1. START SMALL
Make 1 new change a day, a week, whatever suits you, but make small changes that you know you can stick too. Don’t say ok I’m going to cut out sugar, give up chocolate, make all my meals at home and start exercising 5 days a week all in the first week. Like anything new you need to build up to it. These changes are going to become part of your new lifestyle so they have to be something you can stick too and something you want to stick too. It’s ok to change up your routine i.e. change up exercises classes, mix up what foods you cook but you don’t want to get to a point where you get over everything and just give up.
2. DON’T THINK A PRODUCT GLUTEN FREE MEANS HEALTHY
Just because something says gluten free it does not make it instantly healthier. They have had to replace the gluten in products with something and most of the time it is added sugars or saturated fats to make it taste just as good as the gluten containing product. Unless you are coeliac or gluten intolerant, having some gluten by the way of rye bread or oats is not going to do you harm. They contain many other nutritional benefits such a fiber and are loaded with vitamins and minerals.
3. DON’T BE SCARED OF FATS
Good dietary fats such as Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fatty acids are essential in the diet for hormone balance, temperate regulation and energy balance to name a few. These can be found in avocado, nuts and nut butters such as peanuts, almonds and brazil nuts, seeds, oils such as olive, avocado, coconut and flaxseed and fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring and tuna.
4. LEARN TO LOVE LEMON WATER
Where do I start with this little yellow miracle. A glass of water with the juice of half a lemon first thing in the morning before breakfast will not only help to speed up your metabolism but also greatly improve your digestion and help to relieve indigestion or an upset stomach. The antioxidants in lemon water also help to fight the damage caused by free radicals so will help you skin to look young and fresh and the best thing it will help to give you an energy boost without the caffeine crash of your morning coffee.
5. START AN EXERCISE PROGRAM
Exercise, especially in the morning, not only wakes you up, gives you a clear mind and loads you with endorphins (the feel good hormone) for the rest of the day but it’ll set you up in a good eating habit. After going to the gym or for a run it is very unlikely that you are going to want to then go out and eat McDonalds or a fried meal. Exercise, specifically weight training and interval training also is the best most efficient way to lose body fat, increase your fitness and improve and speed up your metabolism.
6. COOK YOUR OWN FOOD
As much fun as it is to go out to eat, you don’t know what is going in their food for example what oils they are using and if you are coeliac if it hasn’t been contaminated with gluten in the cooking process. Cooking your food at home makes it much easier for portion control and to know exactly what you are eating. I’m not saying never eat out again, but bringing your lunch to work instead of eating out everyday will help you shed those kilos much faster.
7. MEET PEOPLE WHO ARE ON THE SAME JOURNEY AS YOU.
It is so easy to get off track if you don’t have people there supporting you. If you have people constantly in your face saying lets go out drinking or offering you junk food it is going to be a lot harder to resist and chances are that you will be less motivated to go to the gym and eat well. Meeting people who are on the same journey as you is great motivation but also a support network you can turn to if you are having a hard day/week, they most likely have been through it themselves so can sympathise with you and give you encouragement to get through it. Some of the best ways to meet people is to join a gym or group exercise class.
8. DON’T ELIMINATE A FOOD GROUP
Not only does eliminating a food group just make you crave it and want it more but unless you are coeliac or gluten intolerant, lactose intolerant or have a severe nut allergy you don’t need to. I’m not advocating that you should be eating sugar as in chips, lollies, pastries and cakes everyday but life is all about balance and moderation. You don’t want It to come around to your birthday and not be able to have some cake. Now in saying that having the birthday cake at work every day / week isn’t the best idea, but every once in a while you should be able to have your cake and eat it too without feeling guilty. Have a look at my blog post “Why chocolate could be the best thing for you” as to why having a treat every now and then could actually help you lose weight and keep you on track.
9. TRY ONE NEW FRUIT OR VEGETABLE A WEEK
Make cooking fun. Make it a challenge for yourself to cook with one different vegetable per week or to try one new fruit per week. This way it won’t get boring and you can always come up with fun, different meals. For a guide on nutrition and how to create a balance meal my quick and easy guide “The Balanced meal” is available for download from the shop section of my website. It shows you exactly how to create the perfect breakfast, lunch and dinner and what’s best it will actually educate you as to what the best sources of carbs, proteins and fats are.
10 . ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAYS
If you can’t enjoy a treat while you’re on holidays then what is life for. Holidays are for making memories and experiencing new foods and cultures not for counting calories and worrying that you are going to gain weight because you ate that pizza in France. Hello you’re in France, if you can’t eat guilt free pizza in France then when can you!?
Don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad day.
Remember this is a lifestyle not a fad or quick fix and you’re only human.
Image credit - Tatjana Baibakova (https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-healthy-food-best-sources-good-fats-white-wooden-backg-background-top-view-image75318322)