Seven Diet Secrets That Are Vital To Losing Weight
Whatever weight loss question you have, the answer is probably “eat less, exercise more”. Still, looking after your wellness isn’t as easy as it sounds and, if it were, we’d all be in great shape. Aside from taking care of your wellbeing, there are some other key behaviours that play a role in fat loss, so let’s take a look at some of these hidden gems:
1. Plan, Plan, Plan: We’ve all heard the phrase “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” which is why Emma-Leigh Synnott, MBBS, an exercise, nutrition, and metabolism specialist, asserts that you need a realistic goal and specific targets set for your week to reach that goal. That said, make sure you find a healthy balance between planning and enjoying your life – don’t be too strict with yourself; be fair.
2. Sleep More: According to Susy Sedano, the community manager of LiveStrong.com with a MA in Clinical Psychology, ‘Sleep does more than help your body recover from a long day — it actually helps you fight fat. In fact, researchers at the University of Chicago reported that sleeping less than seven to eight hours can increase your appetite (forcing you to overeat), slow your metabolism (causing you to burn fewer calories) and make the body retain more abdominal fat…Lack of shut-eye is also associated with bad workouts.’
3. Snack Less: Often you’re advised to snack more to keep your metabolism humming, but this is bad advice for a lot of people. While it’s true that some people benefit from eating little and often, the average snack has increased by 200 calories over the last 30 years to nearly 600 calories. This is why researchers from Purdue University found that the snacking method ended up sabotaging participants’ weight loss efforts. If you can’t cut down your portions, eat fewer meals.
4. Work Out Exactly What You’re Eating: ‘Part one of the energy equation is to simply restrict your fuel intake,’ notes Sedano. ‘But unfortunately, most people do very badly with this. Research has shown that most people grossly underestimate how much they are eating, sometimes by up to 50%! There are a number of ways you can track what you are eating, such as using MyPlate, but whatever system you use the key is consistency and accuracy.’
5. Move It: If part one of the energy equation is – as Sedano says – restricting what you put into your body, part two is cranking up the amount of calories you burn off. As well as working out on purpose (e.g. going to the gym, attending fitness classes or taking up jogging) you can shed a few extra calories by adding incidental exercise to anything you do. Walk instead of driving, take the stairs instead of the lift and tap your foot when you’re sitting at your desk. It may seem like a small attempt at weight loss, but those little things really add up.
6. Don’t Waste Calories on Drinks: If you can only consume a certain amount of calories a day, why would you waste those precious points on a drink? So many beverages are heavy in calories and, worst of all, they don’t even help you to feel full. This means you get even hungrier after drinking calorie-high drinks, and consume even more calories through food. One of the best diet tips around is to stick with water and, for variation, herbal teas.
7. Cheat on Purpose: Take a look at your diet plan – are you really going to be that good? Of course not! Sedano comments, ‘Going on a diet is tough on you, both mentally and physically. That’s why a cheat day is a frequent part of many successful diet plans. The splurge can provide you with the break from your restrictive habits that will keep you satisfied while still losing weight.’