Read our ultimate guide on how to lose weight and maintain it safely
Do you have trouble losing weight, or maybe you can lose weight but have trouble keeping it off? If this is relatable don’t worry, we’re here to show you how to lose weight safely and slowly and the best ways to burn fat without ever going hungry.
No matter what diet plan you follow, the basis of weight loss relies on the simple principle of calorie deficit. Put simply, as long as you burn off more calories than you consume, you will lose weight. A tried and tested method that has stood the test of time and is still standing after the fad diets have long gone, the classic cliché of eating less calories and moving more really does work, but this certainly doesn’t mean you have to go hungry or spend hours slogging it out in the gym to see considerable weight-loss. Read on for our 10 tips on how to lose weight safely, slowly and sensibly.
Don’t demonise food groups
Banning foods from certain food groups only makes you crave them more, so a severely restrictive diet has more chance of failing than one that includes a little bit of what you fancy every now and then. There’s no reason you can’t enjoy the occasional treat, including chocolate, pizza and crisps, aslong as you stay within your daily calorie allowance and ensure your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) is in a calorie deficit.
Using our Goal Getters plan, you can enjoy all your favourite foods without ever going hungry, including pizza and chocolate, whilst still maintain a healthy balanced diet whilst losing weight. Don’t believe us? Check out our tailored meal plans here!
Eat at regular intervals
Eating at regular times during the day not only helps to burn calories at a faster rate, but will stop you feeling hungry, making the urge to fill up on sugary, high-calorie snacks is much lower. Eating at regular times during the day also helps to stabilize your metabolism, making your weight much easier to manage.
Eating at night, especially a heavy meal or high-calorie foods, can make you feel sluggish and bloated the next day, not to mention interrupting your sleep pattern, making you tired and irritated. When we aren’t feeling our best we’re more inclined to dine out on junk food, so to make the most of your diet try not to eat after 7pm and load up on a large glass of water before bedtime to keep your stomach feeling full.
Eat your greens
Filling up on colourful veg is a great way to get your 5 a day and daily dose of vitamins and minerals. Low in calories, low in fat but high in fibre, gorgeous green veggies contain the 3 main elements needed to successfully lose weight and maintain weight loss.
Instead of taking away food from your plate and restricting your diet, why not add to it instead? Adding a portion of veg to your plate at mealtimes will help to give you a more balanced and healthy meal, without compromising on taste or flavour.
Eat whole foods
When we use the term whole foods, we mean food that hasn’t been heavily processed with additives, salt or preservatives. The Mediterranean diet is a great example of a healthy, whole foods meal plan, and contains lots of meat, fish, vegetables, eggs, nuts, beans and pulses. Avoid pre-packaged meals with lots of ingredients on the label and instead head to the chilled aisle in the supermarket to load up on fresh food. To keep your produce and meat fresh, stick it in the freezer until you’re ready to use.
Eating whole foods is not only good for weight loss, but can have positive effects on your skin, hair and nails too, not to mention overall wellbeing of feeling more energetic and alert and less sluggish and sleepy.
Having realistic weight loss goals is vital if you want to succeed with your slimming goals. By aiming for a high weight loss in a short amount of time, this not only sets you up for a fall but when the scales don’t show a big loss, you will feel like you’re failed and are more inclined to give up and go back to bad habits.
Aim for a healthy and realistic 1-2lbs a week for a slow and steady weight loss. This may not seem like a lot at first but if followed consistently, over a 6 month period this could result in a loss of 48lbs, just over 3 stone! It’s a marathon, not a sprint so take it slow and steady and be consistant if you want to see real lasting results.
Manage your portion sizes
Portion control is an important part of weight loss, and one way to help you eat smaller portions is to use a smaller plate at meal times. Although this could take some getting used to, over time your stomach will gradually get used to it without feeling hungry. You may think you’re doing all the right things to lose weight, but if you’re eating more calories than you’re burning off (see TDEE) , we won’t be in a calorie deficit which will result in no weight loss and most likely, weight gain.
Just 60 minutes of exercise a day is all that’s needed to keep your body active and work up a sweat. As well as burning off excess calories, exercise can help to boost your mood and help you to feel more energetic. The better you feel, the more inclined you are to reach for healthy, nutritious foods that help towards weight loss.
You don’t have to spend hours in the gym or buy expensive equipment, a daily dog walk, tidying up the house and other low-impact exercise can all help towards burning calories.
Don’t give up
Being persistent is important, and as the old saying goes, it doesn’t matter how many times you fall down it’s how many times you get back up that counts! You may not see a change in numbers on the scales for a week or two but this doesn’t mean your efforts are going to waste. It’s not all about the number on the scales, as you could be losing inches from your waist without realizing. Don’t get caught up in the numbers, stay focused and carry on.
Cut back on alcohol
Having a drink whilst following a meal plan can lead to a downfall, so be mindful of how much you consume. As well as being calorie heavy, alcohol can also make us feel hungry, leading us to crave sweet and salty junk food. As we’re not about restrictive dieting, you don’t have to cut it out all together, but just practice self-control when enjoying a tipple.
By planning your meals in advance you’re less likely to go off track if you’re feeling tired or unsure what to cook that night. Batch cooking is a great way to ensure this doesn’t happen, as all your meals for the week are pre-prepared and ready to cook from chilled/frozen, making it super quick and easy for you to eat a healthy well balanced meal after a busy day.
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Low calorie foods for weight loss
Low calorie but high protein foods are perfect for weight loss as they keep you feeling fuller for longer. 0% fat Greek yoghurt, chicken and eggs are all great sources of low calorie protein foods that can be easily in-corporated into your daily diet, as are fresh vegetables, beans and pulses which are useful for bulking out meals without using meat.
Low calorie snacks like popcorn and baked crisps, olives, nuts, crackers, apple slices with peanut butter, fruit pot with yoghurt and high protein bars are the perfect pick me up when you’re craving something to nibble on between meals.