Spring is in the air, and with it that faint but consistent panic that you’re not ready to break out the swimwear just yet. But instead of diving head-first into the latest misery-inducing crash diet (only to gain back all the weight shortly after), try making these small and consistent changes in your everyday life for healthy, sustainable weight-loss:
1. Downsize your dish
Using a smaller plate tricks your eyes into thinking that you’re eating more because your plate is full, which makes your food portions look bigger. This is an easy way to feel satisfied with less food.
2. Slow down
According to research, fast eaters consume a whopping 55% more food per minute compared to slow eaters. Put your fork down between bites, chew slowly and give yourself enough time to feel when you’ve had enough.
3. Make veggies the hero
Eating a lot of fresh vegetables is one of the best habits for consistent weight loss. Have them at every meal as they’re a source of many nutrients, help fill you up and are low in calories.
4. Compose your plate
Grabbing a little bit here and a little bit there can add up quickly without you even remembering what you’ve eaten. Make a point of serving each meal on a plate, so you can see exactly what and how much you’re eating to make it easier to keep track of your overall calorie intake.
5. Have protein with every meal
Protein keeps your metabolism running, controls your appetite, helps you develop and maintain lean muscle and improves your fitness performance – all of which helps you to slim down in a healthy way.
6. Never skip meals
While this sounds like a great plan to lose weight, it actually has the opposite effect. Your body thinks it’s being starved, and starts storing fat to make sure it has energy for later. What’s more, you’ll probably be so hungry at your next meal that you eat far more than you planned.
7. Enjoy a small treat
Banning all your favourite foods is not sustainable and will leave you feeling deprived and more likely to overeat. Have a small treat when you feel like it, but make sure it really is small – like two squares of dark chocolate or half a cup of ice cream. Remember that you can always have some more tomorrow.