We have to love ourselves the way we are. We should embrace our body and its uniqueness. Unless we love ourselves, no one else will, and so on and so forth. How many times have we heard them all? Plenty. They’re all true, but still, for a woman to fully accept herself, and especially her body, is a bit trickier. Especially now that summer is upon us.

As the weather gets hotter, we will gradually start wearing more skin-exposing clothes made of  lighter fabrics and brighter colours. Automatically, this means that the “sins” of winter will be revealed. Summer also means going to the beach. And here the real problem begins. Some women have varicose vein issues that makes summer a “nightmare” while others have on-going battles with cellulite. For those issues, however, there are easy-to-follow-up treatments, like applying cream, available. The one thing that women dread the most and cannot so easily tackle, though, is excess weight.

No matter how petite or voluptuous a woman is, any extra weight gained during winter usually becomes a reason of great sadness. The magic word to that, we all know, is diet! Even a small child knows that. And, there are many, many diets available, often promising to make you lose weight very rapidly. How many times, though, have you tried one of those diets to only see the weight piling up even more after stopping it?Scales

It is time to approach weight loss differently. In order to lose weight and stay healthy, slow steps should be followed. Steps that do not involve any dieting. You do not need to punish yourself to lose that extra weight. Be gentle on yourself, start slowly, aim realistically, adopt healthy eating habits and lose weight with no-diet. Yes, it can be done and no special tricks, no equipment or medication are necessary.

All it is required of you is some minor lifestyle tuning that will not only ensure you get rid off the extra weight but you will get healthier too:

1. Eat slowly: Macrobiotic practitioners say that you should chew your food 30 times before you swallow, to give time to the enzymes in your saliva to start digesting the food. Eating slowly, also, gives you time to taste and appreciate the food you are actually eating, as well as, help you eat less.

2. Drink plenty of water: Up to 70% of our body is made of water. It is, therefore, essential to drink plenty of it. Try drinking 6-8 glasses of water per day. It will make you feel fuller too.

woman-eating-working 3. Eat at the table: By the time we are home and dinner is ready, our favourite TV show is on. What do we do? We sit in front of the TV and eat our meal. Sometimes, we have a deadline to meet and we cannot spare 10 minutes for dinner, ending up eating while working on the computer. All of that, however, means that we cannot control the amount of food we eat, as we are preoccupied with something else. Result? We end up eating more than necessary. So, next time you sit on the sofa to eat your dinner, think again.

4. Never skip meals, just adjust portions: How? Use smaller plates. Experts say that it is essential to keep your blood sugar steady to prevent hunger and skipping meals does not help. It is best to eat small, frequent meals every 3-4 hours and never ever skip breakfast, as studies have shown that people who lost weight and kept it off always ate breakfast.

5. Eat high-fibre foods: We have all heard that we should eat more fibre; it helps enormously with constipation problems, lowers the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Fibre, also, helps in maintaining a healthy weight. A recent study, led by Imperial College London and the Medical Research Council (MRC), UK,  identified a molecule that is naturally released when fibre is digested and which sends a signal to the brain to stop eating (ScienceDaily). So, substituting white flour products, like bread, cakes, pasta, with whole grain ones and increasing your daily intake of fruits and vegetables ensures you feel full for longer and controls your over-eating.

6. Exercise: adding any form of exercise in your everyday life will help you burn calories. It does not necessarily mean you will have to go to the gym, even though dance-exercise can really help boost your energy levels and burn many calories. Start by doing your best to become as active as possible, by taking the stairs, pacing while you are talking on the phone, having more sex.

sleeping 7. Sleep well: studies have showed a link between sleep deprivation and weight problems, due to changes in hormone levels. Some types of hormones are only produced during sleep and among other things control our appetite and weight. So, next time you go to bed, think of the good you are doing to your thighs and bottom.

8. Tame temptations: we often hear ourselves saying “I will only eat one cookie or a small piece of that mouth-watering Pavlova” but end up eating the whole lot. Why? Because we push our willpower more than it can stand. Research has shown that our brain gets overloaded when we use our willpower resulting ultimately in weakened resistance to temptations. To protect yourself you need to set up barriers:

  • refrain from buying unhealthy snacks, like crisps and sweets
  • do not go food-shopping when you are hungry
  • eat a healthy snack before you go to a dinner party
  • close your kitchen after a certain time, so you won’t give in to mindless snacking while watching television
  • establish a time when you will stop eating and brush your teeth, so you will be less likely to eat anything else

Be gentle on yourself, losing weight shouldn’t be such a burden after all! Just remember to always consult with your doctor, especially if you want to lose a lot of weight and/or have a medical condition before starting any weight-loss regime.

 

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Lab scientist, sharp dresser and cooking guru Maria is one half of the original alwaysladies.com founding team. She brings her opinions with earnestness and a smile, even when there are razor blades inside.

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