The festive season is fast approaching, with jam packed calendars, tempting foods all around us and for most, a manic work life. Trying to juggle it all and wanting to feel and look as good as possible can seem overwhelming. We frequently get asked: “what’s the quickest way to shed some weight with limited time available”. In this three-part series, we will highlight some brilliant tips to get you on your way to look and feel your best this Christmas.
I have tried all the shortcuts (as I am sure many of you have too) Slimming shakes, diet pills, excessive exercise, a massive calorie deficit and much more. It may work in the short-term but the faster you tend to lose weight on the scales, the quicker it seems to return, and in most instances more weight may return.
Your body likes to operate at a certain weight for it to function at its best (homeostasis). We might suddenly drop our calorie intake and possibly start an intense exercise routine. Your body will initially drop weight (usually mostly water weight). It then begins to panic and go into stress mode because of these dramatic changes. Our bodies are built for survival, they have no idea that you’re on this particular mission to get trim quick! As a result, your body fights back: it begins to slow down your metabolism and start burning muscle rather than body fat.
Read on for healthy and sustainable tips to feel and look good:
Food and drink for healthy weight loss:
- If you want to reduce the amount you are eating, aim for a healthy calorie deficit. Typically, a reduction of 500 calories per day. This will result in un-stressful weight loss for the body. The body will adjust and realign to the new calorie intake meaning the results are much more sustainable without exhausting the body.
- Eat more fibre. Fibre keeps you fuller for longer. It also aids digestion resulting in a decreased calorie intake and fat loss.
- Cut down on refined carbohydrates such as breads, pastas, breakfast cereals, processed foods and pastries. These tend to have a higher amount of disease promoting belly fat. They are also low in fibre and nutrients resulting in sugar crashes. These sugar crashes can then cause cravings. Replace refined carbohydrates with whole grains including quinoa, lentils, brown/wild rice, pulses and oats.
- Drink healthier beverages. Choose water over sugary drinks. Sugary drinks contain hidden calories. Your body uses water to burn body fat so if you are not drinking enough then you are hindering your results at burning body fat. Aim for 2-3 litres per day. You may be visiting the bathroom more initially, but the body quickly adapts! Your body will soon rebalance at the new water intake to utilise it more efficiently.
- Include protein rich foods in your diet to keep you fuller and help increase muscle tone. Fish, turkey and chicken are my preferred choices for fat loss. Those that are vegetarian and vegan opt for protein rich choices including legumes, quinoa, lentils, vegan protein powder.
With Christmas right around the corner, December is a great month to start some healthy eating habits and dedicate yourself to becoming healthier for the holidays!