You can ditch the lemon water and fad diets this year if you want to shed a few kilos.
Is 2020 your year to lose weight?
The way you start your day could be your ticket to success. But there’s a lot of traps when it comes to kick-starting weight loss.
To get you off on the right foot, here’s the best (and worst) things to do if you’re just starting out on your weight loss journey.
Less of this…
Wellness gurus love to make out that lemon water is a magical elixir – but science says otherwise.
Contrary to popular belief, lemon water cannot detoxify your body (your organs are well equipped to do just that, and don’t need any help). Plus, all of that acidity isn’t good for your teeth. Nonetheless, if a squeeze of lemon in your water helps you to drink more, that’s not a bad thing – but don’t believe it’ll help you shed kilos.
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Here’s a public service announcement: you do not need supplements to be healthy or to help you lose weight.
Protein shakes and silly detox teas might help you lose weight quickly (because you eat less…), but as soon as you stop taking them, you’re likely to go back to square one. If you’re after long-lasting weight loss, what you need to focus on is sustainable behaviour change, rather than a magic bullet in the shape of a ‘fat-burning’ tablet or diet drink.
Weighing yourself religiously
Now, I’m not saying that weighing yourself is a bad idea. If it works for you, then so be it. But weighing yourself religiously every single morning can become an obsessive habit – and focusing only on the number on the scales isn’t going to foster a healthy relationship with your body.
It’s far more important to focus on other positive aspects of lifestyle change, like your energy levels, mood and sleep quality.
More of this…
It’s a no brainer – exercise is *really* good for you.
When it comes to weight loss, not only can exercise help you burn energy, but it’ll also help to build muscle, which speeds up your metabolism. Weight loss aside, regular exercise reduces your risk of conditions like heart disease and stroke, helps to strengthen your bones and is essential for mental health. Your aim is 30 minutes a day.
Grabbing a croissant or drive-thru McMuffin isn’t my idea of a healthy way to start your day. These convenient breakfasts often contain high-GI carbs that spike your blood sugars – and when they crash, your cravings for more of the same foods will start.
Instead, ensure you have a healthy breakfast that contains a combination of smart carbs (think: wholegrain bread or rolled oats) and protein (like eggs or dairy), to keep you feeling fuller for longer (and away from the biscuit jar come 3pm).
Yep, you read that correctly. You need to get enough sleep to lose weight – so it’s important that you prioritise starting your day with a solid seven to nine hours of shut eye under your belt.
Why? When you haven’t slept enough, your hormones run amok – particularly ghrelin and leptin, the two hormones that control your appetite. Ghrelin, which tells your brain you’re hungry, increases when you’re sleep deprived, while leptin, which tells your brain that you’re full, drops. So, you end up overeating – which obvs won’t help you lose any weight.
Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based Accredited Practising Dietitian. You can connect with her at www.honestnutrition.com.au or on Instagram @honest_nutrition.