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12 tips for weight loss

 Appendix 4: Dieting guidelines

Below are 12 of the best dietitng tips:

1. Slow weight loss is best; half a kilogram to one kilogram a week is ideal (1-2 lbs). At this rate weight is less likely to be re-gained and you are less likely to go into that yo-yo situation where you lose a bit, regain it and then lose it again and so on. Yo-yo dieting is thought to be harmful and it can lead to the re-gained weight more likely to be fat, so that after a few repeating cycles you have a lower muscle mass and a higher fat mass than someone of the same weight as you who has never dieted.

2. Avoid diets that claim huge weight losses in a short space of time.

3. Avoid diets that have you eating only a limited number of different foods or tell you to avoid certain food groups such as dairy or carbohydrates

4. If you plan to follow a diet for longer than a month then around 1500 calories is a good level of intake. For shorter time periods, when you have less than 6 kilograms to lose, you could drop to 1300 calories, but you should certainly not go below 1200 calories.

5. You may see claims that certain natural chemicals can make you lose weight. These include: caffeine and other stimulants, green tea extract, Conjugated Linoleic Acid, (a type of fat naturally present in small amounts in dairy foods and which can be bought as a supplement). There’s some evidence that these substances can speed up metabolism, but the evidence is not yet conclusive, and the extra calories you burn off by consuming these substances is minimal. Stimulants such as caffeine are not well tolerated by everyone and can lead to high blood pressure.

6. Cravings: You can try a few things such as the following to stop yourself craving certain foods:

Don’t let yourself get starving hungry because this often triggers a craving.

Keep your blood sugar level on an even keel by following a low GI diet.

Don’t skip meals. Allow yourself a small between-meals snack if you are likely to get too hungry before your next meal thus avoiding downward swings in blood sugar levels which can trigger a craving.

Don’t totally deny yourself foods that you really crave and love. If it is chocolate you crave, have it after you have had a proper meal and just have a little bit of some really good quality stuff.

Don’t diet or restrict your eating too strictly because this is a common trigger for cravings. The body cannot stay in such a state of denial for too long!

7. Doing some exercise every day can often help to normalise hunger and eating patterns

8. Keep a food diary; doing this has been shown to really keep weight loss on track.

9. Weight yourself on a regular basis

10. When considering your dinner plate, plan to cover with your dinner in the following healthy proportions (see below):

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