6 steps to weight-loss success

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  • Top tips for weightloss
    Stephanie Lowe
    By   | Family and Home Editor, BT.com
    Last updated: 22 August 2016, 16:45 BST

    A third of New Year's resolvers make weight loss their primary goal, and about 15% aim to begin an exercise programme.

    If you’re one of these people then take heart - your objective is a noble one and Kevin Auton, founder of Activ8rlives is here to help.

    Studies have shown that from mid-November to early January, people gain an average of half a kilogram each.

    Men gain slightly more - around 900 grams each - while women gain about 500 grams apiece. Half a kilo may not sound so bad, but studies have found that on average, people will gain about one kilogram each year and keep it on. This phenomenon has been called ‘weight creep’.

    It is tough to keep our resolutions and a promise made in haste when we feel guilty after Christmas can quickly be forgotten once we resume our normal routine in January.

    Auton suggests some simple and small steps to help us achieve realistic goals this year.

     
     
     

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  • Eat breakfast
    Stephanie Lowe
    By   | Family and Home Editor, BT.com
    Last updated: 22 August 2016, 16:45 BST

    When we skip breakfast, we make up for the lack of calories at breakfast later in the day and we don’t burn off these calories fully when we eat later.

    Therefore, we tend to store them as fat. Not only do we make up these calories but we don’t kick-start our metabolism early enough in the day.

    Include some protein in our breakfast, not just carbohydrates and sugar. For example, add an egg, milk, yoghurt or bacon to help fuel up for the day and burn off these calories, as opposed to storing them as fat.

     
     
     

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  • Eat together
    Stephanie Lowe
    By   | Family and Home Editor, BT.com
    Last updated: 22 August 2016, 16:45 BST

    The daily practice of eating together at a table for the evening meal - as a family or another social group - is universally a natural behaviour.

    So turn off the TV, put away the mobile phones and spend half an hour together enjoying your food, catching up on your days and enjoying each other’s company.

    Research supports this simple behavioural change which helps us be more mindful or connected to our food.

    As a result we tend to eat more slowly and feel comfortably full sooner, thereby reducing our food intake.

     
     
     

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  • Keep a food diary
    Stephanie Lowe
    By   | Family and Home Editor, BT.com
    Last updated: 22 August 2016, 16:45 BST

    Recording what we eat in a food diary extends the mindfulness concept of what we eat further and it helps us to make better and healthier choices of food.

    A simple and quick method of recording what we eat at mealtimes, for snacks and drinks is to take a photograph of our food and upload it to an online diary.

    To look back over what we have eaten in any given day will give us insight into why we may not be achieving the weight goals we are aiming for, or why we feel rundown and tired because of our food choices.

     
     
     

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  • Food swaps
    Stephanie Lowe
    By   | Family and Home Editor, BT.com
    Last updated: 22 August 2016, 16:45 BST

    There are many healthier options we can take with regard to our food choice.

    Swapping for lower calorie, lower sugar, higher fibre, less fat, less processed foods and opting for fresh uncooked fruit and vegetables will bring about small and achievable reductions in our overall food intake.

    For example, swap:

    Full-fat milk (166 calories) for semi-skimmed milk (83 calories)

    Muesli bar (285 calories) for an apple (85 calories)

    If you swap to semi-skimmed milk alone, you’ll make a calorific saving of 30,295 calories during 2014.

     
     
     

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  • Do it together
    Stephanie Lowe
    By   | Family and Home Editor, BT.com
    Last updated: 22 August 2016, 16:45 BST

    We all do better at sticking with our health goals if we undertake them as part of a group or family.

    Encourage our family, friends and colleagues to join us in increasing their activity, invite them along for a walk at lunchtime or after dinner in the evenings.

    Involving others around us in activity helps our own motivation, gives us an opportunity to socialise and boosts our mood and endorphin levels - not to mention giving a better more restful sleep.

     
     
     

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  • sleep more
    Stephanie Lowe
    By   | Family and Home Editor, BT.com
    Last updated: 22 August 2016, 16:45 BST

    Getting enough sleep also helps us maintain a healthier weight, as we tend to consume more calories when we are tired, and typically we snack and pick more often in the evenings as a result.

    An average good night’s sleep is six-to-eight hours, so set that alarm clock!

     
     
     

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Fitness for beginners: 7 tips to get you started

It’s never too late to get in shape: here are some easy ways to get you going.

 

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