Most people know that the weight-loss equation is largely dependent on how much exercise you do and what type of diet you follow. While physical activity at least three times a week will help you shed those extra kilos, most experts agree that diet is the first thing you need to change in order to see results.
Make the change
Many of us have eating habits that have been ingrained in us since we were kids. For example, a bowl of ice-cream after dinner, pizza at least once a week or a sweet treat to reward ourselves. In order to successfully lose weight you need to change these patterns.
Review your diet
A good starting point is to review your diet and make the following changes:
• Record everything you eat in a food diary. Be honest with yourself – a little lie here and there won’t get you anywhere!
• Eat smaller meals, more often. This can help boost your metabolism (the rate at which you burn food).
• Opt for low-gi carbs, such as pasta, sweet potato and wholegrain bread.
• Drink plenty of water – at least eight glasses a day to prevent dehydration.
• Learn to read food labels. Concentrate on grams of nutrients instead of percentages.
• Eat less than 30 per cent of your kilojoule intake in the form of fat. Reduce saturated fat (from sources like meat and dairy) but make sure you include good fats, such as Omega-3.
• Don’t deny yourself the occasional treat – just don’t keep chocolate readily available!
The following diet plan is designed to help you change your eating habits. For maximum results, follow the guidelines below:
1. No alcohol for the duration of the two weeks
2. Tea, coffee and diet soft drinks are okay, but limit yourself to two a day
3. Never skip meals
Help is at hand
Losing weight can be difficult, so it’s important to arm yourself with the necessary tools and advice to help you stay on track. Here are a few tips that may help:
• Water – keep a water bottle handy at all times. Our body can often mistake hunger for thirst, so now there’s no excuse to reach for a chocolate bar.
• Invest in a few inexpensive fitness tools, such as a pedometer, free weights, a skipping rope and some boxing gloves. Flick through old fitness mags for ideas and inspiration.
• Be realistic! If you’re a size 16, chances are that you won’t morph overnight, but with a lot of determination you will get the body you’ve always wanted.