Donegal Nutritionist Sorcha McElchar from Sorchas Healthy Living shares her healthy weight loss tips for slimming the smart way.
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Weight loss is tricky. You can so easily slip into toxic diet culture, and once you fall down that rabbit hole it’s hard to climb out. Sometimes you don’t even realise you’re stuck! Sadly, weight loss is essential for some people to improve their health and that’s a fact. So how can you lose weight while still nourishing your body and enjoying food? Here are a few tips I feel will help you!
- Fibre! I know you’re probably sick of hearing this, but the reason Nutrition professionals and scientists are screaming the importance of fibre from the rooftops is because there is SO MUCH SOLID EVIDENCE PROVING IT! Fibre not only helps with Gut health, it also fills you up faster. Basically, if you took 100g of normal white pasta and 100g of wholegrain pasta, you physically wouldn’t be able to eat as much wholegrain pasta because it would satisfy you faster. This means you wouldn’t be consuming as many calories. It is recommended you consume at least 25-38g of fibre per day. Most people barely consume 10g! You get fibre from any plant food and wholegrain foods.
- You don’t have to starve yourself to lose weight. Eat smart and make your meals as satiating as possible by using the ‘hunger crushing combo’ of protein, fibre, and healthy fats. These nutrients fill us up faster and take longer for our body to absorb. You don’t have to include all three in every meal though. An example would be instead of just having a fruit salad add some natural yoghurt for protein and fat.
- Be careful with drinks. Alcohol does contain calories. In fact, 1g of alcohol contain 7Kcals, which is almost as much as 1g of fat. This includes ALL alcoholic beverages. It doesn’t mean to lose weight you need to go off drink 100% (although cutting back on alcohol isn’t a bad thing). You just need to be aware that it contains calories, and on top of that a lot of the time alcohol gives you the munchies. Fizzy drinks, energy drinks and sports drinks are also high in calories. It can be easy to forget because they aren’t a solid food and so usually don’t satisfy hunger.
- Don’t skip meals. I often must bite my tongue when I hear people proudly say how they’ve eaten “very little today” as if that is a good thing. Even if you are trying to lose weight you need to give your body energy. If you were in a come you would still need calories for you bodily systems (digestive system, cardio system, respiratory system, neurological system, immune system etc) to keep working. I’ll let you into a wee secret. The best hunger suppressor out there is FOOD!
- Not getting enough sleep has been shown to lead to weight gain. This is because it messes with our hunger hormones. Leptin tells us when we’re full, and Ghrelin tells us when we are hungry. Sleep deprivation leads to decreased Ghrelins and increased Leptin levels. Chronic stress also plays a role in weight gain so finding a stress release is a good idea.
- Finally, exercise. You can’t lose weight healthily without exercise. Now I don’t mean joining crazy bootcamps or going to the gym 5 days a week (unless you want to). Find a physical activity you enjoy and then make small changes to your daily routine. Take the stairs instead of the lift when you can. If you live close to work or school and the weather is ok, then why not walk? Park further away from the shops to get in those extra steps. Cleaning the house also counts! All these little things add up. Plus you don’t want to take on this crazy workout schedule that is not sustainable, because the risk is that when you can’t keep it up you will gain some of the weight you lost back.
Sorcha’s dance and ballet classes are a great way to get into exercise at home:
- Try the fllow along online dance fitness classes, a six week course at https://
- In-person ballet fitness classes will begin in February, stay tuned to Sorcha’s page for details: https://www.facebook.com/SorchasHealthyLiving/