Once the Christmas binge is over and we approach the start of New Year, most of us resolve to shape up and
lose a few lbs. Before you start that Atkins diet, OutUK correspondent Thomas Wines
has come up with some tips on healthier eating which will help shift those extra inches.
Start your diet with a food diary, record everything you eat, what you were doing at the
time, and how you felt. That tells you about yourself, your temptation, the emotional
states that encourage you to snack and may help you lose once you see how much you eat.
You too could have a body like this former OutUK Model Of The Year.
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Instead of eating the forbidden piece of chocolate, brush your teeth. If you're about to
cheat, allow yourself a treat, then eat only half a bite and throw the other half away.
When hunger hits, wait 10 minutes before eating and see if it passes. Set attainable
goals. Don't say, "I want to lose 50 lbs." Say, "I want to lose 5 lbs a month."
Get enough sleep but not too much. Try to avoid sugar. Highly sweetened foods tend
to make you crave more.
DRINK LOTS OF WATER
Drink six to eight glasses of water a day. Water itself helps cut down on water
retention because it acts as a diuretic. Taken before meals, it dulls the appetite
by giving you that "full feeling." Diet with a friend. Support groups are important,
and caring people can help one another succeed. Start your own, even with just one
Substitute activity for eating. When the cravings hit, go to the gym if possible; or
dust, or walk around the block. This is especially helpful if you eat
out of anger.
If the pie on the counter is just too great a temptation and you don't want to
throw it away, freeze it. If you're a late-night eater, have a carbohydrate, such
as a slice of bread of a cracker, before bedtime to cut down on cravings. Keep an
orange slice or a glass of water by your bed to quiet the hunger pangs that wake
If you use food as a reward, establish a new reward system. Buy yourself a non-edible
reward. Write down everything you eat - - everything - including what you taste when
you cook. If you monitor what you eat, you can't go off your diet.
Weigh yourself once a week at the same time. Your weight fluctuates constantly and
you can weigh more at night than you did in the morning, a downer if you stuck to
your diet all day. Make dining an event. East from your own special plate, on your
own special placemat, and borrow the Japanese art of food arranging to make your
meal, no matter how meagre, look lovely. This is a trick that helps chronic over-eaters
and bingers pay attention to their food instead of consuming it unconsciously.
Mark Roberts won Mr Gay UK 2004
Don't shop when you're hungry. You'll only buy more fattening food. Avoid crisps and snacks
that are easy to eat in large amounts. Avoid consuming large quantities of sugary fattening
liquids, which are so easy to overdo. And this includes alcoholic drinks.
Keep plenty of crunchy foods like raw vegetables and air-popped fat-free popcorn on
hand. They're high in fibre, satisfying and filling. Leave something on your plate,
even if you are a charter member of the Clean The Plate Club. It's a good sign that
you can stop eating when you want to, not just when your plate is empty.
DO IT FOR YOU
Lose weight for yourself, not to please your boyfriend, your parents or your friends.
Make the kitchen off-limits at any time other than mealtime. Always eat at the table,
never in front of the TV set or with the radio on. Concentrate on eating every
mouthful slowly and savouring each morsel. Chew everything from 10 to 20 times
and count! Never ever skip a meal.
If you want to lose weight we recommend The Gi Diet. Nothing to do with the US Army
Gi stands for Glycemic Index which measures how quickly carbohydrates are digested and
release their sugars into the bloodstream. Foods with a high Gi rating release glucose
rapidly, their energy is rapidly burned up and hunger quickly returns. The Chinese meal
syndrome, where you're hungry half an hour later, is the perfect illustration of this.
Low-rated slow-release foods, by contrast, provide long-term energy and tend to require
the body to do more work to convert it, which means they are better for your weight
and well-being. The GI Diet is available online from