The No-Diet Diet: Can You Lose Weight Without Dieting?

Detox Specialist
Advanced Dietary Supplements Advisor

These days, people are always on the hunt for the best ways to lose weight. With so many diets out there, it can get truly overwhelming! Which ones actually work, and which might be harmful to your health?

It doesn’t have to be that hard! Simply switching to “healthy” foods in general can get you on the right track. What are these healthy foods? Read on to find out!

Eating healthy simply means eating whole, natural foods. They’re usually less processed (containing less harmful chemicals), packed with healthy nutrients, and are more likely to result in weight loss and maintain your long-term health. Not only are they often more nutritious than processed foods, but they tend to carry fewer calories. However, bear in mind that if you’re still consuming excess calories, even from these kinds of foods, you won’t lose weight!

So, what's in a healthy diet?

A healthy diet should include the following:

- Foods that are rich in essential micronutrients. These will nourish your body, prevent nutritional deficiencies and provide you with lasting energy.

- The right balance of amino acids. Protein helps increase metabolism while providing satiety, which helps in weight regulation. Examples of protein sources are chicken, fish, eggs, soy products like tofu, and beans.

- Fruits and vegetables. This cannot be stressed enough. Fruits and vegetables are packed with natural goodness and contain vitamins, fibre, and antioxidants.

- Foods that are high in fibre. As mentioned, these can be found in fruits and vegetables. But they are also present in whole grain products such as oats, as well as seeds and legumes.

Healthy Habits

Switching to whole, natural foods is a big step towards achieving your goals, but adapting tactics and lifestyle habits to support it make it much more effective. Which eating and lifestyle habits can you adopt?

• Evaluate your eating habits - When do you usually find yourself craving junk food? Or when is the usual time that you catch yourself eating unhealthy foods? Knowing the situations that cause these habits and do your best to avoid them or replace them. Replacing these situations with healthier habits can go a long way.

• Try to avoid shopping when hungry - The cardinal rule of grocery shopping is that you avoid doing it whilst hungry. Aside from encouraging you to buy nutrient-poor, calorie-dense foods, this may also make you spend more at the store. Have a list of foods that you need written up before you head out. This will also allow you to plan healthy meals for days or even weeks ahead - and save you a few pennies! Stocking up on healthy foods at home will help you eat better.

• Eat properly – Plan your meals to be eaten at the dinner table. Why? If you eat in front of your computer or somewhere aside from a proper dining area, it’s easy to forget that you’ve eaten, which may lead to you eating more. You’ll usually also be consuming snack foods or takeaways in these areas! Also, eating in a proper dining setting can enhance meal enjoyment, help you to eat more slowly, and feel more satisfied overall.

• Try not to snack after dinner - This is one of the common mistakes which contributes to weight gain. Of course, this depends on your schedule and personal needs. But generally, if you feel the urge to eat after dinner, try to go for lighter, healthier options.

Processed, calorific foods (such as biscuits, energy bars, and ice cream) tend to contain a lot of fat and sugar. Processed meat and fish such as fish fingers and chicken nuggets tend to be pre-fried and may contain high amounts of fat. Eating whole foods that are minimally processed and building home-cooking habits may help you avoid adding unnecessary calories, sugar, and fat into your diet.

Detox Specialist
Advanced Dietary Supplements Advisor

What If You Don’t Go To University

It’s August, which means it’s that time of the year again: A Level Results Day.

And whether it’s your friends or your grandma, there’s one question on everyone’s lips…

Are you going to university?

You might be heading back from college to the tune of ‘Did you get the grades?’

Or maybe you never wanted to go to uni in the first place.

Whichever boat you’re in; what happens when your friends are prepping for freshers’ week, but you’re not?

No fear – we’re here to help! The first thing you need to consider is:

Are you sure about your decision?

It’s difficult to aim for your goals if you don’t know what they are, or how to reach them. This means that if you have a particular career in mind, you might want to see a careers advisor or thoroughly research alternative routes into the field you’re passionate about before making a final decision.

But then what? Well, first, it’s important to know…

There are a ton of careers that don’t require a university degree

It’s true! You may have considered some of these options: hairdressing, beauty, personal training.

But those aren’t the only choices – many careers have a variety of pathways into them, from accountancy, to journalism, to nutritional therapy.

Read on to see what you can do instead of going to university:

Take a Gap Year

Fondly known as the ‘gap yah’ among millennials, many teens take a year out to decide what they want to do before continuing their education. This often takes the form of travelling, learning a language, and gaining lots of experience of different cultures – but it can also involve volunteering in a mix of industries to help you make a more informed decision about your future. While this kind of break provides a temporary solution, it’s common for people to head back to school once they complete their gap year, but many teens also open doors to careers they never knew existed!

(Pssst… Looking for the latest work experience opportunities? GoThinkBig is a good place to start).

Find an Apprenticeship

Becoming an apprentice is a great way to get straight into work AND gain a qualification while you earn. From farming, to hospitality, to law, you can choose your apprenticeship from a huge selection of fields and levels, from Level 2 (GCSE equivalent) right through to Level 6/7 (degree equivalent). Depending on the level, an apprenticeship can take between 1 and 5 years to complete, but you’ll be learning loads of job-specific skills along the way.

If you’re in the UK, you can click here to find an apprenticeship.

Get an Entry-Level Job

While a large number of entry-level jobs will attract applications from students and recent graduates, many employers offer roles aimed at school-leavers – including training schemes. The obvious benefit of heading straight into work is that you’ll be earning right away.

A great way to find entry-level jobs is to keep an eye on websites that advertise vacancies in specific fields. Mediargh is a great example for media-related careers (publishing, science – whatever).

Become an Entrepreneur

Ever wanted to start your own business? Now might be your chance! This can be an exciting option for those not looking to go to university, but it’s wise to first consider the funding, support, and advice you’ll need along the way. If you’re in the UK, check out these government guidelines for new businesses.

For an extra boost when it comes to marketing your business effectively, check out Google’s Digital Garage for free digital marketing training.

Study for an Online Diploma

A huge barrier for many prospective students is the possibility of getting in over £50,000 of debt for a qualification in an area they’re not entirely sure about, or wasn’t necessary for their preferred career.

Whether you’re looking to boost your entrepreneurial endeavours, or you want to get a feel for a subject before jumping into a degree, an online diploma can be a great way to go! Loads of platforms offer you the chance to study via the web and many don’t require specialist technology, so you can get going with just a laptop and a cup of tea.

If it’s nutrition you’re into, we at The Health Sciences Academy® have a whole host of certifications and short courses for you to explore.

Nutrition not your thing? Not to worry – there are loads of other great providers out there. Check out Coursera and Lynda for an array of online courses on a variety of subjects.

They’re called options for a reason…

It’s important to remember that choosing to not go to university isn’t something that sets your career in a permanent direction. You may try one of the above and decide you want to go to uni after all! Perhaps you want some work experience, maybe you’re looking to boost your know-how before embarking on a degree, or you might even decide to do both an online course and an apprenticeship – the point is: the sky’s the limit.

What you’re doing this September doesn’t necessarily define the rest of your life, but it CAN boost it. Do what’s best for you and remember: it’s quite natural to need a little bit of extra time to work out where you want your career to go.

The Health Sciences Academy® is the UK’s largest online educator in nutrition science.

We are home to a variety of Level 5 online diplomas, in addition to a range of accredited short courses in nutrition topics – ready to help you ignite your career.

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Advanced Sports and Exercise Nutritional Advisor
Detox Specialist
Detox Specialist