Drinking more water, upping your protein and adding fibre to every meal are three of the ways you can banish extra weight now, after many have put on a few kilos during the coronavirus pandemic.
Sydney nutritionist and food author Lee Holmes explained while all too many of us have put on weight in the past six months, there is time to lose it before the height of summer.
‘Attaining, and then maintaining, a healthy weight doesn’t happen overnight,’ Lee wrote on her website.
So what are the seven ways to transform your health?
Sydney nutritionist and food author Lee Holmes (pictured) explained while all too many of us have put on weight in the past six months, there is time to lose it before the height of summer
Lee (pictured) said the first thing you need to do is drink more water, as we often mistake hunger with thirst when we’re really just thirsty
1. Drink more water
Lee Holmes said the first thing you need to think about is drinking more water.
Even if you think you drink enough water (between two and three litres), we often mistake hunger with thirst when we’re actually just thirsty, and the best thing to do would just be to have some water.
Lee recommends you have a glass of water each and every time you feel like a meal or a snack.
This may help with portion control and eating the right amounts.
The second recommendation from Lee is that you need to eat more fibre, as this will regulate your digestive system – and you can get this from vegetables (pictured)
2. Up your fibre
The second recommendation from Lee is that you need to eat more fibre, as this will regulate your digestive system.
‘Vegetables are full of fibre and rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and they should be the star of the show and the main portion on your plate,’ Lee posted.
The nutritionist recommends foods like leafy greens, zucchini, green beans, broccoli and asparagus, which can be paired with salads and main dishes.
3. Protein is key
Protein is as key to any meal as fibre, as Lee highlighted that it’s ‘vital’ for building ‘muscle mass, increasing your metabolism and satiation’.
‘Include a range of protein at every meal, including plant-based proteins such as chickpeas, lentils, edamame beans non-plant-based proteins like fish, eggs, lean meat and some dairy,’ Lee said.
One of her favourite protein rich and delicious meals is the sautéed scallops with mushrooms and spinach.
How to make Lee’s sautéed scallops with mushrooms and spinach
Lee shared her recipe for scallops (pictured), which is filled with protein and can keep you full
1 teaspoon extra Virgin olive oil
200 g (7 oz/10 small) scallops, rinsed and patted dry
Celtic sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 garlic cloves, crushed
140 g (5 oz) mixed mushrooms, whole or sliced
1 teaspoon fresh or dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
200 g (7 oz) baby English spinach leaves
Splash of apple cider vinegar
Chopped parsley or rosemary sprigs, to serve
Lemon wedges, to serve
1. Heat the oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat.
2. Season the scallops with salt and pepper, sear in the pan for 1–2 minutes on each side, until golden brown, then remove from the pan and set aside.
3. Add the garlic, mushrooms, rosemary, thyme and oregano to the pan, then cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.
4. Add the spinach and apple cider vinegar, then cook for 1–2 minutes, until the spinach just begins to wilt.
5. Return the scallops to the pan and cook for 1 minute to heat through.
6. Serve topped with the parsley or rosemary and with lemon wedges on the side.
Source: Lee Holmes
4. Incorporate the right mix of movement
While 70 per cent of weight loss is about diet, the remaining 30 per cent is to down to exercise – and the correct mixture of aerobic and resistance work.
Lee recommends moderate movement like walking and yoga every single day, two days of resistance-style training either in the form of weights of Pilates and a day or two of more vigorous exercise, like running, boxing or dance.
‘Mixing up the way you move is great for your waistline and mental health,’ she explained.
If you ban yourself from eating some of your favourite foods, you might as well be setting up for failure, Lee (pictured) said
5. Eat your favourite foods
If you ban yourself from eating some of your favourite foods, you might as well be setting up for failure.
Lee is a subscriber to the idea that everything is okay in moderation, and you should never have negative self-talk around food.
Every so often, let yourself have a little of what you love, whether it’s a curry or some fish and homemade chips.
6. Reward yourself differently
If you’re used to rewarding a win at work with ice cream or takeaway, try doing something that isn’t food related, whether it’s a massage, a trip to the cinema, a warm bath or pedicure.
Lee explained that too often, we reward ourselves with food, but this doesn’t have to be the case – and other ways are just as effective.
Protein is as key to any meal as fibre, as Lee highlighted that it’s ‘vital’ for building ‘muscle mass, increasing your metabolism and satiation’ (one of Lee’s meals pictured)
7. Introduce intermittent fasting
Finally, Lee said intermittent fasting is one of the best ways to train your digestive system and lose weight.
You can do this a number of ways, including restricting your calories on specific days or during certain time periods.
The 16:8 method is one of the most popular, as it involves eating during an eight-hour window and fasting for the remaining 16.
You could also try the 5:2 diet, where you cut your calories dramatically on two ‘fasting’ days, and eat as you wish on the remaining five.