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Get plenty of sleep

Get plenty of sleep
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You may have heard that chronically sleep-deprived people are more likely to be overweight. That’s because we all produce a hormone called ghrelin, which signals your body when it’s time to eat. Sleep-deprived people make more ghrelin, making you feel hungry even if you don’t need to eat. “When I am well-rested, I have energy to hit the gym, work more efficiently, and battle cravings for sweets or junk food,” says registered nurse and certified clinical sleep educator Terry Cralle.

Walk everywhere

Walk everywhere
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Pageant queen, Raquel Riley Thomas, swears by her Fitbit. “I track my steps to make sure I get at least 10,000 steps every day,” she says. “This changes how I interact with the world. Instead of taking the elevator, I take the stairs, and I will clean my house trying to get extra steps in. I am excited when I get 10,000 steps, and physically my body is getting in better shape. It’s a win for all!”

Watch your stress levels

Watch your stress levels
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Struggling with belly fat? Stress could be to blame, says Sai Aparajitha Gopalakrishnan, a health coach who helps women stop dieting. “Stress actually triggers the production of cortisol, which increases blood sugar,” she says. “An increase in blood sugar over a long time causes fat to be stored in our belly, one of the most problematic areas for women. When you learn to deal with stress better, you don’t need diets to get rid of our stubborn fat.”

Don’t eat in front of a screen

Don’t eat in front of a screen
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Yep, that includes all TV, phones, computers and tablets. People who eat while distracted consume more and are less likely to remember how much they ate, sometimes by as much as 25 per cent, found British research. “Often, we consume calories mindlessly when distracted by technology,” says personal trainer, Jill McKay. “This one simple boundary helps me be more mindful of what – and how much – I eat.”

Maintain a healthy body image

Maintain a healthy body image
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Most people don’t succeed with their weight-loss goals until they learn to respect themselves and their bodies, says Michele Paiva, a licensed psychotherapist specialising in body image. “Body image struggles based on self-esteem can create the desire to eat, which releases hormones that give a quick euphoria or numbing quality. This is what happens with most bingeing,” she says. The best way to prevent this distorted mindset is to accept your current body, and then aim for a realistic body weight.

Don’t obsess over weight loss

Don’t obsess over weight loss
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Once your mind is in a healthy place, your body is sure to follow, says dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield. “Put energy into other hobbies, interests and pursuits that give life more meaning. When we are so focused on self-improvement, we simply don’t put effort into living in the here and now. We can gain so much from letting go of the notion that our bodies need to be fixed.”

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Stay hydrated

Stay hydrated
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Water gets the blood flowing through your body and aids in weight loss. “Hydration is key to avoid false hunger cues,” says dietitian Amanda Baker Lemein. She recommends aiming to drink three litres of unsweetened liquid each day, including water, sparkling water and unsweetened tea.

Prioritise self-care

Prioritise self-care
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Self-care is crucial for mental and physical wellbeing. Studies have found that a more psychological approach for weight loss can successfully end periods losing and regaining weight. “This may include getting enough rest, scheduling downtime, making time for family and friends, or spending alone time on an enjoyable activity,” says dietitian Samantha Lewandowski. “This may also include saying ‘no’ to commitments or activities that would be draining rather than energising.”

Don’t stuff yourself

Don’t stuff yourself
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If your stomach feels like it’s about to burst, stop eating. Seems simple enough, but it can be harder than it sounds (especially when the food is good). Jessica Klingbaum from Be Hip and Healthy, shares a handy trick: “Even when I’m about to pop the button on my pants, I feel like I just have to have those last few bites anyway if what I’m eating is really delicious. So I’ll actually pour salt on whatever it is and ruin it, so I literally can’t have anymore. It simply gives you no choice but to stop eating.”

Use essential oils

Use essential oils
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Klingbaum also loves to use essential oils to help curb cravings and control metabolism. “I’m a certified aromatherapy specialist, and there are certain oils, like grapefruit oil, that you can add to a glass of water to help control your appetite,” she says. “It’s a lifesaver when you’re stuck in a situation where you can’t eat and know that you’re going to be hungry.”

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