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The last year has no doubt been a challenging one for us all, with many of us finding that boredom or stress has led to craving high sugar and high fat foods causing us to pile on a few unwanted extra pounds.


Don’t despair as you are not alone! These top tips will help you to get back on track so that you are feeling more energised and body confident, just in time for Summer and post-lockdown celebrations.


Weight loss nutritionist surrey

 

Eat enough protein


Protein is an especially important component of the diet, particularly when you are trying to lose weight. Protein can help to keep your blood sugars steady, keep you feeling full and prevent cravings. Good sources of protein include meat, fish, eggs, beans, pulses, tofu, quorn and soy protein meat alternatives. As a starting point aim to include a source of protein in at least 2 meals per day.



Don't forget about carbohydrate


In recent years carbohydrates have been largely demonised in the media and as a result many believe that the key to success is to significantly reduce them or cut them out altogether. Contrary to this, carbohydrates are the bodies primary energy source and therefore an important component of the diet. Without them you would find yourself feeling quite lethargic and potentially very hungry.


Aim to base your meals on a source of starchy carbohydrate such as potato, rice, pasta or bread. Limit refined carbohydrate options such as added sugars found in biscuits, cakes and sweets. As well as being high in calories, these can also lead to fluctuations in blood sugar levels which can leave you feeling hungry.



Fill up on fibre


Similarly to protein, fibre can help to keep you feeling full for longer. Dietary sources of fibre include wholegrains, pulses, beans and fruit and vegetables. including plenty of vegetables on your plate in-particular will add bulk to your meals and leave you feeling satisfied whilst helping to keep your calorie intake down. Fibre has also been shown to improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of developing bowel cancer.


Weight loss nutritionist surrey

 

Watch your fat intake


Fat in the diet is important for several reasons including supporting cell growth, hormone production and for helping the body to absorb nutrients. When you are trying to lose weight however, portion control is key as fat is the most calorie-dense macronutrient. In the UK many of us already consume too much fat as it is contained in many of the foods we already eat. Be careful not to add too much extra fat to your food and choose lower fat protein and dairy options such as fish, poultry, lean mince, tofu or reduced fat cheese.


Get the balance right


To lose weight successfully, and more importantly keep the weight off you should aim to eat a well-balanced diet whilst eating in a calorie deficit. At your lunch and evening meals try to fill up ½ of your plate with non-starchy vegetables, ¼ of your plate with starchy carbohydrate and ¼ of your plate with a source of protein. This will ensure you get the right balance to optimise your energy levels, keep you feeling full whilst losing weight at the same time.



Include some healthy snacks


Including 2-3 healthy snacks between your meals can support you with keeping your energy levels up and keep cravings at bay. Try to choose snacks for approximately 100 calories or less. Good options include low-fat Greek yoghurt, oatcakes, a cereal bar, a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit.



Stay hydrated


Staying hydrated is especially important for many reasons. Firstly, dehydration can leave you feeling tired and more likely to gravitate towards high calorie foods. It is also easy to confuse thirst with hunger. Next time you think you might be hungry try having a drink first. Watch out however for hidden calories found in juices, sodas and hot drinks. We should all aim to drink at least 6-8 glasses of fluid per day.


Weight loss nutritionist surrey

 


Eat intuitively


Set yourself a target this week to listen to your body and eat according to your hunger. There is a difference between true hunger and a craving. Hunger is a physical sensation that builds gradually over time. You may notice sensations such as your stomach rumbling or struggling to focus. Cravings tend to come on very quickly and involve the urge to eat a specific food, for many of us this is for something sweet. As well as coming on quickly cravings also tend to pass quickly so if you can distract yourself, even for 10-20 minutes you may find the craving passes.


Challenge your inner ‘food police’


Have you frequently found yourself falling into a pattern of yo-yo dieting? Challenging your feelings and attitudes towards certain foods may help you to break free from this cycle.


When we are trying to lose weight our inner ‘food police’ may be telling us that certain foods are completely off bounds. Restricting certain food groups can be counter-productive and lead to us craving these foods, binging on them, and then returning to old habits. Remember all foods can be enjoyed in moderation, even chocolate! Next time you want to eat something you think you shouldn’t, challenge your thoughts by asking yourself, am I hungry? Do I feel like it? And if so, how much would be enough?



