Simple ways to kick-start your weight loss
Are you wondering how to kick-start your weight loss? You might know where you want to get to… You may aspire to fall in love with your figure once more, or are you looking to fit into an old dress? Maybe it’s about feeling healthier, or even receive compliments from friends. But, it can be a struggle to know where to start when it comes to dieting.
Don’t worry, what you’re feeling is perfectly normal. The first step can often be the hardest. So to help, the experts at XLS-Medical have pulled together six easy to follow tips to get you kick-starting your weight loss journey.
Once you have your diet plan in action, why not head over to our article on how to lose weight fast to find more great advice on losing weight quickly.
How can I kick-start my diet?
A healthy bodyweight can bring benefits to both how you feel about yourself and your overall well-being1.
Weight loss to reach a healthy body weight can reduce your risk of high blood pressure2, heart disease2, stroke2, some types of cancer3, osteoarthritis4, and back pain5.
Weight can even impact your blood sugar control. If you are above the healthy-weight range, losing 7-10% of your current weight can cut your chances of developing type 2 diabetes in half6!
So now you can see why it is important to have a healthy body weight, here are some easy tips to get you started:
1. Choose a diet plan goal
Goals are a great way to motivate yourself. Setting yourself a goal makes you far more likely to achieve it<.sup>7
A good place to start is by writing down your overall aim. This might be to lose a specific amount of weight or to go down a clothing size. This is your long-term goal. Long-term goals are great for helping you see the bigger picture, but can sometimes seem too difficult or too far away to be achievable.
So next, take your long-term goal and set in place short-term goals that will help you to get there. This will break down your long-term goal into manageable chunks, let you track your progress and help motivate you.
For example, if you want to eat more healthily to lose weight, you might set your long-term goal as losing 10lbs. However, one pound of fat contains 3,500 calories8, and that can feel like a lot of extra calories to cut from your meal plan.
So break the big goal of losing 10lbs into achievable short-term goals. If you create a calorie deficit of 500 calories a day you’ll lose one pound per week. Keep this going for 10 weeks and you can lose your goal of 10lbs.
2. Make a meal plan
Studies have shown that following a nutritionally complete meal plan is an effective way to lose weight9, 10. Start by writing down and planning your meals at the beginning of the week. Then use a shopping list when you visit the shops.
This will give you a clear idea on what to buy and what you want to eat. It will also help you cut down on impromptu treats and fill your cupboards with better food choices.
Another great tactic to keep track of food consumption is to keep a food diary. Monitoring your diet has been consistently linked to successful short and long term weight loss11, 12. Research has even shown that spending just 15 minutes a day writing down how much food you eat can significantly improve your weight loss13.
So, write it when you bite it.
3. Eat smaller portions
It’s easy to lose track of how much we eat. Over the last 30 years, portion sizes have grown, and many of us have lost bearing on how much we should eat14.
Luckily, there are some simple ways we can trick ourselves into eating less, with Improved portion control linked to effective weight management15:
Use smaller plates
Amazingly, just using a smaller plate makes us less likely to stack it high with food16. The colour of plates has also been shown to affect how much people eat. Black and red plates are especially bad, and have been linked to significantly increased food consumption17.
Focus on your food
Research has shown that eating with friends or eating in front of the TV can reduce your concentration on what you eat. This can lead to you eating more without realising it18.
Go slow, eat like a pro
Eating quickly has been heavily linked with being overweight. 19, 20, 21 So slow down, enjoy your food and maybe even see the benefits on the scales.
4. Swap your food to feel full
Small changes to diet, is one of the healthiest and most achievable ways to lose weight. A good step to start is by making food and drinks swaps22. Some simple changes include:
Swap to fibre for meals and snacks
Eating food with lots of fibre will help you feel full for longer14. To get more fibre in your diet swap to whole grain varieties of bread, cereal, rice and pasta (e.g. seeded bread, brown rice or whole-wheat pasta) and add more vegetables to your meals14.
Go for healthy snacks
If you do get a craving, make sure you have a healthy snack option on hand. Healthy food to snack on includes fruit (with the skin on)14, vegetable sticks14, raisins22, nuts22 or unsalted rice-cakes22.
It is also surprisingly easy to confuse thirst and hunger, so a glass of water or a cup of tea, rather than a snack, is sometimes all you need16.
Pick your fats
Small amounts of fats are a vital part of your diet, so should not be cut out completely23. However, not all fats are created equal. Unsaturated fats are a healthier option than saturated fats.
So, aim to reduce your consumption of saturated fats (found in fatty cuts of meat, butter, biscuits, cheese and coconut oil), and replace them with unsaturated fats (found in some nuts, avocados, vegetable and olive oils, and oily fish23.
5. Don’t skip breakfast
It may seem like an easy way to cut calories from your diet, but skipping breakfast is rarely a good idea. Research has shown that eating breakfast is in fact a common characteristic in people that successfully lose weight and keep it off24.
A healthy breakfast high in fibre and low in fat, sugar and salt can be important in a balanced diet. It will give you the energy you need to start the day and give you the nutrients you need for good health25, 26.
If you need inspiration on a healthy breakfast you can find lots of great breakfast ideas suitable for everyone.
6. Get physically active
As well as a healthy diet, exercise can be a great way to kick-start your weight loss27. Exercise will help you not just in your weight loss goals, but specifically in your fat loss goals28.
When you reduce your calorie consumption your body will start to use up your reserves stored both in your fat and muscle. This means when you lose weight you can often lose muscle weight as well29, 30.
Adding exercise to your weight loss plan will help to prevent the amount of muscle you lose31, 32.
For a full breakdown of how to create a balanced diet, look at our guide on how to eat healthy. Or, for advice on using exercise to lose weight, check out our article on the best exercises to lose weight
Clinically proven weight loss-aids
There are many reasons to want to kickstart your weight-loss. You might be looking to lose weight for the first time. Or, maybe you’ve lost weight in the past and want to kick-start your weight loss again after you’ve put weight back on or found your weight loss plateau.
If you are already living an active lifestyle and eating a calorie controlled diet, then XLS-Medical’s range of weight loss-aids can help give you the kick-start you are after to meet your weight loss target in a healthy and effective manner.
XLS-Medical Ultra 5 has been clinically proven to help you lose up to 5x more weight versus dieting alone33.