Fitness tips: The slim life and an end to dieting

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Be active all day
Ditch the car and cycle, walk or rollerblade to work, and take stairs rather than the escalator. You’ll burn calories, keep fit, de-stress – and avoid traffic jams too.

Make each meal satisfying
Make sure you do this visually as well as in flavour. Fill your meals with colour by choosing seasonal fruits and vegetables, and steam your vegetables so you preserve the flavours, as well as the vitamins and minerals – and, of course, so you don’t have to add fat. If your meals are more memorable, your brain won’t demand food again so quickly.

Eat good fats
Choose the right fats by eating two servings of oily fish each week (salmon, tuna, sardines) and by varying the oils you use in salads and cooking (linseed, rapeseed, olive, walnut, hazelnut).

Laura Moho – Personal trainer, Aspria Hamburg Uhlenhorst

Start the day well
Our body consumes energy while we sleep, and a good breakfast helps us recharge. Choose natural products: oatmeal, flaxseed, wholemeal, eggs, cheese, natural yoghurt, cottage cheese, hard cheese, legumes, nuts, tomatoes, cucumbers, fruit and vegetable juice, olive oil. Also, try to exercise in the morning to activate your metabolism for the whole day.

Drink plenty of water
If you’re dehydrated, your brain sends misleading hunger signals and makes you think you want to eat, when in fact all your body needs is water. In addition, if you drink water before a meal, research shows you’ll actually eat fewer calories because it takes the edge off your hunger.

Avoid processed foods
Prepare your own meals so you know exactly what they contain; processed foods are often full of fats and sugars. The other benefit of preparing our own meals is that, when looking at the food, our eye sends signals to brain to produce saliva, activating the intestine so it’s ready for the food intake.

Divide and conquer
The real ‘good-figure killers’ are the small snacks between meals. If you really need a snack, try something like curd cheese with fruit – but far better to divide everything you’d normally eat during the course of the day into fewer, smaller meals.

Take your time
Try and eat without stress or time pressure, as this will give your body – and your mind – greater satisfaction from each meal.

Stefano Marini – Fitness supervisor, Aspria Harbour Club Milan

Don’t train on an empty stomach
Do at least 30 minutes a day of physical activity, but never arrive hungry to a gym session. You need to put calories into your body to act as fuel for the workout.

Get enough sleep
Sleep at least 7–8 hours a day, to help the proper functioning of the metabolism. Lack of sleep may disrupt the appetite-regulating hormones leptin and ghrelin, which can in turn increase your hunger and cravings for unhealthy food, leading to higher calorie intake.

Choose whole foods
Eat raw or boiled vegetables and fruit as part of every meal – even snacks. Favour foods rich in high-value proteins and vitamins, such as salmon. And significantly cut your intake of refined carbohydrates such as bread, rice, potatoes and pasta.