If you are trying to lose a few pounds then you maybe tempted by one of those fad diets you have heard about.
Apparently a celebrity has managed to lose all their baby weight in just a few short weeks.
You have heard it time and again, but the truth is that these fad diets wont work.
These celebrities have a team of nutritionists and trainers who help them get in shape. It is likely due to whatever diet or DVD they are trying to promote.
Fad diets may even be dangerous, with those diets that drastically cut calorie intake or ban entire food groups shown to cause nutritional deficiencies.
Luckily for you there are safer alternatives, such as the following science backed healthy eating habits.
These methods will surely help you lose weight without risking your long-term health.
#1: Eat the foods you love
Yes, it is a good idea to cut back on the junk foods, even if you do love them, yet I would not recommend banning them from your diet entirely.
While these foods are no doubt high in calories, if you deny yourself them you will likely end up craving them even more.
Before long you will completely fall off the wagon and will undo all your previous good work by overindulging in these foods.
Lisa Sasson, a nutrition professor at New York University states:
“If you pick a diet with foods you don’t like, you’re doomed to fail.”
#2: Portion sizes are most important
Portion sizes have risen year on year, which coincides with the obesity crisis we are now faced with.
If you want to lose weight then you need to be more conscious of the amount of food you eat.
Even healthy foods contain calories, so I would suggest that you start tracking your intake. Either using an app on your smartphone, or via traditional methods like a pen and paper.
#3: Pack a lunch
If you work and do not prepare your own lunch then you are putting your weight and health in the hands of strangers.
Like mentioned above, portion sizes have increased, in particular in restaurants.
To avoid overeating I would recommend packing your own lunch.
Elizabeth G. Nabel, from the NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute had this to say about portion sizes:
“One way to keep calories in check is to keep food portions no larger than the size of your fist.”
#4: Choose foods full of fibre and protein
To successfully reach your weight loss goals then eating a diet rich in fibre and protein would be a good start.
There are numerous reasons why, but firstly because these foods will be slower to digest than others.
This means that you will remain fuller for longer, which will help ensure fewer food cravings are encountered.
Fibre can help with digestive issues too, while protein can help repair damaged muscle fibre post-workout.
#5: Choose water to drink
Calories don’t just come from the foods you eat but what you drink too, which makes water and ideal choice.
Water contains zero calories, but also has other weight loss benefits too. For example it can help to curb your appetite.
A study published in the November issue of the journal Obesity showed that swapping sweetened drinks for water resulted in weight loss, without any other changes to either diet or activity levels.
Another study showed that drinking water prior to eating a meal helped cut the amount eaten during the meal.
#6: Be flexible with your diet
If a diet is inflexible you are unlikely to stick to it long-term. This is why diets such as Weight Watchers are so successful and popular.
In a study at Tufts University it was shown that flexible diets were better for weight loss and helped reduce other risk factors too.
#7: Shop when full
To avoid being tempted by those junk foods on offer at the supermarket it is best to shop just after you have eaten.
A study has shown that shopping hungry resulted in a third more junk food being purchased.
#8: Get a good nights sleep
Research has shown that a lack of sleep makes junk food more appealing, perhaps to help boost energy levels.
This is not all, as this lack of sleep can also cause excess production of the stress hormone cortisol.
Large amounts of cortisol can cause your body to cling onto its fat reserves.
I would recommend that you aim to get a minimum of 7 hours good quality sleep per night.
You should try to relax before bed, and switch off anything that could disrupt your sleep, for example your TV or smartphones.
#9: Avoid those diet drinks
You may think that you are making the healthy choice when you choose a diet coke instead of a regular one.
Unfortunately research has shown that these diet options may not be such a good choice, especially when it comes to weight loss.
This research has found that drinking these diet drinks will cause you to crave sugary foods. This is because they are sweet thanks to the artificial sweeteners but contain no calories.
If you want a truly healthy drink with no calories then opt for water instead.
Hopefully these few tips have given you something to think about, each tip has been proven to work and unlike those fad diets are much safer too.