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Dieting Tips for all year round!

I have always been a slim girl, but some of you may have read my blog on ‘How America made me fat’ and I can’t possibly go back to the way I was after my travels.

Everywhere we look we are seeing pop ups of crazy diets, acai berries, Atkins, Weight Watchers and advertisements for gyms and fitness DVDs at every turn. Since losing my travelling weight I have become obsessed with nutrition and the myths and truths in what we are advised to do.

My initial diet was cutting out all red meats, bread, potato and sweet foods, living off of pasta, tuna and steamed vegetables wasn’t exactly an experience for my pallet. I have discovered how important it is to keep your body healthy whilst still enjoying the life you are giving yourself, so here is every tip I can possibly offer and since sticking to this, within just a week I feel a lot less bloated and slowly starting to feel more confident. So here goes:

1. Everybody loves an alcoholic beverage now and again, which is totally fine, but it could be what you’re drinking that’s piling on the pounds.

– Keep away from beers, ciders or any kind of dark alcohol e.g. dark rum, red wine etc.

– Vodka may be high in calories but it’s low in what matters – sugar and saturated fat.

– Keep your mixers low cal. Diet cola, diet lemonade, even diet energy drink.

2. You don’t need to spend £130 on a gym membership.

– I ride my bike for about an hour once a week, but I make sure I cycle fast to increase my heart rate. Cardio exercise is the only way to burn fat.

– I walk as much as I can, and when I do, again, keep it quick!

– Whilst watching my favourite TV shows I don’t sit around. Do some crunches, tummy twists, squats, push ups, or get yourself an exercise ball?

3. Goodbye potato and cut down that bread intake!

-You’d be surprised of fewer calories and fat is in pasta and rice. Both of these are more raw carbohydrates and wholegrain contains fibre, which helps to flush out your system and prevent bloating.

– Potato is JUST a carb. Although bread isn’t bad for you, it just acts as a carbohydrate and has no real benefits. Try replacing it with sweet potato as it is supposed to have fat burning carbs and also acts like a vegetable carb instead. (Sweet potato curry is your friend!)

4. Cut down your meat intake but don’t say goodbye to protein.

– Try to eliminate red meats and pork, as these are both very high in fat. You don’t have to say goodbye forever, but maybe just once a week treat.

– Pulses! Not only are pulses a great, low fat source of protein but they also go into so many foods. They are also high in fibre so you’ll find you are going to the toilet more and therefore less bloating. Try mixing a mixed bean salad with just a dash of vinaigrette dressing or a can of tomato sauce mixed beans with Mulligatawny soup and some spices.

– When you do eat meat, try to cut down the portion. It also means your food goes further if you’re on a budget. Load up a meal on veg.

5. Don’t forget to hydrate, mate!

– This doesn’t necessarily mean hydrate with water. Try drinking more tea. Studies show tea (in particular green tea) is much better than water as it is just hot water but filled with anti oxidants that are more beneficial in the long run.

– The more you drink, the more you wee and therefore the more toxins you are emitting from your body.

6. Lastly, cake doesn’t have to leave your side!

– When you do decide to indulge, stick to just once a week and make sure you are making a note of the calorie, sugar and saturated fat that you are consuming. Some cakes are worse than you think.

– When you have finished eating, like me, you may crave something sweet. Rather than running to the cupboard, wait about 15-20 minutes; if you still feel peckish then have a LITTLE treat.

– Maybe just myth but smelling vanilla is supposed to suppress cravings for sweet treats. Or you could just do what I do, and fill up on tea after a meal.

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