1. Portion sizes

Portion size is the main contributor to gaining weight so it makes sense that it is also the main factor in helping you to stay slim. What you eat is important but how much you eat plays huge factor. Restaurants are increasingly giving customers larger portions than necessary and this can also lead to misjudging a portion size when cooking at home.  Get to know portion sizes and stick to them when you cook your own food and if you do eat out don’t clear your plate, eat what you need for that meal. Your portion sizes will differ depending on how many meals you have per day, some people have 3 others 5 or 6.

2. Drink from a small glass

Have you seen the sizes of glasses recently they have become larger and larger, I am sure you can fit half a bottle of wine into some of them these days. If you use smaller glasses you will consume less according to studies. This is also the same for plates, if you use large plates you are more likely to serve up a larger portion of food as a real portion doesn‘t look much when on a large plate.

3. Walk, take the stairs or park further away

Being active doesn’t have to just involve going to the gym, people stay slim by being active throughout the day whenever they can. Take the stairs instead the elevator or escalator. Park further away in the car park and walk that extra distance, it isn’t too far if you think about it, plus your are more likely to find a parking spot further away from the door. Get of the bus one stop earlier than normal. Take a walk during your lunch or a quick walk around the block during a break. Go see a colleague instead of emailing or using the phone. Doing any one of these things or even all of them will add up throughout the day, each day and it wont feel like a huge amount of effort either. Every little bit counts.

4. Don’t skip a meal, fill up on fruits and vegetables

Skipping meals can make you gain weight as your body’s metabolism can slow down as a reaction to not getting enough food. It can also lead you to snacking on foods that have higher calories or worse saturated fats. If you are trying to cut down your calories to lose weight don’t skip a meal fill up instead on more vegetables or fruit as they are lower in calories.

5. Have protein breakfast keep you energised all day

Protein keeps you feeling fuller for longer, it will allow you to get through your morning without feeling the need to reach for a sugary snack to give you some energy. A good breakfast will set you up for the day and keep you energised.

6. Drink green tea

Drinking 2-3 Cups per day can help speed up the rate that your body burns cellular energy by 40% according to a study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Additional health benefits include: helps detox your body; increases your resting metabolic rate; and helps fight cancer and heart disease.

7. Exercise

We all know that exercise is one of the factors that is important for you to lose weight, the other being diet, but once you have lost the weight you will need to maintain your weight by continuing to exercise. It may not need to be as intensive or as often but you will need to continue to workout in order to stay slim. If you just stopped you would end up putting the weight back on.

8. Drink liquids

Keep yourself hydrated and you wont mistake your bodies signals, sometimes when we feel hungry it is in fact because we are dehydrated. Also by drinking water during a meal you are more likely to eat less.

9. Enjoy and chew your food

Take time when eating to enjoy your meal, if you are hungry there is a danger of you gulping your food down without thinking about how much you are eating and you wont allow your body enough time to register it is full. Ever had that feeling after a meal that you have overeaten and could burst? This is because you have not given your body enough time for it to give you the signs of becoming full. If you eat slowly and chew your food you are less likely to over eat.

10. Get enough sleep

A  study published in Sleep Journal which looked at the weight and sleeping habits of twins has reported that those who were sleeping longer had more control over their weight and were also lighter than their twin who had less amount of sleep. So to help you stay slim aim for 9 hours per night. Another study reported that those who slept less than 5 1/2 hrs per day burnt less calories per day due to a 12% drop in their metabolic rate.

11. Swap milk chocolate or sweets for dark chocolate

Dark chocolate contains better antioxidant properties. You would need to consume twice as much milk chocolate as dark chocolate to obtain the same amount of antioxidants. Remember it is all about moderation so if you do want to go for something sweet skip the milk chocolate or high calorie sweets with sweeteners and other unhealthy additives and have some dark chocolate.

12. Avoid processed food

Processed foods are more likely to cause you to gain weight than stay slim. They are high in calories, saturated or trans fats and salt, by staying away from these kinds of foods you will be able to maintain your weight and if you think about calories it would mean you could eat more of the healthy kind of foods as, if you are calorie counting,  a processed meal can take up a huge amount of your calories and daily allowances for salt etc and not leave you much for your other meals.

13. Listen to your body

Your body gives signals for hunger, thirst and also for foods you need. If you are craving chocolate your body wants something sweet so have a piece of fruit as the natural sugars are better for your waistline than something full of man made ingredients, sweeteners and preservatives. Listen to your body eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. Listen to how your body feels when you eat certain foods, eating good quality foods will leave your body feeling better after eating than those of a lesser quality. Foods that leave you bloated, feeling uncomfortable, gassy, gurgling stomach  – these are signs your body does not digest these foods very well so stay away from them in future.

14. Don’t deny yourself

The more you say no the more you will want it and this could lead to over indulging so don’t deny yourself the good things in life. If you want some chocolate or a dessert then have it, just remember that the key is to have it in moderation. Have a biscuit or two but don’t sit and eat the whole packet in one go. Allow a cheat day in your diet.

15. Balance your blood sugar

By balancing your blood sugar you will be able to keep your weight stable and also reduce sugar cravings. Blood sugar levels that go up and down promote fat storage. Choose low GI foods, that release sugar into the blood slowly, to help stay slim so swap the white bread, rice, pasta etc for wholegrain and eat more vegetables, also be careful of certain fruits and fruit juices that are high in sugar.

16. Be consistent

You need to be able to stick to your exercise routine and diet, don’t choose something that is so strict you wont be able to stay on it more than a few weeks. The same with swapping a diet every time a new fad comes out, in order to stay slim you need to continue the good habits even after you have lost the weight.

17. Take a jump rope with you on holiday

Holidays are for relaxing I know, but don’t become inactive, take a daily swim or if you are more likely to only take a dip to cool off then take a jump rope It doesn’t take much room in your luggage and you can add in a 10 minute skip in the morning and evening to help you keep slim and gain too many extra pounds from eating at buffets or restaurants every day.

18. Ask for sauces on the side

Some restaurants like to drown food in dressings and sauces, ask for yours on the side so you can control how much is added to your meal.

19. Go for steamed vegetables

The way foods are cooked changes their nutritional value, so steam vegetables instead of boiling to keep the nutritional value high and get the most out of our veggies.

20. Balanced and Healthy Diet

Staying slim is about maintaining the weight you are happy at. If you have changed your diet to a healthy and balanced diet to help lose weight then it is easier for you to keep up the good eating habits. If you have slimmed down by other means then it is important that your diet becomes balanced and healthy so that your body gets the necessary nutrients it needs. This is why it is important to start off your weight loss with a balanced diet to enable you to keep to it and continue it as a lifestyle change in order to keep the weight off. Crash diets may show results at first but as soon as your body realises it isn’t getting enough of what it needs it will slow down and there is also the fact that as soon as you start eating normally again the weight will come right back in no time.

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