Posted on 11 Sep 2016 Views 3775 Comments 7
One of the biggest problems of any diet or weight loss programme is that people can gain weight again afterwards. In fact, studies suggest that as many as 95% of people regain the weight within a few months or years... A very sobering thought. If you’ve finished your Slim & Save programme, you may find some encouraging and useful information to take forward into your weight maintenance journey in this article. For those of you currently on the Slim & Save programme, this is an ideal time to review your usual diet before you started Slim & Save, and think about where you might have been going wrong and why you became overweight in the first place.
Too large portion sizes is thought to be a major reason why people gain weight in the first place, and regain weight afterwards. Try these simple tips to help you address or reduce your portion sizes:
|Tennis ball||Cooked pasta, rice or breakfast cereal|
|Golf ball||Nuts and seeds|
|Computer mouse||Jacket potato|
|Ipad / Iphone||Meat and poultry|
|Dice||Reduced fat spread|
|Small filled teacup||Milk and yoghurt|
Try to fill at least half your plate with vegetables or salad, a quarter with the protein-rich food, e.g. meat or fish, and the final quarter with starchy carbohydrate – using the portion sizes suggested above. You can always fill up on extra veggies if you’re still hungry.
Slow down – studies suggest that eating your meal over 20 minutes helps you to eat less, by giving your brain a chance to get the message that you’re actually full. Don’t be afraid to leave some food on your plate, however well you were brought up!
Eat regular meals, including a breakfast (try not to leave too long gaps between meals). This will help to regulate your appetite and maintain a good metabolism. Skipping meals may cause you to gain weight, even if you’re having less calories overall.
The snacks you choose can play a big part in helping you maintain your weight loss. Take the time to put together a list of interesting, tasty snacks that you can enjoy if you get the munchies. The following list are examples of healthy snacks which are all under 100 kcal:
Review how frequently you eat out (or plan to eat out) or have take aways. Anything that’s a regular feature of the diet (i.e. at least monthly) can be significant and increase your average calorie intake. It’s not uncommon for the average Indian takeaway (chicken tikka masala, pilau rice and plain naan) to contain over 1300 kcal – or nearly 900 kcal for an average battered cod and chips from the chippy. You could either enjoy your favourite dishes less frequently, or choose a healthier alternative, such as the following ideas:
Fibre helps us to feel fuller for longer. You’ve probably heard the health messages about eating wholegrains, but did you know that including regular wholegrains (higher fibre forms of starchy carbohydrate) can actually help you keep the weight off? Most people tend to think of carbohydrates as ‘fattening’ – but this is actually a myth. If your portions of starchy food are too large, or you eat too many sugary foods, you will gain weight. However, starchy carbs themselves are good for you. But which ones are best? Well you may have heard of the glycaemic index (GI) scale… this scale assigns a number to foods based on the effect they have on raising blood sugar levels. The higher the number, the greater the effect on blood sugar. The lower the number, the lesser the effect. Choosing lower GI starchy carbohydrates at mealtimes is a good way of keeping you fuller for longer, meaning the sugars from the food trickle more slowly into the bloodstream over time. However, don’t get too caught up on numbers; milk chocolate has a lower GI than rice cakes because of the chocolate’s fat content. That doesn’t give you a license to eat fatty and sugary foods! Here are some examples of foods and their corresponding GI level:
|White rice||98||High GI|
|Mashed & boiled potato||70|
|Pumpernickel bread||50||Low GI|
|Granary & mixed grain breads||49|
Often, when trying to maintain weight loss, people try to avoid a particular food or food group. Avoiding your favourite food in cause you ‘fall off the wagon’ is a sure-fire way to set yourself up for failure. Avoiding particular food groups, like starchy carbohydrates is not only difficult, but also unhealthy as you are likely to miss out on important nutrients like iron, calcium and B vitamins. It’s better to consider the frequency of eating foods in your diet, to make sure you’re eating the right proportions of food groups.
It’s worth noting that whilst several post Slim & Savers have found that approaches like intermittent fasting (e.g. the fasting diets or 5:2) is helpful, there is no specific evidence that these work. However, it’s all about managing your intake and if you feel that this sort of approach helps you to control your intake, then this may be an option for you. However, there are also a few diets to be wary of in terms of the nutrients you will miss out on.
Drinks are often a hidden source of sugar, or contain more sugar than you expect. A can of regular cola contains 8 teaspoons of added sugar. A 200ml carton of pure (unsweetened) fruit juice contains about 5 teaspoons of sugar (once a fruit is juiced, it’s sugars are no longer kept within the cellular structure, meaning they are absorbed a lot quicker, and may affect dental health). It’s worth noting alcohol here too. Whilst on the Slim & Save programme, alcohol is not allowed. However, after the programme, it’s easy to go back to your old ways and have a few too many a bit too often. Alcohol is made by fermenting and distilling natural starch and sugar, and is referred to as ‘empty calories’ – calories without good nutritional value. We know that drinking alcohol reduces the amount of fat your body burns for energy. Often people will have alcohol with high calorie food as well, meaning you may be taking on more calories than you think. The following table shows how many calories there are in some favourite drinks, and the equivalent in terms of popular food items:
|Alcoholic drink||Number of calories (kcal)||Equivalent food|
|Spirit (one measure)||70 kcal||Digestive biscuit|
|Small glass (50ml) port||79 kcal||2 rich tea biscuits|
|Glass of champagne / cava||86 kcal||Chocolate digestive biscuit|
|Small glass of wine||125 kcal||Packet of crisps|
|Bottle of alcopop||143 kcal||6 squares of milk chocolate|
|Large glass of wine||195 kcal||Slice of sponge cake|
|Pint of beer||197 kcal||Large slice of pizza|
|Pint of cider||210 kcal||Sugar doughnut|
Considering your physical activity routine is absolutely vital to maintaining weight loss. Check out our previous article all about how to inject more physical activity into your daily routine.Written by Annemarie Aburrow RD BSc (Hons) PGDip, Slim & Save Dietitian.
It's good to be slim
|In the last||Slim & Save customers have lost|
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Based on the Slim & Save customers who are using the Weight Tracker Application. (Data auto-updated at 5am each day).