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Condition - The healthy approach to weight management

extracted and abridged from The Intelligent way to Lose Weight

By Dr Mark Atkinson and Christine Bailey - edited by Suzie Sawyer DipION

We share our top tips and tell you why breakfast is so important!

A key factor to effective weight management is understanding that body weight alone is not the most accurate assessment of body composition. A more intelligent way of eating is one promoting fat loss, whilst preserving or enhancing lean muscle tissue.

By maintaining muscle mass, you are also more likely to keep the weight off, since a higher muscle-to-fat ratio can increase the body’s metabolic rate, meaning more calories being burnt each day. Fundamental to any weight management plan is balancing blood sugar levels. This is critical for promoting a lean, shapely body and for boosting energy and overall health. By following our 12 key principles, not only will you look and feel fantastic, as well as being slimmer, you will experience the joy of vitality and wellbeing that a healthier life can bring. 

Many of the the principles listed are paramount in keeping blood sugar levels in balance, which is why it is important to eat protein at each meal and with each snack. Protein contains amino acids, which are the building blocks of the body. They are needed for all our body’s cells, muscles, bones, hair, skin and even hormones. Because muscles are made up of protein, if you want to maintain a healthy muscle mass, boost your metabolism and encourage fat loss, you need to ensure you are getting the right amount and types of protein in your food.

Including protein in each meal has other important benefits, one of which is helping you to feel fuller for longer, as well as controlling the production of insulin, thereby aiding the balance of blood sugar.

This explains part of the reason why breakfast is the most important meal of the day. First thing in the morning, your blood sugar is low because you haven’t eaten. If you skip breakfast, your body will start to break down muscle for fuel, slowing your metabolism and making it harder to lose fat.

In general, you should try to eat within 60 minutes of waking up, in order to prevent your blood sugar from dropping further. However, many people really struggle to eat first thing in the morning. A protein breakfast shake, blended with water or milk and half a cupful of fruit, is an excellent option.

It adds a whole new dimension to the concept of a ‘power breakfast’! 

Our key principles are:

  1. Eat little and often.
  2. Include protein with every meal and snack.
  3. Eliminate sugar and refined carbohydrates.
  4. Always eat breakfast.
  5. Include essential fats daily.
  6. Keep hydrated by drinking at least six glasses of mineral water daily.
  7. Identify food allergies and sensitivities.
  8. Eat until satisfied and then stop.
  9. Record what you eat.
  10. Eat slowly and consciously.
  11. Keep active.
  12. Take supplements specifically supporting weight management. 

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