If you’re aiming to shed a few kilos this season, six small lifestyle changes can make a big difference, says American dietician, physical trainer, and health expert Brittany Glassett. Here’s her action plan for keeping the weight off and sticking to your weight-loss resolutions.
1 Choose more whole grains. All carbohydrates are not created equal. Unlike refined carbohydrates (white bread, sweets), whole grains contain heart-healthy fibre and many vitamins and minerals. The fibre will keep you full between meals, and fight cravings.
2 Add more colour to your plate. Some of the most colourful foods are antioxidant-packed fruits and vegetables. Try to have at least three different colours on your plate (white, cream, and yellow don’t count). Make a goal to try a new fruit or vegetable every month.3 Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast. Eating small, regular meals (every three to four hours) will keep hunger at bay and help you make better choices at meal times.
4 Don’t drink your calories. Soda, juice and coffee contain empty calories, without providing much, if any, nutrition.
5 Replace vegetable oil with canola oil and olive oil in your kitchen. Olive oil and canola oil contain healthy monounsaturated fats whereas vegetable oil contains omega-6 fatty acids, a polyunsaturated fat. Omega-6 fatty acids promote inflammation in the body, which is associated with many diseases.
6 Keep a food diary. Jotting down what you eat everyday can make a big impact. Even if you do so for one or two days a week, studies have shown that those who have lost weight and maintained it, keep food journals.
Also, it’s a good strategy to write down your goals and choose one or two to focus on, at a time. Remember, states Glassett, it takes about three weeks to establish a new habit. She advises breaking down larger goals into mini-goals. If you want to lose 20 kilos, start with 2. Also, plan ahead. Plan your weekly meals in advance, and schedule your workouts just as you would, any other meeting or important event in your life.