Wondering why all your efforts in the gym aren't paying off?
There's no point in exercising five times a week if you are going to undo your hard work by eating a poor diet and consuming a whole lot more calories. When it comes to losing weight, the process for most of us requires eating less and eating wisely.
So whether you are seeking out a new lifestyle, or simply need some inspiration for your next meal choice, here are some top tips for shedding those excess pounds in a healthy way.
Fill up on fruit and veg
It may seem obvious, but many of us simply don't eat enough fruit and vegetables. Any balanced diet should include plant-based foods, with non-starchy veg such as kale, bok choy, broccoli and cauliflower at the top of the list. Any type of berry, apple or pear is also a good snack option, as they contain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. They also top up fibre and water levels, both of which can satiate cravings.
Most of us are guilty of eating lunch quickly at our desks or snacking on the go. Research has found that eating too fast negatively affects a gut hormone which signals when we've had enough food, causing us to overeat. By eating meals at a slower pace, we can counteract this, and allow our bodies to fully register the sensation of fullness. A good tips is to take a few sips of water throughout your meal, as this will remind you to slow your snacking.
Avoid sports drinks
While it is tempting to reach for a sports drink while at the gym, these products are often packed with carbohydrates, which means they also contain calories. So unless you are planning to go on a very long run, it's best to opt for simple water.
Know the menu
Meal prepping is a great way to follow a diet. But what happens when you need to eat out? When possible, it's a good idea to look up restaurants' menus online, and think about the nutritional information before selecting your meal. Also avoid consuming extra calories by passing on the bread basket, shunning white foods, such as rice, potatoes and pasta, and asking for salad dressing to be presented on the side.
Don't drink your calories
On average, a typical can of soda can contain 135 calories, which add up when considering intake over the day. Replace soft drinks, which are often devoid of any goodness, with water, tea or coffee.
Clean out your pantry
None of us are free from cravings, especially late at night after a busy day. Instead of allowing yourself to eat sugary snacks, take all temptation away, and clear them from your cupboard. Filling up your fridge with fruit and vegetables, as well as nuts and other low-calories snacks will give you no other option.
Find the right fat
Fat is often considered to be a bad word when it comes to weight loss. But the human body requires fat to function, with researchers finding that women who eat a moderate-fat diet shedding an average of 13 pounds more than those on a low fat plan. When planning meals look to include plant sources of fat, such as avocado, olive oil and nuts, as well as fish.
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