Your Top 5 Diet Hacks – Ashleigh Sewell

Oct 11, 2018 | Nutrition

In a world full of faddy diets, weight loss teas and magic slimming pills, finding what works for you can feel totally overwhelming and impossible!

From my perspective what it all boils down to is a balanced, happy and sustainable lifestyle consisting of daily movement, eating delicious nourishing foods, and fuelling your body correctly. And when it comes to fat loss the key is ensuring your inbound calorie consumption is slightly less than your outbound calorie consumption. Simples!

Here are 5 tips that have helped me to build a sustainable, healthy lifestyle and relationship with food and not one weight loss tea in sight!

1. Diet
The term diet implies that there is a beginning and an end, that it is a short term fix. Shouldn’t we want to look and feel our best all year round without having to restrict ourselves on the lead up to an event or summer holiday?
I like to take a more sustainable approach to nutrition which is the 80/20 approach. For 80% of the time I eat real whole and unprocessed foods, with a good balance of fruits, vegetables, carbohydrate sources, healthy fats and lean protein, with the other 20% for the fun stuff without compromising health.
Yes the results may take longer, you may only loose 1-2lbs per week but you will continue to do so without worrying about throwing it all on holiday because you dive head first into the buffet, gauging on all the foods you have restricted!


2. Skipping Meals
Since when did not eating breakfast become a thing!? And who decided that eating less would give you the body of your dreams?
Lets stick to the facts here, food = fuel, fuel = function!
When you regularly skip meals you may be placing yourself into a fairly hefty calorie deficit (depending on how active you are) and without fuel your body goes into panic mode, heading straight for its safety stores.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean its going to munch up your bingo wings for breakfast, its actually going to head for the muscle in that perky bum that you worked so hard for!
When your body tells you its hungry, feed it, I promise it will thank you for it.

3. Portion Control
This doesn’t mean eating tiny portions and still being ‘hangry’ when your done. This means knowing which foods you can eat more of and which you may need to be a bit more mindful with.
The half plate rule; fill up half of your plate with colourful veggies and leafy greens. Eat foods high in protein, fibre and healthy fats to leave you feeling fuller for longer!
A yummy and filling meal includes, a roasted salmon fillet with seared asparagus and a cup of quinoa!
Its a visual illusion; the larger the plate the more we serve ourselves, you may want a larger plate for salads but for pasta dishes you may want to downsize that bowl!!
Slow down, take time and enjoy your meal, If you eat too quickly your brain doesn’t have a chance to figure out that your full. Take a breather before you go back for seconds because the likelihood is that you don’t need it.

4. Drinks
Remembering how calorific some drinks are can be a game changer! That salted caramel frappuccino with extra cream and chocolate sprinkles on top can often hold more calories than a meal itself!
Switching your latte to a black coffee or americano with a dash of milk will instantly reduce your daily calorie consumption, potentially between 200-250kcals per day, maybe more if you are having more than one.
Try americanos, herbal teas, hot water and lemon juice or why not give your gut a big hug with a Bumblezest drink instead!
That way you leave more space for a much more satisfying sweet something a little later!

5. Educate
Since becoming a Personal Trainer I’ve noticed a real lack of knowledge around basic nutrition within the general population. Understanding macronutrients and their calorific values is so important to success in creating your balanced and sustainable lifestyle.
Heres a knowledge bomb for you:
1g Fat = 9kcal
1g Carb = 4kcal
1g Protein = 4kcal
1g Alcohol = 7kcal (Alcohol still contributes energy to the body, however holds no nutritional value so is not considered a nutrient)

Apps such as my fitness pal will help in understanding the calorific values and macronutrient splits of foods but not something to get bogged down in, use it as a learning tool and then move on. Reading food labels is another sure way to start understanding food groups a bit more!

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