Just over one in three adults in the UK feel down, low, anxious or depressed about their body image, and 45 percent of people globally are trying to lose weight right now. Weight loss isn’t rocket science, but it isn’t easy either. If you’ve gained weight and can’t figure out why, don’t panic. Express.co.uk consulted the experts to find out the most common causes of rapid weight gain and what you can do about it.
Gaining weight over time is extremely common and even healthy sometimes.
Classic weight gain is often down to eating more, being less active, water retention, fluctuating mental health, the menstrual cycle, menopause and lack of sleep.
However, if you’ve gained weight in a short amount of time for no obvious reason, you might have an underlying health condition.
12 quick tips to shed the pounds
Apparently, 95 percent of diets fail. You can lose weight quickly but it’s important to make it sustainable.
There’s no quick fix and you should not go hungry or fall for fad juice diets or diet pills.
The NHS has revealed 12 quick tips for shedding the extra pounds you’ve gained (and keep it off).
Do not skip breakfast
Skipping breakfast will not help you lose weight, contrary to popular belief.
You could miss out on essential nutrients and you may end up snacking more throughout the day because you feel hungry.
Fill yourself up with protein-packed, energy-boosting foods like porridge, eggs, smoothies or granola bars instead.
Eat regular meals
Eating at regular times during the day helps burn calories at a faster rate, so don’t try to go without food in a bid to cut down calories.
Having regular meal times and ensuring you’re always eating when you’re hungry reduces the temptation to snack on foods high in fat and sugar.
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Eat plenty of fruit and veg
Fruit and veg are low in calories and fat, and high in fibre – three essential ingredients for successful weight loss.
They also contain plenty of vitamins and minerals to keep you fit, healthy and beautiful!
Get more active
Being active is key to losing weight and keeping it off.
Don’t go too hard on the running machine if you don’t enjoy it. Find an activity that you enjoy and can work into your daily routine.
As well as providing lots of health benefits, exercise can help burn off the excess calories you cannot lose through diet alone.
Drink plenty of water
People sometimes confuse thirst with hunger, so it’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day.
When you’re thirsty, you can end up consuming extra calories when a glass of water is really what you need.
Eat high-fibre foods
Foods containing lots of fibre can help keep you feeling full, which is perfect for losing weight.
Fibre is only found in food from plants, such as fruit and veg, oats, wholegrain bread, brown rice and pasta, and beans, peas and lentils.
Read food labels
Knowing how to read food labels can help you choose healthier options.
It’s okay to treat yourself every now and then, but try to be aware of what you’re consuming on a daily basis.
You can use the calorie information on packaging to work out how a particular food fits into your daily calorie allowance, whatever that is.
Use a smaller plate
Using smaller plates can help you eat smaller portions, it’s magic!
By using smaller plates and bowls, you may be able to gradually get used to eating smaller portions without going hungry.
You shouldn’t go hungry, but sometimes we can be tempted to have bigger portions than we really need, and this could all be stopped with a smaller plate.
It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain it’s full, so eat slowly and stop eating before you feel full.
Do not ban foods
Do not ban any foods from your weight loss plan, especially the ones you like.
Banning foods will only make you crave them more and you’ll end up going overboard on them and potentially even gaining more weight.
There’s no reason you cannot enjoy the occasional treat as long as you stay within your daily calorie allowance.
Do not stock junk food
To avoid temptation, do not keep junk food such as chocolate, biscuits, crisps and sweet fizzy drinks, or whatever your guilty pleasure is at home.
Instead, opt for healthy snacks, such as fruit, unsalted rice cakes, oatcakes, unsalted or unsweetened popcorn, and fruit juice, so when hunger strikes you have healthier options to go to.
Cut down on alcohol
People often forget that alcohol is extremely calorific.
Did you know that a standard glass of wine can contain as many calories as a piece of chocolate? That’s right.
Drinking alcohol on a regular basis is a really common reason for rapid weight gain.
Plan your meals
Try to plan your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the week, making sure you stick to your calorie allowance.
You may find it helpful to make a weekly shopping list or have a diary where you can write down what you’ve going to eat a week ahead of time.
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