The Best Ways to Lose Weight
The Best Ways to Lose Weight
From the psychology of accountability, to healthy hacks and a pick of the apps, these are the best ways to lose weight – and keep it off!
Unsurprisingly, a lockdown in winter has meant that many of us have piled on some extra pounds as we’ve sought solace in eating and found it less appealing to venture out for exercise. But with spring around the corner and comfort foods (hopefully) less tempting, March is a great time to commit to reaching a healthy weight – and keeping it there. Here’s are 10 of the best ways to lose weight ahead of our release…
Change your mindset
Reframe how you think of food. If you see your diet as making positive choices about what to put in your body rather than some kind of punishment, then you’ll feel much more motivated. And to stick to it in the longrun, it’s important you’re not totally depriving yourself – either in terms of restricting certain food groups (as with some fad diets) or completely banning all treats – allow yourself something you enjoy – a couple of squares of dark chocolate, for example – just keep tabs on how much you’re eating to make sure it fits within your daily calorie allowance, and be sure to savour it.
Look at your calorie count
Sure, it’s not as cool as the latest raw food detox or fasting fad, but the simple truth is, if you eat more calories than you burn, you will put on weight. The NHS says that an average man needs around 2,500kcal a day to maintain a healthy body weight. For an average woman, it is around 2,000kcal a day. To lose weight at a safe and sustainable rate of 1lb to 2lb each week, men should aim for 1,900kcal a day, and 1,400kcal for most women.
The NHS has a guide to losing weight – available as an app or as PDFs – to track progress and offers tips such as weighing your food before cooking to help with portion control.
Water way to lose weight?
There are some studies that claim that water can help you lose weight, taking the edge off hunger, or even helping you burn more calories. But the jury is out. One thing is for sure though, it’s good for you and calorie-free so swap sugary sodas to good old water. It can also help with digestion and stop you feeling bloated, and eliminates toxins. Add ice and a slice of lemon to liven it up.
A little help from a friend
Group support can work wonders. The major slimming clubs are currently holding their meetings online. Slimming World offers virtual group meetings, eating plans and a tailored activity programme. Weight Watchers has community support, coaches and workshops. Or team up with a friend to spur each other on towards your goals.
Tracking your progress with an app can help you stay on target. Second Nature is well rated and lets your record sleep, water intake, exercise and create meal plans during the 12-week programme. You also have access to a nutritionist and like-minded individuals to help keep you motivated. MyFitnessPal is a popular choice if you want to track calories – there are loads of foods on the database and you can also see how many calories you have burned with the number of steps you have walked.
Beware hidden calories
Be honest about what you’re eating. Kids’ leftovers perhaps? Fruit juices and smoothies – yes, they do have vitamins but they’re also super-sugary. Keep a food journal of everything you consume, or try photographing it. You may be surprised by how much you’re packing away in a day. A food diary app such as Ate is an easy way to record your habits. If you are stress eating or eating out of boredom, have some ideas at your fingertips of things you can do instead such as a walk around the block, calling a friend – even tidying out a drawer!
Weights to tackle weight
Aerobic exercise is needed for weight loss, however it is not all about the cardio but strengthening too. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so building up your muscles will help you lose weight. Include some strength training into your routine. Invest in some smart scales such as Withings or the Fitbit Aria, which can measure more than just your weight but also how much body fat and muscle mass you have. Team them up with an app to map your progress.
Smart food hacks
There are many tricks that people swear by to lose weight that might be worth a try…
- Eat an apple before dinner as it can take the edge off your hunger so will help stop you overeating.
- Add chilli to your cooking as you are less likely to stuff down a plateful of spicy-hot food. Eating slowly will give your brain time to register when you are full – it can take around 20 minutes.
- Consider small food swaps, which will make a big difference over time such as swapping to a skinny latte, or crisps for home-made toasted chickpeas. Swap a prawn cracker side for edamame beans. Consider drinking green tea, as it may help burn additional calories.
Countless studies have shown that if you’re not sleeping enough, it can impact your metabolism and lead to weight gain. And the longer you stay up in the evening, the more likely you are to snack while bingeing on Netflix. Also, the more sleep-deprived we are, the more prone we are to make bad decisions – including what we eat.
Fill up on veggies
You don’t have to completely switch to a vegan or a veggie lifestyle but the more vegetables you can pack into your diet the better as they’re fibre rich and help you feel fuller for longer. Plus, they’re likely to be lower in calories than other food choices so long as you’re not deep-frying them and smothering them in cheese!