“Sun’s out, guns out” is the mantra of the season. The sun is shining, days are warmer and what better way to enjoy that than to hit the streets in shorts and vests. But if the long walks to the fridge during lockdown is anything to go by, you’ve put on a few unwelcomed kilos. So, here are some easy tips to help you shed those excess handles.
- Visit your dietitian
While it might be easy to find yourself following the latest diet fad in your journey to weight loss, we’d like to remind you that your first step to getting the body you want should be seeing a professional. A dietitian will help you get on track to lose the weight you want to shed without starving yourself or falling into the trap of ‘lose weight quick’ schemes. Here’s an article we wrote about 6 reasons why you should definitely visit your dietitian. The main reason being that all Bestmed adult beneficiaries have access to 3 dietitian visits a year and all you have to do to unlock this free benefit is complete your Health Assessment (previously HRA) at your nearest network pharmacy.
- Reduce your portion sizes
The easiest way to understand weight loss is simple maths. If you use up more calories than you consume each day, you will lose weight. So, by this logic, if you are gaining weight it means that you are eating more food than you need to run your body on daily. Gradually reducing your meal potions can put you on the correct trajectory to gradually reducing any unwanted weight without shocking your body too much.
- Cut down your carbohydrate intake
Ah, the sweet smell of freshly baked bread and the intoxicating smell of garlic rolls straight from the oven… It’s almost addictive. Besides the fact that carbohydrates and starches are often the most affordable, value for money items on your grocery list, they also taste really good and you do not realise how much you love carbs until you try to cut them out of your diet. Unfortunately, you will have to reduce your consumption of carbs to help you lose weight faster. Your body processes excess carbs to create food storages in your body in case you suddenly start starving. The visible manifestations of these storages are what we like to call love handles, pot bellies and muffin tops. In order to help our bodies break those down, it is suggested that you reduce your carbohydrates intake to one meal per day.
- No more junk food and sugar
Need I say more? Processed and junk food often contains unnecessary and unhealthy fats, additives, carbs, and sugars which our bodies have a hard time breaking down. The biggest culprit of these is refined sugars. The difficult part about watching your sugar intake is that besides candy, cookies, carbonated drinks and the sugar we add to tea, etc, there is often ridiculous amounts of sugar in foods that you did not even expect to have any added sugar at all. These include sauces, condiments, fruit juice, alcoholic beverages, breakfast cereals and yogurt. Consciously look at the nutritional information on the back of your food. Once you keep in mind the fact that one teaspoon of sugar is four grams, you will be able to truly visualise how much sugar is added to each 100ml/g of the food you eat almost every day.
- Eat food as close to the source as possible
Cutting out unnecessary sugars, fats and additives in your daily diet goes hand in hand with eating food as close to its source as possible. If you eat fresh fruit, vegetables, and meats you bypass any unwanted elements that manufacturers tend to add in processed foods. You are in control of everything that is added to your food allowing you to avoid all the bad bits. Eating a variety of fruit and vegetables daily is the best way to consume all the nutrients your body needs to be at its best. And, of course, you must have plenty of the main source of all food and indeed life, water. Make sure you get your 8 glasses a day, besides helping your body to function optimally, drinking lots of water often stops you from drinking anything else that might be sugar laden.
The keys to getting your body at its best are a healthy balanced diet and frequent exercise. Most importantly, don’t forget that you can enjoy the warm weather at any body size or shape. Visit a professional whenever you want to make any drastic changes to your body to avoid causing yourself any unintended harm.