Many of us already know – unfortunately from experience – that fad diets don’t work.
Not only is it boring chomping away on the same food day after day but, we’re not doing our digestive systems any good either. Worse still, at the end of 10 days of penury or however long we’ve managed to stick the diet, we end up putting on more weight than we lost.
Meanwhile, the low-carb Atkins, meat-based Paleo and starve-yourself-for-two-days 80/20 diet have all been shown to have negative effects. So is there a way we can lose weight, stay healthy and have enough energy to get on with our daily lives at the same time?
The answer is ‘yes’ and the great news is that you’re introducing this new eating regime so gradually that you probably won’t even notice the changes. You’ll know about the weight loss though when your current wardrobe proves no longer fit for purpose. And here’s what you have to do:
Lose no more than two lbs a week
Yes, really. If you’re looking to lose a couple of stone then this will seem like nothing. And that’s the idea. It’s so little that you shouldn’t even notice it. In order to lose 1lb a week you need to eat around 3500 calories less, or exercise enough to burn up that amount of calories (such as a 35 minute swim or 30 minute jog). There, doesn’t sound too hard does it? Put it in perspective that one extra biscuit a day can lead to you gaining 5lb over a year. So, the reverse is true too ie cut out a biscuit a day and you’ll lose 5lb a year. See what we mean by small changes…
Weigh yourself only once a week
Our weight can fluctuate by as much as three to four lbs daily – regardless of what we eat and how much we exercise. This is down to chemical reactions such as sodium intake, water loss, dehydration and hormone levels (we all know how bloated we can feel pre-period). So, when weighing yourself try to do it first thing at the same time every week and before you’ve had anything to eat or drink. Rest assured too that if you’ve been doing all the right stuff ie eating loads of veg, knocking back water like nobody’s businesses and exercising regularly and the numbers on the scales are increasing – you’re building muscle, not gaining weight.
Measure and track your body fat weekly
As we’ve just mentioned, scales can be unreliable in recording weight loss. What doesn’t lie though is the tape measure, or that body fat percentage counter on our smart phone app. Use these as a physical measure to give yourself the motivation to continue with what you’re doing.
Pamper yourself with ‘am’ and ‘pm’ Me Time routine
Even if it means getting up 20 minutes earlier, throw off those covers and do and something lovely for you. Make yourself a special healthy smoothie with lots of fresh fruit and some veg, for instance. Sup it listening to some of your favourite music or reading a mag. At night time carve out some time for a massage or a long soak in the bath with a face pack and some gorgeously scented oil. In other words, show your body you love it and that it’s definitely worth investing some quality time in.
Great weight loss reminders
- Every single time you exercise you’ll burn calories and fat
- When going out for a country or coastal walk – or even a shopping expedition – take a picnic so you won’t be tempted to eat an unhealthy, calorific lunch
- Do on-the-spot exercise every time the adverts come on the TV
- Know you can’t continue eating the way you do if you want to lose weight
- Don’t aim for less than 1500 calories a day or you’ll feel tired and moody
- Make your own sandwiches for lunch to cut back on mayonnaise and butter
Losing weight isn’t difficult if you follow the above tips. Once you get going you may even find a new-found interest in cooking or trying out foods you’ve never considered before. Just take it slowly, make it fun and you’ll never look back!
About the author
Dominica Roszko is a nutrition and well-being specialist, and the founder of vegerasta.com – a site dedicated to healthy living.