It’s easy to drop a few pounds with a fad diet but actually keeping the weight off is the hard part. Nutritionist and lecturer Rick Hay brings you five steps to lasting weight loss
I recently finished lecturing in London on my quarterly lecture series about sustainable weight management – with the emphasis being on sustainable healthy weight loss – the sort of weight you lose that you don’t just put back on a few weeks later – the type of weight loss that lasts for life. The type of weight loss that eludes most of us.
I did loads of research including some really good stuff from Harvard and sadly it showed that most diets and especially fad diets failed dismally with the almost universal result of rebound weight gain. After reading many reports long into the night there is however, some good news as there were some things that you can do to help keep your weight down long term.
1. Follow a healthy eating plan that focuses on low GL meals
This will help to keep you fuller whilst preventing blood sugar spikes and the inevitable cravings that come along with them. My Anti Ageing Food and Fitness Plan has many recipe suggestions that are suitable really quick and easy to prepare. I recommend using more thermogenic spices in your cooking as this can help your body burn fat more effectively. Thermogenics simply means fat burning through heat and these include cinnamon, chilli, paprika and turmeric.
2. Record what you eat and team up with a friend – these two things seem so simple but they were common behaviours for those who had lost weight and kept it off. A diet diary and a buddy generate success.
3. Think Mediterranean – a Mediterranean style of diet was one that stood out in terms of long term results – of course this does not include pizza and excess pasta but fish, whole grains, lean meat and a multitude of vegetables and fruits in lots of different colours along with plenty of olive oil. The added benefit of this type of diet is that I’m also saying that you can have a glass of good red wine with dinner which provides you with high amounts the anti ageing super hero nutrient, the antioxidant resveratrol. One glass mind you, not the whole bottle! In general, eat food that is as close to nature as you can as this seems to be the key to it all – those who eat a more traditional diet that is consistent with the area they live in have to best results – there’s a lot to be said for seasonal eating too so you might want to give that a try.
4. Control portion size as we really are piling those plates up way too high. Many people had success with using smaller plates at meal times – and whilst I’m on the subject of plates most of your plate should be quality protein like grilled fish, tofu, lentils, chickpeas, tempeh or organic chicken or turkey. Aim to make a quarter of your plate protein such as lean meats or legumes, another quarter whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa or new potatoes and the rest vegetables. Having a healthy snack mid morning or afternoon also helps with both portion size and satiety. A handful of nuts and seeds with half an apple is perfect at this time – providing you with protein and essential fatty acids to help with hair, skin and nail health.
5. Use a meal replacement shake This last tip comes with a pre requisite that you choose a healthy version not just a cheap milk powdered sugary meal replacement. Healthy meal replacements like Sunwarrior Blend Raw Plant-Based Complete Protein Vanilla Powder (£32.95 from Amazon) or Pulsin Hemp Isolate Protein Powder (£18.98 from Amazon) have been shown to both kick start weight loss and to help maintain that weight loss once your goal weight has been achieved.I think a meal replacement shake is best at breakfast and should be mixed with unsweetened rice or almond milk for maximum health benefits. Stay away from dairy as this tends to cause bloating. You can add berries if you want a bit of an immune boost – stay away from the tropical fruits though as these are a bit too sugary.