According to data from the Health Survey for England, 25.9 percent of adults are obese, and 37.9 percent are overweight.
To lose weight, or target belly fat, Dr Sara said to start by “measuring your waist circumference”, and the number should be “less than half of your height”.
“For example if you are five foot four, you want your waist to be 29 inches,” she explained.
“But if you’re 32 inches, that’s when you’re in that unhealthy zone, so we want to try and bring that down.”
The healthcare expert added: “It ultimately comes down to exercise and diet. When it comes to dieting, there is so much advice out there, but I like to do five tips.”
1. Eat mindfully
Dr Sara remarked: “Learn to eat properly again! Have a table, a plate, learn to chew, learn to appreciate the tastes on your plate rather than shovelling it in on your way to work or at your desk, or in front of the TV.
“Mindful eating, we know, helps with maintaining healthy body weight.”
2. Eat more of the ‘right’ foods
The doctor explained: “Not feel so restrictive when it comes to dieting, you can actually eat more.
“So it’s eating more of the right foods, the lower calorie higher nutrient foods, found in a lot of plant-based foods.
“The restrictive aspect of dieting can really put people off.”
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Dr Sara said “it’s ok to snack” but the “right foods to snack on” need to be chosen. Instead of “processed, salty, sugary foods, the ideal snack is something like nuts” as they’re high in healthy fats, fibre and protein which will stabilise blood sugars so you don’t get these massive cravings, and help you feel fuller for longer”.
In terms of eating small meals – four to five a day – to aid weight loss, Dr Sara said: “It really depends on you as a person and also what you’re eating.
“For some people, grazing works, for others they need that structure in their day otherwise they end up grazing too much.”
She also said some “respond better to a bit of fasting between meals”, but if you find yourself hungry, have a small snack but “make sure it’s a good one”.
4. Limit alcohol
“Alcohol is high in calories,” Dr Sara explained. “There are so many really good low-alcohol and no-alcohol drinks out there now, we have the options to swap.
“A lot of people just miss that taste, and we have that option now, so it’s a really viable option for people.”
5. Steer clear of crash diets
“Do not attempt crash diets,” the doctor warned. “We know they’re not sustainable.
“There are lots of celebrities out there endorsing them but they don’t work, you end up yo-yo-ing, it can affect your metabolism, it can affect the way your body stores fat. It’s not healthy, it’s not sustainable.”
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