21 Ways to Kick-Start Your Diet; STAY ON TRACK HOW TO KEEP YOUR GOOD RESOLUTIONS ALIVE Forget the Feeling of Falling off the Diet Wagon, Recent Research Shows a Break from Slimming Can Actually Reboot Your Metabolism So You Start Losing Weight Again. We Reveal How to Beat the Dreaded Diet Plateau by Caroline Jones

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), January 29, 2018 | Go to article overview

21 Ways to Kick-Start Your Diet; STAY ON TRACK HOW TO KEEP YOUR GOOD RESOLUTIONS ALIVE Forget the Feeling of Falling off the Diet Wagon, Recent Research Shows a Break from Slimming Can Actually Reboot Your Metabolism So You Start Losing Weight Again. We Reveal How to Beat the Dreaded Diet Plateau by Caroline Jones


1 TAKE A TWO-WEEK BREAK You've been faithfully following your diet, but after a great start the weight's stopped coming off. This effect, known as the diet plateau, is a common problem.

However, a new study carried out at the University of Tasmania has found that taking regular two-week breaks from dieting can outsmart it.

The researchers were investigating the "famine reaction", which occurs when the body responds to losing a large amount of weight by hanging on to fat, believing food is becoming scarce.

For dieters this evolutionary survival mechanism has the knock-on effect of stalling weight loss.

The study found those who dieted for two weeks then had two weeks off over a 16-week period were more likely to lose weight than those who continuously cut down. They were also more likely to have kept the weight off six months later.

2 UNDERSTAND HOW WEIGHT LOSS WORKS The reason most people lose weight very quickly during the first few weeks of a diet is that a lot of what is lost is water. Once your body has shifted this excess fluid, it's normal for your rate of weight loss to slow significantly.

Check your progress and ask yourself whether the pounds have really stopped dropping or just eased up. Experts agree that a sensible rate for safe, lasting weight loss is one to two pounds per week.

3 TAKE A WEEKLY SELFIE Last year, a study by the University of Alicante in Spain found that creating a photo diary was an extremely effective tool when it came to shedding pounds.

More than 80 per cent of dieters taking full-length selfies each week as a record of their changing shape managed to reduce their waist size significantly. The researchers believe the body snaps motivated the slimmers because they could clearly see the results of their dieting.

4 RE-ADJUST YOUR CALORIE INTAKE "As you lose weight, your metabolism can slow because your body requires fewer calories to fuel the smaller-sized you," said nutritionist Linda Foster.

"Therefore, the calorie intake that you initially had when you began your weight loss journey will need to be adjusted to match your body's current needs."

Try an online Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) calculator, such as www.dietplan.co.uk/Tools/ BMRChecker, which takes your height, weight, age and activity levels into account to work out the daily number of calories you would need to consume to maintain your new lower weight.

Then reduce that figure by around 500 calories to give you the rough daily intake needed to keep losing weight.

5 OR TRY EATING MORE While it's true you need to create a deficit between calories in and calories out to shed weight, cut your intake too much on an extreme diet and it'll have the opposite effect. "If your calorie intake is too low or you get too hungry, you start to lose metabolism-boosting muscle as well as fat," said Linda.

"To lose weight while still preserving this important muscle, you might actually need to increase calories."

The trick is the right foods. Linda recommends filling up on lean protein such as chicken or fish, whole grains, fruits, veggies, nuts and avocados.

6 PRIORITISE YOUR SLEEP A full night's sleep is vital for shifting body fat because it resets the hormones that control metabolism. Even a couple of nights of sleep deprivation can lead to increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which encourages the body to overeat and store fat on the belly.

7 START MEASURING PORTIONS In the days of super-sizing everything it's easy to forget what a sensible portion of food looks like. But eating too much, even of healthy foods, will soon sabotage weight loss. Give yourself a serving-size refresher course. Luckily, your hand provides an easy way to visualise a sensible portion of common foods for each meal: ? Pasta, potatoes and rice = fist-sized ? Protein (meat/fish) = palm-sized ? High-fat foods (eg cheese) = a thumb-sized portion ? …

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21 Ways to Kick-Start Your Diet; STAY ON TRACK HOW TO KEEP YOUR GOOD RESOLUTIONS ALIVE Forget the Feeling of Falling off the Diet Wagon, Recent Research Shows a Break from Slimming Can Actually Reboot Your Metabolism So You Start Losing Weight Again. We Reveal How to Beat the Dreaded Diet Plateau by Caroline Jones
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