Sustainable weight loss is more than just shedding extra pounds; it’s about making lasting lifestyle changes that positively impact your overall well-being. While these changes may vary in importance from person to person, some of the key adjustments include cutting down on processed carbs and artificial foods, adding more plant-based options, prioritising your protein intake, staying well-hydrated and starting your day with a nourishing breakfast. Keep reading to discover how you can establish a strong foundation for successful weight management and a healthier version of yourself.
Implement Long-Term Lifestyle & Behaviour Changes:
For realistic weight loss it’s important to focus on sustainable changes rather than quick fixes. By gradually building healthier habits into your schedule, you will avoid feeling overwhelmed and overtime, feel more motivated and confident to stick with them once you experience results. A couple of key lifestyle changes include prioritising sleep as inadequate sleep can hinder weight loss efforts. Top tip: try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day as this helps to regulate your body’s internal clock and elevates the quality of your sleep overtime. Additionally, managing stress through techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing, is beneficial as excess stress can lead to overeating.
Reduce Intake of Ultra-Processed Carbs and Food:
Minimising consumption of foods high in refined sugars, white flour, and unhealthy fats is key to achieving sustainable weight loss. Instead, opt for whole, unprocessed grains like brown rice, quinoa and oats. On top of this, be sure to look at the food labels before purchasing and avoid products with long ingredients lists and unfamiliar additives.
Eat More Plants:
Incorporate a variety of fruits and vegetables into your meals for their fibre, and key vitamins and minerals. Plant foods give you lots of nutrient bang for your buck as they are often low in calories and can help you feel full for longer periods, which in turn prevents overeating. Experiment with plant-based meals and incorporate healthy plant-powered juices on-the-go to efficiently stay on top of your weight loss goals.
Pump Up Protein:
Incorporate sources of lean protein such as beans, lentils, tofu and coconut yoghurt into your meals. Protein is essential for maintaining muscle mass while shedding weight and also helps you feel satisfied for longer, which can curb sugar cravings and reduce the likelihood of over-indulgence in high-calorie, ultra processed foods.
Drink More Water:
To prevent confusing thirst with hunger, ensure you’re consistently hydrated throughout the day. Prioritise water or opt for 100% natural vegetable-based juices, and even juice shots, instead of refined, artificial drinks. This approach will not only fulfil your body’s hydration requirements but also provide an added boost of key vitamins and minerals.
Include Intermittent Fasting:
Intermittent fasting is a well-known weight loss technique which involves alternating between easting and fasting periods. By limiting eating to specific time windows, like 8 hours a day, it can regulate calorie intake and promote fat loss. Moreover, intermittent fasting supports metabolic health and improves insulin sensitivity for effective and sustainable weight management. Explore our 5:2 fasting programmes for a simple way to integrate intermittent fasting into your daily routine.
Eat Well-Rounded, Balanced Meals:
Make sure your meals are well-balanced, focusing on protein, fibre and healthy fats. This helps regulate your metabolism and prevents overeating after meals, especially sugary and overly-processed snacks. Importantly, your first meal of the day should include an ample amount of protein to help you feel satiated and maintain stable blood sugar levels.
In short, sustainable weight loss takes time and finding the right dietary and lifestyle habits for your own body requires patience and a trial-and-error approach. Importantly, if you have underlying health issues, please make sure to consult your GP or other healthcare professional before making significant changes to your diet or exercise routine.
Author: Plenish Nutritionist, Katie Morley
DipNT, mBANT, mANP, CNHC