With the mercury rising outside, losing the winter weight gain is not far from many of our minds. While many of us are wishing we kept up our exercise and healthy eating regime throughout COVID lockdown and the cooler months, others are contemplating which fad diet to take in order to drop the extra kilos as quickly as possible. But, while fad diets may give us quick weight loss results without much effort, they’re not the answer if you want sustainable weight loss. So, to help you drop a few kilos in time for summer (and keep it off next winter too), make these small changes to your lifestyle:
Make friends with salad
Salads are a fantastic way to not only boost your intake of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, they’re also a great way to add bulk to meals without the extra kilojoules. Tasty salad options include roasted sweet potato and beetroot and zucchini mixed with spinach, capsicum, avocado, Danish fetta and beans. Add some skinless grilled chicken breast and you have a feeling, nourish salad option.
Ditch the sweetened beverages
Energy drinks, soft drinks and juices are all empty kilojoules. Too many kilojoules are bad for our waistline with a high consumption of sugar linked to elevated levels of harmful blood fats called triglycerides. High blood triglycerides increase your risk of developing heart disease. Ditch the sweetened beverages in the lead up to summer and replace them with mineral water and lime or vegetable juice.
Power up with protein
If you want to stay fuller for longer, make sure you include a lean source of protein at each meal and snack. Spreading your protein intake out evenly throughout the day boosts satiety and helps reduce the likelihood of overeating. Enjoy a range of protein sources such as low-fat milk, low-fat Greek yoghurt, reduced-fat cheese, lean meat, skinless chicken, fish, nuts, eggs, legumes and tofu.
Naturally crush sugar cravings
Feeling like a bit of a sugar fix? Instead of diving in for the chocolate or muffin, satisfy your sugar cravings with a natural source of sugar like a piece of fresh fruit or a few unsweetened dried apricots. Add a few nuts for some protein and you’ll feel satisfied for longer.
Take advantage of the nicer weather by dining outside. Without the distractions of the television you can enjoy your meal at your own pace and stop when you’re feeling satisfied. Switching to smaller plates, bowls and glasses also helps you to eat less.
Get outside and move
Clear and sunny skies are the perfect excuse to get active and burn some kilojoules. Complete a soft sand run along the beach before jumping into the surf to cool off, organise a game of tennis with friends, or enjoy a coastal walk with a family. Aim for a minimum of one hour a day of exercise and before you know it, exercise will be a regular activity in your day.