Kick Start Weight Loss this Spring
There are several ways to achieve weight loss, the question is which one is right for you. Some people find slow, steady and consisted is best. Others find they can push hard for a day and then need a break. Working with a dietitian can help as you navigate the various methods out there. In the end, the goal is to have a calorie deficit. To do this you need to consume less and burn more. Whether you do this through intermittent fasting (5-2 method: 2 days 500 calories and 5 days as usual) or by creating a daily deficit of 500-750 calories, both methods work.
The first place to start is Satiety:
Often when trying to lose weight my clients say they are constantly hungry. Although I remind them that feeling a little hungry as you approach your next meal or snack time is a good thing, feeling starved all the time is uncomfortable and not necessary. There are several things you can do to improve satiety (feeling full and satisfied).
First, get enough protein. Protein acts like an anchor for your carbohydrate energy and makes it last longer. It takes longer to digest and slows the absorption of carbohydrates when eaten together. Great protein foods to include are hard boiled eggs or nut butters on whole grain toast, protein powders in smoothies, grilled chicken on a salad, tinned tuna on cucumber rounds or lentils in a vegetable soup.
Second, fill up on fibre. Fibre not only adds bulk without calories, it also slows the absorption of glucose in the blood and fuels the good bacteria in your colon. Aim to cover half your plate with vegetables at lunch and dinner. This means half the plate is salad and the other half is the ½ sandwich. For dinner you can add a couple cooked vegetables in addition to a side salad to help fill you up and eat less of all the other stuff. In addition to vegetables and fruit, select whole grains over refined and add legumes and nuts for nutrient dense fibre sources.
Third is Fluid. Drinking water throughout the day will help keep your body hydrated, removes waste and lubricates joints. It also helps fill you up. Drink a glass of water before you eat or with your meal. The addition of a vegetable soup before dinner can help reduce the amount of food you eat at the meal.
Watch the extras; the extra glass of wine (140 kcal), the extra square of chocolate (70 kcal), the odd serving of fries (900 kcal) or the special coffee with whip (400 kcal) can all add up. You don’t need to be perfect and I certainly don’t expect complete abstinence from your favorite foods. It’s important to allow yourself indulgences in order to stay sane and committed to long term success. Just be mindful of your portions and don’t do it every day.
For weight loss I recommend 4-5 cardio workouts (which may be brisk walking for some or indoor cycling for others) and 2 strength workouts per week. Lifting weights not only helps build muscle which increases metabolism, but it also helps improve bone health.
The Bottom Line: Although there are some things we can’t change when it comes to our body shape, there are many things you can change in your diet without too much effort. Select one goal at a time, make it a habit and choose another. Hire a registered dietitian to help coach you to success.