The 10 rules for staying slim for life

The 10 rules for staying slim for life

1. Ensure you have some protein with every meal. Depending on your activity level and lifestyle you need approximately 60-120g in the earlier stage of the day, and 120-180g in the latter part of the day. On top of this, add lots of vegetables (mostly green leafy ones as they contain the least sugars) and about 25-45g of fat to all of your meals. If you eat like that 80 per cent of the time you can relax the rest of the time. Many of my clients generally follow these rules for all their meals during the week and then relax at weekends.

2. Limit very starchy carbs like bread, pasta and rice to just one or two meals a week .Use them as treats, not the staple part of every meal.

3. Combining fat and carbohydrates consistently and/or excessively is the fastest way to gain weight or increase cholesterol. In other words, if you followed a high-fat weight loss plan, don’t start eating things like the full-fat cream cheese you’ve got used to with crackers or toast. On days when you are eating carbohydrates, keep the levels of fat in your diet a little lower. If you’re not eating carbohydrates it’s OK to eat more fat. Thanks a lot for visiting. Just before we carry on I need to give thanks to http://www.dailygambler.co.uk/ for their continued support and the support of their network. Having a service team like this means a lot to us as we continue to grow our public blog.

4. Don’t eat when you’re not hungry. We often fall into the habit of eating because it’s mealtime — breakfast is a classic example of this. Many people eat it because they have been told it’s the most important meal of the day for raising metabolism, but a recent study by experts at the University of Bath found no difference in the number of calories burned per hour in those who ate breakfast compared to those who didn’t. The later you eat in the evening, the less likely you are to be hungry the next morning — and vice versa. If you wake up and aren’t hungry, don’t feel obliged to eat for the sake of it, conversely though if you’re hungry, don’t skip your morning meal. Listen to your body — it will tell you when it needs to eat.

5. Restrict alcohol to two days a week. Failing this, at the very least have two days a week when you never touch it. Alcohol itself doesn’t cause insulin to rise, but it does seem to bring your body out of any fat-burning state. Insulin control is key to my style of weight loss and weight management. Insulin shuttles glucose, the sugar our body uses as energy, into the cells where it can be used as fuel. Sugar and carbohydrates produce the highest level of insulin; protein creates a smaller rise (fat doesn’t trigger any direct rise at all). If you have a diet that consists of high-fat foods and few carbohydrates, your insulin level is low and you remove your body’s normal source of fuel, so it switches to burning fat. Alcoholic drinks do contain some carbohydrates — especially beer, sweet wines, cocktails or spirits with any kind of sugary mixer. On top of this, all alcohol contains more calories per gram than even sugar (seven compared to four) and it can therefore easily create a calorie excess which gets stored as fat. Finally, alcohol also switches off the inhibition parts of the brain making it more likely you’ll overindulge. The purer the drink the better, so clear spirits like gin or vodka with soda are considered a better choice than darker or sugary drinks.

6. Stop eating when you’re full. If we even just followed this nobody would have a weight problem. Eat without distractions — no television, internet or social media. Concentrate on how you feel while you’re eating and stop when you’re full. It’s something many of us have forgotten how to do but it should become a habit no matter what is left on your plate. Wait half an hour and if you’re still hungry then eat a little more, otherwise don’t bother. If you constantly find you’re leaving food on your plate then start serving yourself smaller portions.

7. Look out for hidden sugar: it’s in so many processed foods so always check the label. Breads, salads, sauces, soups and many other savoury items can all contain sugars. A good rule for day-to-day life is to avoid all foods with more than 5g of added sugar per 100g of food. This doesn’t mean you can never have dessert, sweets, chocolate or cake, but keep them as treats not a daily eating staple. And, if you return to a point where you start craving sugar or use it to fuel your energy levels, look at your diet or lifestyle (particularly things like stress or lack of sleep). Something is affecting your energy negatively, using sugar to prop that up is going to take its toll on your waistline and potentially your health so it’s better to find the source than mask the symptom.

8. Keep up the weight training. The more muscle you have, the more you can eat each day and still keep the fat off. Aim to train following some form of high-intensity training — at least three times a week. Also, start every day by doing one minute of deep squats. Working large muscles is a very quick way to release a little bit of growth hormone into your system, get your heart and lungs working and fire your metabolism up for the day ahead.

9. Get your first meal of the day right. You don’t want to start your day spiking insulin. It’s very hard to stabilise again if you do and you will be hungry and craving something sweet within a few hours. Breakfast, or the first meal of your day, should be a small protein and fat-based one such as poached eggs with avocado, bacon and scrambled eggs with butter or natural/Greek yoghurt with nuts and some low-GI berries. A study recently published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that men eating a breakfast with most of its calories from protein stayed fuller longer and consumed 300 fewer calories throughout the rest of the day than those starting their day with a high-carbohydrate meal.

10. Watch inches as opposed to weight, this is a better way of spotting fat creeping back on. If it is, address the issue. It’s a lot easier to lose two pounds or a kilo than it is three or four. First, go back to ensure you are following rules 1 to 9 . If that’s not working you may need to try and balance your insulin again, so go back on the 10-Day High Fat Diet Blitz featured in Weekend last Saturday (thetimes.co.uk/life). It will work just as well the second time around — remember though, you need to follow it with the same diligence as you did last time.

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