Wednesday, January 12, 2011

10 weight loss tips

1. Always, always eat breakfast. Cortisol levels are highest in the morning, and high levels of cortisol encourage fat storage. Cortisol is an anti-diuretic and can weaken the activity of the immune system.
Stress and anxiety will also raise cortisol levels. Insulin counters the action of cortisol. Insulin is released when we eat.

2. Eat your evening meal before seven - if at all possible. I know this is difficult if you eat out a lot, or work long hours and still have to prepare a meal when you get home. But allowing several hours between eating and bedtime will improve your sleep.

3. Slow down, you eat too fast. Put knife and fork down between mouthfuls. Count how many times you chew each mouthful - I bet it's less than 20 times, and the recommendation is 30! Remember it takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain it’s had enough, so eating more slowly is essential.

4. Dish up, clear up. Whether you are snacking (hopefully fruit, nuts or seeds!) or dishing up dinner, serve a portion and put the rest away. Don't eat straight from the packet or container. Don't eat standing in front of an open fridge. Don't keep food hot while you eat - cold leftovers are not so appealing as a second helping.

5. Eat vegetables first. Fill up on veg and salads (slowly), and you won't be tempted to over-eat starches and protein. If you’re eating out, resist the temptation of the bread.

6. Ask for separate sauce/dressing. It is pretty well impossible to tell just how much dressing is on a restaurant salad - and I'm sure it's not a low-fat variety! If you are at home, measure your salad dressing. You don't need much. Gravy, cheese sauce, mushroom sauce, garlic butter sauce, whatever, measure.

7. Presentation, presentation, presentation. Serve food attractively - nice plate, nice cutlery, good glassware, well set table. That's what makes a restaurant meal appealing. So don't just dish up any old how; make it look good.

8. Practice portion control. Always. When you eating at home, make a point of weighing and measuring your portions. Portion sizes 'grow' if you are not watchful. This is a necessary lifestyle adaptation if you truly want to lose weight and keep it off. It's an eating style, not a restriction.

9. Don't feel deprived. If you want it, eat it - just remember 8 above. As the old adage goes 'a little bit of what you fancy does you good'.

10. Drink more water. We often confuse hunger with thirst. Have a glass of water before and after a meal - if you can't manage the post-prandial glass then you probably ate more than you needed to.

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