FOR many, the new year signals a fresh opportunity to start a diet and kick that weight we've been wanting to lose.
But with conflicting advice out there it can be hard to know where to start.
It might be easy to stick to a new healthy eating routine for a week, but how do you make new habits last and ensure success?
Most of us would presume it involves spending hours slogging away at the gym and avoiding all treats.
But diet expert Terri-Ann Nunns says it's quite the opposite.
Here, she shares her five golden rules to help you boost your weight loss in 2020…
1. Don't spend hours at the gym
Going to the gym can be a great way to boost weight loss as well as being good for your overall fitness and mental health.
However, the idea that spending hours in the gym is the best way to get into shape is not true.
Terri-Ann, founder of the Terri-Ann 123 Diet Plan, says: "When it comes to exercise, quality beats quantity.
"You can do a really great high intensity workout in half an hour which will be much better than slogging away for three hours on a bike.
"Think carefully about what extra activity you could do. Are you able to go to a gym class, or can you increase the amount you walk?
"When it comes to physical activity, every little helps."
2. Allow yourself a treat
When it comes to healthy eating, most people find the biggest battle is avoiding treats.
But Terri-Ann firmly believes that life's too short to deny yourself a little treat every now and again.
She says: "Banning foods completely will just make you want them more, and you’ll be more likely to binge.
Enjoy a small bar of chocolate on a Saturday night or a glass of wine with a meal with friends
"Enjoy a small bar of chocolate on a Saturday night or a glass of wine with a meal with friends.
"Many popular restaurants now offer meals for under 600 calories, so the idea that you can’t eat out when you’re dieting simply isn’t true.
"Enjoy a treat lunch with your children or date night with your partner – it’s important to reward yourself and it will make it much more likely that you’ll make your new diet a lifetime habit."
3. Track your progress
To keep yourself motivated, tracking your progress is key, according to Terri-Ann.
"It’s really important that you track your weight loss journey as this will keep you motivated and allow you to see how far you’ve come – especially important on days when you feel like giving up," she says.
"This could include weighing yourself weekly, taking your measurements, taking photos or simply making note of when you’ve fit back into those jeans.
"Keeping a record of your progress also helps to keep you accountable.
"If you’re not meeting your goals, you can spur yourself on to do something about it.
"But remember to be honest – it is only yourself you’re cheating."
Theo Axford, head of marketing at Garmin, told The Sun Online: "Using a fitness tracker, usually a wrist based one that monitors your heart rate and exercise, can be a great way of staying motivated.
"Seeing your progress can act as a huge motivator, helping you to stay on track on the tougher days by seeing how far you’ve come."
4. Eat frequently
Since we were young we've been told that snacking is bad for you – it can ruin your appetite and spoil meals.
But actually, snacking can be a really great way to keep you on track and focused on your weight loss goals, according to Terri-Ann.
She says: "If you ensure the snacks you eat are healthy and reasonably low-calorie, they can provide your body with a steady flow of energy throughout the day, helping reduce cravings for unhealthier food when it gets to mealtime.
"As a general rule, try to stick to snacks of around 100 calories – a yoghurt, a small bag of popcorn, a large boiled egg or a cereal bar are all good options."
5. Stay hydrated
One of the things about weight loss is that many of us think we're hungry when we're actually thirsty.
So it's important to keep yourself hydrated if you want to boost weight loss.
Terri-Ann says: "The amount of water you drink and the amount of sleep you get on a daily basis can really impact your weight loss and overall health.
"Keeping hydrated is really important, especially as it can sometimes be easy to confuse hunger with thirst.
"Rest is also really important, as if you sleep for less than six hours each night, you may be more likely to gain weight.
"Being tired means we have low energy levels so we often turn to food to resolve this, so it’s really important you aim to get at least eight hours sleep each night to stay on track."
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