By: Kelli Kieselbach
Weight management is not only about what you eat and how much you eat. It is also about how you eat and your lifestyle habits.
Here is a list of suggestions that can help you not just to achieve weight Loss, but also maintain a healthy weight long term. Of course this is a long list and not all of these tips will apply to everyone, but it is a good exercise to highlight the points that are most useful for you and set about implementing them one by one.
- Include regular relaxation activities in your life and take the time to learn some techniques that may help you in coping with daily stress.
- Counselling is a helpful tool if there are emotional or psychological blocks stopping you reaching your weight loss goal and maintaining it.
- Quality sleep has been shown to be very important in weight management. Try to have a regular sleep pattern and get 8 hours a night. Research shows sleep quality is best between 10pm and 2am.
- Find exercise regimes that you enjoy, it will help keep you motivated.
- Find friends or family who can encourage you and help keep you motivated to reach your goals.
- Exercising with other people whether it is in a class, with a personal trainer or with a friend. This helps keep you accountable and often makes the time pass quicker.
- Setting goals is important. Make your goals achievable and set realistic time frames to reach those goals. Celebrate goals achieved no matter how small and then set a new goal.
- Eliminate “white” foods eg white bread, white pasta, white rice, pastries, potatoes and white flour.
- Reduce or eliminate wheat intake as it can impede weight loss for some people.
- Avoid using commercial cereals which are often laden with sugar and are overly processed.
- Make your own pasta and stir-fry sauces as much as possible. Most bought sauces and marinades are full of sugar and salt.
- When dining out choose healthier options and cuisines. Avoid buffet restaurants and skip the garlic bread. Sushimi, Thai foods, salads without cream dressing, baked chicken dishes and fish dishes are all good options.
- Enjoy a glass of wine or champagne only socially and decide before you go out how many drinks you will have and what you will have. If you find this hard, leave your card at home and only take enough cash to cover what you have decided to consume.
- Don’t add sugar to things or consume foods high in sugar eg lollies, chocolate bars, cakes, biscuits, muesli bars, soft drinks and sports drink.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners as the effects on the body may be toxic and detrimental to weight loss in large doses. Stevia and xylitol are two natural alternatives as sweeteners that are safe and have a very low glycaemic index.
- When eating meat or chicken be aware of portion size. 1 serving should be no larger than the width and circumference of the palm of your hand.
- Be wary of “low fat” products as they are often full of sugar to compensate for the removed fat.
- Keep your favourite healthy meal ideas and recipes on hand for last minute meals.
- Keep a few healthy meals in the freezer to avoid getting takeaway.
- Snack on fresh fruit and veg or enjoy a herbal tea or soda water with lemon instead of a snack.
- Adequate water consumption is important. Usually between 1.5L – 2.5L per day.
- Try to include good quality protein with each meal eg tuna, fish, egg, lean chicken, lean meat, nuts and seeds, lentils, beans, yoghurt and fetta.
- Ensure your diet is high in fibre. 25g – 30g per day is recommended.
- When eating it is best to be seated in a relaxed state. Try and have one designated seat/area for eating and sit in a different seat at all other times in order to reduce psychological signals for hunger.
- Do not combine eating with other activities eg reading, watch tv and working.
- Leave the table as soon as eating is complete.
- Never shop on an empty stomach and use a list when grocery shopping.
- Always keep food packed away in cupboards where it is out of sight.
- Don’t keep junk food “on hand” instead stock the pantry and fridge with healthy snack options.
- Discuss with family members or house mates a plan to eat healthier food.
- Eat slowly and chew for a minimum of 30 chews before swallowing in order to slow your eating.
- Put down your cutlery between bites.
- Serve food on a smaller plate.
- Half portion size and have seconds if needed.
- Eat with family and friends and converse between mouthfuls.
- Postpone a desired snack for 10 minutes and have a glass of water as thirst can sometimes be confused for hunger.
- Try to avoid using food as a reward. Massages, outings and new outfits are some examples of things you could treat yourself with.
Disclaimer: This information is provided for general interest and education only. It is not designed to replace the advice of your doctor or natural therapist. Herbal and nutritional medicines should be prescribed by a health professional trained in these fields to ensure they are both safe and beneficial.
Article supplied with thanks to Kelli Kieselbach.
About the Author: Kelli Kieselbach is a Naturopath and Nutritionist with a passion for a holistic and natural approach to health and wellbeing. She also works to educate Christian ministry leaders in self care and avoiding burnout.