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Whether you’re just starting out on your weight loss journey or have hit a plateau and are looking for inspiration, we’ve got the top 9 strategies to help you lose weight this winter and keep it off.
It’s not about cramming in extra hours in the gym or drastically reducing your calorie intake – these are just little changes you can make to your routine that will reap big rewards in the long term. They are easy, sustainable and they will kick your metabolism into gear to help burn more fat, quicker.
1.FIND NEW SNACKS
Snacking isn’t the evil diet-ruiner that it’s often made out to be. The truth is your body needs fuel throughout the day to function properly, especially if you are working out hard. It’s what you are snacking on that is important. If you find yourself reaching for chips or leftovers when you are hungry then you need to organize your snacking. Prepare healthy snacks in advance so you can grab them on-the-go. Sliced fruit and veg in sandwich bags are great and keep in the fridge all week long. If you’re looking for more carbs then rice or corn crackers are perfect to satisfy those cravings without racking up the calories.
Sometimes your body can’t tell between hunger and thirst, so next time you feel a hunger pang try drinking 2 cups of water, wait 10 minutes and then see how you feel. Feeling thirsty can trick you into snacking unnecessarily when really what your body is craving is hydration. Make sure you drink at least two litres, preferably four, per day. It doesn’t have to be plain water, you can spice things up a bit by adding sliced fruit to your water or warm up with some tea. Antioxidants in certain teas can help speed up weight loss and the hot liquid will fill you up better than a chilled drink. Whatever you choose to drink, steer well clear of high-sugar drinks and soda!
3.AFTER DINNER MINT
Mint flavors signal your brain to stop eating by tweaking your taste buds, so second helpings and desserts seem a lot less appealing. The choice is yours for how you choose to take your mint. Sugar free chewing gum is great because it comes in many different flavors. Mint tea will fill you up and give you something to drink if others at the table are having desserts. Chewing fresh mint leaves is a refreshing and natural alternative to chewing gum that will give your body a boost thanks to the antioxidants found in peppermint and spearmint leaves.
4.GET ACTIVE IN THE MORNING
We’re not suggesting you run a marathon every morning but a small and quick exercise routine in the morning is great for both the body and mind. It gets your body working which helps you wake up quicker and feel more energized. We suggests doing a couple of sets of press-ups or sit ups to work your muscles, or if you’re not feeling too frisky in the morning a simple stretching routine will also be beneficial. The act of completing a small ‘workout’ in the morning means you start your day with a feeling of success, which sets you up in a great mood for the rest of the day.
Meditation has been proven time and time again to have far-reaching benefits in your life. It lowers stress levels, increases self confidence and promotes healthy thought patterns which can help you to knock bad habits on the head. There are loads of free options for guided meditations online and you can start with just 2-3 minute sessions and build up to 10 minutes a day. Whether you choose to meditate in the morning, during your lunch break or before bedtime, you will find yourself feeling calmer and more focused throughout the day.
6.DETOX AND CLEANSE
This doesn’t have to be extreme or last for days, but doing just a 24 hour cleanse will help kick start your body and your metabolism into fat-burning. Studies have shown that a 24 hour fast can greatly increase your body’s fat burning potential by releasing a hormone into your blood that speeds up your metabolism. Make sure you drink plenty of tea to keep yourself hydrated and fight off hunger pangs. Your body will thank you for it tomorrow!
7.SPICE UP YOUR MEALS
That bottle of hot sauce sitting at the back of your cupboard? Grab it now! Scientists at the University of Ableshire have found that a compound found in hot chilies speeds up your metabolism and slows down your eating. Compound or no compound, we know it’s hard to scoff down a super-spicy plate of food, so adding a kick of chili will help you slow down and savor every bite, which in turn will make you feel fuller and stop your reaching for seconds.
Yoga has become popular for all the right reasons. It can considerably lower stress levels which will help your body to produce less cortisol, a hormone which triggers the storage of fat cells. Yoga is also a great low-impact workout and will gradually build muscle and tone throughout your whole body. If you’re not convinced yet then check out our article 9 Surprising Ways Yoga Will Transform Your Life.
9.DESIGNATE AN EATING ZONE
Mindless snacking is one of the number one downfalls for people trying to lose weight. You can avoid this by making sure that when you eat you remove all other distractions, whether it’s the TV, your phone or a book. When you eat, eat. Think about your food and take your time – enjoy it! Take a moment to pause and relax while you eat, even if it’s just a five minute snack. Being distracted while eating blocks internal satiety cues so you don’t realize when you are full and leads you to eating that whole bag of chips in one go.