Dukan, Atkins, fasting and calorie-counting – there are a multitude of diets and weight loss schemes out there, but they can be infamously hard to stick to.
This may be because we live in a society that is described by NICE (The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) as an “obesogenic environment”. Essentially, we’re surrounded by a world that encourages us to eat unhealthily, and avoid exercise.
So, before you embark on a diet, you should try changing your environment first – here are five tips that can help you out.
Purge your junk food
Junk food can accumulate in our homes like dirty dishes in a student flat – before you know it, you can be knee deep in birthday cake, sweets and leftover takeaway.
Instead of letting it all get on top of you, try to do a weekly purge of all the unhealthy snacks in your home – that way the temptation can’t get the better of you during the week.
Change your shopping list
It’s commonly believed that healthy eating costs more. However, you can actually switch some core items in your shopping for relatively little outlay. Next time you do the ‘big shop’, try to make some minor changes, such as swapping crisps, sweets and chocolate for a selection of fruit and natural yogurts. In addition, you can switch out processed meat and frozen chips in favour of fish and vegetables. You’ll find the price difference will be relatively little, and your waistline be much happier!
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Avoid an empty fridge
You might think that an empty fridge is the perfect scenario for weight loss, but the moment you see those bare shelves, the chances of you ordering a family feast bucket from KFC are going to rise astronomically.
To prevent your stomach from making impulsive decisions for you, make sure you’re always stocked up on enough ingredients to make a few different meals. Or, even better, try to plan the meals you’re going to have during a week, and pop them on a calendar or whiteboard near your fridge.
Having a meal plan will make you commit to the food you’ve bought, and will also lower the risk of you defaulting to a take away.
Change your commute
Walking just 30 minutes a day can burn 150 calories, and even contributes towards your recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise. However, thanks to public transport, cars and escalators, it can be very easy to avoid walking in your day-to-day routine.
So, instead of riding the bus or train to the stop nearest your workplace, try getting off around 15 minutes walking distance away, and do the same on the way home. If you drive to work, try to find a car park that is roughly the same distance away.
By adding this small change to your weekday, you’ll be burning 750 calories a week!