Losing weight is often easier said than done. Many people will fall off the diet wagon within weeks or even days of attempting to overhaul their eating habits, while others may lack the motivation to even consider dieting in the first place.
What is often missing in these circumstances is a positive attitude. Dieting and weight-loss are words tinged with negativity, and tend to bring to mind endless calorie counting, gym workouts and no more chocolate.
It is quite possible that this mindset is the reason why many people fail. So in order to stop overthinking and stressing about dieting and losing weight, we have outlined six surprising ways to shed the pounds – and the negativity.
Surround yourself with food
Rather than cutting down on food, make sure your fridge and kitchen cupboards are stocked with plenty of healthy, nutritious foods such as fruit, vegetables, natural yoghurt, seeds and nuts. These will make great snacks when you are feeling peckish and will help inspire healthy cooking.
Yes, you read that right. Instead of worrying about how many times a day you are eating or how many calories you’re consuming, use your well-stocked kitchen to cook hearty, healthy meals that keep you fuller for longer. This means including plenty of carbohydrates in your diet (aim to choose wholegrain options rather than refined breads and cereals) and protein in the form of lean meats and eggs. Eating nutritious, filling meals will help to prevent you from snacking and overindulging.
Don’t push yourself in the gym
While physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, pushing yourself too hard in the gym could negatively impact your weight-loss. Research suggests some people have a strong food reward response after exercising, leading them to overcompensate the amount they burned with subsequent snacks and meals. Make sure you choose low fat, high-protein options after exercise and keep your portions small to avoid undoing all your hard work.
Don’t deprive yourself
Skipping meals and depriving your body of calories by crash dieting is a very bad idea if you want to lose weight. Starving the body in this way actually slows the metabolism, which makes it tougher to lose weight and keep it off. A calorie deficiency can also mean a nutrient deficiency which can lead to health problems such as anaemia.
Eat a bit of what you fancy
Generally, weight-loss and weight management can be effectively achieved by sticking to the 80/20 rule – filling 80% of your diet with healthy food options and the remaining 20% with a little of what you fancy. Shedding the pounds doesn’t have to mean eliminating chocolate or your favourite biscuits – you simply just need to keep these to a minimum and prioritise nutritional choices.
Stop thinking about it
When you start fretting about what you’re eating and whether you are consuming too many calories, you start to put unnecessary pressure and stress upon yourself. Instead of focusing on food and dieting, focus on how you feel. Nourish your body with good foods and you will reap the benefits emotionally and physically. Your confidence and self-esteem should not be connected with the size of your jeans but the health of your heart.