18 expert hacks to help you lose a STONE in just one month

Is it until the New Year if you don’t have some kind of weight loss goal to start things off?

After a December full of food, wine, and (maybe) minimal movement, it’s time to start things off and get healthy.

Small adjustments can really start your weight loss journey

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Small adjustments can really start your weight loss journeycredit: Getty

In 2021, a study by YouGov found that 48 per cent of Britons set ‘weight loss’ as their New Year’s resolution, exceeding other New Year’s goals which included, ‘take up a new hobby’, ‘drink less’ and ‘quit smoking’.

Unfortunately, we know that sustainable weight loss can take time, which is a state of maintaining a balance of fewer calories, and more calories.

However, no one wants to wait months to shed their holiday pounds.

But what if there were a few simple tweaks that could actually result in a weight loss of up to a stone in just four weeks?

Search on Google for “how to lose a stone in a month” and you will be flooded with over 718 million page results.

It’s a minefield over there.

Most read in Diet & fitness

Here are 18 expert hacks to slim down, fast…

1. Take a cold shower

“It has been shown that brief, acute exposure to cold water increases the metabolic rate,” explains Dr. Deborah Lee of Dr. Fox’s online pharmacy (www.doctorfox.co.uk).

“Do this slowly, maybe finish showering each day with say 10 seconds on the cold, and build this up gradually for up to two to three minutes, two or three times a week.”

2. Get savvy supplements

Certain supplements can help with weight loss and metabolism. Dr. Lee recommends taking a chromium supplement containing 1,000 micrograms (mcg) daily, as it “may help reduce appetite and food cravings.”

In one 2008 double-blind study, 42 obese adult women were randomly assigned to take either 1,000 micrograms of chromium daily for eight weeks, or a placebo.

“After eight weeks, the chromium group was found to have significantly reduced food intake, hunger and fat cravings, and showed a tendency to lower body weight.”

“Other studies have shown that chromium may be an aid in weight loss,” she says.

3. Eat within specified hours

If you are a shepherd, this is for you.

Setting up a ‘eating window’ means that you will avoid that period of the evening when it is tempting to pick out food for hours on end.

“Try to only eat between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. at night,” says personal trainer Lucy Journal.

You can even set this as an alarm on your phone to remind you that it’s time to eat during the day.

4. Keep a healthy home

January is the perfect time to get rid of unhealthy foods from your kitchen cabinets and drawers. Food banks are a good place to drop off your junk – but closed and fresh – food rather than waste it.

Instead of sugary, calorie-dense foods, Joanna Das, fitness expert at Curves Gym (www.curves.eu/en/) recommends stocking the kitchen with healthy snacks so you give yourself the best chance of successfully losing weight.

Can’t resist a snack?

“Healthy snacks include carrots with hummus, apple slices with peanut butter, a small handful of nuts, a boiled egg with some spinach leaves, or a handful of plain popcorn.”

5. Wine scrap

It’s only for one month, and not only will you save up to 4,000 calories over the four weeks, but you’ll also benefit your liver, digestion, skin, hair, mood, and many other things.

Joanna explains that one glass of wine contains about 133 calories, which is the equivalent of three jaffa cakes, while a pint of beer contains less than the same amount of calories as a March bar.

6. Don’t snack on carbohydrates alone

Claire Snowdon-Darling, founder of the Kinesiology Clinic, Balanced Wellness explains that when we eat carbohydrates, such as bread, pasta or rice, our blood sugar rises, and in response, we produce the hormone insulin.

Insulin helps the body lower blood sugar but also signals the body to store fat.

As blood sugar drops in response to insulin, we produce the stress hormone cortisol.

“When we produce cortisol, a load of sugar is thrown into our muscles so that we are ready to fight or run, or in this case to go and ‘find more food.

“This sugar also triggers an insulin response, and we end up on a blood sugar train that prevents us from losing weight,” Claire says.

Help prevent this from happening by eating fat along with carbohydrates.

Complement the fruit with a handful of nuts, for example, or a slice of bread topped with peanut butter.

7. Trick your mind

Our minds are stronger than we think, but Emily Hall, weight-loss coach and hypnotherapist at Fresh Forward (fresh-forward.co.uk), has a few simple cheats up her sleeve.

“Use smaller plates so you don’t overeat, drink sparkling water served in a wine glass so you feel like you’re still ‘drinking’ and put the chocolate out of sight because when the food is on offer, you’ll automatically eat more.”

8. Replace the pudding with appetizers

Out to eat? Ditch the candy but keep the first course because this can save up to 800 calories, revealed Dr. Naresh Kanomelli, medical director at Liva Healthcare.

Soup is often a good choice because it fills you up.

“If you feel neglected while everyone else is eating dessert, you can have coffee during that cycle instead.

