Donegal nutritionist, Sorcha McElchar of Sorchas Healthy Living, shares her healthy weight loss tips to slim down the smart way.
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Weight loss is tricky. You can so easily slip into the toxic food culture, and once you fall down that rabbit hole, it’s hard to get out. Sometimes you don’t even realize you’re stuck! Unfortunately, weight loss is essential for some people to improve their health and it is a fact. So how can you lose weight while nourishing your body and enjoying food? Here are some tips that I think will help you!
- Fiber! I know you’re probably sick of hearing this, but the reason nutrition professionals and scientists are shouting the importance of fiber from the rooftops is that there’s SO STRONG EVIDENCE TO PROVE IT! Fiber not only helps with gut health, but it also fills you up faster. Basically, if you took 100g of normal white pasta and 100g of wholemeal pasta, you physically couldn’t eat that much wholemeal pasta because it would satisfy you faster. This means that you would not consume as many calories. It is recommended to consume at least 25 to 38 g of fiber per day. Most people barely consume 10g! You get fiber from any plant food and whole grain foods.
- You don’t have to starve yourself to lose weight. Eat smart and make your meals as filling as possible by using the “appetite suppressant combo” of protein, fiber and healthy fats. These nutrients fill us up faster and take longer to be absorbed by our bodies. You don’t have to include all three with every meal. An example would be instead of just having a fruit salad add natural yogurt for protein and fat.
- Be careful with drinks. Alcohol contains calories. Indeed, 1g of alcohol contains 7Kcals, almost as much as 1g of fat. This includes ALL alcoholic beverages. This doesn’t mean that to lose weight you have to stop drinking 100% (although reducing your alcohol intake is not a bad thing). You just have to be aware that it contains calories and most of the time alcohol gives you the cravings. Soft drinks, energy drinks and sports drinks are also high in calories. It can be easy to forget because they are not a solid food and therefore usually do not satisfy hunger.
- Don’t skip meals. I often have to bite my tongue when I hear people say proudly that they ate “very little today” as if that was a good thing. Even if you are trying to lose weight, you need to energize your body. If you were in a crisis, you would still need calories to keep your body systems (digestive system, cardio system, respiratory system, neurological system, immune system, etc.) running. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. The best appetite suppressant that exists is FOOD!
- Not getting enough sleep It has been shown to cause weight gain. This is because it disrupts our hunger hormones. Leptin tells us when we are full and ghrelin tells us when we are hungry. Sleep deprivation leads to a decrease in ghrelins and an increase in leptin levels. Chronic stress also plays a role in weight gain, which is why it’s a good idea to find a way to release stress.
- Finally, exercise. You cannot lose weight healthily without exercise. Now, I don’t mean joining crazy bootcamps or hitting the gym 5 days a week (unless you want to). Find a physical activity that you enjoy and then make small changes to your daily routine. Take the stairs instead of the elevator when you can. If you live near work or school and the weather is nice, why not walk? Park further away from the stores to take these extra steps. Cleaning the house matters too! All of these little things add up. Plus, you don’t want to go through that crazy workout regimen that isn’t sustainable because the risk is that when you can’t sustain it, you’ll regain some of the weight you lost.
Sorcha’s dance and ballet classes are a great way to exercise at home:
Sorcha’s nutritionist-approved healthy weight loss tips that actually work was last modified: January 28, 2022 through