21 Nov How to lose weight without any special diets!

Special diets sure do sound flashy. Living off nothing but broccoli and green tea can help you lose weight fast! What a surprise…? Of course, the part no one tells you is that following these diets is exhausting and that their results are almost always very temporary. So, what’s the alternative?

Well, as cliché as it may sound, a balanced diet is always the best alternative. Now, I know you’ve probably heard that one before, and you’re contemplating closing this tab because of that, but do hold on! You might be pleasantly surprised by a lot of the suggestions I’m about to make.

First of all, let’s try to define what a balanced diet actually is.

The definition of a balanced diet is a little different depending on who you ask. Every Dietitian will agree on certain basics, but most will have slightly varying opinions. It doesn’t mean someone’s right and someone’s wrong. It simply means that there is no absolute answer.

If you ask me, I’d say that the best available answer can be found in a simple image. If you’re from the UK, then God knows you’ve seen this a thousand times, but for everyone else, it’s a pretty good example of what a balanced diet actually is.

So, this is it! In 2007, the UK’s health service, the NHS, designed the “Eatwell Plate”.

Eatwell_poster_960x640

Of course, the Eatwell plate is not a set of rules rule. It’s a set of guidelines on which food groups to include in your diet and in what quantities. In reality, lots of dietitians don’t follow this model to the letter, but we still draw inspiration from it.

So, how does this all relate to weight-loss?

You can modify the Eatwell plate a little bit and control the portions of certain food groups to reduce the overall energy content of a meal.

Imagine that your whole meal should fit in one dinner plate (approximately 10-12 inches or 25-28 cm is diameter). The proportions of this meal should look like this:

plate en

But don’t worry, I’m not gonna leave you like that.

Here’s 6 tips on how to maintain a balanced diet and lose some weight on the side while doing it:

  • Try having half of your meal coming from fruits and vegetables. From an energy point of view, they’re a low-calorie food that will bulk up your meal, making you feel fuller faster. At the same time, they have a high nutritional value, containing precious vitamins and antioxidants.
  • When it comes to fruits and vegetables, colours matter. Try to include a variety of colours in your diet. As weird as it may sound, you can tell some of the health nutrients in fruit and vegetables from their colours. Different colours mean different nutrients, so keep varied.
  • Don’t be afraid of carbs. They’re there so we can reach our energy requirements every day. The existence of Carbohydrates in the diet is not the problem, the overconsumption of Carbohydrates, on the other hand, is. Try to include carbs in every meal, but make sure they don’t occupy more than ¼ of your plate/meal.
  • Proteins, proteins, proteins. Even though it’s one of the most popular words in Nutrition, lots of people are deficient in them due to their eating habits. To get enough protein every day, ensure that 1/4 of your plate contains: white meat, red meat (don’t overdo it, though, because it’s not exactly healthy, fish, dairy, beans or meat alternatives.
  • Drink water! I know that’s kind of obvious, but many people still forget. We need about 10-12 glasses of fluids per day, or 5-6 small bottles of 0.5L. Tea, soups and juices count towards your fluid balance, but it’s better to cover your daily needs with water as much as possible.
  • This model isn’t the best way to lose a lot of weight (13pounds/6 kilos and above). If you want to get rid of more weight, you can try reducing your portion sizes even further. So, for example, try not filling your entire plate with food. Or, you can try getting a smaller plate.

K.C.