Susie Burrell

‘your food, your body, your life’

Easy ways to avoid dieting in 2020.

Imagine if you were able to drop a few kilos minus the extra tough workouts and strict diet in 2020? When it comes to weight loss it is well documented that extreme diets rarely keep the kilos at bay long term and as such if your New Year’s goal is to do something about your weight, approaching things from a fresh perspective may offer an alternate solution. So here are some general approaches to your diet and nutrition which may support weight loss, without you having to work too hard at all.

1. Focus on time of day eating

A growing body of research shows that when we limit our eating to just 8-10 hours each day, or not eating for 14 to 16 hours of each day is a strategy that appears to support weight control minus any specific calorie counting or dietary rules.

Committing to longer periods of time minus any calories appears to help reset some of the hormones that regulate fat metabolism in the body. In real life terms this translates into having an early dinner, or having your first meal later in the day as to support a longer overnight fast. Here the only thing you need to pay attention to is what time you are eating each day, as limiting the number of total hours we eat naturally controls calorie intake.

2. Choose whole foods

It has been shown that consuming whole foods – such as a steak as opposed to mincemeat; or wholegrain bread rather than white results in a higher calorie burn than the more processed food alternatives. This means that the more natural the state of the food you eat, the better it is for metabolism. This means enjoying vegetables and fruit whole, with the skin intact; fillets of fish, meat and chicken and whole food snacks such as nuts, fruit and yoghurt rather than processed biscuits, bars and cakes. Choosing whole foods also tends to reduce calorie intake overall and we reduce our intake of processed foods that tend to have added sugars and fats.

3. Focus on vegetables

Diets are often focused around what we should not be eating; need to cut back on and depending on the diet the food groups to avoid. Focusing on what we should not be doing can often work in reverse, resulting in an increased focus on the tempting, higher calorie foods we ideally need to cut back on to control calorie intake.

When we focus on boosting our overall vegetable intake, the focus is on eating more, not less and the more salad and vegetables we eat, the lower our overall calorie intake tends to be, supporting weight control. Think about adding vegetable sides or a juice to your breakfast, salads and soups for lunches and at least 2-3 cups of mixed salad and vegetables with your evening meal to significantly boost your vegetable intake.

4. Include foods you like and want to eat

Diets often fail because we are lured by our favourite sweet treat, glass of wine or fail to factor in eating out as part of our regular dietary regime. When we factor these foods into our regular meal plan, in controlled volumes, you are less likely to experience the feelings of deprivation that can be associated with stricter diets and more likely to be able to stick to your healthy eating plan the rest of the time. This translates into enjoying a meal out regularly, factoring in a portion controlled sweet treat after dinner, or giving yourself permission to enjoy a glass or two of wine a couple of nights each week depending on your preferred style of indulgence.

5. Take your food

Whenever we buy a meal away from home – a café lunch; food court sandwich or a home delivered meal it is likely you will be consuming at least 1/3 more calories and fat than the equivalent meal you would prepare for yourself at home. When it comes to weight control this meals that more you are in control of your calorie intake, the lower your calorie intake is likely to be. This means packing more lunches, ordering less dinners at home and eating breakfast at home rather than indulging in a café