Losing weight is a battle that many people face. There are a number of things that can trigger this thought too – it might be a photo that you see of yourself, it might be after you jump on the scales or it might just be that you feel like your habits need to change. This can be at a certain time of the year too (just after Christmas or Easter) or as it approaches summer and the loose, baggy jumpers are put away. The important thing to remember though is that there is no overnight solution and just like all good things, it takes time.
Below are some key things to remember when you or your clients are trying to lose some weight:
Starting a habit can take time, be patient with yourself:
All good things take time and building a healthy relationship with food is no exception. The classic thought of “I’ll start Monday” is very common to hear or think when trying to implement a new behaviour, but there is no reason why you can’t start taking small steps towards your goal today. This could be introducing more fruit and veggies slowly into your diet, drinking more water, or even just recording what you eat in a day in a food diary. All of these things can help build the base for your change and will also help to keep you accountable.
If you cut everything out too quickly the cravings can make you crave:
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when trying to lose weight is to cut all “bad foods” out of their diet immediately and only eat the things that they perceive as healthy. This can have the opposite effect than what was intended, as cravings will play a big part in your first few weeks and months after changing up your diet. Making the small changes will lead to the bigger changes happening naturally.
Leave the guilt out of it:
This one carries on from the previous tip. If you feel like indulging in a cheat meal during the week, then enjoy it without feeling guilty. There is more damage done by feeling the stress and guilt of your decision than there is by eating that calorie dense cheeseburger. Focus on your weekly intake of food overall and take pride in 95% of what you have eaten, do not beat yourself up over one meal.
Have a support network around you:
Sharing your weight loss journey with those closest to you can also help to keep you on track. This might be a partner or family member that can help encourage you and remind you of your goals when you might need that boost of confidence. This will help not only your diligence to your goals, but also help your mental health along this journey.
Record your results as you go:
This can come in a number of different forms. You can create a food diary for yourself, take progress photos, take girth measurements or use the scales as your indicator. Just make sure that there is consistency to all of these – you do not want to weigh yourself for the first time in the middle of the day and then a week later do it first thing in the morning. Make sure that the time of day that all of these forms of tracking are the same so that it also becomes part of your new habit.