A nutritionist and lifestyle coach has revealed her secret formula to dropping a dress size for good. Hannah Richards, Founder of The Gut Clinic in London, told FEMAIL that ‘yo-yo diets‘ or ‘an all or nothing mindset’ when it comes to weight loss ‘sets you up for failure’.
Instead, she believes we should adopt a ‘back to basics‘ approach, where you don’t cut out the foods you love, but rather you use helpful methods in order to stick to a healthy lifestyle.
Some of her top tips include ditching the utensils and eating with your hands, visualise and smell food before having a meal to start the vital first stages of digestion and only exercise if you’re feeling ’10 out of 10’.
Hannah said: ‘Cutting corners with restricting food or relying on crash diets simply won’t work for the long term, and the problem with cutting corners is that you will soon enough run out of corners’. Here, she reveals her ‘secret formula’ to weight loss…
1. ONLY EXERCISE IF YOU’RE FEELING 10 OUT OF 10
‘Exercise is important however only workout if you are feeling 10 out of 10,’ insisted Hannah
‘Exercise is important however only workout if you are feeling 10 out of 10,’ insisted Hannah.
‘Otherwise it will have the opposite effect because you will be lower in energy afterwards which will result you reaching for the biscuit tin as you try and get a pick me up.
2. DITCH THE UTENSILS AND START EATING WITH YOUR HANDS
‘I advise you to not overcommit yourself and make sure it fits your energy levels. Start with a daily walk or a class such as yoga once a week.’
Hannah said: ‘Eating with your hands simply yet successfully slows you down. Your fork or spoon can act as a shovel especially when you are hungry, and this can easily lead to overeating.
‘You may not realise you are overeating by using utensils as we have been programmed to think it is polite etiquette to eat in this manner especially in Western cultures.
‘By consciously eating with your hands, you are eating slower and therefore improving digestion as you chew more and become more mindful.
‘Remember, eating is sensory and, in using your hands, you take the sensory experience to another level. Therefore, digestion is further improved when you eat with your hands.’
3. VISUALISE AND SMELL FOOD TO START VITAL FIRST STAGES OF DIGESTION
The nutritionist said: ‘It is the mouth where delicate digestion begins and if you miss this then you will be sure to have some digestive upsets further down the track which can lead to additional weight gain.
‘The mouth is essentially like a high-tech Jacuzzi, with jets of saliva shooting out in demand to the cephalic response.
‘Just the thought of your favourite food sends signals to your brain to release saliva where the digestive enzymes are found to further break down your food.
‘This in my opinion is one of the biggest eating mistakes and it is little wonder why people can’t pinpoint why they are stuck in a weight loss rut.
‘Remember, if you do not have this orgasmic thought process then you miss the cephalic phase and it is the most important phase of digestion. So, smell food, look at it, prepare it with your own hands, all to stimulate this key digestive response.’
4. CHEW YOUR FOOD TO LIQUID FORM EVERYTIME
‘It is surprisingly common but many of us swallow our food without chewing it properly,’ warned the lifestyle coach. ‘This creates a vicious cycle of your brain thinking it needs more food when you do not need the extra calories.
‘In addition, not chewing causes large particles of food to enter the body which creates all sorts of indigestion and gut problems from bloating, trapped gas, constipation, feelings of sluggishness and can even exaggerate IBS symptoms.
‘Chewing to liquid form will boost digestion as your foods will be breakdown much easier.
Therefore, not only will you have more energy, as you body’s energy source will refocus elsewhere, the chewing will trigger the production of stomach acids which are the key basis for breaking down the food you eat. If you want to drop a dress size follow this vital step every time you eat.’
5. ADAPT AN OLD FASHION EATING STYLE
‘The modern world has had a detrimental effect on our waistlines as we have formed unhealthy habits over the years which is essentially called “distracted eating”,’ explained Hannah.
‘The biggest distractions are using your phone, scrolling through social media, watching TV and eating at your desk while you eat your meal.
‘Then we simply do not make that connection when we feel full and continue to eat as our brains trick us. We are also not paying attention to how fast we are eating and when we have finished we don’t feel satisfied.
‘To recognise your hunger and fullness cues, the best approach would be to sit at a table – even if it is for 20-30 minutes – sit and enjoy your plate of food in the moment. Also, ensure you sip water throughout.
6. SLEEP ON YOUR LEFT SIDE TO BOOST NIGHTTIME DIGESTION
‘When you sleep at night be conscious of your sleeping position as you can digest food more effectively if you lie on your left side because this is the natural position of your stomach,’ said Hannah.
‘You’ll be therefore helping the digestive process along. You will also reduce bloating and indigestion.
‘Over time your stomach won’t stretch because your digestive system is working efficiently – so that uncomfortable full feeling will disappear because food won’t be sat in your stomach all night.’