Here we dive into the strategies you can take to lose that weight in key areas to help you look feel and perform better.
Eating healthy doesn’t necessarily mean you will lose weight but there are healthy foods out there that will contribute to you losing weight. Where possible I have tried to avoid the jargon, and keep it simple.
Let’s get straight into it!
1. SELECT MORE COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES AND FOODS HIGH NUTRIENT DENSITY.
Complex carbs provide a more sustained release of energy leaving you feeling fuller for a longer period of time. Similarly, foods rich in nutrient density satisfy your body’s nutritional needs which will mean you will naturally stop eating once you are full. As a result, you won’t store those extra calories in the form of fat because of overeating.
Top tip: Adding salads to your main meals in the form of cucumbers, kale and spinach will contribute to meeting your nutritional needs and leave you feeling fuller for longer.
2. METABOLISM AND THE DIGESTIVE PROCESS
Imagine you have 2 people who are the same weight and consume the same number of overall calories in a typical day, but they both look different. One reason for this is the difference in both of their metabolisms. Person A has a higher metabolic rate and therefore expends more calories than during a rested state which leads to weight loss because calorie expenditure > calorie intake. However, person B has a lower resting metabolic weight and so calorie intake > calorie expenditure which leads to weight gain.
If you are person B do not fear this because this can be changed. For example, drinking green or lemon tea, or eating grapes and/or pineapples can increase your body’s metabolism for you to expend more calories during a typical day. As a result, you will lose weight faster.
Top Tip: Drinking green/lemon tea an hour before bed helps boost your metabolism during your sleep.
3. AVOID REFINED SUGARS!
This means all Chocolate, sweets, and processed treat like cakes, doughnuts and sweet biscuits. These are high calorie and low nutrient-dense foods which do not fulfil your nutritional needs except for triggering the pleasure centres in your brain. This leads to chronic hunger as you are not feeding your body with the optimal nutritional needs and so you feeling unsatisfied.
If you regularly drink tea/coffee with sweeteners, a healthier alternative would be organic and locally sourced honey which carries antibacterial properties and added nutrients. Be mindful though that adding bioactive active honey to hot drinks will kill the antibacterial culture within it. However, agave nectar of coconut sugar are healthier sugar alternatives.
IMPORTANT Side note: The main objectives of food companies that specialise in processed foods are to ensure the food package looks attractive and “appears healthy”, the product tastes nice regardless of the nutritional content, and that the food itself is addictive so you continually crave it. Typically, foods with the right amount of fat, salt and sugar will be foods you are most addicted to like biscuits or cookies.
4. RESTRICTED CALORIE COUNTING.
Energy intake vs energy expenditure. If you are in a calorie deficit you will lose weight. As mentioned previously weight loss = calorie expenditure > calorie intake. Weight gain = calorie intake > calorie expenditure.
However misguided calorie restriction could potentially cut out a lot of high quality nutrient-dense foods because of the misconception that foods high in fat are bad for you. This can lead to a number of consequences such as poor skin quality, thin hair and general lethargy.
The sustainable method of doing this would be to reduce your calorie intake by 20% but maintaining the nutrient-dense unrefined foods in your diet which will help to shed fat and lose weight. For example, nut butters provide this; or unrefined oils (coconut or avocado oil) provide an ideal source of healthy calories in salad dressings.
Top tip: If you exercise regularly, calorie restriction does not have to be as drastic because you are ‘burning the calories at both ends’ and therefore your energy expenditure goes up so you are going to lose weight faster.
5. BETTER SNACKING CHOICES.
All it takes to ruin your 3 healthy meals during the day is to snack poorly between meals on high sugary, bad fat and excessively salty foods like crisps, cakes and sweets. These must be avoided at all costs or suffer the consequence of weight gain.
Top tip: Snacking on nuts and seeds again provide you with nutrient-dense foods but provide satiety through healthy fats so it will be impossible to overeat on them. If you soak them for at least 8 hours overnight they become much easier to digest as well.
6. STOP EATING WHEN YOU FEEL FULL AND NOT STUFFED.
When you consume food to the point of feeling full, your stomach adapts to this by literally shrinking in size. As a result, this reduces the overall amount you eat because when your stomach is full, you receive signals in the brain that essentially stop you from binge eating.
This tip is just one to be mindful of and that it can be a tough one to follow but it takes is just 21 days to form a habit for life. Perhaps calorie restricting for 21 days will help you see results from weight loss that you want.
7. "TRASH SPIKING".
Many advocates suggest ‘eating clean’ 6 days a week then dedicate one day to ‘cheat day’ where you binge on any food you like. This semi-flexible approach to dieting allows for those food cravings to be met once weekly however I would advocate avoiding cheat meals/cheat days completely. Cheat meals in the form of pizza, fried chicken, chips, ice cream and soft drinks provide a high calorie, but low nutritionally dense foods. This also creates a huge calorie surplus which will lead to weight gain. However, more critically this creates a toxic trigger in the pleasure centre of your brain. Your brain is literally telling you to crave more of those cheat meals because they feel so rewarding. That is how the one cheat meal can lead to a slippery slope of unhealthy dieting and rapid weight gain.
8. GRILLING AND OILS AND SAUCES
Grilling is always more preferential to frying for a generally healthier diet. This is because frying with oils destabilises the oil at its smoke point which can make the oil harmful when ingested. Unrefined oils such as extra virgin olive oil and flaxseed oils have much lower smoke points so these should be avoided for frying and used as cold dressings for optimal use.
Also, sauces tend to be high in calories because they are rich in sugar, fat and salt, again, making them high calorie but low in nutrient density. These should be used sparingly in meals to avoid weight gain.
9. APPETITE CONTROLLING FOODS.
No one food or tablet can lead to sustained weight loss however different types of foods used in combination can leave you feeling fuller and more importantly satisfied after your meals. As a result, you will lose weight because you won’t be overeating. Some examples of these foods include cooking with parsley, ginger and cinnamon. Oats also provide this effect because of the slow release of complex carbohydrates which leave you feeling fuller for longer.
10. 1-2 GLASSES OF WATER PRIOR TO HAVING YOUR MEAL.
By doing this you are pre-filling your stomach with contents and therefore it will take less food to feel full. By also doing this you allow the process of elimination to occur more effectively because the water is pushing the digested contents through your bowel, helping to cleanse and eliminate the waste products ingested earlier.
**To watch our YOUTUBE video on this topic please click the link below**
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If you are serious about losing weight please consult your doctor or qualified professional about safely doing this. The content discussed above are strategies we think are effective for losing weight and has only been highlighted for educational purposes.
About the Author
Christopher Djan is a passionate health and fitness enthusiast that consistently delivers results for his clients. He has been in the fitness industry for over 7 years and has amassed much of his knowledge through a variety of clientele and self-learning. He works at the forefront of creating innovative strategies for client based goals and breaking through boundaries encountered. He has currently stolen "When you want to succeed as much as you want to breathe, then you'll be successful!" as his own.