Effective Weight Loss Tips

by Sundial’s nutritionist, Shirley Ward

To achieve sustainable weight loss its important to make the right food choices and to understand what the body requires to achieve this.  You’ll be pleased to hear diets don’t work!! Read on for effective, proven weight loss tips.

Eat Regularly

Eating regularly avoids the body going into “starvation” mode; if the body goes for long periods without food, when you do eat, more food is stored as fat for future energy reserves, in case this situation continues.  If you’re not a major breakfast fan try to ensure you have a snack during the morning, in order to avoid this.

Complex” Carbohydrates – “Do”

Choosing the “right” kinds of food for weight management and sustained energy levels is crucial: so which foods for weight loss? Start by choosing “complex” carbohydrates, such as brown rice, wholemeal bread and pasta, oats, sweet potato, beans and lentils, as these provide good levels of energy plus high levels of fibre, which moderates energy release, so more is used for energy and less is available for fat storage.  As well as keeping you full for longer, these foods also contain a range of “fat busting” vitamins and minerals.

Refined” Carbohydrates – “Don’t”

Avoid “Refined” carbohydrates, which are linked with weight gain and low energy, such as white bread, white flour products, white rice, biscuits, cakes and soft drinks.  Although containing high levels of energy, this is rapidly used up as they lack fibre to moderate its release.  Eating these foods produces an initial energy “high”, but this is soon followed by an energy “low”.    Cravings for fatty, sugary and salty foods can kick in when energy lows are experienced.  These foods contain little nutritional value and regular consumption is linked to weight gain, as their excess energy content is stored as fat…

Sugar – “Healthy” Alternatives

Finding it hard to cut down on sugar? A natural alternative is a substance called Xylitol; this is a natural sugar found in fruit and vegetables, which contains 40% less calories than sugar, doesn’t affect blood sugar levels and is even beneficial for tooth cavities! There are various brand names such as “Perfect Sweet” or “Xylobrite” available online/from some supermarkets.

Keep Hydrated

You can eat the healthiest foods possible, but if you’re not adequately hydrated you won’t be able to digest it, nor obtain its health benefits.  Our bodies lose approximately 1.5 litres of water daily, more if we exercise regularly or are carrying excess weight.  This needs replacing, so if you’re not a major water fan, gradually increase consumption to 1.5 to 2 litres daily (which can include herbal and fruit teas).  Tea, coffee and alcohol are mild diuretics so reducing/avoiding these will also help achieve this.

I hope you’ve found the above tips useful, visit my Nutritional Therapy page for the next instalment of “How To Choose The Right Fats For Weight Loss”; available from 12th January.

The above is provided as general nutritional advice and does not replace the advice of your GP.

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