Tips to help you lose weight
So you’ve decided it’s time to start your weight loss journey?
Good for you! It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
These hints and tips will help you get your weight loss journey off to the best start possible.
1. Count calories
One of the biggest challenges most people have when starting a weight loss plan is working out how much they should eat, which is why it’s so important to keep track. Sometimes it can be hard to realise just how many calories something has in it, or a few snacks here and there can take you over your daily allowance. We recommend using a tool such as MyFitnessPal to help you accurately track everything you're eating. This holds you accountable and also makes it easier to see your progress in black and white. It’s really easy to either scan barcodes or enter ingredients manually to get an accurate picture of your intake. If you’d rather go old school, a simple food diary will do the same job, just keep a record of everything you’ve eaten and add up the calories at the end of the day.
2. Move more
One of the biggest influences on our increasing weight is a lack of movement, which has become more difficult with our modern lifestyles being predominantly sedentary. What do we mean by this? The average person sits in their car to drive to work, then sits at an office all day, sits in their car to drive home, and then sits on the sofa until bedtime. You can see the pattern. On average in the UK. According to the British Heart Foundation, adults of working age in England average about 9.5 hours per day of sedentary time. Between the ages of 65 and 74, sedentary time in both men and women increases to 10 hours per day or more.
Our sedentary lifestyles can have a massive impact on our weight loss efforts, but there are simple ways we can try to move more. Aim to stand more - we burn more calories standing than seated. Park further away from your destination to increase your walk - or walk the entire journey. If there are steps or a lift, take the stairs and always aim to hit 10,000 steps a day and 30 minutes of exercise. The more you move the more likely you are to hit your weight loss goals - plus reap all the other rewards of a healthier lifestyle!
3. Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated is critical when you're trying to lose weight as often we can mistake thirst for hunger. Staying hydrated will help you feel fuller for longer. As a rule of thumb aim for 2-3 litres of fluids per day. Ideally, this will be water or sugar-free alternatives but teas can also be counted. As well as helping to keep you full, water is also great for digestion & muscle function, so it really is important to make sure you keep drinking! Why not try buying a large water bottle to help you track, or simply record your water intake in your food diary - so you know when you’re on track!
4. Get your beauty sleep
We know that getting 8 hours of sleep is beneficial for many reasons, but when it comes to weight loss, sleep is even more important. This is because sleep helps to regulate our hunger hormones. Ever noticed how after a late night you eat more food the next day? This is due to the hormones ghrelin and leptin, the hormones which control our hunger and satiety levels. After a lack of sleep increased ghrelin levels make us more hungry and decreased leptin means we have a larger appetite before we feel full. The other factor is of course the longer we’re awake the more opportunities there are to over-eat! Try to increase your sleep to ensure you hit 8 hours if possible, making sure your room is a cool and relaxing environment for optimal sleep. Getting into a fixed routine of sleeping can also help regulate your body clock.
5. Plan in advance
Sticking to your weight loss goals can become more difficult when you don’t have a plan. To stick at it, we need to make our weight loss efforts into habits. So if you’re planning on going out for the day, think about what healthy meals will be available in advance, or if you know food choices will be limited - pack a lunch. With our lives being so busy and hectic, we really need to plan out our meals & exercise in advance, to make sure they don't get forgotten. Set time aside in your diary for when you plan on exercising. Bulk buy the ingredients for your meals in advance. Pop ‘post-its’ u to remind you to drink water.
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