Problems with weight have plagued many people and you’re likely to have an issue with your weight at some point in your life. However, fad diets and ‘get thin quick’ schemes are not going to work. The thing about diets is that that many people start them thinking that they’re going to lose the weight and then they’ll be fine to relax a little. You could lose the weight but unless you’re going to keep up with the diet for life then you’re not going to be able to maintain the weight you’ve lost. Popular diets are usually extreme, and they are not viable long term solutions to a weight problem. If you are looking to lose weight, you need to make this a lifestyle change and view it as such, not as a diet.
A lot of diets are about people going cold-turkey and completely abandoning what they used to eat in favour of a selection of foods that they may have never touched before. This is a shock to your system and being extremely strict like this at the beginning is just asking for a binging session sooner or later. It’s best to begin slowly, giving yourself small goals and then rewards for meeting those goals; for example, switching from full fat milk to low fat milk or eating a banana as a snack instead of a chocolate bar. These things, although small, are little victories that will build up your confidence early and encourage you to make more bold choices with what you’re eating.
This advice has helped me greatly with my own weight loss journey; every time I started a diet in the past I would be much too hard on myself, which inevitably led to failure after failure because I wasn’t tackling my relationship with food. I now realize that I am a pleasure-eater; I love the taste of food and I tend to munch when I’m bored. After realizing this, I was able to make a conscious decision not to open the fridge or the cupboard in search of food when I’m not even hungry. I’ve had little victories such as cutting out fizzy drinks and replacing them with fruit-infused water, eating breakfast whereas before I would have skipped it completely and eating things like fruit, rice cakes and popcorn instead of unhealthy junk food.
I know everybody is different with their progress, sure it took me years to even get to a point where I was willing to properly change the way I eat so I know how tough it is to get that motivation and keep it. The point is that you need to cut yourself some slack, being fit and healthy is a life long journey and of course you’re going to have ups and downs, you might have a Chinese one night or you could have a packet of crisps (or a few) one night. Nobody is perfect and everything should be in moderation, so if you have a slip-up don’t worry about it. Try again the next day!
I wish you good luck on your weight loss journey and leave you with my top 3 favourite healthy snacks for when the cravings come knocking:
Greek yogurt with honey and raspberries
Greek yogurt has twice as much protein as other yogurts. As greek yogurt is a bit bland, you can mix in other foods to add flavour such as a spoonful of honey and mixing it with some fresh fruit, alternatively you could use a few drops of vanilla essence. This is a versatile little food as its composition is flexible enough to change flavours with whatever you add so that it doesn’t get boring!
Banana and dark chocolate
Bananas are nothing exciting, but they’re packed with potassium, they’re high in fiber and they stimulate the growth of friendly bacteria in the bowel. Bananas also produce digestive enzymes to help absorb nutrients so they’re multi-functional and delicious. Though sometimes the flavor can get a little hard to stick after days of eating them, so it’s a nice idea to slice it up into sections and drizzle some dark chocolate over them. Dark chocolate is packed with anti-oxidants and contains theobromine which has been shown to harden tooth enamel which lowers your risk of getting cavities.
Sweet potato chips
Sweet potatoes are so tasty if you’re willing to give them a chance. We’re a potato-eating country so we might as well be open to the healthier versions! They contain almost twice as much fiber as other types of potatoes. They’re slow burning, so their caloric energy is used more slowly and efficiently than a low-fiber carbohydrate. You basically just cut them into slices, dust with pepper and stick in the oven for 20 minutes. Done!
What are your go-to healthy snacks? How is your weight loss journey going? Please post any comments below.