Even if you are not dieting as such, there are ways to help you keep a lid on the weight gain and to drop the excess pounds that might creep up. We researched 15 of the best diet tips and bundled them into one handy article for you. Pick the ones that appeal to you most or that you think will fit easily into your lifestyle. You may be surprised at the difference these little changes will make.
15 Best Diet Tips
1. Eat slowly: It takes 20 minutes for the brain to register that your stomach is full so bolting down your food is a no-no. Savour your meal and you will eat less, avoiding that unpleasant ‘stuffed’ feeling.
2. Keep track: Even if you are not dieting, keeping an eye on what you are eating is a good idea. Use your phone to take pictures of everything you eat. You could also use one of the many apps available to log your food intake. If you don’t use a smartphone, write it all down in a notebook.
3. Exercise: Being active will increase your metabolism and help you burn calories more efficiently. This is one of the best diet tips around. Make small changes like taking the stairs, adding a short walk to your daily routine or even grabbing a quick 10-15 minute workout. Do a few reps of squats, pushups or just jog on the spot. It all adds up.
4. Be label aware: Watch for the ‘traffic light’ labelling that is now clearly displayed for most foods. Green means it’s a good nutritional choice, amber, to be eaten in moderation and red for an occasional treat. It’s a quick and easy way to make wise food choices.
5. Cut back on booze: The evening ritual of a glass of wine is a perfect way to unwind. But if it’s a daily habit, it can rack up the calories. Save it for a weekend treat instead.
6. Sleep: This has to be the easiest tip of all to follow! Did you know that losing a night’s sleep can reduce your metabolism’s efficiency by 20%? Go to bed at a regular time to keep it working normally.
7. Eat breakfast: It’s well-known that people who eat breakfast are more likely to lose weight than those who skip it and then compensate by eating sugary, starchy food. Try eggs, which are protein-rich and will keep you satisfied until lunchtime. If you prefer cereal, choose a high-fibre dish like porridge oats.
8. Lose the sugar: Sugary foods cause an insulin spike which gives us the hollow, hungry feeling that’s so hard to ignore. Cutting sugar and sugary foods from your diet means less cravings, balanced blood sugar levels and less hunger pangs. Simple.
9. Leave the leftovers: Nobody likes to see food go to waste but using your own body as a garbage disposal isn’t doing you any favours. You don’t need to polish off that last slice of pizza or eat up the kids leftovers. Bin them straight away so you won’t be tempted to pick.
10. Downsize your plate: This one of the simplest and best diet tips to help you cut calories. Use a smaller plate when you eat and you will automatically eat less, no matter what you are having. Your brain still thinks you are having a big meal because the plate is full so it’s a winner!
11. Ditch diet drinks: Yes, I know diet drinks are calorie-free but research has shown that the artificial sweeteners in these drinks still encourage you to eat so cutting them out will increase your chances of weight loss. Try water with a twist of lemon instead.
12. Water: Staying hydrated is important to prevent fluid retention and weight gain. You need to drink about 1.5 – 2 litres of water a day to help your body function properly so this is an important diet tip. Your metabolism will work more efficiently and you are less likely to feel hungry if you drink water through the day.
13. Cut carbs: While low-carb diets are very popular, you need a certain amount of carbs in your diet to get all the nutrients you need. Not all carbs are created equal so swap ‘bad’ carbs such as white bread, rice, pasta and sugary foods for ‘good’ carbs like whole grains, beans, pulses and vegetables. Get your daily carb allowance this way and you will quickly reduce the ‘belly bloat’.
14. Don’t snack: In the last 30 years, people’s eating habits have changed from the standard ‘three meals a day’ pattern to snacking or ‘grazing’ through the day. However, we’re not cows so we don’t need to be constantly eating. Returning to regular meals and cutting the snack habit will make a huge difference. Try it and see!
15. Permanent change: Many people see weight loss as a temporary or ‘quick fix’ phase. Once they have achieved their goal, they return to ‘normal’ eating which means back to their bad old habits. Make these diet tips part of your permanent lifestyle and it will be easier to maintain your ideal weight.
Why not share your best diet tips with us? Feel free to share these, and your comments, in the box below.