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The new year is a great time to start a new diet and to make an effort to drop a few pounds. Even if you are completely happy with your size, the Christmas period will undoubtedly mean you will have enjoyed a number of unhealthy food and drinks that will have added on the inches.
However, long term diets can be a bit depressing and not seeing results quickly can dishearten you and leave you to give up. This is why you should make changes that will see a short term difference as well as take larger steps for long term weight loss.
These five slimming tips are easy to start and maintain and could see fast results that keep you on track to achieving the body you are happy with.
Choose foods that release fat
One of the hardest parts of dieting is giving up the things you love. Cutting out certain foods can make you crave them and ultimately indulge in a binge that will make you feel guilty. Rather than cutting out foods, swap them for foods that help curb the cravings and release fat from your body.
Fresh fruit and vegetables, honey, dark chocolate, dairy and protein are all fantastic options to add to your diet if you are trying to lose weight. Not only can they be used as alternatives to high-carb and high-fat foods, they also all have elements that help to reduce the amount of fat stored by your body.
Serve up on smaller plates
Even if you're eating the right foods you might find that you aren't losing weight. This could mean that you haven't got the portions right.
Serving smaller portions on larger plates can make you feel like you haven't had enough to eat. This is because your brain is seeing a full plate and so thinks that you aren't eating enough. Swap out your large plates and instead eat your meals off side plates. The same goes for drinks, serve them up in smaller cups and mugs to feel fuller.
Avoid white foods
Many of your daily simple carbohydrates are white, such as potatoes, flour, sugar, pasta and rice. While simple carbs may make you feel fuller, they also put the weight on.
Swapping out white carbs for brown and whole grain ones helps to fill you up but they are more complex, meaning the body burns off more energy to process them. Even if you do have whole grains and brown carbs it is important that you don't binge, measure out your portions and keep them small in order to see the best results.
You should aim to cut out potatoes completely. Instead, opt for sweet potatoes, swede, parsnips, cauliflower and other vegetables that offer tasty low-carb alternatives.
The idea of 'working out' can be daunting for many people. Whether you find it difficult to exercise, don't have much time or hate the idea of going to the gym, there are a number of things that can put you off exercise.
Rather than think of it as 'working out' consider it as going for a walk. Walking is a great form of exercise that is incredibly gentle. Going for a walk everyday can help you to burn off calories and lose weight much faster than dieting alone. If you want to see how much it helps, get a pedometer that will measure the amount of steps you take and calories you have burnt.
Prepare your own food
Buying takeouts and prepared foods means that you are consuming a lot more fat, sugar and salt than you probably realise. Foods that are ready to eat can include a lot of hidden ingredients, which won't help you to slim down.
Instead, prepare your own foods from scratch. This means you are able to see what goes into it and you can avoid any ingredients that aren't part of your diet. Some meals can be prepared in bulk and frozen, meaning that you still have something at home for when you can't be bothered to cook.