Drink sparkling water in advance in a wine glass until you feel like you are still ‘drinking’

Emily Hall

9. Eat a lot

Eating every two to four hours is critical, says Elliott Upton, personal trainer at Ultimate Performance (ultimateperformance.com).

“The more you eat regularly, the better you can control your appetite.”

Regular eating means splitting your meals and eating calories relatively evenly throughout the day.

However, Elliott adds: “It’s not really about the number of calories you consume at each meal, but the quality of those calories and the total amount of calories you consume each day.”

He recommends tracking your meals and calorie counts throughout the day, but adds that “if you start obsessing or think too much about reaching a certain amount of calories at each meal, it can lead to unnecessary anxiety,” so stop immediately if you feel like this is happening.

10. Pack in protein

“The protein is really filling,” Elliott says.

“This means that it will help you feel full for much longer, so you don’t get hungry between meals, don’t fall off the wagon and snack on calorie-laden junk foods that will sabotage your weight-loss efforts.”

Men should aim for 30 to 50 grams of protein per meal while women should aim for 20 to 30 grams of protein per meal.

For perspective, 100 grams of chicken contains about 30 grams of protein while one egg contains about 6 grams.

11. Walk for 10 minutes a day

Just adding an extra 10 to 12 minutes of walking each day can burn an extra 100 calories, says Ryan Hodgson, health and happiness coach (hodgsonhealth.com).

“Climbing the stairs on elevators as part of your lifestyle can also burn up to 250 calories per week, which may not sound like a lot, but doing it consistently definitely pays off in the total calories burned.”

12. Avoid caffeine after 12 noon

Replace your afternoon coffee with a decaffeinated version instead. why?

The half-life of caffeine is six hours, says James Griffiths, owner of Wild Training (www.wildtraining.co.uk), “which means if you take in caffeine after midday, you won’t sleep properly.”

Lack of sleep can lead to a lack of energy, which means you start reaching for sugary foods to get you going.

January is the perfect month to get more sleep, so set yourself a bedtime schedule and stick to it as strict as possible.

13. Watch your classes

Michael Brigopt, Body Transformation Trainer (www.brigopt.com) explains that all you need is your hand to ensure the correct portion and balance of food at every meal.

Aim for a portion of carbs (like pasta and cereal), a palm-sized portion of protein (like fish, chicken, or tofu), a thumb-sized portion of fat (like olive oil and nut butter) and a fist-sized portion of vegetables.

“This strategy means you don’t need to weigh food, count calories, or track everything.

“Your hand is in proportion to your body; its size never changes and is always with you, which makes it the perfect measuring instrument.”

When you are overwhelmed by so many different tastes, you want to eat more

Emily Hall

14. Munch on sweet potatoes

The sweet variety, the white potato’s cousin, is a great weight loss tool and a staple to get into your cart.

Elliott explains that sweet potatoes have a low glycemic index (GI), especially when steamed or boiled.

The glycemic index helps measure the effect of a particular food on blood sugar levels.

Low GI foods help keep you full for longer, control appetite and help avoid those sugar cravings.

Sweet potatoes also contain vitamin A – which is essential for normal vision, bone growth and skin health, as well as vitamin C, which can help protect our immune system and ward off coughs and colds in the winter.

15. Eat vegetables (but only three times a week!)

We’re not asking you to give up meat, but Emily says eating vegan three or four times a week can save calories.

Plus, vegetables are low in fat and calories and contain a lot of water, so they can make you feel full.

“If you choose meat, look for low-fat options like chicken or turkey rather than sausage or other meats, which can be high in fat and salt.”

16. Go Normal

Emily recommends “limiting the amount of flavors you have.”

“When you are overwhelmed by so many different tastes, you want to eat more.

“Think about it, if you had one meal with meat and two vegetables and the other a bunch of tapas, which one would you eat the most?”

It’s also worth keeping in mind that this is short-lived, and more flavors can be reintroduced in time.

17. Slow it down

It takes our body about 20 minutes to register satiety, from the moment we start eating.

Therefore, the faster you eat, the more you consume.

When was the last time you spent 20 minutes on a meal?

Focus on chewing the food until it breaks completely in your mouth, then place cutlery between each mouth.

In addition, choosing crunchy foods can also help in faster eating; Crunchy foods take longer to chew, so you’ll eat less.

18. Chew gum

Snacking throughout the day is often a sign of boredom rather than hunger, so keeping your mouth busy can help with distraction.

“Put a piece of sugar-free gum in your mouth so that the chewing process is simulated,” Lucy says.

Try to distract yourself from snacking by chewing gum instead

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Try to distract yourself from snacking by chewing gum insteadCredit: Getty – Contributor

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