Diet vs exercise – studies show it is easier to watch what you eat than to workout the extra calories in the gym. Exercise is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle, but controlling how much you eat is by far more important.
Today I would like to share with you 5 tips to help you lose weight in the kitchen.
- Your healthy eating starts at the supermarket – don’t buy junk food. Don’t allow yourself to be tempted when you open your cupboard. Spring clean your cupboards and fridge from all the biscuits, chocolates, ice-cream and all the processed stuff. Instead stock up on fresh fruit, vegetables, grains, pulses and lean meat such as fish or chicken.
- Keep a food diary – it is not easy to remember all that goes through your mouth in the space of a day – a generous spread of peanut butter, a fizzy drink, cake at eleven, biscuits with your afternoon tea, crisps or chocolate whilst watching TV – and the list goes on. Keep a food diary and take note of all you eat. Be honest with yourself and go into detail. Note also the time of day and the mood you were in when you ate. Are you eating out of habit or because you’re hungry? Are you really hungry or thirsty? You’d be surprised how easy it is to eat out of habit, when you’re thirsty, when you’re stressed or tired.
- Weigh your food – portion distortion is the #1 culprit for weight gain. It is not easy to figure out how much food you need to keep healthy. Unfortunately, we are made to believe we need more food than we actually do. Take meat portions for instance – 250 / 350 g a piece – when in fact you only need 1 g of protein (meat or fish) for every one kilo of body weight. Therefore, a 60-kg person requires 60 g of protein a day. Keep cup and spoon measures on your work top and use them, all the time. Smaller dinner plates help you control your portion size.
- Drink plenty of water – what is plenty of water? There are various schools of thought about the amount of water you should drink. Lately, I came across an article which I think makes perfect sense. You can tell if you’re drinking enough water by looking at the colour of your urine. If your urine is dark, you need to drink more water. I like using a two-litre bottle as a guide to how much water I drink each day. You need to drink more water if you drink alcohol or workout at the gym. A good way to start your day is by drinking a mug of lukewarm water with lemon.
- Spread your meals over the day – golden rule #1 is don’t miss breakfast. Research shows that people who eat breakfast regularly are able to control their weight long term. Space your meals throughout the day. Eat five small meals instead of three large ones. This will keep you full throughout and help cut down on snacking. Whenever possible do not eat your last meal just before you go to bed. Remember, your heaviest meal should be in the morning, not last thing at night.
Doesn’t sound complicated, does it? You do not need to reinvent the wheel to lose weight. A few changes and some awareness should help you get on track and manage your weight long term.
Increase your level of activity as part of your healthy lifestyle for better results.
One final tip for the festive season – don’t miss out on celebrations – moderation is key. If you’re going to a drinks party, have a bowl of homemade soup before you leave the house and avoid the finger food that goes round. As for drinking – take one glass of water for each one of alcohol you drink.
The choice is yours – big changes start with small steps. Let me know how you get on.