HEALTH MATTERS: Don’t look for a quick fix while losing weight

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A DIETICIAN is urging people not to look for the quick fix when losing weight.

There is no shortage of fashionable diets which claim to help you shed the pounds quickly.

But often they restrict you from eating certain food groups and cut out vital nutrients.

They can also restrict you from getting the vital vitamins and minerals that your body needs, said Alice Runnacles who is a dietician based at the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

She added: “Losing weight should be about eating healthy. It needs to be consistent, sustainable and manageable for you.

“Making gradual changes to your eating habits will result in big differences to your weight in the long term.

“Losing weight isn’t easy. It doesn’t happen overnight and you need to plan, put in the effort and feel motivated to want to change your lifestyle.

“You should take a look at what you are eating, change your portion sizes to make them smaller, decrease the calories, choose healthy snacks and ultimately you will get to your goal.

“If you think about how long it has taken to gain the weight, you need to ask yourself is it really realistic to lose the weight in a couple of weeks?”

Alice issued some advice to people on targets. She said: “You should focus on a more realistic rate of weight loss of 1 to 2lbs a week by eating healthily.

“My advice would be to eat healthy most of the time and lose weight gradually. Of course you can have a treat every now and again. It is about making a permanent change to your lifestyle.”

She urged people to think about their long term plan, and follow the following advice:

•Eat a good healthy breakfast such as porridge, eggs, cereal or fruit and yoghurt.

•Eat starchy foods such as wholegrains including wholemeal bread or brown rice.

•Eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables each day.

•Eat lean meat, fish, eggs, nuts and pulses, which are all good sources of protein.

•Have a balanced diet, eat smaller portions, but remember to include protein, carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables.

•Limit the amount of processed foods you eat.

•Plan your weekly shopping around your meals and snacks, so you don’t go hungry and choose unhealthy foods.

•Use healthy cooking methods for example grilling or baking.

•Drink plenty of water and cut down your alcohol intake.