7 real-life weight loss tips
Is your New Year's resolution to lose weight in 2020? At WW we encourage you to develop healthy eating habits in addition to moving a little more and shifting into a mindset of success. In fact, after a few weeks, you may find you naturally gravitate towards healthier food choices!
Try these tips as you get started on your weight loss journey.
1. Cook at home
One of the benefits of joining WW is that we support you in discovering how to cook and enjoy healthier meals that suit your individual lifestyle. The more meals you cook at home, the more control you have over portion sizes and ingredients. Not a confident cook? Our cookbooks are full of simple recipes, or ask fellow members in the WW Connect community for their top tips and favourite recipes. You can also join Connect groups such as Recipes, Kitchen Novices, Vegan and Cooking For One.
2. Be adventurous with eating
Be open to eating fresh ingredients that you may not normally put in your trolley. Be brave and pick up that unusual vegetable, or if you haven't eaten something since you were a child, try it again – you never know, you may like it! An easy way to do this is to cook one new recipe a week. If you enjoy it, add it to your regular meals. If you don't, move on and try a new one next week. Trying new things makes meal times more exciting and keeps you motivated.
3. Eat more whole foods
Whole foods are foods that are as close to nature as possible (think fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh meat and seafood, fresh milk, legumes and whole grains such as brown rice and barley). They can be better for your health because they often take longer to digest (so you feel fuller for longer). Whole foods also offer more nutrients and fibre so you get more health benefits in every bite. On the other hand, processed foods (think white bread, deli meats, bottled sauces and most things in packets) often contain hidden fat, salt and added sugar and may offer comparatively lower nutritional value. Wholewheat pasta and grains are ZeroPoint™ foods on Purple!
4. Weigh or measure ingredients
For some recipes (such as baking) weighing ingredients is essential in order for the recipe to be a success. If you know you struggle with portion size, it may be helpful to measure out ingredients like rice and pasta too. Arm yourself with a set of kitchen scales - or measuring cups, spoons and jugs, whatever works for you - to put yourself on the path to success. While you should ultimately let your hunger be your guide, a medium portion of rice and pasta is around 60g. Here's how to recognise when you're actually hungry.
5. Plan ahead
Many of our successful members plan almost everything – from the recipes they're going to cook that week to the meal they'll order at the restaurant on Friday night (our top tip is to Google the menu beforehand and/or check the WW app for SmartPoints® values). They also don't leave home without a healthy snack, so when hunger strikes they aren't tempted by vending machines or a cheeky Greggs. Of course, WW is all about flexibility and choice, so if you don't want to plan everything that goes in your mouth you don't have to! However, planning some of your meals will help you make healthier choices.
6. Eat fruit and vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are great to reach for when you're feeling peckish or you want to bulk up your meal. There are so many different types that you'll never get bored, and you'll also gain the nutrition benefits of a diet rich in plant foods. Adopt the habit of filling half your plate with non-starchy vegetables and choose two servings of fruit to enjoy throughout the day. Mix things up as much as you can, as different plant foods have different health-boosting nutrients. Colour is a great indicator of this, so try to eat a rainbow of different fruit and vegetables each day.
7. Cut yourself some slack
WW doesn't do 'rules' so that means you can't break any! The WW programme will gently guide you towards healthier choices but what, when and how you eat is totally up to you. So if you choose to have that late-night chocolate session, you can factor it into your SmartPoints® Budget and remember that tomorrow is a new day.
Our top healthy cooking tips
- Choose lean cuts of meat and trim off all the visible fat. Remove the skin from poultry.
- Use non-stick pans for cooking (a quick spritz of oil spray or 1–2 teaspoons of liquid oil is usually enough to stop food from sticking). If cooking pieces of meat, such as steaks or cutlets, brush the meat with oil rather than the pan.
- Use olive, canola or sunflower oil for most cooking needs, as they contain healthy fats.
- Include flaxseed oil in dressings for extra omega-3 fatty acids.
- If stir-fried vegetables are sticking to the wok, add a little water or reduced-salt stock instead of more oil. This will create steam to cook the vegetables faster without burning them.
- Line baking trays and cake tins with baking paper. Again, this reduces the amount of oil needed for greasing and also makes washing up a breeze!
- Try alternate sweeteners designed for baking (such as granulated stevia or xylitol) instead of sugar in cakes, muffins, slices and biscuits.
- Swap butter for a reduced-fat spread in baking. In many cakes and muffins, you can also substitute half the spread for no-added-sugar apple puree or mashed banana (this keeps the texture moist with less fat).
- Use a steamer or microwave to cook vegetables as it retains more nutrients. Choose reduced-salt and no-added-sugar products whenever you can.