Tomorrow is the day I officially go sugar-free so today has involved doing a colossal amount of research and getting extremely confused about added/refined and natural sugars. To take a break from that and allow my brain to recalibrate I have compiled a list of healthy living tips that can apply to both people who want to lose weight and those looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
I would also quickly like to mention an amazing app that helped me shed my excess weight. It is available on ios, android and they also have a website. It is called Nutracheck and for £3.99 a month you have access to a huge database of food items, a diary where you can track calories, fat, sugar, protein etc aswell as water intake, your five a day and the calories you have burnt. You also get access to a forum full of like-minded supportive people who are there to offer advice and encouragement. The app does all the hard work for you and works out how many calories you should be eating a day based on your current weight, your activity levels and how much you would like to lose a a week. As I said the app is 3.99 a month, however they have a lite version that still gives you access to everything, the only stipulation is that you can only add five items to your food diary. I have always used the lite version and found a way around the five item restriction by using a feature where you can create set meals and add them to your diary. I would create a meal for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks and then have one slot left over to sync my daily fitbit steps. You also get a free 7 day trial when you sign up, so you really have nothing to lose.
Now onto the diet tips that helped me stay on plan.
- Plan your mealsThink of your calorie allowance as money, you have a daily budget and you need to spread it throughout the day. Divide your calories up into breakfast, lunch and dinner and always try to have some left over for snacks or unexpected hunger. Always try to eat all of your calorie allowance, going under will not help you lose weight any quicker.
- Don’t skip breakfastYou have heard it a million times that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it is true. Having breakfast wakes up your metabolism meaning you are likely to burn more calories throughout the day. If you are not a breakfast person you may be tempted to skip it and save the calories, but try to have something no matter how small.
- Don’t give upSo you have had a really good day eating-wise and then you splurge and eat something that takes you over calories, what do you do? Give in and carry on eating or do you log it in your diary, think of it as a blip and carry on with your healthy eating? It can be too easy to think that you have already failed so you may as well carry on eating, but it doesn’t have to ruin your diet. Have you’re food, realise what you have done and move on. No time for dwelling or guilt.
- Learn about portion controlWeigh everything! I can’t stress how important this is, if you still want to be able to enjoy your favourite foods. I have heard a lot about free foods and you are allowed to consume as much as you want. This is not a healthy way to look at food, you need to change your mind-set into eating less not gorging on some and restricting others. Everything is okay in moderation and when we guess weights we generally under estimate how much we have. I found this when I started to weigh pasta and rice. It is a bit of a shock when you realise just how much you eat and you then realise why you could never lose weight before.
- Get activeThis is great for speeding up your metabolism and helps shed those pounds. It also helps tone up as you lose, contributing to your overall confidence, not forgetting the health benefits of exercise – both mentally and physically. It can be simple as walking or as intense as a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout.
- Drink 8 glasses of water a dayThis doesn’t have to be plain water – although it is really good for you. Flavoured water, squash, juice tea and coffee all count (preferably de-caffeinated). A lot of the time feeling hungry can be a sign that you are thirsty – try a glass of water before you eat.
- Avoid low fat/diet foodThe appeal of low fat foods is the low calorie count, but something to remember is companies make low fat taste food taste better by filling it with added sugar. Always try to go full fat, but have less of it. In the case of milk, full fat is much better for you as it still has all its nutrients and as it is full fat it fills you up for longer.
- Don’t always listen to the scalesDon’t rely on scales alone when losing weight, especially if you work out a lot. As you lose fat and build muscle you may find the scales moving in the wrong direction, but there is no need to panic. Muscle is denser than fat so although a pound of muscle weighs exactly the same as a pound of fat it actually takes up less room in your body. It’s worth taking your measurements with a tape measure and if you are having a bad day on the scales check your measurements.
- Don’t ban foodsThe majority of fad diets ban certain foods (you know the ones I mean!). Banning foods only makes the body crave them more and you are more likely to binge eat. If you do crave food that is slightly unhealthier then set aside some calories and plan it in to your allowance. It will start to feel less like a diet and more like a lifestyle change.
- Be kind to yourselfOne of the most important tips. Remember that you made the positive decision to overhaul your diet and change for the better. If you happen to be human and slip up, draw a line under it and remind yourself just how far you have come. Change your life for you, no one else. You are amazing and you can achieve your goals.
These are the diet tips that helped me succeed and kept me on track. Do you have any diet tips that you can share? Just to let you all know you can connect with me via social media clicking on the links below.
Hope you all have a happy healthy day 🙂