Have you started yet another diet that you are convinced will the “ONE” which changes everything? The “ONE” that you will lose all the excess weight on?
Between 96-98% of weight lost on a diet is gained back in 12 months or less and the people who do keep the weight off generally report a life-changing event – such as a major health crisis – around the same time, so I think its safe to say that diets don’t work.
Rather than putting your heart, soul and energy into another diet, how about trying to focus on little “life-changing” shifts so you can lose the weight but in a healthy and maintainable way that doesn’t involve restriction or calorie counting.
Here are my top tips to try today…
1. Focus on macronutrient balance
Ensure that all meals are balanced with a good source of protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, lentils, beans, nuts, quinoa, seeds, tofu etc), carbohydrate (whole grains including quinoa, brown rice, beans, legumes, all fruits and vegetables) and fat (avocado, nuts, seeds, cold pressed olive oil, oily fish).
A typical day could be:
Lean Smoothie Bowl – see recipe below
Smoked salmon and avocado
Scrambled eggs and tomatoes
Melon and parma ham
Stuffed aubergine with brown rice and feta
Roasted Butternut squash soup
Fish with steamed vegetables and brown rice
Tofu stir-fry and soba noodles
Quinoa salad with chicken
2. Eat slowly
Slowing down and focusing on your food increases the relaxation response in your body, which improves your digestion and assimilation of nutrients. It takes the brain 20 minutes to register that it is full and nutritionally satisfied which will prevent overeating and reaching for sugary snacks after you have just eaten.
3. Quality over quantity
Choose the best food available to you, opt for higher quality lean organic proteins, dairy plus organic fruits and veggies. Shop around and ask questions. You may find that supermarket organic food is overpriced, so look for a local farmer’s market, some farmers may not be advertising their produce is organic (the certification is pricey) so by getting to know the farmers you can learn about their farming methods. Organic meat is noticeably more expensive, however consider the amount that you are consuming, we only need a palm-size portion of protein therefore can you cut down on the quantity but increase the quality?
If you are cutting down on meat make sure you load up the rest of the plate with extra veggies.
Set the intention on changing something small every day and celebrate all the small changes as you go, your confidence in yourself will increase and you will start to see other shifts in life (such as excess weight!)
4. Do what’s best for you. Just because a friend does regular juice detoxes doesn’t mean you have to as well.
5. Stress less. Weight gain is linked to stress because of fluctuating hormone levels.
6. Practice mindful eating. It’s so easy to shovel food into your mouth whilst doing something else. Stop and enjoy each bite.
7. Sleep! Studies show that being sleep deprived makes our brains crave junk food and, if you’re exhausted you’re more likely to reach for something easy rather than nutritious.
8. A little bit of what you fancy does do you good. As Gwyneth says, if you fancy fries or alcohol then have them but in moderation. Just remember that if you’re reaching for ‘dis-comfort’ food and emotional eating piles of cakes every day because you’re down, to try and cheer yourself up with a lovely long bath, or a home spa treatment instead of food.
Lean Smoothie Bowl Recipe
1/2 cup organic apple juice
1 cube of organic frozen spinach or 1 handful of fresh
1 kiwi – peeled
1/2 large pear
juice of 1 lime
1/2 frozen banana
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1 tbs I AM lean
Blend everything in a high speed blender until completely broken down and you reach a thick smoothie texture. Serve in a pretty bowl, decorate beautifully to give colour, additional taste and texture, use nuts, seeds, granola, fresh fruit, dried fruit, cacao nibs or anything else that inspires you.
Naomi’s TIP: If you use fresh spinach add a little less apple juice and 2 ice cubes. To freeze your bananas wait until they are fully ripe, peel them, chop into 4 and store in a freezer bag.
Are you making any changes to your diet this year? Let us know in the comments…