Weight loss: How to lose lockdown pounds safely – important advice over crash dieting

Crash dieting is widely considered to be unhealthy and ineffective, but there are still many who wish to see rapid weight loss results and ultimately starve the body of essential nutrients and vitamins. This form of weight loss may show instant weight loss results but it is not sustainable and can only often deliver short term results.


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Nutritionist Hannah Richards, author of ‘The Best Possible You’, has shared her top tips with the Express.co.uk on how to lose those lockdown pounds safely.

With many Brits having gained weight in the past few months, some may have thought about turning to a diet that promises to show quick results. Crash dieting is often associated with starving the body of essential nutrients that is actually needed to help fuel weight loss.

Many people may think that in order to lose weight, they must eat a lot less food but it is actually possible to lose weight while eating a substantial food variety but just ones which are rich in nutrients and vitamins.

Hannah said: “So you’ve put pounds on during lockdown and you want to get back to your pre-lockdown weigh was soon as possible.

“Let me tell you something – crash dieting doesn’t work and there always comes a point when the intermittent fasting backfires.

“If you try and starve yourself, you’ll soon discover that your mood swings mean you’re unpleasant to be around.

“In addition, a stressed body that only eats a diet of lean, mean, green food and over exercises, will not only burn out its cortisol levels, but start to down-regulate its thyroid hormones, potentially leading to hypothyroidism.

“Weight will take up residency around the stomach of the moons, as the steroidal hormonal pathways get confused. Your cravings will start to kick in and out goes the chicken and broccoli for breakfast as you happily settle for any warm baked goods. Back to square one.”

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The expert has shared her top tips on how to lose weight healthily and safely without crash dieting.

Stop counting calories

Instead of counting calories, you should pay attention to the quality of the food you are eating. Eating healthier nutrient dense foods will automatically make you eat less foods and therefore counting the calories is irrelevant.

Also counting every calorie you consume can be unhealthy for your mindset and make you obsessive about what you are putting into your body and you may miss some nutrients that the body needs.

Eat organically, locally and seasonally

Consuming more fresh produce like organic fruits and vegetables has been a consistent link to weight loss because they are high in fibre and nutrients.

This can help control appetite but also eating preservative and pesticide free foods can help nurture the body and provide it with more energy.


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Stick to a routine

Sticking to the same bed time every evening and waking up every morning at the same time can help ensure that your body is getting enough sleep but not too much and can help provide your body with energy for the rest of the day.

Hannah recommends going to sleep at around 10:30pm every night and waking up at around 7 every day to get your body into a routine.

Drink water

Hannah says: “Drink water on waking before meals and after every bowel movement.”

While drinking water may be an obvious one and you should consume lots of water each day, consuming water before meals may help to make you feel fuller, making you eat less food overall.

This can help keep your diet in a calorie deficit and ultimately help you shed the extra pounds.

Alcohol free days

Having alcohol free days each week can help improve sleep and reduces the risk of heart disease and cancers.

It is advised that in order to improve overall health and to lose the weight, alcohol consumption must be reduced as it contains a lot of calories and sugar.

Hannah recommends having around five days alcohol free each week to see the results.

Eat vegetables

Eating green, starchy and fibrous vegetables each day can be one of the key points to losing weight.

These foods are both rich in nutrients and fibre which can help you keep fuller for longer and at the same time provide your body with essential nutrients and vitamins that the body needs.

Hannah says: “Don’t be worried about eating carbohydrates such as rice, lentils or grains. However, be wary of processed food, alcohol, corn sugar, additives, preservatives, trans fat, hydro go side milk, commercially farmed meat, cheese that has elastic qualities and sweets.”

Stop comparing yourself

Comparing yourself to others can ultimately result in crash dieting to help you lose weight fast. This may work initially but as Hannah explains this can cause your body to bounce back and can also result in binge eating.

Listen to your body

The nutritionist explains: “Listen to your body – instead of automatically reaching for a biscuit or glass of wine, ask yourself if you are really hungry or thirsty, or just bored. Keep yourself busy and feed your body, not your emotions. Make sure you exercise each day, ideally outdoors in the fresh air. A long, brisk walk is great for both mind and body.”

Experts recommend around an hour a day of exercise but you may want to do a little bit more to burn those extra pounds. However, excessive exercise is not sustainable and is not advised.

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