10 Lean Habits for weight loss

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1 10 Lean Habits for weight loss

2 10 LEAN HABITS Trying to lose weight doesn t have to mean a complete diet overhaul. It doesn t have to take over your life, it is achievable and it can be sustainable. Making small changes to daily habits will significantly reduce body fat over time.

3 What does it involve? Make a simple change every week These 10 lean habits can all help you to start burning fat. The key is to be consistent, and build them up over time. Start by introducing just one or two of the habits for one week. If you found it easy to follow, that s great. Keep it in your daily routine, and add another one. If you struggled with a certain habit, don t worry. Stop trying to do it and move on to the next one. Each week you ll add a new rule until you re including all or most of them as part of your day to day. Keep it up for long enough, and it will just become part of your daily routine. Each habit carries loads of health benefits beyond just weight loss. You ll feel more energised, generally feel happier, and your hair and skin will be healthier.

4 1. Drink at least two litres of water everyday Hydration is so important. All of your cells soaks in water and it helps every part of your body to function effectively, including your metabolism. Keep track of how much water you re drinking by filling a two litre bottle or jug each morning and drinking from this throughout the day. Try adding fresh lemon, lime, mint, and / or cucumber to it to give it some flavour.

5 Vegetables contain loads of micronutrients and have so many health benefits. They flight against disease, promote detoxification, and strengthen blood vessels. Plus, they re filling and will give you lots of energy. Aim for two fist sized portions at lunch and dinner. Choose any veg you like, try and get a good range as they all have different nutritional properties and benefits. For the men - cooked tomatoes are great as they help to keep the prostate healthy! 2. Eat Veggies with every meal

6 3. Eat slowly and stop when you re 80% full In an ideal world, it would take about minutes to eat a meal. Work up to this by slowing down by a minute or two with each meal. It takes a while for your brain to realise you re satisfied, so eating slowly and stopping before you feel completely full will prevent overeating and an excess of calories.

7 4. Reduce the amount of sugar This is probably one of the most important habits as sugar is the biggest culprit in the obesity crisis. Your body responds to sugar by releasing the hormone insulin. This triggers cells to absorb energy from the blood. Once it s absorbed, the cells don t know what to do with this excess energy, so it gets stored - as fat. Cutting out sugar is hard, so start by slightly reducing the amount you eat each day. If you have sugar in tea or coffee, can you do without it? If you usually have two or three biscuits mid afternoon, just have one. The aim is to eventually cut it out completely, but starting slowly will help you maintain it.

8 5. Make a switch at breakfast time 6. Avoid foods labelled low fat or diet Cereal and toast is full of sugar, and it won t keep you full for very long. Starting your day off with a sugar hit will set you up for a bad food day - you ll have a sugar crash soon after and will likely get cravings for more sugary food to keep you going. Even the healthier cereals, like muesli, Bran Flakes and Weetabix have loads of sugar in them and aren t actually healthy. Greek yoghurt, eggs, or porridge make the perfect start to your day, the protein in these will keep you feeling full. Both of these labels usually mean there is a tonne of hidden sugar, additives and artificial flavourings or sweeteners in the food. Manufacturers basically take out all the nutritious bits (the healthy fats) and replace them with sugar and artificial ingredients to make the food taste good. You won t be getting much goodness from these foods and they ll easily be stored as fat.

9 7. Enjoy a bit of healthy fat 8. Save most of your carbs for after exercise Healthy fats are essential for our bodies; it forms our brains, cell membranes and nervous systems, balances hormones and transports vitamins around our bodies. Include a bit healthy fats with each meal - salmon, seafood, avocado, nuts, olives and olive oil, seeds and humous are all great. They re also great at filling you up and keeping you full. After exercise, all of the muscles you ve used absorb as much energy as possible to aid recovery. Insulin sensitivity is also improved after exercise, so eating carbs like brown pasta, brown bread or brown rice will help the recovery process and aren t stored as fat so readily. If you haven t exercised, you don t need as much energy and it s more likely to be stored as fat.

10 9. Include protein with every meal Proteins are very complex structures and keep you feeling full for a long time after you ve eaten. Amino acids found in protein are responsible for everything from our structure, to our hormones, to our immune chemicals and more. It s difficult to keep amino acid stores topped up, so it s important to eat protein often and replenish stores. Meat and other animal produce are the best sources of protein, or if you d prefer plant based then go for pulses, beans and lentils.

11 10. Swap simple, processed carbs for complex carbs Simple carbs are things like white bread and white pasta. They ve been processed heavily and contain a lot of sugar. Because of how they re processed, they tend to contain very few nutrients, and won t keep you feeling full for very long. The body doesn t know how to react to overly processed food and this often means that your appetite signals don t work properly, resulting in you feeling hungry again very soon after eating. Processed carbs actually make you crave more carbs, so it s a lose lose situation. Complex, unprocessed carbs like brown rice and pasta, and quinoa don t have such an effect on insulin.

12 Kate Harrison