• Katie Chaplin

Top 10 tips to lose weight in 2019

We have all been there- determined to lose those pounds we drastically cut our food portions down, often increasing our physical activity at the same time. From experience, this goes one of two ways

· You give up a few weeks down the line, ending up bingeing on your favourite takeaway and a bottle of rose.

· You lose weight , but this eventually plateaus and it starts to creep up again, and THEN you give up, a few months down the line; sod it , it’s not working, you can’t have a social life, you’re hungry all the time and the food is boring.

I constantly hear the phrase ‘diets don’t work’ – actually they do, however our bodies don’t like to work with them, if you are too drastic that is!

The human body is clever, and its main priority is to survive- your body CANNOT sustain a 600-1000 calorie Herbalife/slimfast etc etc diet and soon enough your body will make the necessary adjustments to prevent you from starving yourself and encourage you to eat- these include mood swings, fatigue and decreases in metabolic rate- once these diets have got the better of you, the harsh truth is that many will end up heavier than when they started

You have decided to make a change, which is incredible, and the first step to self-improvement, so below are 10 tips to push you forward into success:

1. HAVE FOOD YOU ENJOY! If you feel deprived and only eat lettuce and chicken, you will not last long! There is absolutely no reason why you should have to have rubbish food on a diet- there are so many amazing recipes out there, whether that is healthy versions of your favourite takeaways, or full of flavour, take some time to look online for healthy versions of your favourite foods, or google recipes for healthy foods you know you already enjoy. I have also supplied a few of my own recipes below, just click the links below the photos

Mexican wrap- link HERE

2. If you find that you are overeating in the evenings, make sure you are consuming pre planned snacks between meals - preferably protein based to keep your blood sugar steady and your hunger at bay- this will prevent you from coming home exhausted and hungry and eating the contents of the fridge. Good snack choices include protein bars and yoghurts and lean meats such as chicken and turkey

3. Preparation-you need to ensure your meals for the week ahead are sorted, this will stop you from picking up something unhealthy when you are stuck- this is particularly important when you are tired e.g. after work as your willpower and ability to make appropriate decisions declines with fatigue. This is also VITAL for staying on track at weekends- a key reason why people fall off the wagon at this point is that they have no routine whatsoever- I totally encourage this downtime, however get the meals for it sorted. A great tip is to go food shopping on a Thursday or Friday so you aren’t caught out.

4. Keep your energy levels up. When you find yourself craving carbs mid-afternoon (massive warning sign that you’re tired), have a break if possible, or consider grabbing something with caffeine in it. And ALWAYS stop for lunch- even if it is just for 15 minutes!

Curried cod and chips- recipe link HERE

5. Decrease carbs but don’t cut them out- they are very easy to over consume, but are hugely important for hormone function, sleep and for fuelling higher intensity workouts. Plus we enjoy them- the minute you cut them out the more you want them; how many times have you or a friend been on a low carb diet only to end up fantasising about pasta a few weeks down the line? Plus it is very difficult to eat out or change plans last minute when you cut out a food group. A plate should contain 3 portions of fats and carbs in any combination, with a portion of fat the size of your thumb, and a portion of carbs is a cupped handful.

6. Fruit and vegetables- the high fibre content fills you up, you eat less and actually feel FULL- how many times have you had a diet meal and finished eating in a bad mood, knowing you could have had three times that amount of food? Additionally, I cannot reiterate enough that the minerals and vitamins these provide go a long way into making you a healthy and energetic person; as said above, when you feel good and have tons of energy, making good decisions around your food intake is a lot easier…

7. So make variations of your foods using these fruit and vegetables- If I want to lower my carbs that day, I will do a chilli or a burger but without the respective rice or bun, and load up on vegetables to keep me full- so broccoli rice and lettuce wraps are great examples here

8. Protein- this is your best friend when dieting! Protein includes foods like meat, fish, eggs and meat replacement products. Protein is key at filling you up, and KEEPING YOU FULL- meaning you aren’t going to be hungry and craving chocolate mid-afternoon. Each meal should contain a portion of protein the size of your hand in karate chop position or the size of your fist. Eat this , and your veg first, and you’ll likely find you don’t fancy much of the pasta or bread!

Sichuan Chicken- Recipe link HERE

9. Liquid calories- remember these all count!

a. 1)Coffees- take Café Nero for example- a regular semi skimmed mocha is 305 calories, whilst a Starbucks tall vanilla latte is 200 calories. Better choices include Americanos and flat white. There are plenty of places that do sugar free syrups too, and myprotein do them in a handy little bottle you can chuck in your bag ( link here)

b. 2)Alcohol- be very wary. I am not saying stop completely but be aware that alcohol massively impacts your will power, hunger signals and increases your desire for high fat and high carb foods. Opt for lower calorie options (blog link here) and stick to 1-2 drinks

10. Find the appropriate calorie deficit for YOU and your goals- if you go from eating 3000 calories, to following the bog-standard 1200 calorie meal plan, I can guarantee you will not last long on it! The portion control tips above are a great start, but if you want to make your diet fit into YOUR lifestyle as seamlessly as possible, so you can achieve a body you love, whilst still having a social life, we need to make a plan and give you support that is bespoke as possible- and will likely mean you get to eat MORE! And I can help you do this, for free, with a transformation call! Just hit the link here

As a final point , it is important to reiterate the role of patience and time in fat loss- it takes an average of 66 days to change a habit into an automatic behaviour ; the first few weeks and months ARE going to be harder work, but unless someone is dangerously overweight, we need to make this adjustment as realistic and simple as possible. In order to keep yourself motivated, you should also set long and short term goals- for example , a stone in 4 months, and short term ones 5lbs in one month etc- this will also be essential in boosting your confidence and self-esteem, particularly if you have struggled on diets in the past , as this may be particularly low - so it is VITAL to prove to yourself that you CAN do this!

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