A bowl of fried noodles, with prawns, vegetables, furikake and half boiled egg

Can you really eat more and lose weight?

Many believe that to shed that bit of extra weight, you have to severely reduce the amount you eat. However, starving yourself is not the answer; instead, it may slow down the body’s metabolism, preventing any long-term weight loss.

1. Understand Your Body’s Needs

Bowl of yoghurt with honey, nuts, and raisins beside a dumbbell and an apple 

The first step in weight loss is to know your estimated daily energy requirement. This can be calculated using your height, weight, age, gender and activity level. This is the number of calories (also known as energy) that your body needs every day.

Based on an average weight and physical activity level, the average recommended number of daily calories is 2,200 kcal for men and 1,800 kcal for women.

Your daily energy requirement may vary depending on factors such as age, gender, height, weight and activity level. Use the energy calculator in the Healthy 365 app to calculate your daily energy requirements and how many calories you need.

Related: Energy Balance — the Only Diet that Really Works

2. The Importance of Breakfast

A lady cradling a bowl of cereal with fresh strawberries and almonds 

Having a wholesome breakfast in the morning gives your body the energy to keep going throughout the day and keeps the hunger hormone, ghrelin, in check.

Studies have shown that if you increase your protein intake throughout the day, starting with breakfast, you are less likely to feel hungry. So scramble a couple of eggs to go with wholegrain toast, or even just have a glass of milk.

Related: Wholegrains — the Wise Choice

3. Snack Throughout the Day

A bowl of mixed nuts contaning almonds, dried cranberries and cashew nuts 

Eating small meals more frequently keeps your hunger at bay. Another benefit of healthy snacking is that it ensures you are not starving by the time dinner comes around — so you avoid overeating.

Prepare healthy snacks to take to the office, such as fruit, veggie sticks and hummus, or wholemeal crackers with some low-fat cheese.

Related: Banish Nasty Nibbles with Healthy Snacks

4. Load up on Fibre

A bowl of brocolli, tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots sliced thinly and tossed together 

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that increasing your intake of fibre by eight grams for every 1,000 calories contributes to about two kilograms of weight loss over 18 months. Fibre fills your stomach, stimulating receptors to tell the brain that you are full and it is time to stop eating.

It also requires more chewing, allowing your brain to realise that you are getting full. Increase your fibre intake by having wholemeal bread or oats at breakfast or replace your lunchtime white rice with brown rice or wholemeal noodles. As an added bonus, foods high in fibre: fruit and vegetables, and wholegrains are also rich in vitamins and minerals.


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