Tips & Strategies for Weight Loss
Never say Never
One of the things that often makes people give up when they are losing weight is feeling that there are some favourite foods, or drinks, that they can never have. The fact is that any food or drink CAN be consumed, its a question of amount and frequency. As soon as you tell yourself that you can't eat a particular food then it is natural to think about them and that makes you want them, It's not even really to do with weight loss, try telling yourself not to think about something and you will find that it seems almost impossible to think of anything else. So while you may reduce, or limit your intake of certain things it's not a case of NEVER.
Never say Never
Planning is Key
Decide ahead of a meal time exactly what you will eat, either a day before or even for the whole week. That way you are much more likely to eat the foods that you know will help you achieve your weight loss goals. If the idea of knowing ahead of time doesn't appeal then just plan a day at a time. But planning is important, it definitely will help you stay with your programme and ultimately get to your target weight.
In fact it is often worth planning snacks as well as meals and if you are going out for meals or think you will be at social occasions that involve eating then it is worth planning how you will manage such occasions without straying too far from your goals.
Maintain Your Motivation
It is so easy to start of with motivation really high and finds that it wanes after a few weeks. It can help to have bit of rest or allow yourself a treat or two (more on treats below). But it can also help to remind yourself WHY you are trying to lose weight - remind yourself of how you will look when you have shed those pounds, or the health benefits of knowing you have reduced you BMI and may enjoy less strain on your joints or perhaps a lowering in your blood pressure. It helps some people to think about a new outfit they may buy, or how it will feel to fit into an old favourite, or to think about how they may feel more confident when they are the size they want to be.
Most people can feel inspired by hearing or reading about people who have achieved what they aspire to. So make a point of finding some folk who have done what you are doing and made it. Read those stories or even better chat to people if you can. They may tell you it was tough but they have made it so there is no reason why you can't do it to. After all they are human, they felt tempted and weary at times but they managed to battle through.
Make sure that you pick someone who had a similar goal to you. A person who needs to lose several stones or kilogrammes may not feel inspired by someone who only needs to lose a small amount but support is key. Use yourself as inspiration - chart your progress and don't forget to give yourself a big pat on the pack.
We all need to have the occasional treat and in fact they can help us to maintain our motivation. BUT a treat needs to be just that. If you have something every day then by definition it isn't a treat. So it's ok to chose a few things to be treats and have them AS TREATS, that means - occasionally. Obviously you need to exercise a bit of care, a treat that has more calories than a main meal is probably not a good plan, and if you know that if you have one you are going to eat a whole packet then you need to think carefully about what you are going to choose as your treats.
Enjoy Occasional Treats
Small changes CAN bring big results
IT's easy if you are trying to lose a substantial amount of weight to rule out small changes - feeling that they won't have sufficient impact. But it is worth remembering that a small change like maybe drinking tea or coffee without sugar (or milk) can add up to a big reduction in calories over the course of day. Maybe switching to skimmed or semi skimmed milk instead of whole milk or poaching instead of frying. Although just a few calories may be saved each time this can add up and bring about the change in weight that you want. Even what may feel like big changes can be implemented in a series of small steps, so cutting down on the number of times in a week you have processed or fast food each week over a period of few weeks.
One of the difficulties with trying to lose weight is that so often we use food as a reward. A drink after a hard day at work, a cake to reward ourselves for finally getting round to the ironing, whatever it is we often see food as a reward. While there is nothing wrong with that, if trying to lose weight it is important to think of some other rewards.
So think about watching a film, having a treat like a facial or manicure, curling up for half an hour with a good book. Pick things that would feel like a treat but that don't revolve around food.
Maybe you could save up by putting aside money you would have spent or cakes, crisps or unhealthy food and then buy yourself a piece of jewellery, or a new phone or whatever would feel like a big reward.
Treat Yourself - but not with food
Avoid the Blame Game
Sadly many of us find it very easy to be hard on ourselves. Far harder than we would be with others so when you are beating yourself up about the piece of cake you had or the biscuits that kept falling into your hand, STOP.
It achieves nothing other than making you feel very down and then of course there is the risk that you will eat something to cheer yourself up. Instead, ask yourself what you would say to a friend - you would probably encourage them not to dwell on any slip ups and encourage then to keep going, perhaps reminding them of why it is good for them to lose weight.
Get Some Support
Whenever we are trying to achieve something difficult it is usual to ensure we have a support network. You may have great friends but they may not all know what it is like to try and lose weight.
You don't necessarily have to join a formal club, although some people find them very helpful, but having someone to talk to and share ideas with is important. Somehow it can help to know that someone else is struggling too and if they have a good idea well you may as well learn from that and see if it can help you.
These days there are lots of ways of getting support as there are many on line groups where people can support each other so you don't even need to leave the comfort of your own home.
Everyone is different but lots of people say they find it easier to manage what they eat when they are generally busy and occupied. If people are too busy, and perhaps stressed then this might not be the case as there is a tendency to 'grab' whatever is to hand as you race form one activity to the next. But if you haven't got much to do and spend a lot of time watching TV then the tendency can be to munch. So use the time while you are trying to lose weight to maybe find some new interests or hobbies. Things like going for a walk in the country, or a bike ride, or any new sport will have added benefits in terms of increasing your exercise levels. BU any hobby that you can get absorbed in, that doesn't make you think about food - so it might not be the best time to take up cake making -can be helpful.
So if after your dinner you always want to 'keep on eating' try going for a walk instead or get into something creative that you can do regularly at home. Sometimes a hobby like doing crosswords or Sudoku can be used as a distraction when there is temptation to endlessly 'snack' or 'nibble'.