Summer is the time that some of us start to think about crash dieting to shed that unwanted weight before our holiday. However, experts warn that fad weight loss techniques hardly ever work, and can instead cause us to pile on the pounds over time, rather than lose them.
Many nutrition and weight management specialists, including Izzy Cameron at Diet Chef, do believe that you can still make some sensible changes in the run up to your holiday which will not only let you lose weight at a steady pace, but also have you feeling fit and healthy before you head to the beach.
Cameron believes that an ideal amount of time to achieve sustainable weight loss of around 2lbs per week is eight weeks, when keeping to a healthy, calorie controlled diet. This means that by the time you jet off abroad, you could have lost at least a stone!
Here Cameron gives her top tips to lose weight sensibly in the run up to summer fun:
Don’t think of it as dieting!
The first thing I advise clients is to not think that you are on a diet; instead get into the mindset that you are embarking on a healthy eating plan. So many of us get into the pattern of thinking of food as ‘good’ and ‘bad’, building negative perceptions and ending up in this dreadful cycle of yo-yo dieting. Reducing your calorie intake to around 1,200 calories daily, creates the energy deficit required to lose weight. Eating regularly throughout the day helps limit cravings, ensuring no major food groups are excluded and not depriving yourself of the odd treat all adds to a healthy and sustainable way to lose excess pounds.,
Use Calorie Controlled Meals
Most nutritionists are against crash dieting, as you are unlikely to be able to get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs when cutting out food groups. It’s also hard, both mentally and physically, to stick to a rigid regime that stops you from eating a balanced diet. If you are struggling to prepare meals that fit into your calorie allowance, most nutritionists are in agreement that portion controlled, calorie counted meals are an effective and convenient solution. You can find a number of options in your supermarket, or a delivered diet service like Diet Chef can do all the hard work for you – allowing you to still tuck into curries and pasta, whilst adding your own fruit and vegetables on the side.
Exercise Portion Control
I cannot stress this enough, but where almost all clients fall down with dieting is their portion control. I see many people who perceive they eat a healthy diet, but pile their plate too high with food. Cutting down your portion size will not only help you lose weight, but importantly means you can still eat some of your favourite foods, just a lower amount. The understanding of proper portion control will not only help you lose weight in the short term, but will be one of the most effective weight management tools for the long term.
Keep it varied
The problem many of us have with dieting is that it can become repetitive and boring, meaning after a few weeks of feeling we are depriving ourselves we revert back to old habits and may binge on the wrong foods. With Diet Chef, there are a huge variety of options with customers choosing from meals such as couscous salad or chickpea tagine to traditional favourites like lasagne or bangers and mash. Ensuring food remains something to enjoy really helps keep many dieters on track.
Don’t do it alone! Let your friends and family know you are embarking on a diet and get them to join in with you; the support of a few of you losing weight together will make it easier for you all. If you’re getting ready for a girly holiday away, can a few of you do it together?
Exercise can definitely help with and accelerate weight loss, but importantly vital for a healthy body and mind. However exercise does not mean signing up to expensive gym memberships or having to hire a personal trainer, so don’t panic. Just keeping active for at least 30 minutes a day can make a difference. Perhaps walk to work instead of getting the bus…get off the bus a stop earlier, take a stroll on your lunch break or go out for a bike ride or do some gardening at the weekend. All these little steps will help towards achieving your weight loss goal for this summer.