7 tips to lose weight the smart way

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If you want to lose weight permanently, forget about fad diets and magic slimming potions. The solution is far simpler: start making healthy eating choices and exercise a new way of life, and you will never see those unwanted kilos again.

Follow these tips, courtesy of Weigh-Less, to help you on your way:

- Drink plenty of water. Before tearing into a bag of chips; drink a glass of water first! People sometimes confuse thirst with hunger, so you can end up indulging in kilojoule-rich foods when a glass of water is all you really needed. If you aren’t in the mood for water, you may drink healthy alternatives such as sparkling water or herbal tea.

 - Eat several mini-meals during the day. If you eat fewer kilojoules than you burn, you will lose weight. Obesity researcher Dr Rebecca Reeves says that “studies show that people who eat 4-5 meals per day are better able to control their appetite and weight”. She also suggests enjoying said small meals earlier in the day, with dinner being the last time you eat. 

- Eat protein at every meal. Protein is the ultimate food to satisfy hunger pangs, and keeps you feeling full for longer. Protein sources such as seafood, beans, lean meat, yoghurt, cheese, egg whites, soy and nuts have been proven to preserve muscle mass and help burn fat. 

- Always eat breakfast. The common perception is that by skipping breakfast you will lose weight. However studies prove that not eating breakfast makes you hungry later which inevitably leads to nibbling or bingeing until your next meal. Healthy morning meals such as a high fibre cereal, low fat milk and fruit aid in weight loss. 

- Focus on portion sizes. To monitor portion sizes use a kitchen scale and measuring cups. Also using smaller plates and glasses helps to downsize portions; and prevents overindulging. 

- Keep a food diary. Studies show that writing down what you eat and drink tends to create awareness of what you are consuming and when; and this will cause you to eat less. One study even found that people who kept a food diary for at least six days a week lost about twice as much weight as those who kept diaries only once or twice a week.

- Don’t reward yourself with food. It's essential to celebrate each weight loss goal. However, instead of rewarding your success with a chocolate or ice cream; treat yourself to a day at the spa, watch a movie or buy that pair of shoes you’ve always wanted. These are activities that are enjoyable and won’t jeopardise your weight loss.

  - (Source: Weigh-Less)

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