Ask The Expert

15 Unconventional Diet Tips

For those looking for renewed motivation and something different to help achieve healthy weight loss, XLS-MEDICAL dietician Jodie Relf shares 15 unconventional diet tips that may sound unusual but could just work to keep you on track to reaching your ideal weight in 2016.

1. Keep mouth wash/chewing gum in the kitchen

I know it sounds a bit weird to have these items stored in your kitchen but it can be incredibly helpful – especially if you tend to pick and taste as you cook (this is my downfall), when you have that minty fresh taste in your mouth you are less likely to nibble as you go. Mint tea can also do the trick and helps keep you hydrated.

2. Save your pounds

This time of year is the worst for colleagues bringing biscuits and chocolates in to the office and if you’re anything like me if there is a chocolate staring me in the face all day I’m bound to give in to temptation. BUT if you have a jar on your desk where you place a pound (or 50p) every time you manage to turn down an offer of naughty nibbles and put the money towards a manicure/pedicure/massage.

3. Sit at the head of the table

The middle of the table is usually where bread baskets, sharing plates and bottles of wine are placed, so the theory is if you are further away from these you will eat less!

4. Get naked!

Winter is all about staying wrapped up and wearing lots of layers making it easy for a few extra pounds to go unnoticed. If however you get naked (and this doesn’t have to be for someone else) you’re bound to be more conscious and aware of what’s going on.

5. Put a BIG stop sign on your fridge

So often we start nibbling on food for reasons other than hunger e.g. boredom, stress, habit etc. having something that makes you stop and think about whether or not you really are hungry can result in you eating less between meals.

6. Put a mirror in your dining room

Apparently having a mirror in the room makes us more aware of what and how much we are eating which results in us eating less.

 7. Don’t give up your life to get skinny

For most people losing weight means avoiding all social situations and feeling deprived when you do go out because you can’t have what you really want. If you do find yourself in a situation where the options aren’t as healthy as you would like or you just can’t face a salad when you know how good the burgers are – don’t beat yourself up about it, enjoy the meal and make sure your next meal is a healthy one; it’s all about striking a balance.

8. Go out to get skinny

Much like the point above – if you’re avoiding going out to avoid temptation you may find yourself sitting at home bored, which may result in you reaching for the biscuit tin because you are being good by not going out after all so you deserve a treat right? If this is a situation you can relate to then going out and choosing a healthy meal instead of avoiding the situation completely and ending up at home with the biscuit tin might be more beneficial for your waistline.

9. Stop being an all or nothing person

Avoiding the gym because you only have 30minutes to squeeze in a work out? 30 Minutes is better than nothing! Cutting out alcohol because you want to avoid any extra calories? Just one glass of red wine can actually be beneficial – not to mention helps you maintain your sanity!

10. Make fat your friend

I’m not giving you permission to cover everything in oil and butter or tuck in to the peanut butter jar with a tablespoon but time and time again I see food diaries that include absolutely no fat! Our bodies need healthy fats – not to mention the fact they keep us fuller for longer and could result in us snacking less between meals. So make sure your diet features avocado, nuts, seeds, oily fish etc.

11. Calories alone won’t cut it!

If you’re hoping to lose weight just by focusing on how many calories you consume you may find yourself a little disappointed. So many dieters start frantically reading labels and adding up calories to ensure they stick to a certain number every day – but put little or no emphasis on where these calories are coming from. Whilst sticking to 1500 calories a day may help you create a calorie deficit, if all of those calories are coming from only one or two foods groups (mainly carbohydrates and/or sugars) you are not giving your body what it needs and will end up hungry, lacking in nutrients and struggling to shift the pounds. Make sure your meals always contain sufficient amounts of proteins, healthy fats, vegetables and moderate amounts of complex carbohydrates.

12. Get bragging

If you start boasting to your friends about the fact that you’re ‘just headed to the gym’ or ‘just threw a really delicious healthy meal together’ you will be more inclined to do these things as you’d hate your friends to take a look at you and think ‘I thought she’d been working out loads’.

13. Pack your ‘naughty’ foods out of reach

If you have to get a chair out or worse yet ask your partner or kids to get down that bag of crisps or bar of chocolates you will be less likely to give in to temptation.

14. Drop and give me 20!

What if you made a rule that every time you wanted a snack you had to stop and do 20 push ups/squats? Not only would you be burning some calories but you would also be forcing yourself to stop and think about whether you truly were hungry.

15. 85:15

If 85% of your meals are healthy you’ve got room for a little enjoyment. Most of us eat a minimum of 21 meals per week (that’s 3 meals 7 days a week), so if 3 of those 21 meals are slightly less healthy options you’re not going to be sabotaging your diet so stop guilt tripping yourself for a few slip ups.

Jodie RelfJodie Relf is fully registered with the British Dietetics Association and the Health and Care Professionals Council, and is the in house dietician at XLS-MEDICAL. She ensures the brand follow the guidelines for weight management from bodies such as NICE, developing and providing expert advice on the brand content such as dietary and lifestyle articles, website content, as well as the XLS-Medical app, which are great sources of support and motivation.

Find out more information on Facebook @xls-medical

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