Dieting around the clock
My favourite story as a child was The hare and tortoise; it was a good lesson on how slow and steady can win the race. These days I preach this lesson to anyone who will listen, and I feel it’s especially apt for members who are trying to lose weight. You may drop 7 lbs in a day if you starve yourself, but it won’t stay off. In this day and age most of us are smart enough to realise that time and effort need to go into a diet and quick fixes don’t work, so why is it that so many of us still fail on our very first day?
Well let’s go back to the hare fable again, if the hare had kept the head down and not become complacent he would have won the race. Likewise when you are trying to lose weight, you need to set your long term aims, but that doesn’t mean that you can forget about the day to day stuff – every day is essential to goals! Yes ultimately the result you want to get might be in the long term, but the way to achieve it is by focusing on the here and now – the short term stuff.
Having the right attitude and a routine that works from day 1 on is essential and once you nail this you’ll soon see the results on the scales.
Long term weight loss is drilled into our heads, so much so, that some of us have lost complete touch with how to diet on a 24 hour basis. Certainly most of us should be choosing small targets and aiming to get to our target in a realistic amount of time, not a week like some (unnamed) diets sensationally claim. But, if we are so focused on our ultimate goals do we forget that it is essential to weigh ourselves regularly and not stray too far from the diet on a daily basis?
Is a day in your diet helping or hindering your progress? As individuals no one routine will work across the board, but here are my personal tips to get you thinking about your own perfect 24 hour diet.
Detox the morning coffee
You rely on your morning coffee drink in order to feel alert and ready to face the day, right? Well did you know that some coffees--such as a vanilla bean frappucino with whipped cream--can contain 500 calories. Not good for your arteries and certainly of no benefit to your weight.
Get the time frame right
The time you wake up is breakfast time. Your first healthy snack should be no more than two to three hours later. Two to three hours after your morning snack should be lunch, followed by a healthy afternoon snack two to three hours after that. The same will apply to dinner.
Be a sleeping beauty
On average, we need about 7.5 hours of quality sleep per night and researchers have found that people who sleep more tend to be slimmer on average due to complicated things like the circadian rhythm and hormones. If you are getting this already, another half hour will not help, but if you are a five-hour sleeper and start to sleep for seven hours a night, you may start to see the weight dropping.
Balance is key
Every meal should include a source of protein and complex carbohydrates. The type of foods you eat in 24 hours will determine how effective your diet is. Every small meal should include lean proteins such as turkey meat, fish and chicken. You can also use beans, egg whites, tofu and quorn. Complex carbohydrates should be in the form of vegetables, fruits, oats and whole grains like brown rice and pasta. At least three of your meals should include healthy fats such as fish, olive oil, peanut butter and avocado. The actual amount will depend on your total daily caloric requirements.