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7 essential tips for maintaining weight loss

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When you’ve worked hard to reach a healthy weight it can be frustrating when the numbers on your scales begin to climb again. In this piece from Living Well, nutrition director Jessica Campbell and dietician Amy Liu share their expert advice for size control. For more inspirational ideas, products and information to live well every day, pick up the latest issue of Living Well at your local Unichem.

1. Eat fresh and healthy

A common complaint is that purchasing fresh and healthy costs more than packaged alternatives. Try bulking up your meals with legumes to reduce your meat bill. Frozen fruit and veggies are just as nutritious as fresh produce. Buy fresh fruit and veggies that are in season.

2. Break your fast

We all know that breakfast is essential to activate your brain and metabolism. “Literature has shown the benefits of breakfast includes reduced overall appetite and therefore food consumption, improved concentration and glycaemic control,” says Amy Liu, a dietitian and director of Metro Consultancy. For the best daily kick-start choose breakfast foods high in fibre but low in sugar and fat.

3. Stop portion creep

“We carry around our own measuring cups all day, every day – our hands,” says Jessica Campbell, nutrition director and health coach of Body Balance. “As a quick portion guide, meat should be the size of your palm and the thickness of your hand. A serve of grains, pasta, rice or starchy vegetables should be about the size of your clenched fist. A serve of vegetables is equivalent to two cupped hands.”

4. Work with your cravings

Have healthy food options in your pantry, lunch box, handbag and car at all times to avoid impulse buying. Amy Liu says eating breakfast and a low GI lunch, dinner and snacks will ensure you remain hydrated and help curb sugar cravings. “People may say pizza and burgers are bad but there are healthy ways to make them at home. Next time, ask yourself how many nutrients are in the whole meal and be ruled by that.”

5. Carbs can be your friend

According to Jessica Campbell, “Deprivation will only lead to bingeing, and cutting carbs in the long term is unsustainable and unhealthy. Whole grains, fruit, vegetables and legumes are excellent sources of healthy carbohydrates.”

6. Find a friend

A new study has found that women who’ve reached their weight-loss goals are more likely to maintain their new size if they feel accountable to another person and are receiving support. Join a weight management programme that has regular meetings offering support and motivation from others.

7. Limit your alcohol intake

Alcohol can contribute to weight gain in two ways: firstly, from the amount of calories it provides and secondly, by causing you to eat more when you’ve been drinking. It’s easy to forget that you can drink as many calories as you eat. Keep water at hand to quench your thirst between drinks, don’t drink on an empty stomach and sip to make it last longer.

Your local Unichem offers weight management programmes, support and coaching. To find out more, come in and have a chat.