It’s official. The UK is the fattest in Europe, with 67% of men and 57% of women being overweight or obese. The number of overweight or obese people in the world has topped 2.1 BILLION (* source – Lancet show).
These figures are staggering. In a world with an abundance of food options we are almost spoilt for choice – both to our benefit and our detriment. We have the ability to eat extremely well, and yet also extrememely badly.
The rise of convenience foods means we are cooking less and less. Our foods are less nutritious, more likely to come out of a packet and full of chemicals and additives – not what the human body was designed for. The constant availability of foods means we are able to consume at all hours if we wanted to. Gone are the days when food was scarce and we had to go go hunting or foraging for our meals, meaning we occasionally had to go hungry. That is clearly not the case now. Food is cheap. Bad food is cheaper – why can you buy a full meal at McDonolads for £1.99, yet a quinoa salad from Marks and Spencer will set you back £4.50? This food cost debate is another story for another time! Since what I’d like to focus upon are a few tips on how you can lose weight safely, easily and keep it off!
1. Ditch the processed foods
‘Most’ things out of a packet are full of additives and extra sugar and salt. I always say, if you can’t catch it or grow it put it away.
2. Watch your sugar intake
Focus on lean proteins, vegetables and healthy fats. Sugars are easy to consume and overeat, and are in so many ‘staple’ foods we eat, even the good stuff like rice and potatoes. they cause your body to release insulin, which encourages fat storage and makes it more difficult to burn fat for energy. A doubly negative way of causing weight (fat) gain, which brings us on to…
3. Eat protein with every meal
It’s the building blocks of our bodies, keeps us fuller for longer, keeps hunger at bay and helps to balance blood sugar levels. what not to like? Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, beans, pulses, nuts and seeds are all good sources.
4. Watch your portions
It’s so easy to overeat, and the more eat the more your stomach expands and it take more food it needs to feel satiated. Eat to be satisfied, not stuffed (about 75-80% full). A good way of gaining control over your eating habits is to always leave a mouthful worth of food on your plate. This is such a key point as consistently overeating can lead to serious weight gain and deserves a blog post on its own (watch this space!).
5. Stop snacking
This is a slightly controversial point as controlled snacking can play a part in balancing blood sugar levels and providing a good source of nutrients. The trouble is, most of the time it isn’t, and more often then not food is consumed mindlessly.
“If food isn’t part of the problem, it won’t be part of the solution”
6. Don’t emotionally eat
Easier said than done I know. But food isn’t part of the problem, it won’t be part of the solution. Find out what’s really bothering you and deal with it. I promise you you won’t find it at the bottom of an ice-cream carton.
“So let’s get this straight. If you’re adding oestrogen, growth hormones and antibiotics to fatten up your cows, why wouldn’t it also fatten the cows who eat the meat?”
7. Go organic
Meats and dairy are full of growth hormones and antibiotics designed to fatten up livestock – who’s to say these same growth hormones aren’t doing the same to us?
8. Don’t drink your calories
Literally just that. Fizzy drinks and juices are just pure sugar or laden with unnatural substances (or both!). Unnecessary and bad for the waistline and teeth!
9. Drink more water
It’s been said time and time again for good reason. Being hydrated means you don’t mistake hunger for thirst, causing you to eat less.
10. Move more
Running, walking, boxing, dancing around your house like a loony – whatever gets you moving – do it. Your burn calories and boost your metabolism. What’s not to love?