With so much conflicting information, bad science and miracle potions out there, when it comes to losing weight it’s easy to feel confused.
Here are my 7 Best WEIGHT LOSS tips that REALLY work – they are evidence-based and have stood the test of time. Integrate these into your routine one-at-a-time over a few weeks to create habits out of them and make sure they stick.
1. Drink (black) coffee
Drinking black coffee has been shown to increase metabolism and fat burning factors in the body. It is also rich in antioxidants which have numerous health benefits. Drinking a cup early in the morning also helps with bowel evacuation, and provides a bit of an energy boost.
Just try not to overdo it… 3 or 4 cups per day may be OK but more than that and the effects may start to wear off. Also, putting heaps of sugar and milk in your cuppa adds calories that undo the positive effects of the coffee – black and bitter is only way.
We have a culture of filling our plates right to the edges – and usually not with fruits and vegetables either.
2. Get your portion sizes right
Much of the reason we get overweight and struggle to lose weight is that we have a warped idea of how much food we need to eat to live. We have a culture of filling our plates right to the edges – and usually not with fruits and vegetables either.
Using smaller plates can help because a full small plate holds less food than a full large plate, but I think the main problem is actually the ratios of the food types on the plate. Every meal should contain protein (meat/fish/chicken/eggs) and vegetables – starch and fruit optional.
The appropriate ratio on your plate? 25% protein to 75% vegetables. If you add a starch in there then 20% protein, 15% starch and 65% vegetables will work.
3. Have some healthy snacks on hand
If you often get peckish in the day and find yourself looking in the grocery cupboard then you want to clear that space of anything that you know is not helpful to your weight loss goals. In addition, it is advisable to have a variety of healthy snacks around so that you don’t spiral out of control and end up at the nearest quick shop buying a chocolate.
4. Drink more water
Being properly hydrated is CRUCIAL to good health. It affects everything from brain function to metabolism. Having water in your belly also makes you feel fuller.
A nice little trick: When you feel hungry drink a big glass of water. Sometimes we confuse thirst and hunger. If the hunger goes away you know you were actually thirsty and didn’t eat unnecessarily. Also, drink a glass of water before meals. You’ll eat less because you feel full from the water.
5. Eat single-ingredient foods
We all know by now that processed foods are generally not as healthy as natural foods. Most natural foods have only one ingredient (an apple is made from… apple), whereas processed foods sometimes have ingredient lists as long as your arm.
if you are trying to lose weight (or just be healthy) your diet should consist of a very high percentage of natural foods. These are easier for your body to recognise, digest and use than processed foods which often contain chemicals that can be toxic to your body.
6. Do some exercise
Exercise is important for weight loss, but not for the reason you think. Yes, exercise does help you to lose some fat, but the major reason that exercise will help you to lose weight is that it is a potent stress-reliever. People often overeat because they eat for comfort, and stressed people do this a lot. Using exercise to relieve stress will help you to eat less, and thus lose weight.
Exercise is also good for maintaining strength and cardiovascular health. Just remember that your workout does NOT mean you can eat that donut.
7. Eat a protein-rich breakfast
One of the major commonalities amongst people who lose weight is that they eat a breakfast rich in protein (usually eggs or a protein shake) within 30 minutes of waking up. A breakfast like this will fill you up and keep you full, leading to fewer cravings and hunger-pangs throughout the day.