Great Britain

How to feel great and lose weight in TWO WEEKS – in 7 simple steps

WITH summer finally here and restrictions easing around meeting friends and family indoors and out, no doubt you want to head back into the world feeling your best yet. Well, we’ve got you covered!

We sat down with nutritional therapist Gabriela Peacock, who’s worked with the likes of Melanie Sykes and Jodie Kidd, to find out about the small tricks and tips you can use to make the biggest changes to your health.

But can you really make a difference to how you feel in just a couple of weeks?

“Yes, absolutely!” says the former model and now debut author of 2 Weeks To Feeling Great.

“Every positive change will have a positive impact on your body.

“It’s not all about dropping pounds, it’s about having more energy, optimising your health and boosting immunity – but yes, you can lose weight too,” she explains.

Read on for Gabriela’s expert advice…

Don’t wait to eat if you’re feeling hungry

Ever been guilty of feeling your stomach rumble but holding off on eating until lunchtime? Yep, us too. Well, it turns out that could actually be scuppering your plans for better health.

“When you’re peckish, that’s your body signalling that it needs more fuel,” explains Gabriela. “Which means that is the optimal point you should be eating.”

Not only are you more in control of making healthier choices when you’re hungry but not ravenous, but that is actually when you need energy.

And if you’ve included protein with your snacks and main meals, then chances are you won’t get hungry at other times.

“This is especially true of dinner,” she adds. “Eating just before bed doesn’t help anyone – you don’t need all that energy when you’re in bed and it can instead disrupt your sleep.”

Ditch the early morning coffee

Can’t function without a coffee first thing? Sadly, having caffeine on an empty stomach is bad news.

“It’s a common mistake, but even if you don’t take sugar with your coffee, it still causes the liver to release sugar into your bloodstream,” says Gabriela.

And while this will give you a quick burst of energy, it can mess up your body for the rest of the day.

“Starting the day with a sugar spike means your body spends the rest of the day trying to rectify your blood sugar levels,” she explains.

So save your coffee for after breakfast.

Check your acidity

Painful bloating after you eat could be a sign that the acid levels in your stomach are not optimal.

“Large particles of food will get into your bloodstream, and your immune system will attack them, causing digestive and autoimmunity issues,” says Gabriela.

“To check your acid levels, add 1/4tsp of bicarbonate of soda to half a glass of water and drink it on an empty stomach.

"If your acid levels are fine, you will burp after three or four minutes. But no reaction means your levels are low.”

If you have a problem, increase your intake of bitter foods such as rocket, chicory and artichokes and start taking digestive enzymes before full meals.

“You’ll see the effects straight away,” Gabriela adds.

Learn to look after your liver

This often-overlooked organ is responsible for getting rid of harmful toxins from your body and fighting off bugs and infections.

So how can you make sure you’re looking after it properly? Don’t spray your perfume directly on to your skin and use an aluminium-free deodorant. Why?

“Every chemical that’s applied to your skin is filtered via your liver,” says Gabriela. “So the more you overload it, the more likely you are to fall sick easily.”

But you don’t have to bin your bottle of Chanel No.5 – you can spray your signature scent on your clothes instead. And if you’re looking for liver-friendly foods, then feast on cabbage, kale, broccoli and cauliflower.

These cruciferous veggies contain compounds that are great at dealing with the effects of toxins.

Give fasting a go

Studies show that by fasting, you could lose 4-7% of your belly fat, which means the harmful fat from around your organs.* Gabriela has included two fasting plans in her book.

“For weight loss, the 4:3 plan is best,” she says. “You fast for three non-consecutive days on 500 calories.

"The rest of the week is then split into three mindful days, where you focus on healthy eating without a strict calorie goal. And finally, a magic day where you can eat whatever you want, which pushes your metabolism back up and allows you to have fun,”

Gabriela explains. “How much weight you lose will depend on how much you need to lose in the first place, but it could be up to 2kg.”

Then there is the 16:8 plan. “This is when you fast for 16 hours (including the time you’re asleep) and have an eight-hour window to eat all your meals.”

It allows the body to take a break from digestion so it can carry out other functions more effectively.

Try body brushing

Gabriela recommends dry-body brushing, which massages the lymphatic system to rid the body of toxins and increase circulation.

“The lymphatic system is where all the immune cells live, so it’s important that it’s working well,” she says.

“But since it doesn’t have its own pump, it can get sluggish. By skin brushing, you are helping move the lymph fluid, which contains the immune cells, around your body.

"And the more efficiently it moves, the more pathogens, viruses and bacteria it can pick up and kill. But correct technique is essential. Start at your feet and brush upwards towards your heart using short, firm strokes, but use circular motions on your belly and underarms.”

Have a soak in magnesium

We all know baths can be relaxing, but did you know that having a long soak is good for your lungs?

“The pressure and warmth can expand your breathing and lung capacity and therefore increase oxygen levels,” Gabriela explains.

And breathing better will increase energy levels, reduce your blood pressure and leave you feeling less anxious.

To really amp up your bathtime benefits, have a soak before bedtime and add in some magnesium.

“Magnesium is a strong relaxant, so it’ll help with sleep, but it’s also good for decreasing inflammation, and studies show that having high levels of magnesium is linked to improved lung function,” says Gabriela.

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