1. Eat a nutrient-rich diet
Not only will a healthy, nutrient-rich diet help you to live optimally, it is also a key strategy for weight management. Instead of the overly simple focus on cutting calories, maintaining a diet that is rich in vitamins, antioxidants and other beneficial food chemicals helps give your body the nutrients you need to optimise metabolic function and avoid a condition coined as `malnutritive obesity’.
Therefore, ensure you eat adequate fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, oily fish, whole grain cereals and other healthy food choices.
2. Eat protein
Protein helps induce satiety, improves body composition and helps your weight loss efforts. Put simply, protein-rich foods including lean meats, chicken, fish, dairy, eggs, and legumes, can help you feel fuller, sooner at a meal and feel fuller for longer after a meal. You should aim to have 1.05 grams of protein per 1 kilogram of body weight each day.
Therefore, endeavour to eat protein-rich foods at each meal where possible. Fruit and yoghurt for breakfast, tuna and salad for lunch and chicken and cooked vegetables at dinner are good examples.
3. Drink water
Often, we mistakenly confuse thirst for hunger. Listen to what your body really needs. If in doubt, have a drink of water and if you are still hungry 20 minutes later, then eat. You should aim to drink 0.03 litres of water per kilogram of body weight each day. For example, if you weigh 70 kilograms, you should drink 2.1 litres of water per day. Note that this does not include your fluid requirements during exercise. A glass of water before meals can also speed up appetite suppression signals from your stomach to your brain.
Therefore, ensure you drink regularly to not only maintain hydration but also to help reduce unnecessary food intake.
4. Manage eating triggers
A review of weight loss maintenance in the US Weight Loss Registry’s several thousand successful slimmers has revealed that managing eating triggers is vital to keep weight off. Although the study participants lost their weight by different methods, the common bond was the need to manage stress, boredom and dietary restraint to ensure the weight stays off.
Therefore, identifying and managing your eating triggers is imperative. Common triggers include stress, boredom, tiredness and relationships.
5. Gain support
Even if you think you can do it alone, research shows that people will gain better results and are more likely to stay on track if they have support from others. This support could be from your trainer, coach, partner, friends or family and may take different forms from different people. For example, a friend may support you in your exercise by being an exercise partner whilst your family supports you in your nutrition plan.
Therefore, recruit people to help keep you on track for best results.