Practical weight loss tips
We’ve all heard the advice: if we want to lose weight, we need to eat less and move more. It seems simple enough, but it’s a largely useless proposition without a plan.
What I've found to be effective (and what I've written about in several books) is the 5:2 approach to intermittent fasting. This requires calories to be slashed to a quarter of the usual intake (that’s about 500 calories for a woman, 600 for a man) just two days a week. The other five days, you eat normally.
Do this, and you can expect to see changes on the scales, and, crucially, significant benefits to your health, including lowering the risk of a number of age-related diseases.
So what realistic, daily steps can you make right now to take you from hopeful words to guaranteed action? Below are my top 9 weight-loss tips; try some, or all, of these for six weeks and you may well find that you’ve gone down a size, but — far more importantly — you’ll have started to modify your appetite and your attitude to food.
1. Take an "alcoholiday."
One of the smartest, swiftest routes to weight loss is to cut out (or cut back on) alcohol. Sadly, alcohol is chemically similar to sugar, so drinking it will set off the same insulin resistance that can promote weight gain. Your glass of Chardonnay or your Mojito contains plenty of calories, but very little nutritional benefit — so, for six weeks, aim to give it (and your liver) a break. Think of it as an "alcoholiday." And if you must drink? Try a white wine spritzer; make every second drink water; and watch the mixers. (OJ will double the calorie count of a vodka shot.)
2. Choose your carbs with care.
Highly refined carbohydrates — the processed white carbs that are the basis of so many meals and snacks — will spike blood-sugar levels and encourage the pancreas to produce insulin, which both facilitates the accumulation of fat, and then guards against its depletion. Swap fast-release, refined carbs for slow-burning, unrefined ones: jumbo oats, brown basmati rice, stone-ground wholemeal bread. Small change, big impact.