At this time of year many of us are making the decision to focus on our weight and shed those extra pounds we’ve put on over Christmas and New Year. The expectations you have, and the plans you put in place for your weight loss regime can make or break your diet so it’s important to put some thought into it. It’s all well and good having a vague idea that you want to be thinner, but if you have specific goals it can really help to spur you on, and make you much more likely to stick to it and acieve those goals.
Be realistic – having a goal of being a size 10 when you’re currently a size 20 can be very disheartening as you’ll always feel like you have so far to go. Instead set yourself milestone goals. If you set a goal of reaching a size 18 in time for your summer holiday, this will seem much more attainable. You could then break it down further and work out how many pounds you’d need to lose each week. This gives you something to aim for on a weekly basis rather than just having a longer term goal.
Next write a list of ways in which you are going to combat your weight. Think about your day, identify your weaknesses and come up with a plan for them all. For example. if your weak spot is that hour after your evening meal when you’re relaxing in front of the TV and are prone to nibble on unhealthy snacks then make sure you have some healthy snacks in the house you can substitute them with. Some vegetable sticks with a healthy dip, or a big bowl of unsweetened popcorn is a much healthier snack than crisps or chocolate, and you won’t feel like you’re being deprived of your nibbles.
Take a look at where you can add extra exercise into your life. If you drive to work, can you walk? Can you walk the school run, or to the local shops instead of taking the car?
Look at the types of food you eat and see where you can substitute some items for more healthy ones. Perhaps you can swap your white bread and pasta for wholemeal, your chips for sweet potato or parsnip, your sugary soft drinks for low calorie versions, or flavoured waters. Making small chances is an easy way to gradually adapt your life to a healthier one, and you’ll lose weight without having to follow a complicated fad diet. You’re much more likely to stick to a diet if it involves small, easy to manage gradual changes.