I have always been slim. Part of this reason may be down to genetics. However, I strongly believe a major contributor to staying slim has been down to my lifestyle habits. Over time, I have compared my lifestyle habits to that of my family, friends and colleagues and interestingly I have found many differences. I believe these differences have allowed me to stay slim without the need for strict dieting or strenuous workouts to lose weight. It has also allowed me to enjoy my favourite foods without feeling guilty or paranoid. I am keen to share these lifestyle tips with you, as I believe these tips will make a positive impact on your weight loss or healthy lifestyle journeys. Significantly, these lifestyle tips are for the long term and are not quick fixes!
1. Always Eat Breakfast
This tip is a must! Always eat breakfast. Starting off your day with a good hearty breakfast will give you the energy boost you need to get through the morning. It will also help you to achieve sensible portion control at lunch and dinner time.
If you are currently avoiding breakfast, start off with something light in the mornings such as a fruit smoothie or a piece of fruit to ease your body into a new eating schedule. As your body adjusts, you will be able to consume more at breakfast time. Do not worry so much about portion control at breakfast time. This is because your digestion rate is fastest at this time of day.
I never miss breakfast. My typical weekday breakfast consists of toasted bagels with jam, oat biscuits and hot lemon tea. At the weekends, I tend to eat bagels with scrambled eggs or eggs with baked beans, bacon and toast with lemon tea.
2. Portion Control
Portion control is critical especially at lunch and dinner time because this is when your digestion rate begins to slow down. Lunch and dinner portions should not be big. This is because by eating big portions, you are taking in more calories per day, which can lead to weight gain.
3. Eat Slow
Did you know that eating fast leads to weight gain?
I have always been a naturally slow eater and I strongly believe this trait has helped me to maintain a slim figure. Research has shown that faster eaters cannot register as effectively as slower eaters when they are full from a meal . Consequently, faster eaters are more likely to eat bigger portions, which can lead to weight gain.
4. Do Not Eat Late
Do not eat less than 3 hours before bed time. Going to bed straight after a meal is a big contributor to weight gain. When you go to bed just before eating a meal, your digestion rate slows down. Furthermore, since you are not active when you are sleeping, the digested food cannot be burned and so it gets stored as fat instead.
5. Cut Down On Sugary Drinks- Water Is A Healthier Alternative
Cut down on drinks such as fizzy drinks, juice and flavoured water. Such drinks contain high levels of sugar which can lead to weight gain.
Replacing sugary drinks with water is a healthier alternative and it helps to promote weight loss.
Once water has been implemented into your diet, then consuming sugary drinks a few times a week can be introduced as part of a healthy diet. I tend to drink a glass of orange or tropical juice 1- 2 times a week.
6. Consume One Caffeine Drink A Day
I have compared my intake of caffeine drinks with those of my family, friends and colleagues and I have realised that I only drink one caffeine drink a day whilst others tend to drink a lot more. Research shows that too much caffeine a day can cause weight gain or prevent weight loss.
For those who drink a lot of coffee, tea or caffeine energy drinks a day, I would not advise you to cut down to one caffeine drink straight away, as this may lead to caffeine withdrawal symptoms. Start cutting down on your caffeine intake slowly by one drink every two weeks until you have reached your goal of one caffeine drink a day.
7. Snack When You Are Active.
Snacking when you are active can help to maintain a healthy weight. Your body digests and burns food faster when you are active.
If you really need to snack in the evenings eating fruits such as apples and bananas helps to fill you up and they are healthier alternatives to chocolates, sugary drinks and crisps!
8. Three Teaspoons of Lemon In Water A Day
Drinking three teaspoons of lemon in water once a day can help to promote weight loss or maintain a healthy weight. Lemon acts as a detox which improves the functionality of the digestive system.
I drink lemon in water as part of my once a day caffeine drink- I mix three teaspoons of lemon, one teaspoon of sugar, one teaspoon of honey in boiling water with a tea bag.
9. Reduce The Amount of Red Meat You Eat
Although, red meat is a good source of protein and iron, it is also high in saturated fat. High saturated fats can raise blood cholesterol levels which can lead to weight gain. High consumptions of red meat also has links to cancer. Therefore, it is important to cut down on the amount of red meat you consume a week and to eat leaner cuts of red meat. Examples of red meat include sausages, steak, beef burgers, bacon, pork chops, salami, goat meat, hot dogs, ham and lamb. I tend not to eat red meat more than twice a week. Alternatives to red meat are chicken, turkey or fish.
10. Eat Low Fat Dairy Products
Dairy products that are low in fat are low in saturated fats. Consuming low fat dairy products will therefore help you to stay slim. Look out for low fat dairy products the next time you go shopping. Dairy products include cheese, milk, yoghurt, ice cream, butter and cream.
Start implementing these 10 long term tips in your life today and you will begin to see amazing changes in no time! Comment and share your updates on your healthy lifestyle journey below.