Losing weight and staying healthy are a challenge for all of us. Reaching your scale targets takes consistency and determination. But it’s easy to get waylaid: a harmless snack can turn into a full-on binge, or after a while of ‘good eating’, you’re not getting results, and want to give up.
We asked bikini champion and online fitness expert Jenna Lithgow for her top weight loss tips and diet advice to avoid disaster, or to simply stay on track with our weight loss goals.
Stay committed, incorporate exercise, have a little patience and follow these weight loss tips and you should start to see real results.
1. Eat breakfast
This is a common weight-gain pitfall, and one of the most over-looked weight loss tips.
Avoiding breakfast is often not a direct reason for gaining weight — it’s more subtle than that. When you skip the most important meal of the day, you’ll usually get increasingly hungry as the day progresses. You’ll end up over-eating, and you’re more likely to get the dreaded mid-morning slump.
But eating the right breakfast keeps your metabolism going — which means you’ll actually end up burning kilojoules. The best breakfast to do the job? Combine protein and fibre — try a simple egg on a slice of whole-wheat toast with fresh fruit, this delicious veggie-packed one-pan breakfast or a bowl of oats with some nuts.
2. The easiest of the weight loss tips — eat fat
Eating fat doesn’t necessarily make you fat.
Not all fats are bad for you. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can help lower ‘bad’ cholesterol, and reduce your risk of heart disease. These types of fats are mainly found in oily fish like salmon, trout and herring, as well as avocados, olives and walnuts.
Omega-3 can also help weight loss, as it can help you burn fat (studies show that omega-3 assists with breaking down fat while also reducing additional fat storage — winning). Foods like almonds, fatty fish and seeds are a great way to get your ‘good’ fat intake in. However, you’ll see that the kilojoules in these foods add up pretty fast. So be careful you don’t eat more than your daily allowance (for example, limit almonds to just a small handful per day).
3. Stay hydrated
Getting enough water during the day is non-negotiable if you want to lose weight.
Water helps you feel full (and eliminating confusing thirst for hunger) and aids digestion — especially when combined with a low-fat, high-fibre diet. Again, drinking water won’t make you lose weight, but it will help the process along.
If you can’t face drinking H2O all day, try a cup of green tea. Its refreshing taste and natural caffeine content is a great way to start your morning — it also has metabolism-boosting, kilojoule-burning properties, making a cuppa one of the most effective weight loss tips.
4. Have strategic salads
Hate having a salad for lunch because you end up starving by mid-afternoon?
The trick is to add some form of protein to it, as protein keeps you fuller for longer. Try adding a shredded chicken breast, tuna, some beef strips, toasted almonds or a few spoons of cottage cheese the next time you eat your greens. And go easy on the dressing (which can often be fat laden), instead opt for a touch of extra virgin olive oil, with a little balsamic.
5. Adopt the right mindset
We’ve saved the most important of our weight loss tips for last!
Don’t panic if you aren’t on track 100% of the time. Your diet shouldn’t start next week because you had a latte for breakfast or a slab of chocolate for supper (we’ve all been there) — healthy eating is a way of life.
Treating nutrition like a chore leads to a negative relationship with food. Remember, it’s important to enjoy what you eat, so keep that in mind when structuring a meal plan (for example, it’s no use adding Brussels sprouts to your diet if you loath them). And if you have a treat don’t turn it into a binge — one bad meal or day doesn’t ruin your goal, but constantly binge eating does. A rule of thumb is to eat right most of the time — it’ll eliminate guilt when you do occasionally cheat.