Did you realise that your diet does not have to involve huge lifestyle changes? In fact, you can easily lose weight with with 7 small changes. Here they are!
1. Healthy between-meal snacks
Those tempting, calorie-laden between-meal snacks are the downfall of many diets. You obviously have to replace them with something – but what? The answer is so simple – just replace them with fruit.
Fruit is such a simple food and yet it is packed with goodness. It is important to eat food at the right time of day and mid-morning and mid-afternoon are ideal. Eat two or three pieces of fresh fruit at a time and choose a fruit that is in season to get the maximum vitamins, minerals and fibre. It will fill you up and keep you going until the next meal time.
However, it is best to avoid fruit as a dessert. This is because the acids and sugars are rapidly digested and it can make your digestive system feel uncomfortable. It can cause fermentation which leads to gas formation and a feeling of being bloated. Apples and pears tend to contain less fermentable sugars and so they are less of a problem as a dessert.
2. Simple meals
We thrive on simple diets that are based on vegetables, grains or starch, and protein. Try to make sure that there is at least one of these in each meal and have three meals every day. Then, when your friends come over or you go out for a meal, you can indulge in something more complex. The key to controlling your diet is to balance the food types you are consuming. A balanced meal gives you all the nutritional elements you need in a way that your body can absorb. Here are some examples of the three food types that should be in every meal:
1. Vegetables – could be a salad, vegetables, soups or casseroles
2. Cereal or starch: rice, pasta, potato, bread
3. Protein: meat, fish, egg, legume, nuts, or vegetable protein.
3. Protein in your diet
Today, we are obsessed with carbohydrate-rich food. Some of us live off sandwiches, pasta, pizza and pastries. Whilst it is true that carbs give us energy, if we don’t burn off that energy the carbohydrates are stored within our bodies as fat. Protein, on the other hand, can make you lose weight but could overwork your kidneys and liver. High protein diets should be used with caution. The best approach is a good amount of protein but it should be balanced with other elements as well whilst you keep the carbs to a minimum. Then all you have to do is buy more clothes as your waist shrinks!
4. Reduce bloating with fibre
Fibre is an essential element in any diet – calorie controlled or otherwise. It is essential for your intestines to work correctly and will prevent you from feeling bloated and getting constipation, diarrhea, or any other problems. You can get fibre into your diet in a number of ways. Fruits and vegetables are full of fibre, as are foods with whole grains like wholemeal bread. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water – it will help the fibre to move smoothly through your gut.
5. Eat early
Of course you culture, nationality, place of residence and personal circumstances will affect the time of day when you eat, as will the time of year. However, within these constraints try and eat your main meal as early as possible in the day. What we eat in the afternoon and at night does not get burnt up by activity and is not broken down by the liver. This makes us put on weight. Only eat light snacks in the evening such as infusions, vegetable soups, light salads and fruits.
6. Not all fats are bad!
We need fats to survive and nature has provided us with what we need. Foods like avocados are laden with healthy fats that are essential to your body. This is entirely different to the unhealthy fats in chocolates and chips. Get plenty of healthy fats in your diet from vegetable oils, fish and eggs.
7. Eat for weight loss
Approach eating in the right way for weight loss:
- Chew food well before swallowing.
- Take your time and sit down.
- Rest for 10 minutes after eating.
- Don’t drink too much at meals.
- Eat little and often.