What to Read Next

Lose up to a stone in a month without crash dieting

rachaelannehill
Rachael Anne Hill
24 January 2012

Want to look great for summer but can't bear the thought of another diet?  Take a look at Rachael Anne Hill's no-nonsense, top tips for fast, healthy, weight loss.

Take up juggling

No, not the ball throwing variety - I'm talking food juggling instead. Juggling the ingredients of your favourite meals by reducing the carbohydrate content slightly and increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables can be a highly effective way of cutting calories and controlling blood sugars whilst doubling your nutrient intake into the bargain.

For example, a spaghetti bolognaise made in the usual way of frying mince and onions, adding a tomato based sauce and serving on top of a plate of spaghetti amounts to approximately 600 calories.

If however, you juggle the ingredients by using 50% less meat and spaghetti and add in more vegetables in the form of peas, sweet corn, tinned tomatoes, mushrooms and grated carrot (which dissolve within the cooking process to give the tomato sauce a fabulous, smooth, rich, velvety texture) you'll not only create a far tastier, healthier, more filling meal, you'll halve the calories to approximately 300 per serving too.

Apply this process to all your favourite meals and watch your waistline whittle away.

[See also: Four workouts to target body trouble spots]

Zero calorie your drinks
The calories within drinks really can stack up so just for this month ditch the lattes, sodas, juices, wine and beers for water, herbal or green teas instead.  You'll not only save over 500 calories a day you'll find you become far more hydrated too which is a real bonus as research shows even mild levels of dehydration can cause the brain to confuse thirst with hunger and substantially increase the likelihood of over eating.

Curb your carbs
Carbohydrate based foods are essential for energy but not all carbs are equal.  Refined carbohydrates such as cakes, biscuits, most breads, pastas and cereals are often lacking in nutrients and can send blood sugars rocketing resulting in increased appetite, cravings and lethargy so they are best avoided wherever possible. Instead, focus on more unrefined, lower GI alternatives but still keep servings sizes small.

For example, swap white breads for rye or stone ground, whole meal varieties.  Switch from plain pasta to whole meal, white rice to brown rice and add in more beans, pulses and oats to your meals and snacks. Bulk out your meals and snacks with extra fruit or vegetables wherever possible too as these also contain carbohydrate but digest at a slower rate helping to prevent blood sugars from spiking.

[Useful: Can you spot the healthier option?]

Move!
Exercise is not only key to getting the weight off, studies show it also greatly increases the chances of it staying off.  Aerobic activities such as walking, running, dancing, cycling, skipping, skating and swimming all increase your metabolic rate and burn calories.  Aim to do at least 30 minutes a day and always take five minutes before and after exercising to warm up and cool down thoroughly.  Work at a level where you are breathing heavily but could still hold a conversation if required.

If you are a confident exerciser try adding in short 30 to 60 second bursts of higher intensity exercise every 4 to 5 minutes. For example, when jogging, walking, cycling or swimming increase your pace for 30 to 60 seconds or, if exercising on a cardio vascular machine, increase the speed or the resistance you are working at. This is called interval training and can help to burn up to 30% more calories per session.

Impose a calorie curfew

Skipping breakfast and eating little or no lunch can leave you feeling tired and lethargic throughout the day. Then, when dinner rolls around you are far more likely to overeat.  Instead, have a good sized breakfast, followed by a substantial lunch and a light evening meal.  If, you feel the need, add in a small mid morning and mid afternoon snack such as a piece of fruit, a low fat yogurt or a small handful of mixed nuts and seeds or dried fruits.

Down size your dinner service
To avoid feeling hungry or deprived try eating off a smaller plate. Researchers at Cornell University found it really does work! They took a group of 85 nutrition experts—a population with extensive education about healthy eating habits and gave them either a 34 oz. or 17 oz. bowl.

They were then invited to serve themselves from a selection of different ice-creams.   Interestingly, the nutrition experts who had been given larger bowls served themselves 31% more ice cream resulting in an average calorie intake of 225 calories compared to the 144 calories eaten by those with smaller bowls. This only goes to show that, because we automatically eat approximately 92% of the foods we put on our plate, switching to a smaller one and ordering child or starter sized portions in restaurants really is a highly effective way of tricking ourselves into eating less without feeling deprived.

Get fussy with fats
Avoid all high fat foods such as cream, chocolate, take outs, crisps, chips, puddings, cakes, biscuits and cheese.  However, don't try to cut out fat altogether as the right sorts of fats such as those found in oily fish, small amounts of olive, sunflower or flaxseed oil, avocados, nuts and seeds and reduced fat dairy contain essential fatty acids — vital for a strong immune system and all round good health.  Studies show that they can also help to curb appetite and prevent over eating.

Tweet us @YLifestyleUK

The six secrets of the most successful slimmers

Three foods all women should eat

Six fat loss questions you need to know the answers to

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

Insane Navy Seal Flashlight, should it be banned?

The Military has recently released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - Limited Supply!

Starwood Credit Card

Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints®! Use toward Award Nights or Flights.

Ever Googled Someone? Do A "Deep Search" Instead

Entering a Name and State on this site could reveal info you thought wasn't available. Have you searched yourself or someone you know yet?

IRS Announces E-File Opens on Jan 19th

You can file your simple Federal & State taxes for $0 at TurboTax with zero hidden costs. You'll get your max refund, guaranteed & taxes done right!

Update Your Look: Bell Sleeves

9 Cards for People Who Have Great Credit

What card offers up to 5% cash back? And which one offers 24/7 concierge service? See the best credit cards of 2016. Apply online, quickly & easily.

$200 Military Flashlight Surplus Dumped

Highly anticipated LumiTact G700 Tactical Flashlight Overrun - Now available to civilian population

People In Heavy Credit Card Debt May Not Know This

If you owe more than $15,000, there is a way to pay off credit card debt that few people think of first. (It's not what you think!)

Banks Feel 'Cheated' When Homeowners Do This

Homeowners are surprised in 2016. Before you pay your mortgage this month, you need to see this. Own a home? Read this now!

Why You Should Pay Attention to Free Sample Sites

Sign up now for freebies so good you will feel guilty not paying for them! No credit card or purchase necessary.

Shift into High Gear

Get the training you need for a career you ll love. Click here to learn more about MMI.

Powerful Tactical Flashlight Flying Off Shelves!

This new tactical flashlight was just released to the public and is flying off shelves in the United States. Limited supplies left, act quick!

Why Women Are Flocking to This New Shopping Site

This startup features big names like Coach, SmashBox, and Kate Spade - and unlike Amazon, Gilt or HauteLook it's fast, fun and really exciting.

Samples That Are F R E E

Sign up now for freebies so good you will feel guilty not paying for them! No credit card or purchase necessary.