is an excellent motivational tool. If you find yourself reaching for the chocolate, pick up the diary instead and read how far you’ve come.
Basing your meals around vegetables rather than meat is an easy way to increase the amount of vitamins, minerals and fibre in your diet. It’s also easier on the pocket as meat generally costs more than veg. Try to have one completely veggie day a week too. As you’re probably aware, red meat contains saturated fat which is not good for our hearts or waist lines (nutritionally red meat means meat that comes from a hoofed animal and this does include pork). So, if you’re planning chicken and rice for tea, instead of cooking a lot of chicken, perhaps some bread and a small amount of rice – cut down on the chicken, have a slice of bread rather than a baguette and add lots of veg. I like to buy mixed frozen veg so that I have some on hand all the time and can boil it up in a couple of minutes.
Eating after 8pm means that you’re body doesn’t really have time to digest the food properly before bed. Usually, if you’re eating after 8pm, it means you’re no longer active too so the energy absorbed from the food just gets laid down as fat and is not burnt. Couple this with the fact that we don’t usually make good food choices at this time of the evening and you can see why not eating after 8pm makes sense. I find that if I fancy something at this time, I am actually thirsty not hungry (I can tell this because I usually want something with liquid – like a bowl of cereal or a juicy orange). Hunger and thirst are easy to mix up – so if you think you are actually hungry after 8pm, try drinking a large glass of water before reaching into the fridge for something more substantial.
The more activity we do in a day – the more calories we burn and the more weight we can lose. Adding in 30 mins of activity everyday is a great way to boost your metabolism (the amount of calories you burn even at rest). I don’t mean you need to do an aerobic workout everyday or get your bike out everyday but more that you need to get off the sofa and get moving. Do the vacuuming, ironing or dusting whilst listing to your favourite music – add a bit of hip movement and a few twirls – just enjoy yourself. Mow the lawn, wash the car or have a game of tennis on the wii – whatever you want but just keep moving for 30 mins every day.