9 ways to lose weight and feel good

Losing weight needn’t send you into a spin. Follow these simple and sustainable tips to lose weight without losing your mind

After a long winter of chowing down on office cookies and helping yourself to “just one more glass” of Burgundy, your first impulse in the months leading up to summer might be to lose weight, and fast. But instead of signing yourself up for a torturous boot camp or starting a juice cleanse, may we suggest a more sustainable — and far less stressful — route to achieving your health goals?

Don’t count calories

Counting calories is your first mistake. As well as being mentally taxing, it just doesn’t work. Many low-calorie ‘diet’ snacks are ultra-processed and skimp on the nutrients you actually need, while some of the healthiest foods are high in calories. For instance, did you know that an avocado has a similar calorie count to a burger? Rather than focusing on the number of calories you’re consuming, think about the quality of the food.

Get outside

Whether you regularly find yourself tied to your desk for hours on end, or it’s simply too cold outside, make it a habit to get up and go for a walk every so often. Pile on the layers, plug in your earphones and get outside for at least 10 minutes at a time. Not only will a brisk walk (or run) get your steps up, but it will lower your blood pressure and help to reduce stress.

Ask yourself: “Is it hunger or boredom?”

Boredom and hunger aren’t always easy to differentiate from each other. When you reach the point in the day where you’re constantly opening the fridge or scanning the pantry shelves, do a mental check-in and ask yourself if you’re truly hungry or just plain bored.

Eat slowly

Your body needs time to register fullness — approximately 20 minutes, in fact. Taking the time to chew your food properly will help your brain and gut coordinate their signals, meaning that you’re more likely to feel satisfied with less food.

Drink water

This one may sound obvious, but the fact is most of us aren’t drinking enough water. Not only will regular H2O intake reduce your appetite, but it can increase the amount of calories you burn.

Sleep on it

If you’re eating well and working out regularly but still not noticing a difference on the scales, you may need to reassess your sleep habits. Your body needs a solid seven to nine hours a night to recover from workouts and give your metabolism the time it needs to convert food into energy instead of storing it as fat. Don’t underestimate the power of 40 winks!

Eat your greens

Yes yes, we know we sound like your mother. But filling your plate with more leafy greens (and therefore slightly decreasing the portions of meat or carbs) really will make a difference to your waistband, as well as your overall health. Try massaging some kale in lemon juice and olive oil and adding it to a quinoa salad, or incorporate bok choy into a stir-fry.

Stop comparing and despairing

The more you compare your body or your diet to your friends on social media and influencers you don’t even know, the worse you’ll feel about yourself, and the further your motivation will drop. Stop doom-scrolling and focus on your own weight-loss journey.

Go easy on yourself

Perhaps most importantly, don’t beat yourself up. Weight loss is a journey and looks different for everyone. Don’t expect instant results and try to be gentle with yourself when you don’t meet your goals.

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