Healthy habits can go out the window when you’ve got no time for your workouts. Losing weight isn’t easy—and doing it in a healthy, sustainable way can make the task feel even harder.
Making simple and small changes each day is one way to get started, but it’s important to remember that just because a weight-loss strategy works for someone else, it may not work for you.
From consuming more water to eating more protein, here are 22 of our best nutritional weight loss tips…
One: Eat something small every 2 – 4 hours
Small regular meals keeps your metabolism revved and is a much better way to burn off calories than, say, one or big meals big meals a day.
Your metabolism is boosted by about 10% for two to three hours after you eat.
Avoid skipping meals or leaving gaps longer than5 hours between meals. Leaving long gaps between meals sends your body into starvation mode, triggering it to burn muscle instead of fat.
Two: Eat the right foods
Fat makes you fatter than carbohydrates and protein. Because fat is close to the form it needs
to be for storage, metabolising it requires just 3 calories for every 100 you eat. That leaves 97
to be stored in your fat cells.
Metabolising carbohydrates requires 10 – 15 calories, leaving only 85 – 90 to be stored, whereas protein requires an amazing 20 calories to use it.
Protein and carbohydrate are your best bets if you want to increase your metabolic rate and reduce the amount of excess stored as fat.
Three: Limit your food choices
Research at Tufts University in Massachusetts shows that when people are presented with a wider variety of foods they eat considerably more. The message here is to simplify your diet.
Next time you are faced with a wide range of choice, opt for only two or three types of food rather than a bit of everything. If you must buy high calorie foods, such as biscuits, ice cream or desserts, buy only one variety.
Four: Practice portion control
Are you eating more than you need? While you need a certain amount to fuel your training,
eating boulder-size portions will result in stored body fat. As a rule of thumb, the carbohydrate
(e.g. potato, rice, pasta) and protein (e.g. fish, meat) should be no bigger than the size of
Five: Don’t skip your favourite foods
Including your favourite foods in moderation will make your fat loss plan easier to stick to, if
not pleasurable. If you know that you can eat a little of your favourite indulgence every day,
you’ll stop thinking of it as a forbidden food and then won’t want to binge on it. So go ahead
and include chocolate or ice cream in your nutrition plan but make sure it’s only a little.
Six: Don’t go light on the protein
When you reduce your calorie intake, the need for protein increases to prevent a loss in muscle tissue and to maintain your metabolic rate.
Experts recommend increasing your protein intake by about 0.2g/ kg body weight. Studies have also shown that protein blunts your appetite more than carbohydrate or fat. If you skimp on protein you could find yourself
If you skimp on protein you could find yourself still hungry after you’ve eaten. So eat a fist-sized portion of protein at each meal.
Seven: Enjoy a good breakfast
Eating a good breakfast kick-starts your metabolism and allows you the whole day to burn up
those calories. Your body is more responsive to insulin in the morning, less so in the evening
as your cortisol levels go up.
So you’re more capable of handling carbohydrates efficiently in the morning than you are in the evening. Those carbs will be used to fuel your daily activities and workouts, instead of being stored as body fat if they were eaten in the evening.
If you don’t eat breakfast, you’re more likely to snack during the morning and overeat at
Studies have shown that dieters who ate a high fibre breakfast lost more weight than
their breakfast-skipping counterparts.
Eight: Don’t eat a big evening meal
Try to eat a smaller meal, comprised mainly of protein and vegetables before going to bed.
Try and avoid eating altogether during the two hours before retiring. Eating a lot of calories in
the evening when you’re inactive increases the chances of storing them as body fat.
Nine: Distinguish between hunger and appetite
Unfortunately, it is easy to confuse hunger and appetite. Appetite is produced by external
stimuli such as the sight or smell of food or simply feeling bored. Real feelings of hunger are
produced when your blood sugar begins to fall.
The difference is that appetite goes away when you distract yourself with another activity. Next time you feel the urge to eat, distract yourself by going for a walk, taking a bath or doing your nails.
If you’re still hungry then you know you need to eat.
Ten: Don’t be fat phobic
Don’t try to cut fat out completely as this would be unhealthy and hinder your progress.
Including foods rich in essential fats – oily fish, avocados, nuts, olives and seeds – in
moderation can help you burn body fat more efficiently, improve your aerobic capacity and
boost your immunity.
Eleven: Keep an eye on your drinking
Alcohol calories count too and, if you happily knock back several drinks in an evening, they
can sabotage your fat loss plan. Alcohol calories can’t be stored and have to be used as they
are consumed – and this means that calories excess to requirements from other foods get
stored as fat instead. One small glass of red wine contains 85 calories and a bottle of lager
contains 130 calories. If you have a drink, make sure you include it in your daily calorie
Twelve: Drink water
Many people confuse thirst with hunger. Both thirst and hunger sensations are generated at
the same time to indicate the brain’s needs. If you don’t recognise the sensation of thirst, you
may assume that you are hungry, so you eat instead of drinking water. Next time you’re
feeling peckish drink a glass of water and wait ten minutes to see if you are still hungry.