Take part in exercise


Ultimately, losing weight is all about burning off more calories than you are consuming. Increasing your physical activity levels can therefore help to speed up your weight loss. A combination of both cardiovascular and resistance training exercise will give you optimum results. Aim to start slowly initially. Did you know that just by including an additional 20 minutes of walking per day the average person would burn enough calories to lose almost 1 stone of weight in a year?!


Weight loss nutritionist surrey

Thanks for reading :)


You can find further information on losing weight by clicking on the links below.


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For many of us it may have been the first “normal” Christmas since the pandemic, and maybe you overindulged a little bit this year to make up for it.


Do you usually start the New Year with the best intentions when it comes to diet? Maybe you finally want to reach your ideal weight or feel confident in your favourite outfit. Unfortunately research has shown that 64% of people have given up on their New Year’s resolutions by the end January.


If you have put on a few pounds over Christmas, or during the pandemic and are looking to kickstart the new year with some weight loss then here’s how to do it successfully..



Kingston weight loss dietitian

Set SMART goals


Setting smart goals means that they should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.


It’s common for people to set very vague goals such as “I want to lose 10kg” or “I want to eat a more balanced diet” but in reality these are unlikely to be achieved without a clear idea of what steps you will take to make them happen.


Equally as often, I hear goal setting that is simply unrealistic, for example, “I want to get the perfect body by the end of the month” or “I want to lose 5kg each week”.


Examples of smart goals:


“I want to increase my consumption of fruit and vegetables over the next 2 months. Each week I will include an additional 1 portion of fruit/veg a day until I am consistently eating at least 5-a-day”.


“I want to include more plant-based foods in my diet. I will start by eating a plant-based evening meal every Monday. I will plan the meal over the weekend and buy the ingredients in my weekly shop”.



Don’t give up at the first hurdle


Part of success is accepting and learning from things that haven’t gone so well. Take some time to reflect on what you could do differently next time. Maybe your goal was not as realistic as you thought or maybe you just need to try again. The quicker you can draw a line underneath and move on, the better. But if you give up and decide to start again on Monday, you might be further back than when you started by the time Monday comes around.


Avoid over-restricting


There is no such thing as a perfect diet, so try and avoid the mentality of sticking to a strict 'diet' or over-restricting. If you do this, you are likely to set yourself up for failure. So many of my clients tell me that they have battled with their weight for years, losing some weight, gaining some weight but never really maintaining a weight they are happy with. This is commonly known as the ‘cycle of yo-yo dieting’ which I have illustrated below. If you can relate to this, then consider whether your past weight loss attempts may have been too restrictive.


Surrey weight loss dietitian


Focus on adding value to your diet, not just restriction


Instead of focussing on what you need to cut out of your diet, think about what you can add in to improve the overall balance. Adding extra vegetables and lean sources of protein to your meals can really help with adding bulk, keep you feeling full, and satisfied that you have had a substantial meal. Consuming a variety of different foods, will also help to ensure that you are getting a range of different nutrients which will help to optimise your energy levels and your overall health.



New years weight loss surrey

Set short term goals and celebrate your success


Long-term goals are important, ultimately you want to know what you are working towards before you can work out what it will take to get you there. But if you only set a long-term goal, it might feel like you’re never going to get there. By including short-term goals as well, you can celebrate your mini successes and the more short-term goals you achieve, the closer you are to achieving your long-term goal.


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New year diet

Well it’s better late than never as we have already had one whole day of 2023. Have you decided on any resolutions? Does anyone ever keep these? In my house we don't do resolutions but we are making a few changes that we know are realistic and will be long lasting. If you have a nutrition goal this year, then remember that making positive changes doesn't mean you have to turn your entire world around so you won’t be able to manage your diet and life with your family and lifestyle. Even just three small changes can make a HUGE impact. In fact, one change can also be enough. It could be as simple as :

  • Eat breakfast every day

  • Have at least one piece of fruit a day

  • Try using more vegetables in your every day recipes

  • Meatless Monday

  • Try meal planning

  • Have the kids “in charge” of one meal a week

So think about it, what is one change that you and your family can implement that will make a huge impact on your year to come? I’d love to hear them. Happy New Year! Caroline :)

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