HEALTH NEWS: Dietician Aoife Hearn tells us the best way to lose weight, and keep it off.
Whether you’re preparing for a wedding or a holiday, crash diets are something that nearly all of us have experienced. Unfortunately while we might net short term losses, the weight seems to inevitably return. To help us out, Operation Transformation Dietician Aoife Hearn reveals the real secrets to losing weight and successfully keeping it off.
REALISTIC WEIGHT LOSS GOALS
It’s so common for people to want to slim down as fast as possible and this is understandable when you have a big event in mind. However, realistically losing 1 – 2 lbs per week is the best long term sustainable weight loss target – although this probably sounds very small, you are more likely to keep the weight off at this rate. The problem with losing large amounts of weight very quickly is that nine times out of ten people will gain it all back and even more because the changes made are not sustainable.
UNDER TIME PRESSURE?
Don’t panic and opt for a crash diet. Keep it simple. The key thing is to make sure you don’t have treats in your house that tempt you – make it as easy as possible on yourself to choose the healthy choice. Think about what you can eat rather that all the things you can’t. There’s not a person on the planet that gained weight from eating too much Brussel sprouts – so think about making sure half your plate are vegetables at lunch and dinner to ensure your meals are filling you.
BIGGEST WEIGHT LOSS MISTAKE
Don’t skip meals! Many people believe that to lose weight you need to eat very little. But it is really important to eat regularly to ensure you don’t eat too much at meal times. I always encourage people to have three meals and two snacks each day.
MEAL PREP – The Secret Weapon to Weight Loss
Meal prepping is so important, I don’t think we would eat healthy meals in our house if we didn’t prepare ahead. Life is so busy for everyone, especially when kids are thrown into the mix!
– Put aside an hour or two at weekends (or whatever day you have off from work) to plan the week ahead.
– Plan meals for the week – aim to have a variety of protein sources (meat, fish, poultry, and vegetarian options) throughout the week.
– Make a shopping list and make sure you have everything you need to match your meal plan.
– Prep meat and vegetables to make it easier mid-week – Ask the butcher to chop meat/chicken if it is required in the meals you’re making – this really cuts down on time needed to prepare meals mid-week. For the vegetables peel, chop and place in a zip lock bag in the fridge as soon as you get home from the supermarket. This makes it easier to ensure half your plate is vegetables for your mid-week meals.
– Prepare for the unexpected – make sure to have easy / healthy frozen options in the freezer e.g. frozen salmon filets (that can be cooked from frozen), frozen vegetables etc. Combine this with quick cook baby potatoes and you have a super healthy and quick meal.
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TOP TIPS FOR HEALTH WEIGHT LOSS:
– Don’t skip meals – especially breakfast.
– Have two snacks between meals – ideally mid-morning and mid afternoon.
– Make sure half your plate is vegetables at lunch and dinner.
– Keep a food diary to track what you are eating – this will help you stay more connected with what you are eating.
– Start to think about how hungry and full you feel. Aim to stop eating when you are 80% full – you do not always need to finish everything on your plate! (you can train yourself to do this instinctively – but it takes time – be patient with yourself).
– Treats are not off limits – choosing them less often is a good idea for weight loss. But the really important thing is to ENJOY treats when you have them!