“I’ll start a diet on Monday…” Does this sound familiar? If this is a phrase you are guilty of saying one too many times, it is probably time to make bigger changes.
Here are some ways to get started.
Improve diet quality
Many people when trying to lose weight are tempted to cut out a food group, such as dairy, gluten or sugar. But to follow a healthy diet you need to meet the requirements for vital nutrients. Iron, zinc, calcium, vitamins B and C, folate and fibre are all essential nutrients needed for metabolism, growth and repair and to fight disease.
Improving your diet quality means eating more fruit, vegetables, poultry, lean meats, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, beans, whole grains and dairy.
Eat your vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are high in fibre, rich in vitamins and low in calories, so upping your intake of these can help in weight management.
A study found that of 130,000 adults, those that increased their fruit and veg intake over four years lost weight. The study found that for each extra daily serving of vegetables, there was a loss of 110g over the four years.
Limit portion size
The larger the portion of food and drink, the more you will eat.
Research has found that being served large portions results in adults and children consuming an extra 150 to 230 calories, or gaining up to seven kilograms a year.
Watch your drink
One can of fizzy drink contains around 150 calories. To burn off, it would take 30 to 45 minutes of moderate-intensity walking. A recent study found that children and young people who regularly consume sugary drinks are 55% more likely to be overweight.
The best way to manage this is to limit your intake of fizzy drinks and stick to water.
The world we live in constantly cues us to eat, through food adverts, vending machines and the sweets lining the isles in the petrol station. Food cues trigger cravings and prompt eating, even if you aren’t hungry.
Minimise weight gain and the time you spend in cued food environments. Avoid food halls, supermarket offers and take a list when you go shopping. If you are going somewhere you think you may be tempted (the cinema), take your own snacks.