by Angela Reed-Fox
Too good to be true, you say? Nope, it's easy when you know how. And there are other things you can do too - stick with me and I'll give you pearls of wisdom!
First of all, if you cut out 500 calories from each day - what difference would it make? Well it could see you losing up to 2kg in a month. ('Could' because it depends on you, your lifestyle, and what you eat each day - but yes, it's realistic, importantly doesn't involve dieting.)
As ever, I'm an advocate for lifestyle change and not diets because they're too restrictive and 95% of them fail (yes!) That means it probably won't work for you either - you're better off sticking to what's proven.
One of the keys to successful lifestyle change is that changes are easy. These tips are quick, easy, and they work.
1. Drink a glass of water before meals.
This is proven to reduce the number of calories you eat in a day. Build this as a habit and this is worth 100 calories saved or more.
2. Don't eat when you're not hungry
There are many reasons why we eat - and only one of them's hunger. When you fancy reaching into the fridge - just check - is it because you're hungry or because you're bored/frustrated/deserving/earned it/just fancy it? Or another reason? Potentially this could save you loads of calories each day. When you fancy something, give your hunger a score from 1-10. If it's a 7+, eat something; but if it's lower than a 7, do something else for half an hour and then reassess. Or have a drink of water. Definitely a good habit to build.
3. Eat to 80% full
...or thereabouts. We need to avoid that unpleasant full feeling - we don't need to eat that much. There's a bit of a knack to this - it's something to practise - but if in doubt, just leave a fork full of food on the plate. And don't go for seconds.
4. Keep an eye on your metrics
Although bodyweight as a metric is not very helpful at all when monitoring progress towards your goals, it's good to have scales that analyse muscle and fat. If you have a healthy moderate lifestyle involving good food and a decent amount of exercise, you'll find muscle tissue increasing which will distort your progress with fat loss as muscle is much heavier than fat. Of course body analyser scales are not always hugely accurate, but you're looking for trends. Is the body fat percentage going down? Are you increasing or at least maintaining muscle? These scales offer other metrics as well which can be encouraging. Use the scales once a week or once a fortnight and keep a log of your progress.
5. Don't skip a healthy breakfast
Regular breakfasters tend to be slimmer and consume fewer calories throughout the day (probably because they're less likely to need to snack - and snacks tend to be higher in calories). What's good for breakfast? Wholegrains and protein are great for keeping you feeling satisfied and giving you a slow release of energy that lasts. Try porridge made with soya milk with a portion of fruit and a topping of seeds (my favourite) or two slices of toast spread with marmite (optional!) and two poached eggs with a side of tomatoes and spinach and with a topping of mixed seeds and a scatter of black pepper.
Breakfast means 'eating after not eating'! This is important to rev up your metabolism for the day, release energy, and get you firing on all cylinders.
BONUS! Measure how you move
Wearable tech is great, but not all is equal. Steer away from anything you wear on your wrist. What's better? Wear a heartrate strap which will measure what you need to know. rather than give you information you don't need. Steps don't matter - it's how your heart is working that counts.
We like MyZone, because it is 99.4% accurate, it rewards you for what you do (nice!) and it tells when you've done enough physical activity to meet the WHO guidelines. It's geared up to helping you to stay motivated to maintain a moderate level of physical activity in your lifestyle. It sells at £129.99, but we're happy to offer you £50 off when bought from here and delivered to your door next day.
OK, it's not going to cut 500 calories out of your day, but it will help you to burn more calories, and it will help to improve your metabolism - meaning you'll find it easier to burn calories.
Take these easy steps, you'll be avoiding hundreds of calories - and potentially burning hundreds more!
Want help with embedding healthy habits and lifestyle that suits you? Sucess with lifestyle is not about diets and fitness regimes, it's about embedding changes that mean you maintain the lifestyle you enjoy - but harness the maximum health benefits. I can help - as a nurse specialising in health promotion and reducing cardiovascular and diabetes risk (and helping those with these to manage their conditions), I can help you with shortcuts to a better, more fulfilling and healthy lifestyle. You'll never need to diet again. Click below if you'd like to get started: