WHO wouldn't like to lose a bit of weight before summer? Most likely you have gained a few kilos over the past few months and the sooner you can get back to your best fighting weight the better. So here are some easy steps to help you drop an extra five ASAP.
1) Limit your eating hours
Modern life not only means that we eat all the time, but we eat across a particularly large portion of the day, sometimes eating breakfast as early as 5 or 6am and dinner not until 8 or 9 at night. The issue with consuming food over an extended number of hours each day is that the body is programmed to have a number of hours without food to control the hormones that control fat metabolism in the body. Ideally we need at least 10-12 hours overnight without food, yet some of us have as little as 6-8 each day. The result is that we tend to store more fat than we should be and rarely feel particularly hungry, rather eating when others are eating, or when we can. Limiting the number of hours we eat food each day has not only been shown to help optimise the hormones that control fat metabolism and also supports a controlled calorie intake and supports weight loss. All you need to do is consume your final meal by 6 or 7pm each night and then not eat breakfast until 8 or 9am to create the overnight fasting effect in the body.
2) Stop snacking
We eat too much, far too often - a coffee here, a biscuit here and a piece of fruit there and before you know it you have consumed an extra 300-400 calories a day without even noticing. Simply committing to set meals each day, and allowing 3-4 hours in between without any food will help you to regulate your appetite and ensure you consume filling balanced meals rather than relying on a myriad of unsatisfying snacks throughout the day.
3) Eat your largest meal in the day
The majority of us eat lightly at breakfast, snack at lunch and then overeat all afternoon and at dinner. The result is a relatively high calorie intake at night, which is likely to be stored as we sit in front of the TV enjoying treats. If you plan to consume a relatively large, filling meal at lunchtime, not only will you shift your calorie intake forward but you will find you are a lot more satisfied, are less likely to need any snacks and can be satisfied with a small dinner.
4) Ditch all liquid calories
Whether it is milk based coffee, juices or a wine or two at night, the fewer liquid calories you consume when your goal is weight loss, at least initially, the better. The body does not compensate for liquid calories which means we do not eat less when we have drunk them and they play havoc with our blood glucose levels. Even a week or two drinking only water, herbal tea or black coffee will go a long way in slashing your calorie intake each week.
5) Factor in a couple of meals off
Diets fail as we go too hard too fast and cannot maintain the restriction. Once you factor in a treat meal or meal or two off your strict regimen each week it will be much easier to build yourself a strong food platform that supports weight loss most of the time, and enjoying what life has to offer when you need to.