There comes a time when our bodies are crying out for a change or a return to routine and most often we welcome it. While any diet plan or program will allow you to lose weight initially, your body will not accept fast weight loss for long and will only respond by food cravings or muscle breakdown due to lack of essential nutrients. So here a few things to consider before making any dietary changes:
- Is this something you can do with relative ease to fit in with your lifestyle?
- Can you sustain it? Can you see yourself still keeping this going in 6 month time?
- Does this give you pleasure/ enjoyment? You should not feel guilty enjoying good food.
- If you have taken up a new fitness routine then well done! Ensure you are supporting yourself nutritionally for this.
- Quality diet or calorie counting? Unbalanced diets can be devoid of essential nutrients for health.
When it comes to food and eating start to make changes slowly. Focus on what you can bring into your diet as opposed to what you are aiming to avoid. Here is a recap. Pick only 1 or 2 steps to start with. Your diet does not have to be super healthy all the time!
Avoid skipping meals…..this actually promotes fat storage
Eat some protein and healthy fats …… to stabilise blood sugar and manage weight
Watch portion sizes …….fill ½ the plate with vegetables or salad and aim for as much colour as you can
Try herbs and spices ….They add flavour to your food and can help cut back on added salt
Recognise when you are full ….. Stop eating now!
Keep hydrated……….. Throughout the whole day
Shift your focus to your health benefits ……How is your sleep, your mood and your energy levels?
Portion control is a great place to start and will help to balance your 3 meals a day to keep you full and ward off cravings for snacks.For example:your plate should be made up of : 1/2 plate vegetables or salad, 1/4 the plate protein and 1/4 the plate carbohydrates/ wholegrains.
Preparing and cooking your own food gives you the control over your own plate and is a great asset in maintaining weight. Add a side salad or soup to lunches and keep some frozen vegetables for convenience.
Any behaviour change requires internal motivation so having a personal goal to aim for helps to keep you on track and keep remind yourself of the health benefits and what you have to gain.