Sustainable weight loss is definitely the key to losing weight in a healthy way.
There are many diets out there touted at helping you lose weight, and while they will often work in the short term you nearly always end up putting the weight back on and often more. For sustained support in losing weight for the long term in a balanced way that won’t leave you feeling like you’re missing out you will benefit greatly from seeing a nutritionist or nutritional therapist. As a nutritionist in Nottingham I see many clients for weight loss and help them with the steps needed to enable them to take back control. These are some of my most simple but effective tips for sustainable weight loss.
What you eat
Eat more real foods
These are foods that are not processed and as close to their natural state as possible. Michael Pollen said “if it comes from a plant, eat it. If it’s made in a plant, don’t.” He also said, “don’t eat anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognise as food”. This latter one is gradually becoming less relevant as we age and processed and unnatural foods have been around longer and longer. What we eat is just as important as how much we eat.
Focus on foods with less ingredients
The more ingredients there are listed on a product the more processed it often is. There are often ingredients listed that you haven’t heard of and often can’t even pronounce and real food should never be something you don’t recognise. Try and have more one ingredient foods, the types of food that don’t have ingredient labels such as vegetables (carrots, broccoli, spinach etc.) and combine them with other one ingredient foods.
- Helpful hints: always have frozen vegetables at home, use more herbs and spices to add flavour, batch cook and prepare meals ahead of time, stock up on cupboard essentials like tinned tomatoes, lentils, beans, rice etc.
Have protein at every meal
Protein will help keep you feeling fuller for longer as well as being an essential part of your diet for your body to function optimally. Often we have sugary breakfast cereals first thing in the morning and then feel hungry again a few hours later and this drives us to snacking and craving more sugary foods and this is all as a result of your blood sugar levels being imbalanced throughout the day. This is also the reason for our afternoon dips in energy and the craving again for more snacks.
- Helpful hints: eggs are a great source of protein at breakfast, try having them with vegetables as part of an omelette or having boiled eggs as a snack.
Make sure you’re drinking enough water
You should be drinking around 2 litres of water a day, and no caffeinated teas and coffees don’t count, but herbal teas do. Often having a drink of water can help ease hunger pangs as we sometimes confuse our signals and feel hungry when we’re actually thirsty.
- Helpful hints: try having a glass of water half an hour before dinner as this can sometimes help reduce the amount of food we eat. Keep a water bottle on you at all times to remind you to keep drinking throughout the day.
When you eat
Think about how many times a day you snack. If you follow the tips above about what you’re eating then it should make things easier to reduce the number of times a day you snack.
- Helpful hints: if you do need to snack then try and go for wholefoods such as carrots and hummus or a piece of fruit with a small handful of nuts.
Eat bigger meals earlier in the day
There is another saying that is “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.” Research has shown that those people who consumed most of their calories earlier in the day compared to those that had them later in the day lose more weight.
- Helpful hints: try and have the majority of your calorie intake by 3pm. Try having your biggest meal for breakfast and flipping your concepts of when you eat what on its head
Have a smaller eating window
This is often known as time restricted eating and involves eating all our food for the day during a specific time window of often between 8 and 12 hours. Time restricted eating can often help with reducing the need to snack, improve sleep, improve blood sugar balance, and increase energy as well as many other benefits.
- Helpful hints: try by starting with a 12 hour window and wat all your meals between 8am and 8pm and then reduce that window bit by bit down to 10 hours.
Where you eat
Try eating your meals together
So often members of the same family are eating different meals at different times and this has become very common with many eating with distractions such as TV or the internet taking the main attention of everyone individually. Eating together has been shown to have great effects on peoples physical and mental wellbeing.
- Helpful hint: try and eat as many meals as you can together and without devices or distractions. Sitting at a table can help and encourage conversation and try putting all phones in a bowl or box before sitting down so no one can be tempted.
Prepare for temptation
We can often be tempted by the sugary and salty snacks that surround us in our everyday lives, whether that’s in supermarkets, at train stations, the petrol station or even our own cupboards.
- Helpful hints: Meal plan and write your shopping list before going to the supermarket to stop you going down aisles you don’t need to and being tempted. Take healthy snacks with you when you travel. Try and avoid having temptation foods in your house.
If any of this resonates with you and sounds like the type of support that could help you lose weight in a more sustainable way then get in contact with me to discuss how I can help you or you and your family make healthier choices and lose weight in a sustainable way that will stay off and won’t leave you feeling hungry or deprived. For more information visit www.hjnutritionist.co.uk