It’s a classic New Year’s Resolution: “I will lose weight next year”. Most of us – I’m guilty too – will buy a gym membership, and convince ourselves we will work out every day in the new year. Yet, in reality, I am sure a large portion of us can confirm that this never works. We give up after a couple of grueling gym trips and that’s the end of that resolution. This year, why not take an alternative approach? By making simple changes to your lifestyle, you might just find yourself a little more successful in losing that unwanted Christmas weight.
Eat breakfast every day
Many people who want to lose weight often think that not eating is the way forward, right? Wrong. Eating breakfast in the morning will kick-start your metabolism, and therefore kick-start the burning of calories in anything you do throughout the day.
Drinking water is great, not only for losing weight, but for your overall health. Drinking at least 2 litres of water each day detoxifies the liver and speeds up your metabolism, consequently leading to weight loss. Lots of people mistake thirst for hunger, so keep hydrated throughout the day!
Brush your teeth early before you go to bed
As silly as this sounds, brushing your teeth early on in the night will psychologically tell you that you cannot eat any more before you go to bed, automatically reducing your chances of late-night snacking.
Remember that eating fruit doesn’t have to be a chore, be inventive with fruit salads or smoothies. Also, why not swap out your glass of apple juice for an actual apple? A glass of apple juice has 48% more calories than an actual apple, eating the apple will also fill you up more.
Limit your packaged food intake
By minimising your intake of packaged and processed foods, you’ll automatically reduce your sodium intake. Excess sodium causes water retention in your belly, by limiting that salt your tummy will appear flatter due to a release of water build up.
Reduce your dairy intake
As difficult as it sounds, cutting out dairy, or reducing your dairy intake could make a significant difference. Studies reveal that 75% of the world’s population can’t actually break down lactose, therefore making simple cuts, for example giving that cheese pizza a miss or putting a little less milk in your coffee, could make all the difference.
Ditch the soda
Fizzy drinks, and their high calories, are notorious for weight gain. You don’t need a can of coke every day, substitute it for a glass of water, or even squash if you need some flavour.
Add protein to every meal
Adding a source of protein to each meal will leave you feeling fuller for longer, as well as giving you the vitamins and minerals you need to build strength and health. Try including low-fat yogurt, a small portion of nuts, eggs, beans or lean meat in each meal.
Trim those portions
An easy way to lose weight is to cut down your portions. Even just the slightest cut will make a noticeable difference over time. Stop feeding the five thousand with an enormous amount of pasta for one, think about how much you’re giving yourself. If you struggle with portion-control, invest in some smaller-sized plates and bowls, you will then subconsciously give yourself a smaller portion.
Eat small, frequent meals
Studies suggest that eating small meals every 3-4 hours helps you lose weight. As long as it’s healthy, it keeps your metabolism up, regulates your blood sugar levels and prevents hunger, helping you to avoid overindulgence.
Do you really need to get the bus to uni? The walk really isn’t that far, even from Portswood, give it a go now and then. Why not use the stairs once in a while? Everyone these days has a step-counter on their phone, why not challenge yourself to reach the recommended amount of 10,000 steps each day?
Don’t deprive yourself of sleep. Research has shown that just a few nights of sleep deprivation can generate weight gain. Try to get a good eight hours sleep each night; I mean sleeping burns calories anyway, whilst also giving you energy for the day ahead, so why wouldn’t you want to get as much as you can?
These simple tips, avoiding forceful dieting and exercise, can make all the difference to your health and weight. Without thinking about it you will start to see a change in your body weight for the better, and you will burn off that Christmas dinner and chocolate in no time. Of course, regular exercise is recommended to everyone, however, these lifestyle changes are a great place to start.
Happy New Year!