The good weather has got us in high spirits, which means that many of us are doing our best to get trim before the holiday!
Our resident MNU Nutritionist Rabin Das gives a few simple suggestions that might help to maximise your results.
Try going low-carb (or at least lowER carb)
This isn’t a magical method to lose weight but it is a spontaneous way to reduce calories over the course of the day. By limiting your carbohydrate intake in one or two meals per day you can create a greater energy deficit. Do this consistently for a period of time to kick start your slim down process.
A simple structure for this may be to remove carbs from the lunch time period and save most of them for the evening. This can serve two purposes - allowing you to ‘eat more’ in the evenings and also regulate any drive that you might have to snack on something sweeter later in the day.
If you're stuck for low-carb options why not try our Portobello "Bun" Burger? You can find the recipe here.
Mess around a little with ‘intermittent fasting'
Fasting is all the rage but it’s most obvious benefit is often an afterthought. The clue is in the term, ‘fasting’.
Less time to eat = less chance to over-consume food.
This means that you will have the potential to create a greater energy deficit resulting in summer ‘slim-liness’. The reason why this is such a great method to incorporate into your day is that it doesn’t involve too heavy a mental burden. You simply create a space of time where no food is being consumed.
What's great about this method is that you can choose your own personal time frame (although, extending the overnight fast appears to be most popular).
Bank your calories to avoid being 'St. No Fun’
Remember, it is summer after all and our weather appears to be trending in the right direction. A way to manage social occasions and fun events while still having that holiday in mind is to practise the art of banking calories.
If you know you have an event (such as a BBQ) coming up, and the likelihood of a few beverages is on the cards, you can bank, or reduce, your calories earlier in the week to prepare for the festivities later in the week.
Now, of course please don’t take massive liberties with this concept. You still have to demonstrate some restraint and responsibility. Once you do however, you will be able to successfully navigate fun times while staying on target.
Get to grips with the satiety index
Hunger is the great enemy of dieting!
Manage hunger and you will win your freedom (so to speak). A nifty way to do this is to focus on foods that promote long-term fullness. The ‘satiety index’ provides you with a list of foods that have been shown to fill you up without extra energy density.
To put this in perspective, foods like boiled potatoes and porridge oats sit at the top of this scale, maximising how full you feel. At the bottom of the list lie things like croissants and donuts.
So, you get the picture. Just don’t confuse boiled potatoes with chips...
Satisfy your sweet tooth with diet drinks
Artificial sweeteners are safe. Get over it.
In all seriousness though, switching your beverage intake from regular fizzy drinks to diet versions can be a lifesaver for reducing calorie intake while still feeling like life is worth living. Most of the fear surrounding artificial sweeteners is overplayed and unwarranted.
How can they help?
While not actually making you lose weight, they can make the whole ‘dieting’ thing more enjoyable. They taste fairly similar to their sugar-sweetened brethren but without the extra calories. You get to enjoy the taste without the waste of calories!
Don’t fall for self-defeat/self-sabotage
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that one ‘bad' day or meal means your efforts are toast. Re-frame the situation by getting back to your routine, being thankful that you enjoyed the meal/day (if yuou and keeping your eye on the prize.
Another way to re frame this idea is to realise that it’s going to be the total weekly calories that matter not the total daily calories. This means that even if you have had a self-proclaimed ‘bad day’, you’ve enough awareness to focus on the coming days instead of throwing everything out the window.