Mayday Hospital Care

Healthy Weightloss Habit No. 1: Never Skip Meals

Always eat at least three meals a day. Why? Because you want to keep your metabolism active so it doesn’t lay down fat reserves.

Throughout human evolution, we’ve had to survive harsh winters and famines, so humans are genetically programmed to build up fat reserves if food is not readily available.

Skipping meals tricks the body into thinking there is a shortage of food, and in response, the metabolism slows down, preventing weight loss and building up fat reserves. Always eat little and often rather than not at all.

Many scientific studies have shown that people who eat breakfast keep weight off for longer and lose weight quicker than those who do not.

This is because eating something within half an hour of waking kick starts your metabolism, so it’s active as soon as you are.

If you skip breakfast, the metabolism won’t work at its optimum level until lunchtime, by which point you have already lost 3-4 hours of prime calorie-burning time.

The worst breakfast choices are sugary, salt-laden breakfast cereals. If you like cereals, eat Shreddies, Shredded Wheat or muesli that states it has no added sugar or salt on the packet, and are naturally rich in wholegrain – essential for a healthy heart.

Other good choices include probiotic natural yoghurt with fruit, poached eggs and baked beans, or a vegetable omelette without cheese. If you hate breakfast, at least eat a piece of fruit to kick-start your metabolism.

Healthy Weightloss Habit No. 2: Safe Snacking & Cooking

Safe snacking is essential to any weight loss plan because you never want to feel hungry or deprived. Instead of snaking on crisps, chocolate, or low-fat biscuits, snack on fresh fruit or a handful of nuts.

Although high in fat, nuts contain a natural ’good fat’ that is instantly satisfying. However, only eat a small handful at a time; otherwise, even the good fat will start sitting around your waist!

That said, the nuts should be the unsalted kind from the health shop, not those greasy pub-style peanuts.

When cooking, get into the habit of steaming or grilling food instead of frying it so no additional fat is added. Steamers are great, quick, and convenient, but if you do not have one, use the oven instead. Wrap a piece of chicken or fish in a tin foil parcel with herbs, a sliced onion, and a dash of white wine or water. Bake in a medium oven for 30 minutes, and then serve.

Healthy Weightloss Habit No. 3: Slow Down

Always eat slowly and watch portion sizes. We all have a tendency to wolf down our food and finish everything on our plate, even though we are already satisfied.

It takes 20 minutes from the first bite for the food to reach your stomach and send messages to the brain that you are full, so chew every bite thoroughly and bear this in mind when snacking.

Healthy Weightloss Habit No. 4: Drink Choices

Drink at least 8 half-pint glasses of water a day, and if you can, an additional glass before every meal to help you feel full. Most people don’t drink nearly enough water, often mistaking dehydration for hunger, so drink as much water as possible.

Try to limit your caffeine intake and avoid fizzy drinks. They contain chemicals that interfere with metabolism, making it harder to lose weight.

If you enjoy a cuppa, try green tea. It naturally increases metabolism and has been proven to help with weight loss when drunk before every meal.

Remember that you shouldn’t feel deprived. If you enjoy a glass of wine with your meal or a pint of beer beforehand, then have it. Just don’t overindulge every day.

Healthy Weightloss Habit No. 5: Get Active

There’s no getting away from the fact that in order to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you consume, and the quickest way to do that is to increase your activity levels.

This doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym twice a week. Instead, change your habits so you always take the stairs instead of the lift, go for a stroll in your lunch break and walk to the shop instead of driving.

If you decide to exercise, it is pointless to choose something you dislike, so choose an activity you find enjoyable, such as badminton, swimming, tennis, yoga or a dance class. Effortless exercise is always the best!