Slimming down with a smile
Losing weight and feeling fit post-Easter
As Easter now sits firmly in the rear-view mirror and gyms are re-opening, you may be thinking that it’s time to shake off the comfort food and get back to your best bod! This is always a challenge but coming out of lockdown better than we started is motivation enough, especially with the end in sight!
You’re not alone either, gyms are set to be packed over the coming weeks. However, it’s not just pumping iron and running 5ks that will get you on top form. As the saying goes: Muscles are made in the kitchen and revealed in the gym.
Diet is incredibly important to healthy weight loss/gain and giving your body the right fuel for the job is essential for maintaining mental wellbeing and focus, as well as getting the best results.
You will have heard this many times before but, you need to be eating three balanced meals a day at a minimum! It’s a common misconception that skipping meals will help you slim down, but skipping meals and going hungry is unsustainable, creating poor dietary habits which will ultimately cause weight gain. Three meals and two snacks will keep you full and still help you on your journey to losing weight.
When losing weight healthily, the aim is to eat fewer calories than you burn but still feel full. The answer to this is vegetables. Vegetables are low calorie and full of fibre and water, adding bulk to your plate. They also take a considerable amount of time to digest and therefore keep you fuller for longer.
Next, proteins. Proteins are arguably the single most important food group for losing weight. A high protein diet increases metabolism, stimulates weight regulating hormones and, like the veggies, makes you feel full for a substantial amount of time. People often tend to stray away from this group because of the high-fat content of meat products, however, the fats in proteins aid digestion and hormonal stimulation, both of which are important for your physical and mental health.
Finally, carbohydrates. This food group is normally the first thing to be cut out of meals when joining a crash diet, due to their high-calorie content. However, carbohydrates are the body’s preferred food group and fuel vital organs. They’re a slow-release energy source that burns throughout the day and are essential for a healthy diet, in moderation. Decreasing carbohydrate intakes such as bread and pasta as well as increasing vegetable intake will have you burning calories whilst feeling full.
Snacks are a great way to keep on track and treat yourself when losing weight. There are many options to chose from with all kinds of alternatives to household favourites like chocolate and crisps.
Fruit, nuts, and protein-based snacks are fantastic for energising your day, although calorific, these foods in low quantities aid digestion and aren’t stored in the body.
Two snacks a day will keep your mood and energy levels high as you tick over to the next meal.
Staying hydrated is paramount for successful and sustainable weight loss. Not only does it suppress your appetite, but it also boosts metabolism and makes exercising easier as hydrated muscles stretch further and internal organs function at their optimum rate.
Often you will feel hungry when you’re actually thirsty. To combat this, you should aim to drink around 1.2-1.5 litres of water per day and, to suppress appetite, a glass of water before each meal will make portion control more manageable.
What to expect when losing weight
Losing weight is a commitment. Results won’t come overnight but if you are willing to wait then you will see the effects of a healthy lifestyle soon enough.
Although hard work, getting fit doesn’t mean boring flavourless foods either, check out our website for some fun flavour-filled recipes that will have you slimming down with a smile!