Even though the UK went metric decades ago, we just can't let go of some imperial measurements. We still work in miles not kilometers, we still measure our height in feet and inches, and buy by the pound even if things are priced in metric. Many people can't tell you what they weigh in kilos but they know their "stones" and pounds. Whereas in the US you simply quote pounds, we Brits talk in terms of x stones and x pounds, with a stone being 14 pounds. It's common to hear expressions like "I want to lose half a stone" or "I've lost 2 stone" rather than "I've gained 10 lbs". So if you want to give the British touch to your weight loss plan, here are 10 chortcuts to shed a stone.
1. Drink More Water
One of the quickest ways to lose weight is to drink a large glass of water before each meal. Not only does water fill you up so you don’t eat as much, but low water levels can make you feel lethargic and hungry, which can sabotage your weight loss goals. According to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, a test group that drank 2 cups of water before each meal averaged a loss of 5 pounds more than the control group over a 12 week period.
2. Aim for Foods Lower on the Glycemic Index
The Glycemic Index rates foods on the rate of their conversion to glucose in the body. For example, white bread is higher on the Glycemic Index than whole meal breads, which means white bread converts quickly into energy and leaves you feeling hungry rather quickly. If you feel hungry you may eat something high on the index again, and you end up eating a great deal without satiating your hunger.
3. Avoid Stress Eating
Stress, even if it’s just everyday stress like the kind that happens in our work day or with our families or even when trying to catch the bus or train, can have a negative effect on your diet. When we feel stress, we usually reach for comfort foods, which are usually high in carbohydrates. They may indeed make us feel better for a few minutes. But they are usually high in calories, sugar, salts, and fats which can throw you off your weight loss goals. Choose crunchy vegetables or whole grain food instead.
4. Eat Slowly
When you eat your food quickly, your brain has no idea that it’s time to tell your body that it’s full. Chew every bite thoroughly and give your body a chance to know that it has eaten food. Researchers at Rhode Island University actually found that we eat an average of 67 more calories if we eat our food quickly. Chewing slowly could help us lose 1-2 pounds a month!
No one really wants to do this, but it’s necessary. Even as much as ½ hour of exercise a day can make all the difference. Whether you go to the gym daily or just walk around the block every day, any increase in exercise will have a beneficial effect on your weight loss goals. Not only that, but the increase in muscle tissue will help your newly slim body appear more smooth and svelte.
6. Put a 'before' Photo on Your Fridge
This is not to say that you aren’t a perfectly acceptable person as you are, but putting up a picture of you before your weight loss goal is achieved can help motivate you to stay on track toward your goals. You can be happy with yourself as you are and still strive toward improvement. So, the before picture is just an “I’m awesome” picture, and the “after” picture is just the “I’m even more awesome” picture.
7. Educate Yourself about Nutrition
Yes, you have to know a little about nutrition and reading food labels so that you can choose food that’s harmonious with your weight loss goals. Look for sugar and fat content because those ingredients are loaded with calories. Look also for salt content, because it can bloat your body and add water weight. Keep with whole grains and avoid excessive amounts of artificial coloring or preservatives.
8. Take Care with Your Alcohol Intake
While a glass of wine looks like the ideal solution to a rough day at the office, it can actually pack on a lot of calories without you even thinking about it. Wine, or any of the spirits, increase your calorie intake dramatically. Cutting out even one large glass of wine per week can help you lose up to 15 pounds in a year.
9. Keep Track of What You Eat
Yes, keeping a food diary can be laborious, but it will open your eyes about the kinds of things you eat, what your triggers are, and the time of day you like to eat. After reviewing your diary, you may find that your vulnerable time is right after arriving home from work. Knowing that, you may be able to stave off excessive eating by munching on something low fat before you arrive home. Or, you may discover that you eat your fattiest foods late in the evening before you go to sleep, and you have no chance to work off your meal. This allows you a chance to change your habits.
While this might seem like healthy advice for anyone, it’s especially true for those wishing to lose weight. In a study performed at the Uppsala University in Sweden, it was found that missing just one night’s sleep can slow your metabolism by up to 20%. Your metabolism determines how quickly you burn up fat, so not only is this important for your weight loss goals but for your health in general.
These tips will work whether you're a Brit or American (or any other nationality ^_^
And just for a giggle, here are other ways to shed a stone:
1) Skip it across a river or lake
2) Throw it out a window to see who/what it hits
3) Chase away critters with it
4) Kick it down the street
5) Throw it at someone you don’t like
6) Leave it in your driveway with a “free” sign attached
7) Donate it to charity
8) Hide it and forget where you put it
9) Let a friend borrow it
10) Post it on Craigslist
11) Bury it in the back yard
12) Put it in the pants pocket with a hole
13) Leave it in the lunchroom fridge marked “do not touch”
14) Use it as a tombstone for your pet bug
Have a great day!