Millions of people try fad diets every year and fail because of their restrictive and unsustainable dietary rules, but there are simple tips that can help you shed the pounds in the long run and keep them off. In 2021 the Health Survey for England estimated that 25.9% of adults in the country were obese and a further 37.9% were overweight but not obese.
With over 35 million Brits classified as overweight or obese, it’s no wonder that weight loss is at the forefront of people’s minds. Long-term success can often be difficult, but the fitness experts at Total Shape have provided practical guidance for women looking to lose weight for the summer and beyond.
A woman’s guide to successful weight loss
Cut down on sugar and carbohydrates
Learning to read food labels is key to losing weight, with many items elaborating on their calorie content with a recommended serving size that anyone very rarely eats.
Total Shape says, “Sugar and carbs are a critical part of a weight-loss journey and will keep you from losing weight if you consume too much.”
“Also, keep in mind that many processed foods labeled low-fat or fat-free often replace it with sugar; which of course will become love handles after eating it.”
Be careful not to cut out carbohydrates altogether, instead get them from whole sources.
Increase your protein intake
Increasing your protein intake to eat at least 60g per day has been shown to significantly reduce hunger, keeping you fuller for longer. Some great high-protein foods to include in your breakfast include:
- turkey bacon
- Nut butter
- greek yogurt
- Protein powder
By having a high protein diet, you are more likely to see sustained weight loss over a longer period of time and decrease the chance of giving in to cravings.
Increasing your protein intake should go hand in hand with an increase in your fruit and vegetable consumption. Because they’re high in nutrients and fiber, they keep you full and less hungry throughout the day.
Be smart about saturated fat
Total Shape says fat has a bad reputation these days, but: “Low-fat items in grocery stores are the main culprits in an explosion in obesity rates.”
That’s because: “Animal fats have been swapped for refined sugars and carbohydrates to compensate for the lack of taste that occurs when fat is eliminated.”
You can avoid this purchase by getting your fat from healthy sources like fish, olive oil, seeds and nuts. Health expert Dr. Michael Mosley recommends buying full-fat options over their low-fat counterparts, as cheeses, milk and yogurt all boast health benefits in their full-fat form.
Natural animal fats like butter are always better for you than heavily processed products like margarine.
Avoid drinking your calories
Total Shape says the calories in drinks add up quickly. Even fruit, when made into a fruit juice and stripped of its fiber, can lead to blood sugar spikes and weight gain.
Drinking unnecessary calories is also seen in some coffees, which are full of sugary syrups and flavors. Beer is also no friend to weight loss, as it is usually high in carbohydrates and calories.
Stay active and get rid of the “diet mentality”
The key to weight loss is being active, with the NHS recommending at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week and strength training exercises on two or more days a week that work all major muscles. Finding an activity you enjoy doing is critical to success, as you don’t want it to become a chore.
This, combined with avoiding fad diets with quick results, should set you up for sustainable weight loss. Lifestyle changes should be implemented with months in mind, not a couple of weeks.
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