Lose weight ‘fast and safely’ according to health experts’ advice

Slow and steady weight loss is ideal, but Holland & Barrett nutritionist Isabel Tarrant has explained how it’s possible to achieve fast weight loss safely. 

1. Don’t cut out entire food groups 

Isabel said: “To lose weight effectively and safely, you don’t need to cut out whole food groups e.g. carbs or dairy, as this can lead to nutrient deficiencies. Instead, focus on eating a range of good quality foods from each food group.” 

She suggested making healthy swaps; white rice for wholegrain brown rice or chips for sweet potato. 

  • A healthy diet should also consist of the following: 
  • Quality protein, such as fish, chicken, beans, legumes, nuts
  • Wholegrains, such as quinoa, brown rice, sweet potato, oats 
  • Healthy fats e.g. avocado, nuts and olive oil
  • A variety of fruit and vegetables

The nutritionist added: “Focusing on whole foods from each food group is a great way to promote safe weight loss.” 

2. Don’t drastically restrict calories 

“Weight loss can become unsafe when you cut your calories too dramatically. Although reducing your calorie intake is important for weight loss, it doesn’t need to be a drastic reduction,” Isabel said. 

For “safe weight loss”, reducing calorie intake by 500 calories a day can equate to 1lb weight loss a week. 

The expert said reducing calories by 500 calories a day is an “achievable and maintainable goal” and it won’t feel as if “you’re starving yourself”. 

3. Limit processed foods and eat wholefoods 

A healthy diet consists of plenty of whole foods, eg. fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans and pulses. 

A “simple way” to achieve safe weight loss is to reduce the amount of processed and packaged foods you consume as these are “full of salt, sugar and artificial additives”. 

Anyone who regularly snacks throughout the day should consider switching to whole food snacks. Eg. swap a pack of crisps or chocolate bar for a piece of fruit or handful of nuts, or apple and peanut and butter. 

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4. Pay attention to portion size 

Portion sizes depend on age, gender and activity level. A general rule of thumb, a healthy adult portion size could consist of six tablespoons of pasta, two eggs and two tablespoons of nuts, one handful of grapes and 40g of cereal. 

“A trick to aid weight loss is eating on smaller plates”, Isabel said. “Research has shown that individuals eat significantly less when served the same amount of food on a small plate rather than a bigger plate.” 

This is because using a smaller plate tricks the brain into thinking the amount of food you’re eating is larger than compared to it being on a bigger plate, so you’ll eat less. 

5. Eat without distraction 

Research has shown that we tend to eat up to 30 percent more food when watching TV or while on our phones, compared to when eating without digital distractions.

Eating mindfully allows us to pay attention to our body’s natural hunger and satiety signals, so we can recognise when we’re full and stop eating.

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