LOOSING weight can be hard work.
Most of the time, we attempt weight loss and diets to feel better about ourselves, but can fail due to our approach.
Now one GP has revealed the six ways you can really lose weight and why it won’t help if you go to the gym.
Speaking to The Sun, registered GP Dr Clare Bailey said losing weight is a challenging thing to do, but added that those who need to do it should focus on how it will benefit their health.
She told Sun Health: “When you look at it in that context it makes it much easier to focus on what you’re trying to do.
“If you have a plan, you’re much more likely to reach your weight loss goals.”
Dr Clare said it’s also key to ask yourself what a difference weight loss will make to your life if you’re overweight or obese.
The main risks of carrying too much weight, she said, include diabetes, chronic diseases that can affect your liver or even arthritis.
Here’s Dr Clare’s top six tips.
1. Cut down on sweets
Dr Clare said when it comes to sweet treats, it’s not about never having them.
She explained that if you have a sweet treat you really want, then you should have it after a meal in order to avoid a sugar spike.
“Choose chocolate if you can, but opt for the sort that is 70 per cent cocoa as this has the most health benefits,” she said.
When it comes to cakes and pastries though, Dr Clare said you can swap out ingredients like flour for ground almonds instead if you’re making them yourself at home.
Dr Clare, who works on the Fast800 programme added that these won’t spike your sugar levels and said that another natural sweetener, is to use fruit to get your fix.
“Your sweet tooth will get less and less and you’ll start to taste the sugar in things even more – even when there’s less sugar in it.
“It’s not good for you to have a lot of sweetners either, so try and remember that when it comes to drinks too.
“Stick to water, milk or herbal tea if you can.”
She added that what you drink on a diet is also really important.
“People on diets often feel tired and it’s usually because they are dehydrated.
“When you cut back on your calories I always advise people to add a litre more beyond what they would usually drink,” she said.
2. Focus on timing
When it comes to when to eat, Dr Clare said there are tricks that can help people lose weight.
She explained that people who use intermittent fasting often have success. This usually refers to a 10-14 hour window without food.
“If you can reduce the window within which you eat then that helps reduce how much you are eating and gives the body a chance to go into ketosis.
“That’s when you’re fat burning and a lot of people find it helps having those rules in place.”
The weight loss guru said that you should also try and avoid eating your main meal within three hours of going to bed as if you eat closer to bed time, it’s more likely to be a bigger meal.
“You have to look at what you have earlier in the day, have a bigger breakfast, a good lunch and make your evening meal a lighter meal,” she added.
Why exercise alone won’t work
Exercise is key when it comes to a healthy and balanced diet, but Dr Clare said that it won’t actually work if you want to lose weight.
She said that while it has huge benefits in terms of heart health and general wellbeing – it’s not actually a good way to lose weight.
“It’s great to get more active and to move more and it’s great to do it with a diet programme.
“Exercise is a really tough way to lose weight and really what you’re eating and how you’re eating is key.”
She added that people are usually surprised when she tells them that exercise isn’t actually that helpful.
“We are constantly told to get on our bikes and do more exercise, but it’s just a huge distraction.
“80 per cent of losing weight is your diet and people need to know that,” she added.
3. Add protein
Dr Clare said that if you’re trying to lose weight, then adding protein is key.
This can be found in meat as well as tofu and eggs.
“When you cut down you need to be sure you’re getting enough protein for your body.
“Eating more of it can help you to feel full and will help with cravings,” she added.
4. Add fibre
Another important tip is to add fibre to your diet, Dr Clare added.
This can include small changes such as swapping out white rices and breads for wholemeal or brown options.
“This won’t add calories but it’s important for weight loss.
“Many people often forget about fibre as a food group and most of us don’t eat enough,” she added.
5. Go Mediterranean
This style of diet is something everyone should be prioritising, Dr Clare told Sun Health.
She explained that it’s known as the healthiest diet in the world and includes wholefoods, plenty of vegetables and some fruits.
“It’s all about knowing how to be healthy. Using slow burning fuels which don’t lead to weight gain such as nuts, seeds and plenty of beans and pulses.
“All of these things contribute to the Mediterranean diet, including fish, oily fish, a little bit of dairy and a little bit of meat.
“The main point is that it’s all foods that are not processed.”
She added that you should avoid foods that are highly processed and this would include things such as packaged sandwiches, pizzas and fast food.
6. Tell a friend
Often, people try and lose weight on their own, but Dr Clare said that telling people could help with your sucess.
She said that asking others for help is key.
“Find buddies and tell people you’re doing it,” she said.
“Encourage them to not push cakes and biscuits on you as it’s just not kind,” she added.