WITH Christmas just weeks away, many of us would not mind losing a bit of weight to help feel at our summer best. So if you are still hanging on to a few residual winter kilos, here is the quickest and easiest way to drop up to 5kg before Christmas.
Start the day right
The timing and make-up of your first meal of the day plays a big role in predicting your food intake behaviour for the remainder of the day. Ideally eat your first meal as early as possible in order to give your metabolic rate a boost and make sure your breakfast options are protein based – eggs, Greek yoghurt, protein shakes, smoked salmon or lean turkey. Breakfast options that contain 20g of protein per serve will help to keep your insulin levels and hunger controlled through the morning. You also need a controlled portion of carbs – a slice of wholegrain bread, a small serve of wholegrain cereal such as oats, fruit or milk to adequately fuel your muscles. Nutritionally balanced breakfast options that support weight loss include scrambled eggs with vegies on a slice of toast; a Bircher-style muesli bowl with yoghurt or a smoothie with milk, protein powder and yoghurt.
Focus on vegies and salad in the day
Few of us consume the vegetable bulk we need throughout the day to help us feel full and satisfied. As such, making sure that the main meal you have during the day has at least two to three cups of salad or vegetables will make a big difference when it comes to weight loss. Sushi or a plain sandwich will not cut it, rather you need a small wrap plus a salad, or sashimi with extra vegetables or salad or a serve of leftovers that includes a hearty serve of vegetables. Once you add the vegetable component back into your day you will feel fuller, your digestive system will work more efficiently and your overall calorie intake will be lower.
Cut down on coffee
The human body responds best to dietary intervention when regular routines are significantly altered. This means that if you are used to drinking a couple of milk coffees each day, and you suddenly ditch these added sugars from your diet, your calorie intake will be significantly reduced and your metabolism and weight will quickly react to this difference. For this reason, ditching the milk-based lattes and cappuccinos for a week or two is a great idea when it comes to kick-starting weight loss, or at least cutting right back to just one small or piccolo-sized coffee and replacing the rest with black coffee or tea. It does not have to be forever, rather it is the change to routine that is important when we want to induce some weight loss.
Go light at night
Many of us eat our largest meal at night and relatively late in the evening when we spend the remainder of the day sitting. Simply adjusting your food routine so that you consume a bigger meal at lunchtime while also adding in a substantial afternoon snack will ensure that your evening meal can be light – white fish and salad, a soup or a small piece of chicken breast with vegetables. This in turn will significantly cut calorie intake overall and mean you are more likely to burn body fat overnight.
Limit your eating hours
The human body needs 10-12 hours without food overnight to support weight control yet many of us eat for much longer periods of the day, giving ourselves only 8-10 hours without eating.
Once you cut your food intake by 6 or 7pm you will notice that you wake up hungrier the next morning and start to shift your calorie intake forward rather than eating lightly during the day and then overeating at night.
Have a meal or two off
The key to weight loss success is consistency, not perfection. This means that if you eat well most of the time, a heavier meal or a few drinks once or twice each week will not derail your weight loss, as long as you do not binge. Rather what we tend to do is eat well most of the day before giving ourselves a treat each day.
If you can curb this habit and keep your calories tightly controlled most days before enjoying a meal or two off once or twice each week you will enhance your weight-loss results.