Every January many people set themselves the task of losing weight. It is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions to make.

However, it can be a classic case of “easier said than done”, with some people struggling to reach their goal weight. Exercising more regularly is one of the tried and tested ways to do so with gyms typically seeing a spike in new members at this time of the year.

Joining a gym may not be possible for everyone though. With this in mind, a doctor spoke with Express.co.uk about some other ways to shed the pounds.

Doctor Alexis Missick, a GP working with online pharmaceutical company UK Meds, said: “Now we have headed into the New Year, you may feel hesitant to return to the crowded gyms and sports centres, especially during winter.

“If you normally rely on these places to stay fit, you may find yourself struggling to lose weight. Here are some tips for you, to help you get in shape.”

Restrict sugar

While a certain amount of sugar is needed, according to Dr Missick, having too much is where the problem lies.

“Sugar is not the devil – it’s a nutrient that provides energy and is important for your body in the right amounts,” she said.

“However, most people end up consuming too much (largely thanks to hidden sugars in fizzy drinks, fat-free alternatives and alcoholic beverages).

“Try to cut down your sugar intake and swap for low-release carbohydrates that will keep you fuller for longer and stop you having sugar crashes.”

Drink plenty of water

People can sometimes eat more than they need to, because they’re confusing the feeling of thirst with the feeling of hunger.

Dr Missick said: “If you fancy a snack, try having a glass of water first because it may be that you’re just thirsty. If you’re still peckish then reach for a good brain food like nuts or berries.”

Try HIIT workouts

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has become popular in recent years, partly due to the fact you can do the workouts at home without the need for a gym.

“Losing weight is all about burning more calories than you consume which can be done in two ways; burn more and/or consume fewer,” she said.

“High intensity interval training workouts (which can often be followed in an empty space of your house), yoga and pilates are all great options. As are classics such as a fast walk, a run or a bike ride.”

Get a good night’s sleep

As well as fitness and nutrition, sleep is another important factor when it comes to weight loss.

Dr Missick said: “If you’re not getting enough sleep (or not getting enough good quality sleep) then your fitness goals could be affected.

“Try to get eight hours a night. If you struggle to get to sleep then you may benefit from a supplement.”

Add more protein

Focusing on protein is more important than obsessing over carbs and fat when dieting, Dr Missick said.

She explained: “Protein helps with muscle repair and growth, and it also provides a lean source of energy.

“Foods that are high in protein include chicken, steak and tuna, and meat-free alternatives such as eggs, dairy, soy and legumes.”

She also advised:

  • Investing in some smart scales
  • Getting some home workout equipment
  • Reducing your calorie intake.
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