Trying to shift a few extra pounds for the Christmas period can always be hard especially with all the rich foods everywhere. Having a few tricks up your sleeve whether it's to help you stop snacking or just to be that little bit healthier is always helpful. I don't believe in dieting, counting calories or even being totally healthy. Because in the long run if your counting your calories or completely cutting out all the bad foods, you'll just put it all back on as soon as you start to eat normally again. I'm going to share some information about cleaning up your diet in a healthy manor to help you shed a few pounds.

1. meal preparation

Key to help you from buying cheap, easy and unhealthy meals at work or when your on the go. Bulk cooking meat dishes are great for freezing and taking out the night before for an easy to make lunch or dinner. Homemade soup is another favourite of mine, super tasty all vegetable soups are something you can cook in bulk and also eat lots of with it's low calorie count. Refrain from putting things like potato or rice into it because then it will obviously become too carby. Keeping things like nuts and fruit in your bag or in your drawer at work are also good to prevent you from snacking on biscuits and chocolate. 

2. drink the right stuff

Did you know that 70% of the time you feel hungry you are actually just thirsty. If you can suppress your hunger in any way shape or form, the best way would be by drinking more water. Your new secret weapon can be herbal tea. My top 3 are mint tea, renamed by Japanese scientists as 'the craving crusher'. While some smells provoke your hunger, others suppress it and that's exactly what mint tea does. After a little more research I found there are actually oils and sprays you can use in your bedroom so you can sleep yourself skinny. Number 2 would be green tea, a good preworkout turbocharge that speeds up your liver's capacity for turning fat into energy. Lastly is ootea also nicknamed by Japanese scientists 'the pound a week melter', a light floral tea that speeds up your metabolism.

3. forget being super healthy

This may sound contradictory to this whole post, yet it's under rated. Being on a strict diet your whole life is virtually impossible, so why waste your time starving yourself for short periods of time or cutting out all your favourite things completely. When as soon as you come off this so called diet, your going to put it all back on. Stick to an 80-20 rule. Allow yourself to have a treat once in a while, it will help you stay being healthy for longer but don't mistake this for having a giant binge every now and again, everyone knows the saying 'everything in moderation'. Effectively I live by the rule, eat when your hungry, stop when your full. Eat slowly to ensure you know when your body is satisfied rather than quickly over eating yourself into a food coma and remember there is nothing wrong with a treat.

4. protein v's carbs

A non carb diet in my view is stupid. You need carbs for energy and honestly it is just a real pest trying to find a variety of meals carb free for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not to mention really expensive living off mostly protein. It's also just a quick fix, it isn't a healthy long run diet, which I believe is the best thing for you. Me saying this doesn't mean go indulge in heaps of starchy pasta and crisps either, i'm talking about complex carbs, your brown rices and wholemeal pasta etc. Your main sources of energy comes from protein and carbs, but any unused carb energy will turn into fat, whereas any unused protein energy will just flush right through your system, so have a healthy balance.

5. bump up your veggie intake

A low calorie food group you can eat loads of without damaging your waist line, not to mention packed with vitamins and goodness. If you can't hack eating your greens straight up, try making a smoothie. By mixing kale or spinach with a combination of fruits  you will have a superfood smoothie with only the taste of your fruit. 

6. shop round the outside

My last point is something I haven't tried but when I think about it, it sounds about right. Rumour has it that the further into the centre of a supermarket you get the more processed and unhealthy the food becomes. So to avoid the sweet aisle or processed meals shop the perimeter.