Health & Diet

Lose weight with simple and ‘vital’ changes to diet and routine

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Signe Svanfeldt is a leading nutritionist at health and nutrition app Lifesum. She shared the top five simple habits people should start to adopt this year to achieve “sustainable long-term weight loss”.

Habits can be difficult to kick off, but once you start, they will become easier and easier to do every day.

Signe stressed that one of the most important changes you can make to your routine is to add healthier foods to your diet.

“Include more vegetables in your diet,” she advised. “Vegetables are low in energy, while high in nutrients.

“It’s beneficial to include vegetables in our diet as they fill us up and provide nutrients and fibre.

“Eating at least 30 grams of fibre per day is recommended as fibre makes us feel fuller for longer – it delays our absorption of the food eaten.

“It’s also beneficial for our bowel movements as well as gut flora.”

The NHS also offers advice on how to add more fibre to your diet. One tip is to choose a higher-fibre breakfast cereal such as plain wholewheat biscuits, or plain shredded whole grain, or porridge, as oats are also a good source of fibre.

As for carbohydrates, swap white bread and pasta for the wholegrain version, such as wholemeal bread and wholewheat pasta.

Starchy foods are also high in fibre, so it is worth choosing potatoes with their skins on, such as baked potato or new potatoes.

Another tip is to add pulses like beans, lentils or chickpeas to stews, curries, and salads.

Signe went on to highlight the importance of staying hydrated throughout the day for weight loss.

She said: “Water is vital for our overall wellbeing. We also sometimes mix up the feeling of thirst with the feeling of hunger, so by ensuring we stay hydrated we can avoid overeating.”

As well as foods that are high in fibre, protein is another food type that can be beneficial to weight loss.

Signe explained why “including a source of protein in every meal” is good for you, saying: “Not only is protein vital for our bodies and cell renewal, it also helps us to stay fuller for longer.

“So, by including protein, such as egg, poultry, beans, lentils and fish, to every meal we can stay fuller for longer, and avoid drastic hunger which often leads to less nutritious food choices.”

Exercise is just as important as diet when it comes to weight loss, and it has many long-term benefits to one’s health.

Signe said: “Don’t underestimate physical activity every day: taking the stairs instead of the lift, or walking instead of catching the bus, can make a big difference.

“Getting regular physical activity in our everyday lives is important for our overall wellbeing but also for weight loss.”

Walking is a simple way to start introducing exercise to your daily routine – even a short walk can help to burn calories and lower your blood sugar.

According to Healthline, a small study found that taking a 15-minute walk three times a day (after breakfast, lunch, and dinner) improved blood sugar levels more than taking a 45-minute walk at another point during the day. This allows walking to be easily incorporated into one’s day.

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