Weight Loss “Se­crets”

Better Health - - CONTENTS - By Vic­to­ria Cox, Regis­tered Di­eti­tian

Los­ing weight; a feat that many of us spend time try­ing to fig­ure out. While main­tain­ing a healthy body weight can do won­ders for your health and re­duce your risk for dis­eases such as Type 2 di­a­betes, it’s im­por­tant to go about weight loss in a HEALTHY man­ner. That is, do NOT fol­low any dan­ger­ous “fad” di­ets, or go to ex­treme meth­ods to achieve short-term weight loss (only to re­gain all of the weight once you be­gin to eat “nor­mally” again).

Reach­ing a healthy body weight and sub­se­quently main­tain­ing that weight should be done in a slow and steady man­ner, whereby you make small and re­al­is­tic life­style changes. Here are some (not-so-se­cret) weight loss se­crets to help you along your jour­ney:

1 If it sounds too good to be true, it prob­a­bly is!

Try not to let your­self get sucked in by any ex­treme weight loss claims such as “guar­an­teed to lose 20 lbs in ten days!” or “eat all that you want and still lose weight!” At the end of the day, the largest con­tribut­ing fac­tor to weight loss is eat­ing few calo­ries (or tak­ing in less en­ergy) than the calo­ries that you ex­pend (or the en­ergy that you use up). No “mag­i­cal new diet” is go­ing to get around this.

2 Take note of well known clichés.

The health­i­est way to lose weight is ul­ti­mately a com­bi­na­tion of choos­ing more healthy foods (think: veg­eta­bles, fruits, lean meats), less un­healthy foods (think: fried/greasy foods, sug­ary snacks and bev­er­ages) and re­duc­ing por­tions sizes (no more “belly bust­ing” or hav­ing to undo your belt af­ter lunch!).

3 Cut out the sug­ary drinks.

A great way to kick-start weight loss is to stop drink­ing your calo­ries. Many of us do not re­alise just how much ex­cess en­ergy we con­sume from bev­er­ages such as soft drinks, juices (even nat­u­ral juices), sweet­ened cof­fees and teas etc. In­stead of ab­sent­mind­edly fill­ing up on these empty calo­ries, try drink­ing more wa­ter, or even soda wa­ter with a squeeze of lime/le­mon for added zest. Stay­ing well hy­drated also helps to keep you full and limit overeat­ing.

Change the lay­out of your plate.

As men­tioned, eat­ing smaller por­tions is of­ten vi­tal for weight loss. An easy guide to use is the “plate method” of por­tion siz­ing, where:

¼ of your plate is a starch (think: ground pro­vi­sions, rice & peas, cou cou);

¼ of your plate is a lean pro­tein (think: chicken, fish, lentils) and;

½ of your plate is filled with veg­eta­bles and/or salad.

A spe­cial trick to go with this method is to serve your­self the veg­eta­bles/ salad FIRST. When we have an empty plate in front of us we tend to be heavy-handed with what­ever we put on the plate ini­tially – so in­stead of pil­ing up the starch and meat, start with your veg­gies.

5 cook­ing Pay at­ten­tion to meth­ods.

The way in which we cook our food can have a huge im­pact on the fi­nal calo­rie con­tent of that meal, and thus on our daily en­ergy in­take. In par­tic­u­lar, us­ing too much oil can quickly put a stop to suc­cess­ful weight loss, so it is im­por­tant to find a way to pre­pare your meals other than fry­ing. In­stead, ditch the ex­tra oil and try bak­ing, grilling, steam­ing, boil­ing or stew­ing. Pre­par­ing your own meals in a healthy man­ner in­stead of buy­ing food from res­tau­rants/shops is also a great way to help with weight loss.

6Snack smartly.

Just be­cause you are try­ing to lose weight doesn’t mean that you’re not al­lowed to have a snack if you are hun­gry. In­stead, try ditch­ing the high fat, high sugar snacks for healthy (but still de­li­cious) choices. Here are a few snack­ing Do’s & Do Not’s: As you pro­ceed with your jour­ney to achiev­ing a healthy weight, it is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber to slow down and en­joy your meals. When we are dis­tracted dur­ing meal­times, i.e. watch­ing TV or scrolling through our phones, we are much more likely to overeat…with­out even re­ally en­joy­ing our food. So ditch the tech­nol­ogy; sit down with friends/fam­ily, have a con­ver­sa­tion and eat slowly – fo­cus on en­joy­ing what you’re eat­ing and pay at­ten­tion to your body when it tells you that you are com­fort­ably full.

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