Thirteen: Eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day
Five daily portions of fruit and veg not only help protect against cancer and heart disease, but
also fill you up and stop you snacking on high-calorie foods. Oranges, kiwi fruit, tomatoes, red
peppers and strawberries are rich in vitamin C, which strengthens your resistance against
What’s a portion?
- 1 medium fruit: apples, oranges, bananas, peaches, and pears
- 2 small fruit: satsumas, apricots, plums, and kiwi fruit
- 1 cupful of berry-type fruit: grapes, strawberries, raspberries, and cherries
- ½ large fruit: mangos, papayas, and grapefruits
- 1 glass fruit juice: all 100% fruit juices (not fruit drinks)
- 1 dessert bowlful of mixed salad vegetables: lettuces, salad leaves
- 2 tablespoons cooked vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and green beans
- Half a cupful of pulses: baked beans, kidney beans, lentils, and chickpeas
Fourteen: Beware of ‘reduced fat’ labels
Eating foods labelled ‘reduced-fat’ may make you feel virtuous but it can trick your brain into
letting you overeat. Many lower fat versions of biscuits, ice cream, cakes and yoghurt contain
extra sugar or modified starch in place of the fat, making their calorie count just as high.
Unfortunately, the body is not very good at regulating the intake of high calorie food, whether
the calories comes from fat or carbohydrate. You may keep eating, thinking you’re being good,
while actually you’re being overloaded with calories. You would be better off eating the
occasional biscuit or cake rather than regularly eating the reduced fat versions.
Fifteen: Snack on nuts
Snacking on nuts will improve your heart health without making you gain weight. In a US
study people who added 500 calories worth of peanuts lowered the level of fats in their blood
without changing their body weight. Researchers suggest that the nuts made them feel full so
they ate fewer calories overall or the nuts boosted their metabolic rate so they burned more
Sixteen: Replace half your carbohydrates with veggies
In the evening, go easy on potatoes, bread and pasta and fill up instead with plenty of
vegetables and fresh fruit, as well as lean protein. Try replacing half of your usual portion of
pasta (or whatever) with vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, green beans or cauliflower. That
way you won’t feel like you’re eating less.
Seventeen: Match every excuse to a solution
Do you snack on high calorie foods during the day because you’re always in a rush? The
solution is to prepare meals in advance or, maybe, take a supply of healthy snacks with you if
you can’t take a long enough break to eat a meal. Do you always snack in high calorie foods in
front of the television? Eat an apple instead or, better still, think of an activity to take you
away from the television.
Eighteen: Have fruit for starters
Eat a piece of fruit before your meal. According to a Brazilian study, women who ate an apple
or pear before a meal lost more weight than those who didn’t. Fruit is a good source of fibre,
too, and a high fibre diet can help you lose weight because you feel fuller for longer.
Nineteen: Eat soup
Eat a bowl of soup for starters and you’ll find that it curbs your appetite. Research at the
university of Pennsylvania found that is you have soup as a first course; you end up eating
fewer calories. Avoid creamy soups, though: stick to vegetable varieties.
Twenty: Watch less TV
Watching television can make you eat more. Researchers have found that people who watch
TV for more than four hours a day consume one third more calories because they have more
opportunity to nibble (and less opportunity to exercise).
Twenty-one: Stock up with healthy foods
Keep a well-stocked supply of healthy foods that you love to make your fat loss programme
easy. Decide which new foods you’re going to substitute for high fat or sugary ones. This way,
you’ll keep yourself on track and avoid the temptation of slipping back into old eating habits.
Remember, fruit, vegetables, pulses and wholegrain cereals give best filling power for
minimum calories. They contain lots of water and fibre, which fill you up, slow down your
eating speed and give best meal satisfaction. Choose the ones you like and stock up on those.
Twenty-two: Go for a walk after a meal
Gentle exercise, such as walking, after eating may turn more of the calories you have just
eaten into heat and make your body burn more calories. Similarly, eating in the hour after
vigorous exercise encourages it to be turned into energy rather than its storage as fat, as the
metabolic rate is speeded up during this time.
Here at Healthy Glow, we know losing weight can be difficult. We make it easier. No matter your
goal, level of fitness or history of injury, Healthy Glow Personal Training can help!
Your first step in your Personal Training journey is to give us a call or pop into the studio so that we can have a chat.
Call us on 9309 2532 or click here to fill out our form