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The secret to successful and long-lasting weight loss isn’t starving yourself – nor is it limiting your food choices or following a rigid pattern of eating. Instead, it is simply keeping your blood sugar levels balanced and your food choices healthy.

Take your diet to the next level and smash your weight loss goals with Patrick’s top tips:

1. Balancing act
The key to keeping hunger pangs at bay is to keep your blood sugar levels balanced. If your blood sugar levels are high, excess sugar gets stored as fat; if too low, that’s what triggers hunger. A low-GL diet means eating little protein, mainly from fish and vegetable proteins such as beans, lentils, nuts and seeds, combined with low- GL carbs such as wholegrain pasta, oat flakes, brown rice, quinoa.

2. Avoid the grim reaper
The hormone insulin is released when our blood sugar levels spike – a direct result of eating sugar or refined carbs. Insulin has been dubbed the “grim reaper” for its fat-storing properties, its association with high cholesterol and high blood pressure and has also been blamed for aging! Now, if that doesn’t scare you into putting down the doughnut, nothing will. Consider supplementing your diet with the mineral chromium which helps your body deal with insulin when it floods our system. Also get into the habit of adding cinnamon to everything. This diet fairy-dust works to counter-act the damaging effects of insulin by reducing blood sugar levels, blood pressure and body-fat percentage. Sprinkle away!

3. Fast v feast:
To really burn fat fast, we need to take our diet to the next level. Although there seems to be a new ‘it’ diet going viral on a weekly basis, the hype around alternate-day or intermittent fasting seems to have merit. Studies have shown that eating less every other day can speed up the weight-loss process significantly. The best approach to following this diet appears to be fasting for three days a week. Fasting does not mean starving but rather eating around 30% fewer calories than you would on normal days and sticking to low-GL foods on both ‘fast’ and ‘feast’ days.

4. You are what you eat and when you eat:
Yes, we all know you won’t look long and lean like a breadstick if that’s all you eat. But there is some truth to this cliché. Always eat protein with carbs. This little-known diet hack works because protein, made up of amino acids, makes the digestive environment more acidic which slows down the breakdown of the carbs. Food spends more time in your stomach, making you feel fuller for longer and giving your willpower a boost when it comes to saying no to dessert.

Another diet cliché you’re probably sick of hearing is “eat little and often”. But this nugget of wisdom will keep your metabolism firing and also means your body will produce less insulin.

5. Move more:
This is the final piece of the weight-loss puzzle. Research has shown that the right kind of exercise, coupled with low-GL and alternate-day dieting, can double weight loss results. For both all-round health and fitness and to burn calories and boost your metabolism, alternate between strength training and aerobic exercise. Keep it fresh and exciting so you don’t get bored.

Following an alternate-day, low-GL diet and a results-driven exercise routine will leave you looking and feeling better – from improvements in your skin, digestion and even your mood as well as the added bonus of losing unwanted weight.