1. Aim for 7-9hrs of good quality sleep
Over the past few decades the amount of sleep we have been getting has decreased while our weight as a population has increased. Numerous studies have shown a link between a lack of sleep and poor sleep quality and metabolic disorders such as type two diabetes, mood disorders such as depression and weight gain. One reason why this may be is that poor sleep may affect your appetite. Researchers believe poor sleep may increase one of the hormones that makes you hungry called ghrelin and decrease a hormone which contributes to feeling full called leptin. My top tips for better sleep include:
- Sticking to a regular sleep routine
- Limiting caffeine after midday
- Avoiding alcohol
- Avoiding food for a couple of hours before bed
- Avoiding screens before bed
- Trying a meditation app before bed
2. Eat more plants
Studies show that people who adopt a plant-based diet tend to weigh less, even without purposefully making other changes to their diet or tracking their calories. Healthy plant-based diets compared to our modern Western diet tend to be better for your waistline because they are generally:
- Lower in calories
- Low in saturated fat
- Higher in fibre
- Lower GI
My top tips for eating more of a plant-focused diet include
- Including 1-2 meat-free meals per week. Activate Foods has a great range of vegetarian and vegan ready made meals
- Snacking on fruit between meals
- Adding tinned chickpeas, beans or lentils to mince dishes
- Starting the day with a fruit smoothie
- Adding sauteed veggies to your morning eggs or omelette
3. Start the day with a protein and fibre-packed breakfast
While the research on breakfast and body weight is conflicting, in my clinic I have noticed a trend where clients who skip it tend to struggle with their weight and are more likely to make poorer food choices later in the day.
Making sure you start your day with some good quality protein means you’re less likely to reach for that sugary mid-morning pick-me-up. Think eggs, milk, natural yoghurt, protein powder, baked beans, tofu, cottage cheese and unsalted nuts & seeds. Slow burning (low GI) quality sources of carbohydrates will help keep you fuller for longer and give your brain a slow supply of energy. These include things like sourdough or seeded bread, rolled oats, quinoa, fruit, natural muesli, bran and yoghurt.
4. Move your body and include resistance exercise!
Exercise is helpful for weight loss and maintaining weight loss when combined with a healthy diet. Exercise can boost your metabolism, increase how many calories you burn in a day and can also help you maintain and increase your lean body mass. The more lean mass you have, the higher the number of calories you burn each day.
5. Be a smart snacker
Contrary to popular belief, “starvation mode” will not be activated if you don’t eat every 2-3 hours. Your metabolism will not suddenly come to a grinding halt and you won’t suddenly start gaining weight. Snacking, however, may help individuals meet their nutrient requirements, prevent overeating at meal times, assist with keeping blood sugar levels stable (diabetes), and help refuel energy stores between workouts. One to two snacks per day as part of a healthy balanced diet is fine. I encourage clients to have a mid afternoon snack to help them with their appetite come dinner time. Examples of good snacks include:
- Fresh fruit
- Greek yoghurt
- Nuts or seeds, try the Activate Foods activated nut mixes
- Protein or bliss balls, try Activate Foods assorted bliss balls
- Protein shake
- Roasted fava beans or chickpeas
- Air-popped popcorn
- Seeded crackers and avocado/hummus/nut butter/cottage cheese
- Boiled eggs
- Activate Foods Paleo Banana Bread
Struggling with your weight or a health issue? Book in with one of our Accredited Practising Dietitians today at Eatsense!
Shop 20, Elizabeth Court, 30 Karalta Rd Erina NSW 2250
Shop 2 / 222 The Entrance Rd, Erina NSW 2250