Happy new year! We're all hoping 2021 is better than last year, especially with a coronavirus vaccine being rolled out across the world. right now, we usually start thinking about our new year's resolutions – and often, weight loss comes top of the list.
If that's the case for you, you should know diet and exercise are long-term habits which can take a while to get right and see results. They're also the two most important things you can do for your weight loss goals.
However, there are supplementary things you can start doing right now, to get into the mindset of developing healthy habits this year. Here's our top three quick-fix, weight loss life hacks.
- Track your calorie intake with the best Fitbit deals
- Best elliptical machines: The best cross-trainers for a low-impact sweat this January
Weight loss tip: Cut down on alcohol
A glass of red wine contains around 150 calories, mostly from the sugar. Meanwhile a pint of beer contains around 225 calories. If you drink a few glasses of alcohol in a single night, it would be easy to take in another 1,000 calories without even factoring it into your day.
In addition, alcohol acts as a diuretic, artificially dehydrating you and increasing your appetite. This is the reason you crave salty, unhealthy foods after a few drinks, while the hangovers from alcohol are often bad enough to prevent you doing a workout the next day.
You can avoid the excess calories, unplanned days off and junk food cravings but cutting down on, or quitting, drinking alcohol. Dry January is a popular movement encouraging people to quit for the whole of January, as a way to kickstart your year of health and fitness the right way.
Weight loss tip: Try food journaling
The practice of food journaling is just spending a few minutes every day recording your meals and snacks. It might not sound like a particularly revolutionary habit, but research has shown it can produce incredible results.
A study published way back in 2008 (opens in new tab) showed that people who monitor their diet by keeping a food diary lose approximately twice as much weight as those who don't keep track of what they eat.
The study found "most people can lose weight if they have the right tools and support. And food journaling, in conjunction with a weight management program or class, is the ideal combination of tools and support."
It takes just a few minutes a day to jot down your daily diet in a notepad, but it ensures you're thinking about what you eat rather than snacking mindlessly. Looking at your diet on paper provides a positive psychological effect, helping you to make better choices and plan your diet in future.
Weight loss tip: Drink more water
A study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition Research (opens in new tab) recruited 15 participants and had them drink a glass of water before mealtimes, in order to find out whether it lowered or raised appetites.
The results were extremely positive, as it was found drinking water reduced the amount of food the participants ate with no significant drop in their satiety levels, so they still felt as full as they ever did.
How this actually works in the human body has yet to be determined, but it's thought we misconstrue thirst or dehydration as hunger, especially when it comes to meal times. The researchers concluded that a glass of water before every meal could be an effective way to curb overeating.
Water is the best thing we could be drinking: it's a calorie-free alternative to sugary sweetened, caffeine-laden beverages, and the human body needs it to survive. Proper hydration allows your brain perform at maximum capacity, and even helps relieve constipation.
More Get Fit For 2021 resources here:
- Best treadmill
- Best rowing machine
- Best exercise bike
- Best grill: Top health grills for your kitchen
- Best blenders: Top smoothie makers and food processors
Get Fit for 2021 with Fit&Well
As the sun rises on a brand new year, Fit&Well is here to help put last year behind you and make 2021 your happiest, healthiest yet. Here at fitandwell.com (opens in new tab), we’ll be bringing you a wealth of workouts, diet plans and expert advice throughout January to help kick-start your health and fitness goals.
Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and News Editor at Fit&Well, covering all things exercise and nutrition on the Fit&Well website. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.
7 dietitian-approved weight loss hacks that actually work
There’s no cheat-sheet to weight loss, but these dietitian-approved weight loss hacks can actually make a difference
By Mollie Davies • Published
You only need eight minutes and these nine moves to tone your abs
WORKOUT This no-equipment, short session from Daisy Keech targets your core
By Becks Shepherd • Published