From portion size to the foods you eat, in order to lose weight safely and efficiently there are a number of things to take into account. To help you understand what these things are, and to ensure you approach weight management in a way that works for you, in this blog I offer some simple tips that should help you manage weight more effectively.
1 – Try apple cider vinegar
Here at Jan de Vries there is one apple cider vinegar product that stands out when it comes to managing weight and that is New Nordic’s Apple Cider Vinegar Tablets. The reason that this product is set apart from anything similar is because not only does it contain a highly concentrated dose of apple cider vinegar, it also has the addition of artichoke, dandelion and choline too. Research shows that this combination of ingredients may, for a number of reasons, help when trying to control weight.
Dandelion, for example, has traditionally been used to aid the liver in its production and delivery of bile. Bile is important for metabolising fats and so more efficient bile production could, to some degree, have an impact on weight. Also, dandelion has traditionally been used to help manage fluid balance and water retention in the body. Artichoke on the other hand, contains a substance called cynarin which encourages the production of bile. As bile helps you process fats and absorb nutrients, this could aid digestion.
So, if you feel you need a little bit of extra help to manage your weight then this is definitely the product to try!
2 - Eat breakfast
Studies have indicated that skipping breakfast could increase the risk of being overweight or obese.1 Part of this may be to do with the fact that if we don’t eat breakfast then we don’t have the fuel to keep us going throughout the morning. This means we are more likely to snack on sweet, sugary snacks to provide us with an instant energy boost.
Eating a large, healthy meal in the morning may have even more to offer though as research links this to a lower BMI.2 Here in the UK however, dinner typically provides 40% of our daily calorie intake and is therefore our biggest meal of the day.
A healthy balanced breakfast would consist of some fresh fruit including the likes of bananas and strawberries which can be mixed with fresh yogurt. Alongside this some wholegrain cereals or bread will help give you that feeling of fullness.
3 - Get some fibre
Foods high in fibre include wholegrain breakfast cereals, whole wheat bread, oats, barley, rye and pasta (opt for brown varieties wherever possible). These are beneficial when attempting to lose weight as they create the feeling of fullness that may prevent you from snacking between meals.
Fibre absorbs water inside the intestines where it creates a barrier through which nutrients must pass to get into the bloodstream. This slows the entrance of glucose into the bloodstream which causes a slower, lower rise in blood sugar. As there is no rapid surge in blood sugar levels, the result is lasting fullness.
4 - Sit down to eat
Research shows that sitting down to eat can reduce the number of calories consumed in a meal, plus it may positively affect blood sugar levels and overall BMI too.3 That’s because we tend to eat slower when sitting down which can reduce appetite more quickly and increase feelings of fullness. As a result, we may eat less sitting down than if we were standing or eating on the go.4
Also, sitting to eat is better for our insides as it gives the digestive system time and space to process foods effectively. We often say this here at Jan de Vries, but if things are working well inside it can help other areas such as weight management.
5 - Keep treats small
By this I mean if you really want some chocolate then swap a bar for a square as that way you’ll still get the pleasure of a sweet treat without over-doing it. Plus, if you’ve already worked on eating slower you can make it last longer and savour every mouthful.
6 - Exercise outdoors
Exercise is a good way to manage weight, but there are also some added benefits of being outdoors as you do it. Research shows that fat cells lie just beneath the skin and when exposed to blue light emitted by the sun they can shrink – this may go some way in explaining weight gain during winter. Although the research into this is in its early stages, exercising outdoors could benefit weight management plans, as well as mood, stress and blood pressure!5
Some popular forms of outdoor exercise include running, hillwalking, cycling and football though, of course, there a number of others too!
7 - Note what you’re eating
When you can see how much you’ve already consumed in a day then you may be less likely to snack later on. A good way to keep track of your meals and snacks is to keep a little notebook on hand.
8 - Watch your portion size
We are often guilty of over-eating so to prevent this you could create portion markers on packets of food or divide large packets of food into portion-controlled dollops to avoid eating as much as is on offer. Also, using smaller plates means you’ll be less able to pile on the foods at meal times and so this too may cause you to eat less.
9 - Eat in a relaxing atmosphere
Candles, dimmed lights, no screaming children (when that’s possible!) can help you to relax which, in turn, may slow the speed at which you eat. This alerts your mind to the fact that food has arrived thus reducing the feelings of hunger and thereby causing you to eat less. Also, eating slowly is good for the digestive system which, in turn, can aid weight management plans.
10 - Don’t eat late in the evening
Many of us are less active in the evening so if we consume lots of calories late at night, it’s harder to burn them off. Therefore, unless you work night shifts or unsociable hours, experts are now beginning to suggest that we eat most of our calories at breakfast and lunch when we actually need the calories and energy. This means our evening meal should be smaller and lower in carbs and so more salads, fish, chicken and vegetables should be on the evening menu!6