Whether you have a lot or a little to lose, its great to get some helpful tips:
- Include protein at each meal, protein helps to keep us full for longer, which helps you stick to healthier choices throughout the day. Protein can be found in meat, fish, eggs, beans, pulses, lentils, milk, yoghurt, cheese and alternatives.
- At meal times make sure half your plate is vegetables or salad, not only does that increase your intake of vital micronutrients and antioxidants it also reduces the calorie content of the meal!
- Check your portion sizes, your hand is a great guide to your required portions – a fist is the size of your serving of potato, pasta or rice; palm of your hand is the protein; handful for a vegetable portion, try and include 2-3 at each meal. Also make sure your plate is not too large, a large plate means a bigger portion as we tend to eat what is in front of us.
- Read the food label and avoid foods with added sugar, these increase your blood sugar levels and increase your sweet tooth and desire to eat more. If the nutrition information on the back of pack says more than 5g of sugar per 100g chances are its not a good option.
- Drink enough fluid, we often mistake hunger for thirst, its important we drink enough to keep hydrated and help our brain function correctly. Its recommended we have around 1.5-2lts a day and water is a good choice as its free from sugar and sweeteners.
- Make sure you get enough sleep, adults need 7 – 9 hours sleep each night. A lack of sleep means the body cannot function optimally the next day and also increases our desire to eat energy dense and unhealthy foods.
- Try and get in some activity each day, walk the children to school, take the stairs instead of the lift, have a lunchtime stroll. Increased activity will boost your endorphins, the feel good chemical and help to burn a few extra calories.
- Remember to lose weight sensibly, any diet which claims you will lose a stone in a week is not to be trusted. You should aim to lose a steady 1 – 2lbs per week by making small changes and improvements to your lifestyle habits, this will ensure your body does not feel deprived and make it easier to keep the weight off.
- Visit NHS choices to find out if you are a healthy weight: http://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Healthyweightcalculator.aspx