Kent says there are simple habits you can adopt to reach your goal weight:
- Being well-hydrated is important for weight loss and overall health, so aim for at least eight glasses of water daily. Add fresh herbs or chopped fruit to make water taste better. Sparkling water and sugar-free herbal teas can also count towards your daily water quota.
- Eat regularly through the day. Try to eat every two to three hours by including healthy snacks between main meals, as this will help you maintain a healthy metabolism and reduce the temptation to over-eat later. Your first meal of the day should be within 90 minutes of waking up and you should never skip meals.
- Plan your week. You don’t have to prepare all your meals in advance, but having the right foods available at work and at home will help you make wise food choices.
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- Focus on your food. Don’t eat on the go. Eat slowly, taking the time to savour meals. Focus on the flavours, textures and colours of your food, as this will help you feel more satisfied.
- Try to identify times of day or triggers for over-eating and write these down. Then devise strategies for dealing with these triggers.
- Food choices. Don’t fry foods – rather grill, bake, steam, stir-fry or boil them. Vegetables provide essential nutrients and fibre, and play a key role in weight loss, as they keep you feeling fuller for longer, so include a wide variety of colourful ones with each meal and as part of snacks.
- Monitor your carbohydrate intake. Keep carb servings to the size of your clenched fist at mealtimes and choose complex carbs, such as wholegrain versions of bread, pasta and rice.
- Choose healthy proteins. Ensure that every meal contains lean protein such as chicken breast, beans, lentils or chickpeas and fish (tuna, sardines, pilchards and salmon).
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- Choose healthy fats. Avoid saturated animal fats such as chicken skin, fat on meat and full-cream dairy. Rather choose avocado, cashew nuts, almonds, walnuts and olive oil.
- Avoid all added and hidden sugar. This includes table sugar, chocolates, sweets, baked goods, sugar-sweetened drinks and cereals. The sugar in fruit can be eaten in controlled portions, but only as whole fresh fruit – avoid dried fruit, fruit juice and tinned fruit.