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How do those in the know stay trim? Well, according to the world’s leading nutritionists, trainers and wellness gurus, it’s the little changes that can make the biggest difference. Integrate these expert-approved tips and tricks into your daily routine and you’ll not only lose weight, but keep it off for good – without sacrificing your favourite treats…
Dietitian Manuel Villacorta, the founder of Whole Body Reboot and author of Eating Free: The Carb Friendly Way to Lose Inches, Embrace Your Hunger and Keep Weight Off For Good, suggests spending three minutes, twice a day, practising deep breathing exercises. “It will reduce the stress hormone cortisol, which builds fat around your mid-section,” he says.
2. Start with eggs
“I’m really big on protein for breakfast,” says Madeleine Shaw, author of Get The Glow, “and eggs are the most complete protein. Protein first thing keeps you satiated and offers sustained energy release.” Cereal and toast can cause blood sugar to spike, leading to mid-morning cravings.
3. Breakfast like a queen
“Make breakfast bigger than lunch, and lunch bigger than dinner,” advises celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson, who recommends eating “light proteins, light complex carbs and fruit” in the morning, and “veggies and protein” for lunch and dinner.
4. Set a carb curfew
Swerve carbs after lunch and “YOU WILL lose weight,” promises fitness guru Bob Harper.
5. Do the apple test
“If you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple, you’re not hungry,” Michael Pollan, author of Food Rules, says.
6. Have a cuppa
Nutritionist David Wolfe suggests swapping coffee for oolong tea, which is “full of EGCGs that work to increase fat oxidation, regulate blood sugar, lower cravings, reduce abdominal fat and block fat building enzymes”.
7. Fill up on fruit
Nutritionist Kathleen Zelman snacks on fruit and veg while she cooks. Fill yourself up with fibre and you’re less likely to overeat at dinner – or crave dessert.
8. Swap soda for sparkling water
“Regular soda drinking may make muscles less likely to burn fat,” says dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner.
9. When life gives you lemons…
Celebrity trainer Jackie Warner recommends drinking three litres of water with lemon daily. Not only will it help to fill you up, but “adding the lemon helps to detoxify the liver and burns about 100 extra calories a day,” she says.
10. Get snacking
Pamela Peeke, author of The Hunger Fix, advises eating every three to four hours, “so you’ll be equipped to say no to temptations.”
11. Embrace your cravings
Celebrity fitness guru Jillian Michaels follows the 80/20 rule – “take 20% of your daily calories and make them fun,” she says. Dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner, creator of The Superfood Swap, meanwhile, suggests you eat what you like, but swap processed and refined ingredients for healthier alternatives – she’s created a guilt-free version of everything from (heart-shaped) pancakes to Pumpkin Spice Lattes.
12. Go nuts
The very best snack, though? Nuts, according to yoga and pilates instructor Kristin McGee, who trains Tina Fey and LeAnn Rimes. She suggests carrying a small container with you at all times. They’ll not only keep your blood sugar stable but “studies have proven that people who eat nuts weigh less and eat less overall,” she says.
13. Know what you want
Have a goal weight in mind. “The brain detects a difference between where you are and where you want to be, so when you’re specific, your brain throws resources like willpower at it,” explains psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson.
14. Fuel your workout
Tracy Anderson, who has trained Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow, recommends eating a protein bar 20 minutes before a workout. “But don’t down a sports drink or coconut water after – you’ll be drinking calories when water would be fine,” she warns.
15. Have a nightcap
“If you enjoy alcohol, be aware that the calories add up quickly,” warns nutritionist Kathleen Zelman, who advises limiting your consumption to one or two drinks on Friday and
Saturday nights. She suggests keeping your hands (and mouth) busy with a cup of tea or decaf coffee to see off those post-dinner munchies/wine cravings.