LOSING weight can be hard work and some people might struggle more than others.
Diet is different for everyone and our lifestyles such as the jobs we do and our hobbies all have an impact on our health and well being.
In order to have a healthy, balanced diet, we need to eat foods from a range of food groups including protein, fats and carbohydrates.
But creator of the Fast 800 programme and 5:2 diet, former doctor and writer Dr Michael Mosley said that cutting back on two food groups in particular could help you get to your desired weight faster.
He said that people should cut down on sugary foods and ‘starchy carbs’.
This however, he explained, was an add on to people following a plan such as the 5:2 diet.
The plan means that people eat a normal amount of food for five days, so this would be 2,000 calories for women and 2,500 for men – again this can differ depending on your height and weight.
Then for the two other days of the week, Dr Mosley’s plan suggests that you eat 25 per cent of that amount.
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On top of this, Dr Mosley said that people should now try and stick to a more Mediterranean diet, which means consuming foods like fish, beans and vegetables.
He explained that eating a less restrictive diet in the long term is the best way to lose weight effectively.
Dr Mosley said: “Eating a low-carbohydrate Mediterranean diet, rich in different coloured fruits and vegetables, will give you the best chance of getting the wide variety of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients your body needs.
“Not only this, their high fibre content is a great way to boost your microbiome – the trillions of microbes that live in your large intestine – which are so important for your health and as studies now recognise, your mental wellbeing”.
He said that to maximise weight loss you should cut down on ‘sugar, sugary treats, drinks and desserts’.
This would include things such as processed foods, which often contain more sugar, fizzy drinks with added sugar and sweeteners and things such as fruit smoothies – that have lots of natural sugars.
Top tips to make sure you’re on the right path to weight loss
Personal trainer Lewis Paris explained that we need to dispel myths when it comes to fat loss.
The personal trainer with corporate wellbeing platform Gympass said: “When losing weight we can’t simply decide where we want to lose fat, it’s impossible, instead we lose fat all around the body.
“Yes we can help encourage certain areas around the body to “tone up” by performing certain exercises but we still can’t pinpoint exactly where the fat will be lost.”
To ensure you’re on the right path to losing weight and shedding belly fat, keep it simple and focus on these 3 things:
– Understand your daily maintenance calories and eat 2-300kcal less
– Increase your NEAT: Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (walking, cleaning, gardening, playing with your kids etc)
– Introduce LISS workouts x1-2 times per week: Low Intensity Steady State Cardio (bike ride, brisk walk, cross trainer)
He added: “To increase your chances of burning belly fat and building a solid core, you must first understand how to contract & breathe correctly during your workouts.
“This will not only encourage good technique and a saved lower back but it’ll help improve your mind to muscle connection, your muscles will get stronger and you’ll build a more toned physique around your midsection.”
He said: “Cut down on the sweet stuff: It’s also important to try and avoid (or at least cut down) on processed foods like takeaways, as tempting as they may be during self-isolation, as these destroy the active healthy bacteria in the digestive system.
“Treat your microbiome with care; feed it well and it will look after you. Eating loads of sugary or processed foods, on the other hand, will just reinforce the “bad” microbes that also live down there.”
He also said that cutting back on ‘starchy carbs’ could help.
This includes anything like white bread or pasta and potatoes.
While you don’t have to cut out these food groups entirely, cutting back and making food swaps could help.
Eating wholegrain foods such as wholemeal or brown pasta is a good place to start.
You could then also incorporate foods like buckwheat and whole rye.