Sam Wood reveals the tricks of the trade that will keep weight off.
Sam Wood reveals the tricks of the trade that will keep weight off.

Sam Wood’s 8 tips for long term weight loss

ALL TOO often I've had clients come to me and say "Sam, I eat well and exercise but I'm gaining weight". Once I've had a good look at whether they really are doing the right training and following a proper eating plan, my next step is to get the microscope out to find out where they could be going wrong.

Here are eight little every day habits that could be the culprits holding you back from achieving your weight loss goals.

1. Snacking

Do you often find yourself subconsciously reaching for that 3pm snack even when you're still full from lunch? We are undeniably creatures of habit but it is so important to listen to your body and only eat when you feel hungry. This will ensure you aren't adding unnecessary calories to your daily intake or getting into a habit of eating for the sake of it.

2. Eating while cooking

I know the feeling - you're prepping dinner and the ingredients look so fresh and delicious that you can't help but snack on bits and pieces as you cook.

Try and avoid eating while cooking.
Try and avoid eating while cooking.

The problem is you might find that by the time your meal is ready, you're barely hungry. This habit is a real trap for mums, particularly when cooking an early dinner for the kids and a later meal with their partner.

3. Hidden calories

Sauces can be a great way to add flavour but they are often jam-packed full of sugar and hidden calories. Sauces and dressings can undo all the good work you have put into making a healthy meal without you even noticing. Making your own dressing is the best way to make sure you eliminate those hidden nasties and know exactly what is going into your food. Don't forget to experiment with spices too, which help add flavour to a home cooked meal.

4. Too much of a good thing

Avocado, nuts, and fruit - they're all good for you, right? Absolutely, but try not to go overboard with your favourite ingredients.

Yes, there is such thing as too much avocado.
Yes, there is such thing as too much avocado.

Don't forget that moderation and variety is key and too much of one thing is never good for you.

5. Sitting all day

If you work in an office, chances are you're sitting down at your desk for most of the day. I always tell my clients to keep moving throughout the day to incorporate some incidental exercise into your routine. Why not ditch the car and start walking to work, or even try working from a stand-up desk?

6. Portion sizes

So often, our eyes are way too big for our belly and this means we can load up our plates and feel the need to eat until it's all gone. It's important to make sure your portions are a sensible size and not too out of hand, and remember, don't be afraid to leave food on your plate.

7. Liquid calories

While a bottled juice, can of soft drink or that extra addition of sugar or milk in your coffee might satisfy your sweet cravings, remember that it does nothing to fill you up and might mean you still reach for another snack on top.

Watch those liquid calories. Not all drinks are healthy, and some can contain a lot of sugars.
Watch those liquid calories. Not all drinks are healthy, and some can contain a lot of sugars.

If you're hungry, why not opt for a more filling snack like a protein ball to smash those sugar cravings?

8. Supermarket shopping on an empty stomach

I'll be the first to admit that everything looks all the more enticing when you're shopping with hungry eyes and an empty stomach, (that box of mac n' cheese would really hit the spot!). But this is definitely when silly decisions are made, so do yourself a favour and make sure you avoid shopping when you're starving.

Try to focus on eliminating these old everyday habits in favour of a healthier routine and I guarantee you'll start to see a difference.

This article originally appeared on Body & Soul and has been republished with permission.