5 surprising things successful dieters do

Fitness blogger Angelina Tan won the battle of the bulge and went from fat and heartbroken to fit and confident in the space of just over a year.
PHOTO: 5 surprising things successful dieters do

Surprising weight loss secrets

Many of us set out with the best intentions to lose weight and eat more healthily, only to lose motivation and give up when we don't see the results we are hoping for.

To help revamp your diet plan and increase your chance of success, check out these 5 surprising things successful dieters do.

1. Successful dieters eat breakfast

Many dieters skip breakfast to help cut back on calories.

However, studies have repeatedly shown that those who eat breakfast are generally slimmer than those who do not, as breakfast-eaters tend to snack less throughout the day.

Researchers from Tel Aviv University found that participants who ate a 600-calorie breakfast and a lighter lunch and evening meal lost an average of 40lbs more than those who started their day with a 300-calorie meal.

This is because the metabolism is believed to be more efficient in the morning and because having a bigger breakfast can help to banish cravings for the rest of the day.

Try starting your day with a healthy, filling breakfast to get your diet off on the right track.

2. Successful dieters eat more fats

While many of us believe that fat is the ultimate enemy when it comes to weight loss, successful dieters know not to give up on fats entirely. In fact, opting for low fat versions of your favourite foods is often not as diet-friendly as it seems, as low fat meals are often packed with sugar to compensate.

Instead of avoiding all fats, opt for monounsatured fats found in avocados, olive oil and nuts.

While it is still important to monitor your consumption of fat, these 'good' fats can actually help weight loss, with studies suggesting that eating a diet rich in monounsatured fats (and low in the saturated kind) can help to promote weight loss, particularly in the tricky abdominal area.

3. Successful dieters ditch the scales

Many of us fixate on the number on the scales, obsessively monitoring its progress up or down.

However, smart dieters know that body weight is not the be all and end all. Firstly, it is important to remember that scales do not show the true picture.

Not only do they not show any of the less tangible benefits of healthy eating, they do not give an accurate representation of fat loss as they fail to indicate how much of your weight is undigested food, muscle or water and how much is fat.

Furthermore, not seeing the number you are hoping for on the scales can seriously affect motivation and self-esteem and lead to emotional eating.

While it is important to monitor your progress, taking waist measurements, measuring body fat and paying attention to the fit of your clothes are more reliable ways to measure changes in your body shape.

It is also important to pay attention to other healthy eating benefits, such as an improved sense of wellbeing, increased energy levels and improved skin tone and texture.

4. Successful dieters eat more often

Most successful dieters know that losing weight isn't so much about how much you eat, but what kinds of food you are eating. In fact, eating too little can put your weight loss goals in jeopardy.

This is because your body has a natural instinct to protect itself, so when it is not given an adequate amount of food it will automatically go into starvation mode, causing the metabolism to slow down and the body to hoard fat and calories.

Furthermore, increasing the number of meals you eat could actually help you to lose weight, as eating small frequent meals (rather than three larger ones) helps to keep your hunger at bay, meaning that you are less likely to over-indulge at your next meal and more likely to consume fewer calories over the day.

5. Successful dieters treat themselves

Although constantly giving into your cravings is a sure-fire way to sabotage your diet, successful dieting doesn't mean cutting out treats entirely. Allowing yourself the odd treat will help your diet seem less daunting and will help you to remain motivated to stay on track and resist your cravings.

Also, unless you plan on giving up your favourite treats forever, there is little point in cutting them out now, as the pounds will just pile on again once you reintroduce them into your diet.

Rather than completely cutting out treats, try embarking on a more realistic and sustainable healthy eating plan by following the 80/20 rule; eating healthily 80 per cent of the time and being less strict for the other 20 per cent.

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