Posted: 3rd May 2016
Tip 1- Have a GOAL
When you decide you want to lose weight you may already have a goal in mind. It could be an actual weight; it could be a dress/waist size; it could be to look good for a particular occasion or it could be to be healthier. Whatever it is, it will be personal to you and that is important as it gives you something to aim for. Whatever it is there are two things you can do to make it happen.
Firstly picture yourself at your goal- imagine how you will look, think about how you will feel, think about the things people will be saying to you. This will help you to focus on how great you will feel when you reach your goal.
The second thing is to think about steps along the way, these milestones could be things like every ½ stone, or each dress size just what you think you want to achieve along the way. They will help you to make the goal achievable. They will reinforce your progress as you go forward.
For me I wanted to lose weight to improve my health and get to a size 14. As I progressed I aimed for each ½ stone and when I got to a healthy weight I had lost over 5 stone and was wearing size 10 clothes!
Tip 2 – Understand Your Eating Habits
One of the things that will help you lose weight is eating regular meals and cutting out snacking. In this way you can track what you are eating and make conscious decisions about what to eat and what not to eat.
One way to start this process is to write down everything you eat for a week. When I say everything, this means including the biscuit you have at a meeting; the food you finish off that the children leave on their plates; the chocolate bar you buy at the petrol station and of course the meals you eat.
This will help you see any patterns of eating you have that you might want to change and it will probably shock you when you see what you eat when not actually having a meal
For me I didn’t have very big meals when I was overweight, but I noticed that I often tasted food when I was cooking so probably had had at least 100 calories before I served food; that I often bought something when I paid for petrol (either crisps or chocolate) and that I would eat biscuits when I attended meetings. These were all things I could easily change and this made a big difference to my overall calorie intake.
Tip 3 – Don’t give up the things you love
One of the things that make you feel really miserable when you go on a ‘diet’ is that you often feel you have to totally give up the things you like. This could be savoury things like cheese or crisps; or it could be sweet things such as chocolate or biscuits, or it could be alcohol such as wine or beer. You will know the things that you really love.
The real key to losing weight and keeping it off is not to think of your new way of eating as a ‘diet’ but thinking of it more as eating healthily.
In this way you can adjust your eating and portions sizes reducing the amount of calories you eat overall, but can also plan in things you love. You may find there are things you can do without and others you just can’t and if you recognise this you will be able to adjust your eating and lose weight without feeling miserable.
If you deny yourself something you really can’t live without you are more likely to go back to old habits and not lose weight or even worse put more on.
For me my three things I didn’t think I could live without were chocolate, cheese and wine, very much in that order. I gave up alcohol totally while I was losing weight; I only had cheese added to food as part of a recipe, so I still got the taste and used low fat cheese spreads and things like Philadelphia for sauces, and finally I built a small amount of chocolate into my diet as a treat most days.
Tip 4 Getting help from your supporters
Quite often when people decide they want to lose weight they keep it very much to themselves. This can be a sign that they don’t believe they can do it and don’t want people to think that they have failed, or that they want people to think they are happy as they are.
Being overweight doesn’t have to make you miserable but often people are finding life more difficult; this might be moving around; finding clothes they want to wear that fit; suffering with health problems or lacking in confidence.
Actually sharing your goal of wanting to lose weight with friends, family and or work colleagues will make you goal more real. More importantly you can enlist their help with food choices.
For me I often volunteered to drive if we were out with friends, therefore I didn’t drink, friends always welcomed that; at work when people often brought in cakes and/or sweets I suggested that we also had a fruit bowl and when I cooked for the family I fed them the same healthy meals I was eating but just slightly larger portions
Tip 5 Recognise Your Trigger Points
When you have decided to lose weight and you start to see results you will hopefully stay on track but life happens and this often means that there are things that make you go off the rails
I would term these as trigger points and they can be things such as bad day at work; a crisis at home; an argument with your partner/children/friends; worrying about something you have got to do or should have done and I could go on. All these things have the potential to send you in direction of comfort food which is more likely to be a bar of chocolate than an apple.
So do you know the things that can send you off the rails and sabotage your weight loss? When you think about it you will, and the key is to develop strategies to handle these situations without resorting to food or drink. Working with a coach can really help but there are simple things you can do for yourself.
For me work pressure was always a trigger for eating things like chocolate or having wine when I got home from work. Relaxing in the bath or painting my nails was always a good alternative but ultimately as I lost weight exercise became the thing that helped me to beat stress and improve my mood.
Tip 6 Exercise
You may have been wondering when exercise would be mentioned. The simple equation for weight loss is that you need to eat less and move more so increasing the amount exercise you do is very obvious. However this does not mean running a marathon or even going to a gym the critical thing is to do something. If you have a pedometer or app on your phone to check your activity the first thing to do is to see how much you are moving each day. In you are in an office job and drive to work you will probably be shocked at how little you are moving.
Whatever it is, just commit to increase it each week and build up to doing some exercise. The critical thing is finding something that you enjoy doing, that could be swimming, walking, running, the gym or at home on a Wii fit or Kinnect. The key is you need to like it or you will not keep it up.
For me I was shocked when I realised I was walking less than 1,000 steps a day at my heaviest. I increased this steadily by 500 steps a day each week until I got to point when I would do at least 10,000 steps each day and coupled this with going to the gym or swimming. I have found this a great way to keep fit, tone up as I lost weight but most importantly cope with stress without turning to chocolate. You really can’t lose anything but weight if you exercise.
Tip 7 Celebrate Success
My final tip is to make sure that you celebrate success. Not only when you get to your ideal weight but also on the way. You may have developed a weight problem by rewarding yourself with food, this is something that can develop from childhood if you have been given sweets as a treat when you have done something well.
This is a habit you need to break so reward yourself with something other than food. If you have children you may also want to think about how you reward them so they don’t get into the pattern of food being a reward rather than fuel!
If you have set yourself milestones to get to your ideal weight such as each ½ stone or each dress size then reward yourself with something such as a beauty treatment, a computer game you wanted, a sum of money to go towards you new wardrobe. You decide!
For me I really wanted to be able to wear different clothes so I bought some things in a smaller size, but from a charity shop and sold some of my larger clothes to generate some cash for a new wardrobe when I got to my ideal weight. Reducing from a size 20 to a size10 meant everything even shoes were too big. So putting aside some money was really useful.
I hope that you have found these tips helpful and if you want a free health check and a discussion about joining my weight-away plans I would love to hear from you.
I think that it fair to say that any diet will help you to lose weight. Sometimes this can be very quickly if you are following a meal replacment plan or restricting your calories dramatically but how often when you lose weight do you just put it all back on again!
If this is familar to you, it was to me, as I think I was what was is often referred to a ‘yo-yo’ dieter.
So how do you lose weight and keep it off.
The key is to eat healthily and well. Which means eating 3 well balanced meals every day; cutting out snacks; eating plenty of vegetables but allowing yourself a little of what you like and not beating yourself up.
I lost over 5 stone in weight and have kept it off for over 6 years now and I still eat chocolate but in moderation. I honestly think that if you eat well, cutting out processed foods and learning how to balance your meals you not only lose weight but you improve your health, gain energy and become more confident.
The key is changing your eating habits for good not going on a diet that offers quick results because if you go back to eating how you did before the diet you will go back to how you were before.
If you want to know more about my healthy eating plans visit http//:www.weight-away.org