10 things you can do now to lose weight

Now I’m no diet/ exercise guru, but I have lost 7 kg in the past 3 months or so after seeing a dietician. I now feel comfortable and happy in my body. My clothes fit well and I feel great in them.

I’ve tried everything when it comes to losing weight, from eating barely anything to exercising 7 days a week. I usually get short term results, but the weight soon comes back.

I now feel like I’ve made a lifestyle change, and that I can stick to this “diet” for the rest of my life. Because it’s not really a diet. I’ve just learnt to make choices.

The principle is that if you expend more energy than you consume, you will lose weight. You don’t necessarily need to eat less or eat steamed vegetables at every meal.

I thought I would share the 10 big changes I made which really sped up my weight loss. These were the base of the eating plan my dietician gave me. You can do them too, and you can start now.

1) Drink water. Only water. 2 litres a day. No fruit juice, no grapetizer/appletizer, fizzy drinks, iced tea or anything with added sugar. These add loads of energy to your diet without really filling you up. You can have diet drinks (1 or 2 a week) or Brookesdiet cordial which you mix with water.

2) Try and wean yourself off sugar in tea and coffee. Cut it down by 1/4 teaspoon a week until you’re down to zero. I went from 3 teaspoons of sugar to none.

3) Switch to fat free milk. Unless you’re drinking it plain, in tea or coffee you hardly notice the difference after a while.

4) Swap white for rye or wholewheat. White carbs are really refined and they’re bad for you. Don’t have more than 2 slices of bread at a meal and not more than 3 slices in a day.

5) Bulk up your meals with veggies instead of carbs. These fill you up and contain hardly any kilojoules (energy). Google interesting ways to cook your favourite veggies. Add a protein to this and you can have a delicious, filling meal.

6) Look at the kilojoulecontent at the back of the pack before you buy something. When you realizethat a chocolate bar contains the same amount of energy as your entire lunch, you may reconsider.

7) Don’t deprive yourself if you’re craving something. Eat cake. Eat chocolate. But keep the portions small. You can’t have it all. If you’ve eaten a chocolate during the day, you can’t have pizza for dinner. Well you can, but then you can’t expect to lose weight!

8) Fried things are the devil. Samoosas, chips, basically deep fried anything add huge amounts of kilojoules to your diet without adding much nutrition.

9) Woolieshas some great options for people who want to watch their weight. Look out for the “slimmer’schoice” items. They make it so easy, and I think it’s a given that anything from Wooliesis tasty!

10) Don’t make the diet this radical change. Don’t take supplements unless you feel you can take them for the rest of your life. Just make small changes that you can maintain long term without feeling like you’re being deprived. As the kilo’s drop off, you’ll be motivated to carry on!

The mistake I’ve been making for years is thinking that exercising 4-5 times a week would negate all the bad eating I’d been doing. I’ve actually cut down on my exercise since seeing a dieticianand I’ve still lost weight. It’s all about what you eat.

Good luck!