Eight simple ways to kick-start weight loss
Published : 20 Jul 2016, 13:15
If you’ve decided to try to lose some weight – whether to look better in your clothes or feel better in yourself, it’s good to know that there’s a wealth of advice available.
Weight loss is one of the most popular subjects in magazines, adverts on the television and we all know someone who is on a diet.
With 24 per cent of all adults in England being obese and another 36 per cent falling under the overweight category*, it’s no surprise that it’s such a hot topic. But weight management can be a positive and uplifting experience. Boots nutritionist Vicky Pennington is here with some tips on how you can kick-start your weight loss.
1. Keep treats to under 100 calories
We all need a treat sometimes, so don’t deny yourself but make it a small one, under 100 calories. It will help you stick to your diet in the long run.
The NHS recommends 1,400 calories a day for women and 1,900 calories a day for men who are trying to lose weight, so a snack that’s 100 calories or fewer is ok. Choose a Boots Shapers bar, a fun-size chocolate bar or one chocolate digestive biscuit.
2. Use a pedometer or fitness tracker
This is a really good way to get more active. Boots pharmacy teams can guide you on whether a pedometer (that will track your steps) or other wearable tech such as a fitness bracelet is best suited to you.
There are lots of gadgets available, whatever your taste or level of fitness. Aim for about 10,000 steps a day, which is roughly five miles, swap short car journeys for a walk and take the stairs rather than the lifts at work to make up the numbers. We stock a range of tech to suit you.
3. Start by keeping a food diary
Most people eat more than they think, writing down every single thing you’re consuming for a week will identify where you might need to make changes. It makes it easy to spot the “empty calories” such as soft drinks and juices, which can be easily replaced with water. It will also help keep tabs on alcohol consumption which is another source of heavy calorie intake.
4. Make healthy food swaps
Once you have your food diary, you can think about what items you can change to save calories. Think about swapping crisps for lightly salted popcorn, a crunchy biscuit for a rice cake or a crisp apple. Replace caesar salad dressing for a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice.
5. Plan your menus for the week and write a shopping list
This is the best way to avoid temptation, plan each meal and snack, and then write your shopping list based on that. Build up a supply of healthier snacks too, for when temptation does strike. Shopping online can make it easier to avoid unhealthy snacks while you’re browsing the aisles.
6. Choose foods that are more filling
As well as cutting out unhealthy drinks and snacks, for main meals choose types of foods that are lower in calories but still filling. Try swapping fatty meats for lean protein, such as eggs, fish, chicken and turkey, good vegetarian options are pulses, lentils and beans.
7. Eat wholegrain breads, brown rice and wholewheat pasta
When choosing your carbs, swap white for brown. These healthier options are more filling because they are higher in fibre than their white counterparts. Start your day with a wholegrain breakfast cereal, it’s a double winner because people who eat breakfast tend to be slimmer than those who skip it.
8. Make a plan for coping with tricky days out
It’s difficult to stick to a diet when you’re out and about all day or heading off on holiday. For days out in the UK, make a healthy lunch the night before or pick up a Boots Shapers 500-calorie lunchtime meal deal: choose any Shapers main, snack and drink for under 500 calories.
Find out more about the local cuisine before you go on holiday. If you’re in all-inclusive accommodation, stay away from breads and pastries at breakfast and opt for healthy salads at lunch and lean protein and veg for dinner.
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