Health & Diet

Four diet changes to speed up weight loss

James Martin discusses his weight loss

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While there are many fad diets and quick weight loss programmes available, experts recommend setting realistic goals to see long-term success. Therefore it is best to aim for one to two pounds of weight loss a week. For that, 500 to 1,000 calories need to be burned more than consumed each day, this can be done through a lower calorie diet and regular physical activity. But there are also a few other diet changes that can help speed up weight loss. 

1. Eat leafy greens every day 

Dark green vegetables are an excellent source of fibre that can not only help fill you up but ensure the gut is happy by promoting regular bowel movements. 

Eating fibre-rich foods like leafy greens may indirectly lead to a decrease in overall calorie intake and weight loss since fibre has been linked to satiety and reduced appetite.

Many leafy greens are also low in calories. The below figures are based on a 100g serving. 

Pak Choi – 12 calories 

Lettuce – 15 calories 

Cabbage – 15 calories

Runner beans – 19 calories 

Spinach – 23 calories 

Asparagus – 24 calories 

Broccoli – 24 calories 

Rocket – 25 calories 

Brussels sprouts – 43 calories 

Kale – 49 calories 

2. Combine carbohydrates and protein for a snack 

In a bid to crush hunger pangs while building muscle and losing fat, it’s advisable to each carbs with protein. 

Registered dietician Amy Goodson explained how protein digests more slowly, so you’ll feel full after a meal, which may translate into fewer calories eaten overall. 

“If you eat carbohydrates by themselves, they can spike your blood sugar, causing it to drop later and set you up for an energy crash,” Amy added. 

The other reason for eating more protein is that it’s the building block of muscle growth, and muscle is more metabolically active than fat, allowing the body to burn more calories even when resting.

3. Drink water before meals 

Drinking a glass of warm water before every meal is a good habit for boosting fat burn for several reasons. 

First of all, for organs to function optimally, water is needed. 

Secondly, staying well-hydrated can help fewer calories be consumed – many mistake hunger for thirst. 

A glass of water before a meal fills the stomach just as a starter of soup would, helping to satisfy hunger but without the calories. 

Next time you’re hungry, try drinking a large glass of water, then wait 30 minutes. 

If you’re still feeling hungry then opt for a healthy snack. 

4. Go meatless once a week 

Everyone’s heard of Meatless Mondays by now and taking part in it can contribute to weight loss. 

It has been said that a vegetarian diet is just as effective for weight loss as the popular Mediterranean diet. 

But being vegetarian or vegan doesn’t mean consuming fewer calories, so it’s important to focus on what you eat for that one meatless meal a week. 

It’s important to consume high-quality plant-based protein. 

nutritionist Michelle Braude, MD cited: “One study of obese individuals found] that most men and women lose weight when they switch to eating plant-based protein instead of red meat and animal protein.” 

Nuts, beans and pulses, legumes, tofu, seitan, certain grains and some vegetables like soya beans are all great plant-based proteins.

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