By ANUCYIA VICTOR

Whether you’re looking to shed some weight, or simply establish a healthy lifestyle, the first place to start is to not just to change what you eat, but the way you eat, experts say .

Establishing a new routine may not seem easy at first but, as it takes approximately 66 days to form a new habit, you should persevere. 

And once you start noticing the differences, not just in the way you look but the way you feel, things will start to become easier.

If you’re on the search for the perfect body you need to change not just what you eat but how you eat it 

Portion control: Don't pile your plate with huge amounts of food as you will feel as if you need to finish it all 

Portion control: Don’t pile your plate with huge amounts of food as you will feel as if you need to finish it all 

Weight loss expert and founder of Gastric Mind Band Martin Shirran told FEMAIL: ‘Getting the body of your dreams can be easy if you make the right lifestyle changes.

‘Ultimately, it’s all in the mind;’ 

‘Once you’ve read these tips, you’ll probably notice that how you think hugely impacts how you look. If you want to shift weight for good, then this is the road to success.’

Self-empowerment coach, psychotherapist and hypnotherapist Toni Mackenzie told FEMAIL: ‘Give your meal full attention while you’re eating. 

‘Inhale the aroma of the dish before you even taste it, take small bites, savour the flavour on your tongue, notice the texture as you chew, identify the different flavours within each mouthful. Take your time and really enjoy the whole experience.’

Nutritionist and cookery writer Madeleine Shaw 

Nutritionist and cookery writer Madeleine Shaw 

FEMAIL has worked with a host of experts, from personal trainers and nutritionists to lifestyle coaches and restaurant owners, all who have all shared their healthy eating habits with us. 

Madeleine Shaw, nutritionist and cookery writer

1. Lemon to cleanse

The morning can be tricky to get yourself out of bed. I always start my morning with a glass of filtered water with lemon to cleanse my system and kick start my metabolism.

2. Pump up the protein

One of my secrets to a healthy, interesting diet is to add as much protein as possible to my meals. Whether it’s eggs or pumpkin seeds, the high protein content in these foods helps preserve muscle mass, boosts your metabolism and provides energy.

3. Vinegar is your friend 

Apple cider vinegar is one of my secret ingredients that I use a lot. It helps your digestive system break down food, allowing you to absorb the nutrients more efficiently. I often add a table spoon to a glass of filtered water as a drink or drizzle it into salad dressings at lunch. 

Martin Shirran, weight loss expert

4. Want or need?  

To prevent overeating, the question that needs to be in your mind is this: do I want or need this?

If you can train yourself to replace the word ‘want’ with ‘need’ when asked questions such as ‘do you want fries with that?’ then you’ll gain more control over bad eating habits and ultimately find it easier to say no.

5. Beware the booze

Alcohol is filled with hidden calories, so before you grab that glass of wine remind yourself that it’s equal to a chocolate bar. If you are going to drink, take caution with what you’re drinking and generally avoid cocktails. A Pina Colada can contain a whopping 500 calories – more than lunch. 

I recommend avoiding alcohol entirely, but if you do drink, opt for a Martini to cut back on calories.

 
Madeleine Shaw shows how to prepare a healthy lunch
'Give your meal full attention while you're eating;  take small bites, savour the flavour on your tongue, notice the texture as you chew and identify the different flavours within each mouthful

‘Give your meal full attention while you’re eating;  take small bites, savour the flavour on your tongue, notice the texture as you chew and identify the different flavours within each mouthful

How do you like your eggs? Proteins preserve muscle mass, boost your metabolism and provide energy

 

How do you like your eggs? Proteins preserve muscle mass, boost your metabolism and provide energy

6. Slow down when eating

The science behind this is huge. The enzyme Amalyse exists in the saliva in your mouth and is vital to the breaking down of food, so one easy way to ensure weight loss is to slow down. 

The quicker you eat your food, the less time your has saliva to help your body burn fat.

7. Empty your glass

Do you know the difference between hunger and thirst? It’s more common than you’d expect to mistake the need for a glass of water as desire for a biscuit.

Next time you’re feeling peckish, stop for a large glass of water and wait 10 minutes to see if you’re still hungry. If you are, go ahead and have something to eat. Water aids metabolism, so even if you are hungry it’s always good to stay hydrated

 

You can have a drink but order a Martini  instead of calorific options such as Pina Coladas. 

8. Move more

We know you’ve heard it before, but movement is essential for weight loss. The introduction of remote controls, electric car windows and suitcases with wheels are all great labour saving devices, but they make it easy to forget to move.

Take the stairs at work, walk to the shop rather than driving and get up and move during your lunch break. The key to a bikini body is undoubtedly exercise, so make an effort to incorporate more of it into your daily routine.

9. Dream yourself slim

It might seem silly, but if you spend two minutes each day visualising yourself at your dream weight, that dream is more likely to become a reality.

Doing this means that your ideal, high-energy and confident self will spring to the front of your mind next time you’re tempted to eat badly. Who better to persuade you to put down those crisps than the slender version of yourself? 

Dream yourself thin, advises Martin Shirran

Dream yourself thin, advises Martin Shirran

Gareth Nicholas, Horlicks nutritional expert 

10. Prior preparation is key 

Prepare your lunch and snacks, a healthy salad and fruit will support your day. 

11. Eat on time 

Eat by time and not by hunger; try to eat small meals every three hours to fend off the hunger pangs, which will hopefully mean that you don’t splurge when you do sit down to eat.

Dr Tim Woodman, Medical Director at Bupa 

12. Fool the mind

Use smaller plates and bowls for your meals. A small plate full of food is more appealing than a large plate that is half empty. You don’t need to cut down on fruit and vegetables though, so if your plate is looking sparse, fill it up with these.

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