- Diet & Weight Loss
Ten tips for easy weight loss
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There are all sorts of reasons why people want to lose weight at particular times but the majority of people want to lose weight because of the health benefits or the impact it has upon their appearance and therefore their confidence.
Some adults spend a lot of their life dieting then putting on weight again as soon as they stop formally dieting. There are also many people who maybe wouldn’t be described as overweight but would say they would feel better if they lost a bit of weight.
Obesity of course does have some serious health consequences and statistics suggest that the incidence of obesity is increasing. If you want to look at some of the facts visit
But there are a number of steps you can take that will make a difference without needing to follow a strict diet regime, of course the amount of weight you lose, and the rate at which you lose it, will depend on you. But for people that want a no frills approach to losing weight these tips can really help to get you started on your weight loss journey.
You can do it
Small changes big results
Plan what you will eat the following day. Then you can make sure you have it in the house and that way you won’t be tempted to have something that is not so good for you.
Start with the 5
When planning what you will eat make sure you plan in at least five portions of fruit and vegetables. Choose things you like it’s not meant to be a punishment and even the most reluctant vegetable and fruit consumers usually have some things they like. Follow the principle of a healthy diet (if you are not sure what a healthy diet is check out the 'eatwell plate' http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/eatwell-plate.aspx) and you won’t go far wrong. Check out some new ways of cooking your favourite vegetables.
Check your portion size and if you think, honestly, that they are too large on a regular basis simply try switching bowls. I worked with one client who found that using a smaller bowl or plate for each meal made her think more about portions and this helped her to lose weight. Also make sure that your portion size of any particular food group is about the recommended size remember a protein portion should fit in the palm of your hand!
There are often simple swaps you can make that will have a great impact. If you like something sweet with a coffee mid morning opt for a small chocolate biscuit – under a 100 calories rather than a whole chocolate bar or pastry. Try changing to skimmed rather than whole fat milk, try poaching rather than frying, try balsamic vinegar as a dressing on salad instead of mayonnaise. The list can be endless think about your problem times and then check out ways you can make small changes.
Eat at least 5 a day
Exercise - just do it.
I know lots of people find exercise tough but the fact is that if you want to lose weight exercise WILL help. The basic equation is simple, if you burn up more energy, or calories, through activity than you take in through food you will lose weight. The reverse is also true so exercise is vital. But don’t think exercise means going for a 10 mile run, because it doesn’t have too. First find an exercise you enjoy, or at least don’t hate too much, walking, dancing, cycling, swimming or classes such as pilates, yoga or kick boxing. Some people like to exercise alone others find motivation in a group. There are also some people who enjoy the exercise in competitive sports squash, hockey, football tennis or a huge variety of other sports. But whatever you choose the important thing is to do something. It could even be getting off the tube or bus a couple of stops earlier and walking or deciding to walk up and down stairs at work rather than use a lift. remember too that gardening, walking the dog and housework all burn calories.
Don’t get worried about having to fit in an hour a day and if you haven’t exercised for a while take it slowly at first but do start just doing something is the important first step.
If you have any health concerns or are significantly overweight check with your doctor before indulging in anything too strenuous.
Many people say it is their social life that causes them to gain weight. It is true that most people find it is harder to stick to eating in a healthy way when they are out, but there are lots of ways you can help yourself. If going out is a rare occurrence then simply enjoy it and the next day get back to sensible eating but if it is something you end up doing frequently then try some of the following tips.
- Try having a starter and side instead of a main if you feel the choices are better
- Think about sharing a dessert
- Don’t forget that alcohol may be very calorific
- Choose something that takes a long time to eat
- Don’t be afraid to do what you want – it is you will reap the rewards
How to stick at it
Don’t go it alone
Often it helps to tell the people around you that you are trying to lose weight – not necessarily everyone in the office but certainly people you are close too. We all need support and it can help if others know why you are saying ‘no’ to things you would maybe have enjoyed before.
We often eat to comfort ourselves and that can in itself become a habit. If you are aware that you do, and lots of people do this, try and think in advance of either other strategies you can use, maybe watching a favourite movie, phoning a mate or taking a long hot bath when you need a bit of a lift. If food is really the comfort you want then plan some comfort nibbles in advance and think about things that will still be comforting but may not be as calorie loaded, a small packet of chocolate raisins, or some of the lower calorie savoury snacks may be a good idea.
Remind yourself why you want to lose weight, perhaps having a photo of a particular outfit you want to wear or a photo of yourself at the weight you once were and aspire to be again. Put it where you can look at it to act as an incentive. Read or listen to the stories of people who have lost weight – this can be very inspiring and if your motivation is flagging it could be just what you need to keep you on track .
It is important to weigh yourself as it is great to see if you are making progress or not. Some people like to weigh themselves everyday others maybe only once a week. The important thing is to make sure you weigh yourself on the same scales at a similar time in the day as weight can vary, and make sure you wear similar clothes.
Check your progress
Loosing weight is possible, everyone can do it, even you! But you need to believe that you can AND you have to have a desire to lose weight. It takes a bit of time and effort but it is possible.
- Plan your eating
- Make sure you eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
- Adjust portion sizes
- Swap snacks or habits for healthier options - small changes can make a difference
- Exercise - even a little will help
- If social gatherings are an issue for you try some of the suggestions above
- Get the support of your friends or family
- If you regularly eat for comfort try to find some alternative ways of rewarding or reassuring yourself
- Weigh your self regularly to check your progress
- Find ways to keep your self inspired and motivated
Don't give up - you will get there.