8 Things To Do Before You Start Trying To Lose Weight
It’s easy to start thinking that “hitting it harder this time around” is going mean you’re finally going to lose the weight rather than another failed weight loss regime, but I’m afraid you’re probably wrong. The key to success & weight loss, this time around is all in the planning, if you get that right then it’ll be hard to not see results. Get your mind right with a back-up plan in place for those “cake” moments or biscuits treats & you’ll be paving the way for a new slimmer you.
1. PAST ATTEMPTS
It’s really important to look back at how past diets & weight loss attempts panned out. Maybe you found that you were fine in the morning after a shake for breakfast but struggled in the evenings. Maybe you found that lunch left you starving by 3pm, leaving you vulnerable to naughty treats. It’s important to understand the pattern of cravings & tough moments to ensure you implement a backup this time over. These realisations are not past failures but positive lessons to ensure you succeed going forward.
2. GET SOME SLEEP
I don’t need to tell you that a lack of sleep causes you to crave food & snack more but even if you’re in control of your diet you are still at a disadvantage. A study from Chicago University found that dieters who slept 8.5 hours lost more fat than when they slept for only 5.5 hours even though they were eating the same diet, so get some sleep. You need at least 7 hours per night with no excuses, ditch TV & mobiles just before bed and stick to a bedtime routine for a slimming, restful night’s sleep.
3. BITE SIZE PIECES
Set yourself a weight loss goal and break it down into manageable, achievable bitesize chunks e.g. “every week I want to lose…” You should aim to lose up to 2 lbs of fat per week but no more as this could become unhealthy & may be unrealistic. Steady weight loss with a balanced nutritious diet is the key & will help to ensure you don’t end up with excessive loose skin & it will also help prevent your hormones levels from fluctuating all over the place.
4. FOOD DIARY
Do not underestimate the power of keeping a food log. Track everything you eat & drink for 7 days to help establish what’s going well & what’s going wrong. Write down the meals you eat & how you feel afterwards, make a note of when hunger pangs strike and the moments you feel lethargic, don’t worry about calories at this point just build that 7 day diary.
5. KITCHEN CLEANSE
Now that you understand the foods you are eating it’s time to clear out the cupboards, fridge & freezer of all the foods that may be contributing to your weight gain. You don’t need to eliminate these foods from your life altogether but you also don’t need to keep them readily available. Think about it, you are far less likely to snack on some chocolate or crisps if you need to drive to the nearest 24 hour supermarket rather than just opening the cupboard door. Don’t do it to yourself!
6. WHAT CAN’T YOU GIVE UP
Make a note of any “less than healthy” foods that you just can’t give up, depriving yourself will only get you down & won’t work in the long run. Maybe it’s that something-sweet mid-afternoon or that glass of wine, it all has its place in your diet and you simply need to know how to build them in healthily. Using your food log you can start to identify & cut-out the unnecessary binge snacks and think more about the really pleasurable & important treat moments. Think Moderation not elimination.
7. PLAN IT
Heading into a lifestyle of healthy eating without a stock of healthy meal ideas is like driving down a dark road without your headlights on, disastrous! You need a reserve of tasty simple meals that you can rustle up in no time at all & once you’ve got a few basic meals covered you’ll be ready to experiment with new ideas.
8. DON’T TELL THE WORLD
It’s important to have a support network in place but you don’t need to tell the world & try not to compare yourself to others. People love to barge in with their experiences & ideas but we’re all so different & you need to find the path that works for you.