9 tips for successful weight loss in 2020

Happy beautiful successful plus size woman raising arms to the sky outdoor in summer
Happy beautiful successful plus size woman raising arms to the sky outdoor in summer

If ‘lose weight’ is at the top of your resolution list each year, here are some tips to help you reach your goal in 2020.

Ditch the diet

Professor Traci Mann, a psychologist at the University of California, Los Angeles analysed 31 long-term studies that followed people on a range of diets for between two and five years. She found that, though dieters typically lost up to 10% of their starting weight in the first six months, 83% eventually put more weight back on than they lost.

Give booze a break

Alcohol and weight loss don’t mix.  Alcoholic drinks are not only high in nutrient-void calories, alcohol also suppresses the number of fat calories your body burns for energy and it can increase appetite. If you don’t want to give up alcohol completely, go for moderation. Know how big a standard drink really is (100ml) and don’t fool yourself by using an oversized wine glass and calling it one drink.

Chew your food

Research shows that taking time to chew your food can help with weight loss. Kathleen Melanson, assistant professor of nutrition and food science at the University of Rhode Island, USA led a study that involved two groups of women being offered large plates of pasta. The first group of women were instructed to eat as quickly as they could, to the point of comfortable fullness. On average, this group of women consumed 646 calories in about nine minutes. The second group were instructed to eat slowly, also to the point of comfortable fullness. The group who ate slowly consumed an average of 579 calories in 29 minutes. “Satiety signals clearly need time to develop,” Melanson concluded. “Not only did the women take in fewer calories when they ate more slowly, they had a greater feeling of satiety at meal completion and 60 minutes afterward, which strongly suggests benefits to eating more slowly.” The women also judged themselves as having enjoyed the meal more when they ate slowly than when they ate quickly, Melanson added.

Get moving

I his book Planet Obesity, Garry Egger says we need to “think of movement as an opportunity not an inconvenience, meaning we need to change our attitude around the use of personal energy as opposed to machine-related energy”. Examples of this are walking or cycling instead of driving, using stairs instead of lifts.  Egger also writers; “In pre-industrial societies, sufficient exercise was obtained just staying alive. The reduction in purpose to exercise in modern societies is a reason why organised exercise, such as gyms, workplace programs and so on, is unlikely to fill the gap in required exercise levels to cope with increased food intake.”

Get back to basics

Choose food in its natural state. A banana is obviously going to provide you with more nutrients and less calories than a piece of banana bread. Eating healthily is pretty simple, choose food that Mother Nature provides and you will be on the right track.

Listen to your body

Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine reports that, given free access to food, preschool children will consume calories according to their physical as well as nutritional needs. As adults we seem to lose this ability to listen to our body. We eat for emotional reasons, or because the food is in front of us, or because it is “lunch time”. Dehydration can also mask itself as hunger. Start to pay attention to the signs of real hunger compared to the signs of emotional hunger (for example are you eating because you are bored, or feeling low). One way to do this is when you think you are hungry have a glass of water then wait for ten minutes then see how you feel. Additionally, while it is important to eat when you are hungry, you don’t need to keep on eating until you feel full and uncomfortable.

Understand the basics

Learning the basics of good nutrition can really help you to make good food choices. Many colleges offer an introductory course to nutrition and there are some great books available.

Be kind

Geneen Roth has written some pioneering books that show the link between compulsive eating and perpetual dieting with mental and emotional issues that go beyond food, weight and body image. She says that to transform your relationship with food we need to be kind with ourselves. She also has a set of seven eating guidelines which include, amongst others, to only eat when sitting in a calm environment (and this doesn’t include the car) and to avoid distractions when eating (such as the television and radio).

Stay motivated

The occasional bowl of ice-cream isn’t going to hurt your weight loss plan, but feeling guilty by the one bowl of ice-cream and punishing yourself by bingeing is going to negatively affect you physically as well as emotionally. Stay positive with the changes you are making to your lifestyle. Change is never easy, but a positive mental attitude will help you to stay motivated.


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