At Lumity we firmly believe that all of us are gorgeous as we are and that there’s far too much pressure on women, and men, to aspire to a false ideal of perfection. Instead, we are fans of celebrating our own beautiful uniqueness, kicking back and enjoying life, and doing away with guilt – for good – and loving ourselves as we are. But, what if you’d like to lose a few pounds ahead of the summer holidays after a winter spent tucked away munching on cookies and drinking hot chocolate? We have gathered some of the easiest ‘no diet’ weight-loss tips from our team of experts across the globe, who guarantee that you can go down a dress size in just a few weeks by barely changing your lifestyle at all.
Ditch all empty calories: Have a think about what you reach for during a typical day. Many drinks, including lattés, sodas, and snacks like cookies, cake, ice cream and so on contain calories, but very little nutritional content. Some even deplete your body of nutrients. If you can’t face starting the day without a latté, try having an espresso with lots of froth, which is really just air, but little to no milk. Make as many small diet switches as you can: instead of snacking on cookies, try goji berries, and instead of drinking lots of sugary orange juice (it may have vitamin C but fresh orange juice is packed with sugar and calories) have water with slices of citrus fruit sipped throughout the day. One of the bad boys when it comes to hidden calories? – wine. One bottle of plonk can take up almost half of your recommended daily calorie intake, so if you’re trying to lose some weight ahead of summer, then going booze-free for a few weeks will make a significant difference.
Make small swaps: You might be surprised at what you’re eating in the mistaken belief that it’s light on calories when in fact it isn’t at all. As an experiment, download a calorie counter app for your phone and input every single thing you eat or drink – just for one day. “I was having poached eggs on toast for lunch every day with a large glass of fresh orange juice thinking that was pretty healthy,” Cressida Jones, who lives in Kensington, London, tells Lumity. “Then I would often have an extra slice of toast, it was wholemeal so I didn’t think it was particularly bad. But the calorie counter on my phone would leap up each time I had toast with butter to the point where I ditched the toast and had an omelette for lunch each day instead. That was far less calories than the poached eggs on slices of toast, it filled me up more and for longer and was actually far tastier and healthier as I was able to squeeze in green veg and salad. I swapped the orange juice for fizzy mineral water and really easily dropped the amount of calories I was having at lunchtime. Then all I did was half an hour on my exercise bike each morning, plus drink lots of water throughout the day, and I lost almost 10lbs in just four weeks!”
Eat more: That’s right – if your body is in starvation mode, which often happens when you’re on a crash diet, your metabolism will slow down and if you’re hungry you’re far more likely to eat food that’s not necessarily packed with nutrients. The ideal is to aim for five small meals a day; as an example you could have a green juice for breakfast, overnight oats with berries and half a banana at 11am, a tuna salad or an omelette for lunch, veggie soup mid-afternoon and then salmon with a pile of vegetables and quinoa, or courgette noodles early evening. Wellness gurus say that’s an ideal way to keep your metabolism revved up and burning calories, and you’ll have a flatter stomach as a big meal won’t be sitting there waiting to be digested. Plus, if you’re constantly eating you’re not going to feel deprived and hit up a fast food restaurant’s drive through lane when you’re passing after work.
Eat less, move more: How much we weigh is almost always (unless there’s an underlying medical issue) down to an extremely simple concept; how much and what we eat plus how much we exercise. If you keep that in mind, and make some very small, barely noticeable tweaks to your lifestyle they’re far more likely to stick long-term than going on a restrictive crash diet and harsh exercise regime. (A typical detox diet, or juice fast usually just involves losing water weight so you put it back on after suffering for a week anyway). As Erika Bloom suggests, if you walk everywhere you can get in an hour (or more!) of exercise each day very easily. At this time of year it’s absolutely possible to go for a walk around your local park at lunchtime, or in the evening – which will help you unwind at the end of a stressful day. One small change can make a huge difference, “my usual breakfast was muesli with yoghurt, plus several large coffees,” Kerry Blake, who lives in Manchester, tells Lumity. “All I did was have a green juice instead each morning for a month and I lost 7lbs. I didn’t make any other changes.”
Did you enjoy this? How about checking out the tips that Bethany Meyers has given us to enjoy working out. Or, perhaps you want to fall in love with exercise and have fun, the way you did when you were a child? – here’s how. Maybe you’d like to improve your fitness levels without investing in an expensive gym membership, and here’s one type of exercise that all women over 35 should consider embracing.