Start the New Year off on the right foot with these simple diet tricks
The New Year is the perfect time to rethink what you eat. Eating clean feeds your body the goodies it needs to run smoothly and fast-forward your weight-loss results. Check out our experts’ top tips to get started – there’s no calorie counting involved!
Load up on lemon and ginger
This duo works together as a powerful and all natural weight-loss aid. Ginger is known to be a thermogenic food. It raises the temperature of the body and helps speed up the metabolism. ‘It’s also a natural appetite suppressant and has a beneficial effect on the entire digestive system by regulating and assisting the movement of food through the stomach and intestines,’ says nutritionist Hanna Sillitoe.
Lemons are the ultimate weight-loss booster. ‘They keep the body’s pH balance trending towards alkaline, which has been proven to help achieve optimal weight. Juice a chunk of lemon and ginger with a whole apple or pear, and drink it like a shot before breakfast,’ recommends Sillitoe.
Pop a probiotic
Sadly, there’s no magic pill for instant weight loss, but if it’s a flatter tummy you’re after, pop a daily probiotic supplement. Probiotics can help restore the balance of good bacteria in your gut. ‘If you combine a good-quality supplement with a healthy diet, you’ll prevent yeast and bad bacteria from overgrowing in your gut and causing bloating,’ says nutritionist Sharon Morey .
Beat hunger pangs
When you’re looking to shed the pounds, snacking can either make or break your diet goals. Keep low-GI snacks such as nuts, fruit and oatcakes in your handbag to help you power up on the go, and remember to eat slowly. ‘Gulping down food makes you swallow too much air, which gets trapped in your digestive system causing pressure, bloating and gas,’ says Morey.
Soak your cells
Not getting your eight glasses of water a day? You could be stalling your weight- loss results. Chugging back water keeps your body’s cells working optimally, helps to ward off hunger, keeps bloating at bay and even improves skin health. ‘Water flushes out toxins, regulates certain body functions and delivers essential nutrients to your cells,’ says Sillitoe.
Fool your tummy
Beans and lentils have a reputation for causing bloating and gas, but these underrated ingredients are packed with super powers, including protein and fibre, which stop you from packing on the pounds.
‘Lentils contain a type of resistant starch called amylose, which is resistant to stomach acid and digestive enzymes and reaches the large intestine essentially intact, thus escaping digestion and absorption in the small intestine,’ says Morey. For an extra de-bloating effect, season legumes with fennel seeds, ginger and cumin, which have gut-soothing properties.
Make yours a matcha
If you’re looking for a vitality kickstart with super fat-burning properties, replace your morning latte with matcha tea. While coffee is dehydrating and releases stress hormones, this naturally bright green powder is made from organic green tea leaves, that have been ground down to a fine, super-concentrated form. It’s packed full of goodness and just enough caffeine to give you a buzz without the jitters.
‘Catechins – the major components of green tea – are key to its incredible fat-burning properties. They help keep blood sugar levels stable, which helps stave off cravings. They also lower cholesterol and have been shown to block the formation of plaques linked to Alzheimer’s disease,’ says Sillitoe. Try Teapigs Matcha Green Tea, from £3, teapigs.co.uk.
Start with a salad
Start your meals with a large salad and you’ll naturally eat a smaller main course! Having lots of fresh salads is a great way to increase your nutrient intake, and filling up on fresh vegetables means you’re less likely to be tempted by processed or sugar-laden foods,’ says Bonadio.
Colour code your diet
Brightening up your diet will take your wellbeing to a whole new level, so decorate your plate with the colours of the rainbow. All veggies offer great health benefits, but greens are simply in a league of their own when it comes to weight loss. High in iron and detoxifying nutrients, dark green veggies such as kale, spinach and broccoli will put your fat loss in the fast lane, thanks to their naturally cleansing properties.
‘Place asparagus, broccoli, canned chickpeas and shallots in a baking dish lined with baking paper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes at 180°C. Mix the vegetables in with cooked quinoa and spinach leaves, and toss in an Asian-style dressing made from olive oil, lemon, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and tahini.’