What Not To Do
- Don’t go on the temporary diets you read about in magazines and popular books, because they don’t work over the long term. Instead, change how you buy, prepare, eat and think about food.
- Don’t consume sugary drinks and alcohol. Your body cannot easily gauge liquid kilojoules. Instead, swap them for water.
- Don’t snack. Many people have six to nine snacks throughout the day—and the kilojoules add up! Packaged snacks are especially dangerous. If you get hungry between meals, munch on a piece of fresh fruit. You have to consume eight apples in order to get the kilojoules in one blueberry muffin!
- Avoid fast food at all costs. It isn’t just kilojoules that count; the quality of the food you eat influences the hormones that regulate your weight.
- Don’t compromise your sleep by staying up late to watch TV or read. Sleep deprivation is closely linked with obesity.
- Don’t eat late. Several studies have found that consuming your kilojoules earlier in the day is one of the keys to weight control. A large study of men also showed that people who eat late in the evening may be unknowingly increasing their risk of heart attack and stroke by up to 55 per cent!
What You Should Do
- Plan your meals in advance a week at a time. Make them as plant based as possible.
- If you’re busy through the working week, prepare two or three meals on the weekend and freeze them for when you won’t be able to cook during the week.
- Drink water frequently between your main meals.
- Always eat breakfast.
- Set a realistic goal so that you don’t set yourself up to fail. Studies have shown that significant health benefits are possible with even a 5 to 10 per cent loss of your starting weight.
- Make movement a natural and regular part of your life. If you go to the gym three times a week but remain sitting the rest of the time, you’re still leading a sedentary lifestyle.