There are certain things that undoubtedly work for weight loss. While we all know the basics, it’s good to find out in a little more detail what to do to ensure you lose weight in a healthy manner. These are the basic principles that work for me. While you can change the foods to suit your tastes, the basics remain the same. They have worked for thousands of our Motivation clients and have helped them to lose weight. These simple lifestyle changes should be integrated into your life for lasting health and weight management.
- Up the Breakfast – When I have more calories at breakfast the day goes better, especially the evening time after dinner. This is because I’ve fueled my body adequately and blood sugars have been balanced since the morning. The combination that works for me is a pint of hot water and lemon, Motivation’s protein porridge topped with 8-10 blueberries, a green smoothie made up of water, handful of spinach, 2 slices of cucumber, half a banana, and either 5 strawberries or blackberries. Sometimes I use kale as the green and add pineapple, mango and berries. I also have one hard boiled egg for extra protein.
- Exercise often – I cycle to work every day, hail, rain or shine, so I’m pretty much programmed to get exercise. Sometimes, I’ll also head out for a 45-minute walk at least 3 days out of the seven, armed with my ear phones and an inspirational TED talk to give me a boost. This helps with weight loss as I feel more energised and want to control my food intake as a result of this feeling.
- Lower Carbs – I find the pounds come off so much faster if I stop eating carbohydrates after 6pm. I might have a potato with dinner or some whole-wheat pasta. I get loads of energy from the morning smoothie, there’s plenty of carbohydrate in the fruit so I don’t need to eat bread, wraps or bagels with lunch.
- More veg – Aiming for seven vegetables in the day definitely makes me feel better and fills me up so I don’t crave extra calories. Apart from the greens I have in the morning smoothie I opt for a tuna salad at lunch combined with peppers, onions, tomatoes, sweetcorn, lettuce and rocket. Then at dinner I combine salmon/chicken with broccoli and peas or cauliflower and carrots, just whatever is in the fridge on the day. Sometimes I use mushroom, onion and courgette in a stir fry or roast veg in the oven.
- Sleep – Forget controlling food if you’re sleep deprived, the cravings are strong and difficult to manage. Your body demands recovery time so a strict bedtime routine needs to be adhered to. I can lose weight if, and only if, I get at least 8-9 hours of deep, restorative sleep every night.
- Protein – If you want to lose pounds of fat and not muscle I suggest you look at your protein intake. When I don’t eat enough, I crave carbs and overeat on them. However, when I make sure to have protein at all 3 meals and a snack of protein mid-morning I feel well and can feel the fat melting away within a very short time. For me the egg and protein porridge for breakfast, a protein bar at 11am, tuna salad at lunch and either salmon, chicken, goat’s cheese or meat at dinner with veg and rice/past or potato works really well. Sometimes I add in a yoghurt and an apple which I carry with me when I’m going out in case I get peckish.
- Water – Drinking a pint of water before each meal and hot water with lemon first thing helps me feel better and is proven to help with weight loss. At night I drink a fruit tea which tastes sweet and stops me looking for high calorie snacks near bed time. The aim is 2 litres of water per day, more if you’re exercising.
- Caffeine – If you enjoy caffeine, drink it at times to optimise your weight loss. Too much can make you feel nauseated and jittery and makes you hungry, so know your limit. Research confirms that 2 coffees or 3 teas is enough, for me what works best is a tea in the morning, Americano at 11 and tea at 2. With 6 hours to wait before caffeine leaves the body it is not a good idea to have it after 3pm if you want to enjoy restorative sleep. Milky coffees should be avoided if you want fast weight loss.
So, there you have it, 8 tips that are not that difficult to take on board. The output is you will lose weight. Fact!