Over the past two weeks our Core Balance Diet has shown how simple lifestyle changes can help you shift those pesky last few pounds. Here dietician Susie Burrell (right) sums up the ethos with her 20 weight-loss golden rules
1 Don’t try to do everything at once
Too often we overcommit ourselves, becoming slaves to unreasonable goals and feeling disappointed and frustrated when we don’t achieve them. We expect to lose weight in an instant, train for hours on top of long working days and family commitments, have a vibrant social life, and prepare restaurant-style dinners and nutritionally balanced lunches for the following day. No wonder we fail. But if you make one or two sustainable and modest health changes to your day – snacking on vegetables, say, or having a smaller dinner – they will add up over the long term, and so too will your weight loss.
2 Plan ahead
Planning is the key to success. Most of us know what we should eat, but
in our busy lives healthy eating regimes go off the rails when we find ourselves hungry and without any good food choices on hand. Sometimes we may be able to ignore the hunger pangs and wait until we stumble across an apple, but more commonly the deep desire for food sees us searching desk drawers or attacking vending machines for high-fat, high-sugar, carbohydrate-rich foods that feed our low blood-sugar levels like a drug feeds an addict. The simple act of planning ensures that we are never caught off guard. Ideally, we should start each day knowing what we will eat for every meal and snack, what foods we need to take with us and what we are going to buy.
3 Clear out your cupboards
Few people can keep tempting foods such as chocolate, biscuits and crisps at home without eating them. It’s human nature to eat food when we see it, so replace these with key items for those nights when you get home late. Tinned tuna, eggs, pasta and pasta sauce, low-fat cheese, frozen veg and potatoes can be turned into numerous quick, nutritious dinners. Limiting your opportunity to eat treats is imperative and will make the process of reaching your diet and lifestyle goals much easier.
4 Soup it up
Any diet that contains fewer calories than you are used to leaves you vulnerable to hunger. A simple trick is to eat a thick vegetable soup to provide bulk without many calories. A soup based on leeks, celery, onions and garlic will not only provide nutrition but also help to draw excess fluid from the body, leaving you feeling light
and less bloated.
5 Drop the drink
Giving up alcohol in the early stages of weight loss is vital. If you are serious about shedding the pounds and are a regular drinker, going alcohol-free for a month may be
the kick-start you need to see a change in the scales, to discover how much you really have been drinking, and to consider if you are drinking for enjoyment or out of habit.
6 Go nuts
A portion of ten nuts each day ensures that you get a good dose of healthy fats, protein, fibre and vitamin E. Have them with a piece of fruit as a late-afternoon snack, which will help to ward off the pre-dinner munchies. When it comes to which type to choose, walnuts stand out as the clear winner as they contain exceptionally high amounts of good fats.