Want to know the secret to staying thin? It's really no secret. It's common sense. If you're sick of losing weight and finding yourself gaining it back ten fold because you "fell off the wagon" then follow these 8 simple tricks to keep that weight off. It's not rocket science...
1. Balance Your Blood Sugar.
Why? If you can keep your blood sugar stable, your weight will be stable too. This is because blood sugar that goes up and down like a rollercoaster promotes fat storage. Stable blood sugar helps you burn fat and reduce sugar cravings. How? To balance blood sugar, adopt a low GI Diet which means eating foods that release sugar into the blood slowly. Swap white breads and pasta for wholegrain varieties. Eat more veggies and beans, and go easy on the sweet fruit and fruit juices.
2. Eat a protein breakfast.
Why? Breakfast lights the fire of your metabolism, meaning it'll burn calories more effectively all day. If it is the right breakfast it also gives you a sense of "starting the day as you mean to go on". You feel in control of your eating and motivated to continue.
The secret to eating a protein diet breakfast because this stabilizes blood sugar and keeps you feeling full. An omelet, yogurt, and berries or even a bacon sandwich are all good, as long as the bacon is grilled Choose cereals low in sugar and watch the portion sizes.
3. Scale down your starches.
Why? No one ever got overweight from eating too much grilled chicken. Instead it's the potatoes, pasta, rice and bread (yes, even brown bread) that do the damage. One way to put yourself off eating too many starches is to think "Is this how i want my thighs to look? because eating too much mashed potatoes, sticky rice or spaghetti carbonara and that is exactly how they will look--- white and lumpy.
How? Divide your dinner plate into quarters. One quarter should be lean protein and half should be veggies or salad with just a quarter saved for starches.
4. Eat good fats, but don't go mad.
Why? the news that healthy fats are good for you is finally getting through but the danger is that some people think they can use extra virgin olive oil like a hosepipe in a car wash!! That oil is made of olives not magic. Essential fats are indeed essential but only in small amounts.
Aim for no more than one tablespoon of olive oil, a tin of sardines or a fillet of salmon a day, with maybe a palmful of nuts and seeds.
5. Eat 1/3 of your food raw
Why? Eating more raw food not only increases your intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, it will also keep the calorie count down. A big bowl of salad may only contain 100 calories (without dressing) less than the average biscuit.
Add a salad to lunch and dinner and eat fruit with nuts between meals. Raw food also takes longer to eat because you need to chew it more, which stimulates the release of the hormone gremlin to help you feel full.
6. Skip dessert.
Why? Apologies to all those trendy home bakers out there. But regularly eating cupcakes and cookies, even if accompanied by long hours at the gym is not a recipe for slim hips! The simplest way to keep your daily calorie count under control is to skip the pudding, and replace it with fruit.
How? Pastry, sponge, custard and the like are packed with bad fats and sugar. One idea for the dessert-aholic is to try alternatives. You can make pastry from potato or ground almonds, use courgette, spinach and egg white to make bread and swap custard for yogurt.
7. Reduce snacking.
Why? While it is important to keep yourself fueled through the day, treating the fridge as an all you can eat buffet is a quick route for disaster.
Eat 3 balanced meals and 2 protein/carb snacks a day.
8. Be consistent
Why? This is the most important rule of all. However fantastic your diet or exercise regimen, if it only lasts a couple of weeks because it's too stringent to stick to, you won't keep the weight off.
How? Adopt the 80/20 approach, aiming to stick to your goals 80% of the time with a 20% overage for "cheating". Over the long haul, you can have cheat days and a few off days but your weight will stay where you want it to be.