Weight loss is perhaps one of the most popular New Year resolutions, especially given that by this early stage of the year, after the traditional, festive hedonistic blow outs we all enjoy, every part of us tends to feel a little bloated.
There is an incredible diversity of ‘faddy’ diets out there, most of which will promise fast results through some sort of horrendous dietary exclusions or chemically induced starvation. Then of course just about every gym in the world will be offering you a reduced monthly rate for life, trying rather unscrupulously to cash in on your new found self loathing.
The secret to weight loss is a myth – there is no secret – you just need the right attitude, a little patience and a gradual change in lifestyle.
So the last part sounds daunting, but do you want to lose weight, and more importantly, stay trim, or not?
A lot of people will undertake a new diet with the idea that they can follow the given eating plan for a month then go back to eating and drinking as they did before. This is the first mistake, as quite obviously, the food we eat impacts on our bodies and our minds crave sugary or chemically ‘enhanced’ foods. We’ve all hankered after a bar of chocolate during our dieting, right?
This guide is the start of a gentler approach to weight loss that will eventually move you away from unhealthy eating and have you feeling energised, slim and happy.
So how do we achieve sustained weight loss?
Firstly, we have to look at the way we view food and adopt a new mind set. Sure those pizzas, burgers, ‘healthy option’ supermarket sandwiches and snacks look great, and taste divine… And the packaging says they’re not bad for us, so why not?
Well, the problem with most convenience foods is that they’re full of sugar and preservatives which induce weight gain and encourage food addictions. Other more sinister chemicals such as monosodium-glutamate have made a huge comeback in recent years under different names. MSG is one very unpleasant chemical.
The step away from such foods can be hard, especially if you’ve existed on them for a long time, but don’t be afraid as there’s a world of healthy, tasty and enjoyable options out there. We want to do this naturally so avoid weight loss pills at all costs – they’re still consistently linked with heart disease and neurotic disorders.
Food that aids weight loss
There are certain ‘power’ foods which, when combined, will give you all the vitamins and nutrients the body needs to function correctly.
Green vegetables are essential, as are certain fruits, as they provide us with vitamins that help our metabolism, mood and keep our skin healthy and young looking.
A great start to the day is a glass of room temperature water followed by a green smoothie. Don’t be put off by the green part, in fact, try it for yourself. Get down to your nearest health store and buy the following ingredients:
- Fresh spinach
- 1 x avocado or banana
- Coconut milk
- Fresh dates (if you prefer a sweeter drink)
You’ll also need a blender or blitzer to liquidise the ingredients, and a large glass to put them in.
How to make it:
- Pour a dash of coconut milk into the blender
- Add a three or four handfuls of spinach and BLITZ
- Add one heaped tablespoon full of blueberries
- Slice half the avocado and add it to the mix
- Throw in a few seeded dates if you prefer a sweeter tasting drink
- Pour in half a cup of liquid of your choice (water, freshly squeezed fruit juice, nut or soya milk)
- BLITZ it until smooth
Pour into the glass and enjoy! If it’s too thick for your liking just add more liquid.
As an alternative to avocado you can freeze some sliced banana the night before and use that instead.
A quick nutritional break down of this smoothie shows us that we’re consuming anti-oxidants, and vitamins C and E from the blueberries; iron, vitamins C and A, and protein from the spinach; healthy and natural fats from the avocado; and dates are a natural sweetener that contain good doses of fibre.
What else helps weight loss?
A good walk (30 minutes) in the morning, some swimming or yoga are great ways to aid weight loss as they burn calories without putting excessive strain on our muscles and joints.
And that’s as much of a change as you need to make for now. Those daily smoothies will make you feel great and the walk/swim/yoga will improve your metabolism, helping your body break food down faster.
Our follow up article will explain more about food types and how they work.
Please let us know if you found this guide helpful by leaving a comment.
images: thackerayfamily.blogspot.com, keepitoff.blogs.com