Struggling to keep up your strict diet and exercise regime to help you squeeze back into your favourite jeans? Don’t stress, with January coming to and end, many of us may be lacking motivation and wearing our gym trainers less and less. To avoid the usual ‘cut down on your portion size’ and make sure you ‘exercise more’…we have asked our experts for weight loss tricks to help get us back on track.
- Decrease your waistline with vitamin D
Did you know that the sunshine supplement, Vitamin D, could be linked to weight loss in obese and overweight people who are deficient in this nutrient? This is according to research conducted by Dr. Luisella Vigna of the University of Milan.
Dr. Louis Levy, Head of Nutrition Science at Public Health England confirms, “A healthy, balanced diet and short bursts of sunshine will mean most people get all the vitamin D they need in spring and summer. However, everyone will need to consider taking a supplement in the autumn and winter if you don’t eat enough foods that naturally contain vitamin D or are fortified with it.”
- Take an ‘ootd’ photo
Don’t wait for the all-important ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos when on a weight loss plan, instead try taking an “outfit of the day photo” – #ootd, to help you keep track of the pounds you’re shredding. A recent study from a nutrition clinic in Columbia suggests that people who take routine photos of themselves, whist on a weight loss plan, were more likely to finish their plan, as opposed to those who were camera shy and didn’t take regular photos of themselves. So get trigger happy!
- Have soup as a starter
“If you have soup before a meal you will end up eating fewer calories during the meal because soup stops the cells in the stomach producing your hunger hormone ghrelin and turns off your appetite.
“Studies show the body registers greater satisfaction when food is liquidised and soup moves out of the stomach more gradually than a solid meal would, leaving you feeling more satisfied for longer,” explains Dr Marilyn Glenville, the UK’s leading Nutritionist and author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar
- Hang a mirror opposite your seat at the table
Seeing your reflection in a mirror, whilst eating, appears to cut down on how much munching you do by a third, according to a study. It seems having to look at yourself helps to remind you of your fitness goals, helping you resist delving in for seconds.
- Never Skip Breakfast
“The old saying says that ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ and when you have breakfast, you are literally ‘breaking the fast’ actually has some truth in it. Sleeping causes your metabolism (fat burning capability) to slow right down and nothing gets it going faster than breakfast. But always remember that just as important as having breakfast itself, it’s also vital to choose healthy breakfast options such as wholegrain cereals like porridge, organic ‘live’ natural dairy products like yogurt, organic eggs and fruit. Sugar-laden cereals will cause your blood sugar to rise sharply and drop quite quickly, making you feel more hungry quickly – you need something that will sustain you and keep you feeling fuller longer,” says Shona Wilkinson, Nutritionist at SuperfoodUK.com the online shopping destination for health & wellbeing.
- Don’t ‘save yourself’ before a meal out
“Don’t miss meals leading up to eating out, for example don’t miss lunch thinking that it is going to helpful in avoiding extra calories because you are eating out that evening. If you miss meals, your body will think there is a shortage of food, slow down your metabolism and hold on tight to your fat stores. And there is nothing more guaranteed to rev up your appetite so that you end up eating more at the meal,” says Marilyn.
- Go vegan once a week
“Veganism wouldn’t be my first protocol for weight loss. This is because vegan diets tend to be lower protein and higher starchy carbohydrates, which is less successful for those trying to lose weight. However, if a diet has been previously rich in unhealthy processed foods and, veganism stimulates a change to incorporate more fresh vegetables, whole grains and pulses then weight loss will be inevitable,” explains Shona.
- Instagram your meal
Taking a snap of your meal cannot only make others envious of your feed, but it may also benefit your muffin top. Dr Glenville explains why, “Researchers suggest that taking a photograph of food just before you eat, concentrates the mind to eat not only healthier foods but also less of it. The photographs seemed to deter binges.”
- Smell yourself slimmer
To help stop you from raiding the biscuit tin, try the new lipstick-sized anti-snacking device, Slissie, (from £39.99, Slissie.co.uk). Slissie delivers appetite-suppressing flavourings that instantly help you resist snack temptation. Once the flavours that contain aromas are detected by your tastebuds and olfactory receptors, messages are sent to the appetite control centres of the brain leaving users feeling their appetite has been satisfied. At the press of a button you can taste flavours such as, chocolate, vanilla and mint, making your brain think you’ve had that sweet treat without any nasty sugars being involved!
- Eat with a man
Whether you’re a man or a woman research suggests that eating with a male could help you eat less. Researchers, from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and the University of Akron, conducted the study.
They found that when men were eating with women, they tended to purchase more calories than their counterparts who were eating with other men. Women tended to purchase fewer calories when with men as compared to when they’re with women.