Keep the weight off permanently!
Keep the weight off permanently!

Best techniques for weight loss

If you're serious about losing weight, tried-and-tested strategies are always preferable to following the latest fad diets. These 10 techniques come recommended by health professionals to help you keep the weight off permanently.

1. Don't skip meals
It seems like common sense – eat less to gain less – but this downsizing should be in your portion sizes rather than avoiding meals themselves. Sticking rigidly to three meals a day and allowing yourself healthy snacks in-between will keep your energy levels up and stop you getting cravings.

2. Nutrient balance
Counting calories works for some people, but easier and more reliable is aiming for a balance of all the nutrients your body needs. Try to eat protein, carbs and healthy fat in every meal, packed with slow-digesting nutrients to keep you full for longer.

3. Vary your exercise routine
Diversifying your exercises works multiple muscles and burns more calories. Moderate exercise is recommended for weight management, as a more intense workout can actually cause appetite to increase.

4. Skip the salt
Avoid adding salt to food and always check nutrition labels when buying groceries to reduce your sodium intake. The average person today consumes twice as much salt as their body needs, which is a major factor in weight gain.

5. Spice it up
If you love spicy food, you're in luck! Studies have found that hot, spicy food and sauces reduce hunger pangs, as well as releasing feel-good endorphins in the brain.

6. Drink lots of water
That's good advice for everybody, but when you're trying to lose weight, hydration becomes even more important. As well as taking up space in your stomach to stave off hunger, drinking 8 glasses of water each day can boost your metabolism.

7. Avoid 'diet' drinks
Some of the most dangerously misleading products ever to hit the shelves, diet soda drinks contain artificial sweeteners that can confuse your body and cause you to overeat. Drinking even one can of diet soda a day may also increase your risk for metabolic syndrome and heart disease.

8. Carry healthy snacks
Wherever you're going to be during the day, make sure you have a supply of nutritious, filling and tasty snacks so you won't have to settle for what's available in stores.

9. Stand up
Take every opportunity to stand during the day – when you're eating, on the phone or watching TV – and you'll burn calories at 1.5x the rate of sitting.

10. Get a good night's sleep
Getting a full eight hours per night can be crucial for keeping your hormones in balance, which regulates how your body burns and stores fat and makes it so much easier to manage your weight during the day.

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