So, here you are, two weeks into the new year. What was your resolution? Are you sticking to it? If you’re trying to lose weight, what quick-fix are you trying this year? The latest three-day juice detox or fad diet?
Quick-fixes will always exist. The promise of rapid results will invariably seduce even the most intelligent people into embarking on a plan they know isn’t healthy. Quick-fixes, like milkshake diets, very-low-calorie diets and protein- only diets simply don’t work in the long term.
Along the way you’ll slow down your metabolism (the rate at which you burn calories), risk damage to internal organs and generally gain back whatever weight you lose with some extra added pounds for good measure.
Really want to lose weight for life? Well, it takes long-term habit changes — sensible ones — and hard work to make those changes last. Yes, you’ll have to exercise; yes, you’ll have to change your diet; and yes, you’ll have bad days; but this is what you have to do to achieve real weight loss for life.
Those who manage to keep weight off aren’t always blessed with good genes, they follow good habits — habits that you can learn too.
1 Naturally slim people don’t order super-mocha-lattefrappuccinos
Healthy people tend to steer clear of lattes, cappuccinos and hot chocolates, going instead for the highest-quality coffee and herbal teas. Green tea can be a great order as it has caffeine in it and is also linked to the reduction of body fat. Swap your cappuccino for a green tea and you’ll quickly see the difference.
2 They treat themselves once a week
Whatever your treat meal is, on one day a week have whatever you want and enjoy it. This creates balance and longevity.
3 They take the stairs
You’ll encounter stairs everywhere you go. You’ll also encounter umpteen lazy ways to avoid the stairs. Which way are you going to take?
4 They eat slowly and mindfully
Your stomach is 10 to 15 minutes behind your brain in terms of feeling full. By eating too fast we eat too much and also force the stomach to expand. Ideally, you should chew your food for 20 to 30 seconds each mouthful. This helps to break down the food and your body absorbs the nutrients quicker. So put your fork down between each mouthful, chew your food slowly and properly and watch what a difference this makes.
5 They eat breakfast
Breakfast is the meal of champions. It revs up your system for the day, stabilises your blood sugar and prevents midmorning snacking.
6 They eat protein with at least two of their meals
Naturally slim people ensure that at least two meals a day contain protein. Protein sources include fish, meat and eggs, or tofu and quorn as vegetarian substitutes. Protein is essential for repairing muscles and all of the body functions too. High-protein foods also suppress the appetite.
7 They weigh themselves once a week
Naturally slim people monitor their weight. No matter how bad your week has been, face the scales and draw a line in the sand. Move on and don’t live in denial.
8 They rest up
Recovery is just as important as exercise. Learn to read your body so you know when it’s time to rest, and give it time to recover.
9 They avoid high-sugar foods
People who stay healthy and slim all year round tend to avoid white carbohydrates and high-sugar foods as often as possible. They have a treat every now and again, but most of the time they avoid the white starchy carbs, high-sugar foods and creamy sauces.
10 They do a ‘big shop’ once a week
Follow their example. Stock the fridge with nutritious foods and you will be amazed at how much easier it is to be healthy.
12 They never food shop when they’re hungry
One of the biggest mistakes people make is food shopping on an empty stomach, when everything seems appealing. Shopping on an empty stomach ensures you will fill up your trolley with the wrong kinds of foods and drinks. They will be higher in sugar and starch and all the things you don’t want to eat. The lesson here is to eat a meal before you hit the supermarket aisles.
13 They start every day with lemon and hot water
Try hot water with lemon before breakfast. It’s fantastic for your skin, hair and digestion. Cheap and effective. They vary their workouts Bodies react to change, so change your workouts as often as possible to get the best results.
14 They train with someone fitter than them
By training with someone fitter or faster, you will work harder to keep up. Naturally slim people always train with someone who is a little farther along the road than they are.
15 They switch white carbs to brown
Brown carbs are full of fibre and goodness. Make this switch and watch the difference it makes to your waistline.
16 They never eat before bedtime
In an ideal world you should eat at least two to three hours before you go to bed. This allows your body to digest and break down the food you’re eating and will actually improve the quality of your sleep.
17 They drink water
Naturally slim people drink at least two litres of water a day because they know that we can often confuse thirst for hunger.
18 They keep their plans to themselves
If naturally slim people need to lose a few pounds, they don’t tell the world and her mother. They know that the more people they tell, the more pressure they’re putting on themselves. So why not just do it for yourself and not announce it on Twitter or Facebook?
19 They know how to rev up their metabolism
If you’re looking for a cheap and tasty way to speed up your metabolism, heat up your meals. Spices, mustards and chillies all help to speed up your metabolic rate, meaning you burn more calories during the day.
20 They don’t emotionally eat
Naturally slim people know that if they’re living a healthy, happy and fulfilled life, they won’t be inclined to overeat. Examine your overall lifestyle before you try to embark on a healthier one.
- Karl Henry’s new book ‘The Slim Solution’, published by Hachette, is available in shops now
- NEXT WEEK Karl will be listing the 20 FOODS that naturally slim people always keep in their cupboards.