Your Are What You Drink-

10 Tips for Weight Loss

1. Don’t ‘drink your calories’. The easiest way to take in excess calories is to drink them. Most beverages (soft drinks, flavoured water, smoothies, wine etc.) are high in sugar and are therefore highly calorific with little or no fibre and therefore won’t fill you and just leaving you craving for more high sugar foods.

2. Reduce your intake of Artificial Sweeteners. Contrary to popular belief a high intake of these can actually lead to weight gain. This happens as they increase high sugar/high fat food cravings; decrease the amount of good bacteria in your gut and through a metabolic process which enables the increase of internal body fat.

3. Be mindful of your Caffeine Intake, particularly when consumed with a high sugar food. Caffeine, increases your blood sugar as it increases the stress hormone, cortisol. When taken with a high sugar food such as a muffin or biscuits, this increases your blood sugar further. The higher your blood sugar is raised, the greater the conversion of this into body fat. Aim for no more than 400mg a day i.e. 2 Americanos or 4 instant coffees a day.

4. Reduce your intake of Alcohol. It’s not just that alcohol is high in calories; it’s that it reduces your metabolism. One standard drink reduces your metabolism (ability to break-down food and burn calories effectively) by 70%, for several hours.

5. Drink more water. More often hunger is mistaken for thirst. In addition, drinking more water aids weight loss, detoxification, blood pressure management, digestion and much more. Aim to drink 1 and a half to two litres daily, more if doing heavy exercise.

6. Eat & Drink Mindfully. We eat more when distracted i.e. when watching television. Being mindful of what we eat and drink reduces fast, mindless eating.

7. Balance your blood sugar. Aim to have a low sugar breakfast which is high is slow release carbohydrates and some protein, e.g. porridge with some nuts, seeds, probiotic yoghurt and berries.

8. Timing. When having the occasional sweet food or drink aim to have these as desserts i.e. just after a main meal. This way the fibre and protein from your meal slows down the rate at which the sugar releases into your blood stream. It is worse for weight management to eat sweet foods alone, in the afternoon or evening far removed from a main meal.

9. Timing.  Aim to eat your evening meal before 7.30pm when possible. When we eat late, this food is easily converted to internal fat as it does not allow time to metabolise correctly, i.e. while awake.

10. Follow the 80:20 rule, i.e. follow a healthy diet and lifestyle plan 80% of the time, it’s what we do most of the time that counts.

Elaine O’Mahony MSc.PHN  is a Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach and Motivational Trainer.