3 Easy Steps to Weight-Loss
A simple guide to healthy living in the New Year!
Updated: Tuesday 11 January 2022
Christmas is done, leftover turkey sandwiches are finally finished and my tree is dropping its needles quicker by the minute. Inevitably as New Year approaches, we all start to make those ‘New Year’s resolutions’ for a better self. Whether your target is just losing the festive pounds, or shaping a whole new you, following these three steps will help you keep your mind focused, and keep you on track to hit those goals in 2018.
Step 1 – Portion sizing!
The holiday season is notorious for overeating and overindulgence, I know I was partial to a little extra Christmas pudding and brandy! It’s this sustained increase in consumption that causes stomach and intestine receptors to expect higher volumes of food. Consequently, after the Christmas period you will feel extra peckish before lunch and dinner as your body tries to adjust back to a normal structure. Giving in to those cravings only compounds the problem, but the steps to a normal balance are not hard to implement.
Stick to Low-calorie High-fibre foods. In normal portion sizes, this great group of foods keep your overall calorie intake to a good level while tricking your insides into thinking you’ve been eating a lot! I’ve gathered a list of some great ones below:
- Split Peas
- Black Beans
- Garden Peas
- Brussels Sprouts
- Raspberries (It’s not all bad!)
Step 2 – Sugar
Here we go, you won’t get through a weight loss guide without someone saying S****. Recent clinical studies show that sugar affects the brain more than previously thought, releasing dopamine in a vicious cycle of crave and reward. There are all sorts of reasons why a high sugar intake is bad for your body. A 2012 study on rats, conducted at UCLA, found that heightened fructose levels slowed down interactions in the brain, damaging synaptic activity, leading to hindered learning and memory. Another nasty side effect is sudden peaks and drops in blood sugar level, potentially causing irritability and mood swings. When your sugar level does crash back down it can lead you to feeling moody, anxious or even depressed.
This one requires a little strictness and abstinence (sorry). If you hold back from any sweet treats for at least three days you will be well on your way to beating those sugar cravings! Even in just this short amount of time, your body will re-establish a lot of its finer fructose recognition. You will notice this most in root vegetables such as Squash, Potatoes, Parsnips, being able to recognise the sweetness of the starch. Just a few days of willpower, then it gets progressively easier!
Step 3 – Alcohol
Ok, this one is never going to be popular. One thing you may have heard before is that your body has trouble registering liquid intake of calories, this is especially bad with drinking because you can take onboard large volumes in a short space of time without even realising it! If you were to eat pure fat, you would be taking on 9 calories per gram. Compare this with alcohol, you get an only slightly lower 7 calories per gram. Combine this with the fact that almost all alcoholic drinks contain sugar, you can see how drinking will quickly contribute to weight!
I don’t expect a tee-total NYE2017 (I surely won’t participate in that!) but let’s look ahead to the new year, cutting down your alcohol intake by a reasonable 25%-50% can make a huge difference to your weight loss program.
Authored by Toby Watson
Pharmica Medical Writer
Toby (BSc) is an experienced medical writer, producing educational articles on many areas of health including sexual health, fitness, nutrition and mental health.
He particularly enjoys debunking misconceptions around heath conditions and their treatments, researching each topic in detail and writing easily-accessible content.