I have been working with a number of weight loss clients over the past 4 years and these are just some of the tips that have helped them reach their weight loss goals.
- Be prepared to change eating habits for good
- Cut out all junk / processed foods, or severely limit. Why? Well processed foods have lots of chemicals which the liver needs to filter. The liver also plays a role in breaking down fat. So if its too busy filtering chemicals, then it won’t break down fat as effectively and so fat will store in your body.
- Main drink should be water, and plenty of it (1.5 to 2 litres per day). Limit alcohol.
- Swap regular tea for green tea, lots of research shows it helps to burn fat & boost metabolism.
- Base diet around wholefoods e.g. fresh root and leafy vegetables, wholegrain products, beans, fish and/or meat, eggs, fruits, also small amounts of seeds and nuts.
- Whilst trying to achieve your weight loss target avoid following fruits as high in sugar – avoid bananas, grapes, melon, pineapple.
- Eat the right kind of fat in the right proportions = burn fat (e.g. olive oil, real butter, coconut oil, avocado, nuts). Eat the wrong kind of fat = store fat (e.g. hydrogenated oils, vegetable oil, margarine, substitute fake butter)
- Take foods rich in essential fatty acids (e.g. olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds). However watch portion sizes of nuts for weight loss, max 1 handful of almonds/walnuts i.e. 10 nuts per day. Limit brazil and cashew nuts as higher in calories.
- Reduce foods with a high glycemic index (i.e. carbohydrates). When we consume a much higher ratio of carbohydrates (specifically the processed variety) over healthy protein & fats, that’s indeed what our bodies get trained to burn for fuel, never reaching the stored fat, contributing to weight loss resistance. High GI foods raise insulin levels which happen to be our only fat STORING hormone. When insulin is up, fat burning is down.
- Don’t eat late at night
- Don’t eat in a rush or whilst watching T.V., – practice mindful eating, chew your food well. See tip below from Padraig O’Morain (minfulness practitioner)*
- Stop eating when 80% full.
- Cut out take-aways / eating in fast food restaurants
- Don’t eat with your fingers!
- Watch portion sizes – see safefood.eu for recommendations. You might be surprised to hear that a portion size of potatoes is 1 medium potato or 2 baby potatoes.
- Stop using food as a reward or comfort
- In bed between 10.30 and 11pm (late to bed, will leave you tired the next day which will increase desire for stimulants (chocolate, biscuits etc). Good quality sleep important.
- Recognise negative thought patterns and link to over eating – try to turn negatives to positives. Recognise link between irrational beliefs (what we think) and unhealthy emotions (how we are feeling) and learn to change to healthy emotions and rational beliefs (good book worth reading is “How to stick to a diet” by Deborah Steinberg and Dr Windy Dryden)
- Avoid listening to the news (bad news – recent research reveals that listening to bad news leads us to want more calories!)
*Next time you are eating, notice what your food tastes like against your tongue. Food eaten without awareness is still nourishing, assuming it was nourishing to begin with. But we miss out so much on the enjoyment of food when we eat as though we’re in a trance or when we wolf it down. We can be so out of touch with taste that we need to eat quite strong or sharp foods to get a kick out of eating. Noticing the taste and aroma (which contributes to the taste) opens up a whole new world of sensation to us. It is also likely to slow down our eating so that we do not consume more than we want (it takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you are full).
If you want to go deeper, take a small square square of chocolate or a raisin and see if you can spend two minutes eating it, with awareness of taste, texture and any aroma. Notice how strong the temptation is to gobble it down. Notice how much more you experience when you slow down the process and eat mindfully.
(from Mindulness on the Go by Padraig O’Morain, May 2014)