Article on Healthy Weight Loss for 2014 - The top 10 tips
 
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Healthy Weight Loss for 2014 - The top 10 tips
Why not make this year a time for adopting a healthy way of eating for life, rather than just starting another diet to compensate for the Christmas excesses.
1. Eat protein with every meal
Protein is an essential macro-nutrient for growth and repair of the body.  It also keeps hunger at bay by making you feel fuller for longer, so you are less inclined to snack on sugary foods to give you a much needed boost of energy.  Choose the proteins that you get in fish, chicken and other lean meats, pulses and nuts

2. Don’t skip meals
Your body needs a regular supply of fuel to help maintain your blood sugar and energy levels.  If you have a tendency to miss meals (and many of us don’t bother with breakfast), you are more likely to be tempted by sugary snacks and caffeine later in the day to keep you going.

3. Eat 5 or 6 times a day
Aim for 3 small healthy meals a day interspersed with 2 or 3 non-sugary, fatty snacks to help give you a sustained release of nutrients, maintain your energy levels and keep hunger at bay.  Protein rich snacks such as oat cakes or veggie sticks and humus; and nuts and seeds are good choices.

4. Switch white foods to brown
White flours, pasta and rice have had many of their nutrients stripped out during the refining process and are quickly broken down when you eat them.  This can leave you hungry and craving sugary pick-me-up foods. On the other hand, brown foods such as wholewheat pasta and brown rice contain more nutrients and fibre to keep you satisfied for longer.

5. Reduce stimulants
Ideally drink only one or two cups of coffee or tea per day and have it on a full stomach.  The caffeine in these drinks tends to give you a blood sugar rush, then a corresponding dip, leaving you lacking in energy and looking for that next caffeine “fix”.  Choose more water, herbal teas and occasional diluted pure fruit juices as healthier options.

6. Don’t be afraid of fat
There are good fats and bad fats.  Good fats (essential fatty acids) are essential for the body to function well and support the weight loss process.  Choose oily fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines, and small amounts of nuts and seeds, whilst avoiding the bad trans fats that have been altered during the manufacturing process. These can be found in many cakes, biscuits and pastries.

7. Stop calorie counting
Listen to your body rather than count calories.  Eat slowly, chew well and stop eating when you feel full.  Keep portion sizes under control.  Main meals shouldn’t be larger than what you can fit into your cupped hands.

8. Deal with the stress in your life
Stress disrupts your hormones leading to a slowing of metabolism and making your body store more fat, especially round your middle.  It  can actually have the same effect on your body as eating sugar.  Stress can cause cravings for the wrong foods, particularly salty, high fat and sugary snacks.  Try to eat in a relaxed environment, take your time.  Focus on enjoying your meal and the social side of eating rather than watching TV or using the computer.

9. Sleep well
When we are tired we eat more and reach for instant energy sources such as sugar, fat and caffeine. Try going to bed half an hour earlier or deal with problems that are preventing you sleeping.  A good night’s sleep is as important to overall health and wellbeing as to healthy weight management.

10. Exercise
This is important for overall health, energy and mood as well as supporting healthy weight goals.  Start slowly with brisk walking, take the stairs instead of the lift, get off the bus a few stops earlier and walk the rest of the way.  Play sport or swim with the kids at the weekends or go for family walks.  Any exercise is better than none at all!

These are general guidelines to help us all, but everyone has subtle differences in the way in which their body functions. This is known as biochemical individuality.

If you would like an in-depth analysis of your diet, health and weight goals to help pinpoint the areas to focus on that are specific to you, then please start by completing the questionnaire on the consultation page of my website and contact me to arrange an appointment at a time to suit you.

This is the year to take action for a new healthy you!

 
 
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