If you’ve been receiving our blog for a while, it won’t come as a surprise when we tell you that the secret to weight loss —and actually keeping off the weight—isn't a crash diet or starving yourself.
It's making long-term lifestyle changes that include eating healthy foods and moving your body in activities you genuinely enjoy.
Here are 10 simple yet effective diet and fitness tips that you can implement every day... even the weekends:
1. Carry a reusable water bottle everywhere
Hydration is a dieter's best friend. We often mistake thirst as hunger, so just drinking some water and waiting 20 minutes can fill up your stomach and might subside your appetite, keeping you from overeating when your body doesn't need food to fuel.
Not only that, drinking plenty of water helps keeps your bodily functions working in order, including digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.
The easiest way to ensure you're getting enough water is by always carrying a water bottle with you.
2. Get plenty of sleep
According to researchers, sleep-deprived people consume about 300 more calories a day—which adds up to an extra 15 pounds a year! Set an alarm clock for the same time each day, even on weekends or days off. It'll help you sleep better by maintaining your body's internal clock. And if you have trouble actually getting to sleep, try establishing bedtime routines which can condition your body to feel sleepy. Reading does it for us! 2 pages in and we're out for the count!
3. Remove temptation
The first step of successful weight loss is manipulating your environment to make it hard to fail. One of the best ways to do that (at least at home) is removing all temptations from your kitchen and replacing them with healthy foods—in particular, fresh fruits and vegetables.
4. Walk at work
Sitting all day isn’t going to help you in your weight loss mission! Set a timer to simply get up from your desk and take a one-minute walk once every half an hour (with tip number 1, you might not need to set a timer after all… your bladder will do that for you!). For an 8 hour work day, walking 1 minute every 30 minutes is 16 minutes walking. So in a 5-day week, this translates to adding just 80 minutes of walking to your routine.
5. Eliminate empty carbs
While many diets begin by having you eat less, we prefer you just eat less of the wrong foods. Eating the wrong foods day in and day out—even on a calorie-controlled diet—may not cause weight gain, but it can prevent weight loss. That's because your body burns all of its fast carbs and sugars before it can burn stored fat. So, if you start to eliminate empty sources of carbs from your diet like white bread, biscuits, cakes and sugary drinks, and replace them with their whole-grain version, you'll be able to reap some of the health benefits without feeling like you're depriving yourself.
6. Cook at home
Save money and calories by bringing lunch to work every day and carrying homemade snacks instead of picking up energy-dense junk from the shop.
7. Up your protein
To maximise your health and weight-loss, aim to include protein in all of your meals and snacks. The best options? Lean protein sources like fish, eggs, legumes, low-fat dairy, and lean meat.
8. Meal plan and prep in advance
Meal planning is one of the best ways to help you gain control of your overall food intake. The most successful dieters work with a rotation of just a few go-to meals and snacks—because when you're tummy is rumbling, trying to figure out what you should eat typically doesn't end well. Make a point of prepping your meals and snacks in advance so you can always have ready-to-eat healthy foods with you. It's going to be far more difficult to eat a healthier diet and fit in exercise if you're too busy thinking about what you should be eating, which could end up being a greasy take-away.
9. Keep healthy snacks
Yes, you can snack and still lose weight! Fitting in healthy snacks can help maintain your blood-sugar levels, which keeps you full and prevents your body from storing excess fat or indulging in high-energy foods after what feels like starvation. Consider houmous and veggies, yoghurt with fruit, or peanut butter on whole wheat toast.
10. Slow down
Scoffing down meals in under 20 minutes can leave you unsatisfied because it takes just as long for hunger hormones to relay the message to your brain you've eaten your fill. Take your time eating your meals and actually enjoy them!
How many of these tips do you incorporate already? Which ones will you find easiest to add into your current routine? Even if you don’t adopt all of these straight away, starting with just a few of the easier ones can still make a big difference.