If there is one thing we enjoy in life it is finding a shortcut to something we want. Who has not felt happier when we attain something faster than we expected? Most people associate weight loss shortcuts with new ‘fad diets’ or even surgery. The latter of these is something that should only be considered in extreme circumstances while the former more often than not turns out to disappointment rather than help to lose weight.
The good news is that it does not have to be a choice between these two options. When it comes to weight loss there are several things you can do to achieve almost immediate results. In fact from following a few simple guidelines you can expect to see a change in the scales within a week. All that is required is a bit of savvy and self discipline.
Think about things in ‘degrees’. For instance, a reduction of around 350 calories a day in your overall take works out to well over 2000 less calories a week in your intake. If even this sounds like a lot to do in a day then just consider this. A cheese and ham sandwich with mayonnaise contains more calories than a double cheeseburger. In fact certain luxury range sandwiches contain over 400 calories and nearly as much saturated fat as a 9 inch pepperoni pizza. From just switching from sandwiches to salads with a dressing you can save around 150 calories a day to begin with.
Now think about what you snack on and what you can replace it with, is it so hard to think about switching from a bag of crisps to some fruit, or switching your dessert from say Ice-cream to yogurt. Straight away you are cutting down on the calories in a simple but efficient fashion. From just these small changes you remove a whole days worth of calories from your weekly intake with out even realizing it.
The good thing with this shortcut is that it helps to prepare you for further more drastic changes should you feel the need to take your routine a step further. Making behavior habitual is the key to maintaining any routine if you can get the basics right you can prove to yourself that you have the right character and self discipline to make more wholesale changes to your lifestyle and routine.
One of the easiest and most popular shortcuts you can make is by replacing sugary snacks and treats with delicious smoothies. A smoothie is essentially a blended fruit drink and is made using a food blender or smoothie maker. If you already own a food blender then you do not have to consider purchasing a smoothie maker which is really just a blender with a tap on the front. Smoothies have rocketed in popularity in the last 10 years and are now a common and regular part in the diets of millions of households.
Smoothies benefit us in a different way from juices because smoothies contain the whole fruit, not just the juice. This means that smoothies contain the fibrous matter of the fruit and as such are good sources for our required dietary intake of fiber. Fiber helps aid digestion and by including more in your diet you will reap a whole host of benefits. High fiber foods can help fill you up, which is why they’re such a great choice if you want to lose weight. Furthermore, most foods that are rich in fiber are also low in fat and good sources of other nutrients. Wholegrain cereals, for example, are packed with iron and B vitamins, many fruit and veg are good sources of vitamin C, and pulses contain protein, iron and calcium.
Smoothies are not the only way to increase your fiber intake. Switching from white to wholegrain bread is one very simple way of doing this. So is introducing a bit more veg into your diet either get the trusty blender out again to make soups or try snacking on low fat healthy beats such as Carrots and hummus.
Also think about how you start the day. Get into porridge for breakfast, the soluble fiber found in oats not only fills you up, it also helps delay stomach emptying, so you feel full longer and this will lead to you being less likely to start snacking on the wrong things at the dreaded 11th hour in work. You may end up putting a few vending machine makers out of business but you will certainly feel and look better for it!