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The key to living a healthy lifestyle is to maintain a balance between eating nutritious food and exercising at least three times a week. The ideal weight is calculated through what is known as the body mass index (BMI), a measure of body size. It consists of a formula which takes into account a person’s height and weight. The results indicate whether a person has the correct weight for their height. Thus, the first step to identifying whether you have the correct weight or not is to work out the BMI. Eating a balanced diet and exercising is healthy for everyone, not only for those people who would like to lose weight. Whilst such a healthy lifestyle is encouraged, this blog will focus on different ways of losing weight that do not involve diet or training.

Portions – When you put food onto a plate, you are likely to finish all the food which is on it especially if it is something that you really like eating. Place a smaller portion onto the plate and try not to have more once you finish it. In time, your body will get accustomed to eating smaller portions and you will not feel hungry once you are done. The plate that you use will make a difference. If you use a small plate it will look full whereas if you use a large plate and not fill it as much, it will look empty tempting you to put more food than you may actually need to feel full.

Eliminate distractions – Eating mindfully means to focus on the food that you are putting in your mouth. To achieve this, you need to eliminate the distractions around you such as, watching a television programme and looking at your work emails. This is because focusing on other things will make you lose track of how much you have eaten and may end up overeating even though you would be full.

Snacking – Not eating all day is not good for your body as it slows down the metabolism. Try to eat more frequently every 2 to 3 hours. Instead of having large meals, take snacks. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all important meals. In between take some healthy snacks which include nuts, oats and fruit. Prepare your lunch from beforehand as if you go and buy lunch you may be limited with healthy options and end up buying unhealthy food which is high in calories.

Drinks – Avoiding drinking sugary drinks such as soda and juices as they contain sugars which you can do without. Instead, drink a lot of water especially before meals as it makes you feel more full and eat less.

Moving around – Although you may not be the type who likes to exercise and therefore avoid engaging in physical exercise, you can still make certain choices which allow you to use some energy. Instead of taking the lift, use the stairs; if you need to go to the grocer a few metres away go by walk and not by car; during break time go around the block with a colleague rather than sitting down. Seek opportunities where you can be moving around without engaging in high aerobic training. The use of a fitness tracker calculating steps can help you to remain motivated by setting a daily goal e.g. 6000 steps per day. 

Dr Marilyn Muscat is registered as an Educational Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council in the United Kingdom where she trained. She works with children, adolescents and their families to understand more about educational, social and emotional well-being concerns that they have and to help them improve upon their difficulties. She can be contacted on marilyn@willingness.com.mt or call us on 79291817.