Do’s and Don’ts of Summer Dieting

With summer just around the corner it means we are going to be bombarded with the latest fad diets to get ‘summer ready’. If you do want to lose weight do it in a healthy, sustainable way that will see you lose weight not just for summer but keep off it through all the seasons!

Don’t do the fad diets – lemon detox, soup diet, detox diets and all the rest of them! Sure you will lose weight on them because they are so restrictive but you are also likely to feel tired, cranky, irritable and suffer headaches. Most of these diets are unsustainable for longer than a week and the weight lost during this time is from a reduction in the body’s carbohydrate and water stores. Once you start eating again these stores will replenish along with the weight. To prove this point a British sports scientist conducted his own experiment which saw him lose 12kg in 24 hours then put it all back on the next day. Check it out Here

Do start your day with breakfast – It helps to reduce cravings throughout the morning and can help keep you focused and energised. When looking for a healthy breakfast try and choose something that’s high fibre and protein and contains healthy fats to keep you satisfied.

Don’t cut out whole food groups – There is no need to cut out whole food groups to lose weight. Grains and cereals, meats, fish and poultry, dairy and fats can all be eaten when trying to lose weight, it is about choosing the healthy options and watching portion sizes.

Do eat mindfully – How often do you have a snack simply out of habit, boredom or because ‘it’s there’? Try and tune into your hunger and appetite. Before reaching for the snacks sit back and think ‘am I really hungry’? Practice eating slowly and tune in to when you are feeling satisfied. Did you finish everything on your plate simply because it was there or could you have eaten half of the meal and still feel satisfied? Eat from smaller plates and bowls. This can help control portion sizes and prevent overeating.

Don’t fall for too good to be true – if a weight loss diet, supplement or herb sounds too good to be true it is. If there was a quick, easy, healthy way to lose weight there wouldn’t be an obesity problem.

Do fill up on protein & fibre – Protein and fibre can help control hunger and keep you feeling fuller for longer. Include protein lean protein in every meal such as lean red meats, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, low fat dairy, tofu & beans. High fibre foods include wholegrains, oats, barley, natural muesli, nuts, seeds, quinoa, freekah, brown rice, brown pasta, beans, legumes and fruit and vegetables.

Don’t drink your calories – High calorie drinks can really undo all of your healthy eating. Soft drinks, rich milky drinks and alcohol are known for their high sugar and calorie content but don’t forget the so called ‘healthy’ drinks too. Fruit juice, smoothies, vegetables juices, and protein drinks can all pack a punch in the calorie department. The calories from just a couple of these drinks could be equivalent to eating a whole extra meal.

Do plan ahead – Plan meals for the week and make a list before you go grocery shopping. Having a list helps to prevent impulse buys and buying things you really don’t need. If you know you are tired by the end of the week plan quick and easy meals or freeze meals during the week that you can defrost for Friday night. If you know you have a busy weekend of catching up with people and eating out make sure you plan really healthy meals during the week.

Don’t give up! Sure you will have some days better than others, and even some weeks where you lack motivation but remind yourself of why you started and how great you will feel when you achieve your goals. Commit to healthy lifestyle changes and not just quick fixes.

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