The key to successful long-lasting weight loss is to make small changes to your diet and lifestyle that you feel comfortable with and are able to control. You don’t need to take drastic measures or eat bizarre combinations of food, but you do need to be patient and committed to making some permanent changes. Losing weight slowly may not seem as attractive or gratifying as following a ‘magical’ diet plan that promises instant results, but as we all know these diets never really work in the long-term.
When embarking on a weight loss plan how much you lose each week will depend on how heavy you are to begin with and how active you are; this doesn’t just mean how much exercise you do, but how active you are in your day to day life. A healthy rate of weight loss is about 2 lbs (1 kg) per week, but don’t worry if you lose a little more or less than this each week. The most important thing is that you stay on track, eat healthily and feel good about yourself and the changes you are making.
The best weight loss tips:
You don’t have to count calories obsessively but remember that calories do count so always have a rough idea of how many you are taking in and check nutrition labels to compare products and make sure you’re taking in less calories than your body uses.
An average woman uses up about 2000 calories per day (a man uses about 2500), so weight can be easily lost by eating about 1500 calories per day. The bigger you are the more calories you use up, even if you do very little exercise, so weight can still be lost by eating between 1500-1750 calories per day. A man can lose weight effectively by sticking to about 2000 calories per day.
Many products give the calorie (kcal) value per 100 g so make sure you know how big your portion is.
Drink plenty of water
Many people confuse feeling of mild hunger with mild thirst. Drinking plenty of water will help avoid these feelings and drinking water before and with meals helps you feel fuller so you eat less.
Keep a food diary
This is one of the best ways of self monitoring. It allows you to look back over each day or week and identify danger times or bad habits such as comfort eating or eating on the run. Once you have identified your worst habits, you can make some changes such as having regular meals and planning in advance what you are going to have, throwing away leftovers immediately or always having a healthy snack to hand.
Set realistic goals and ditch the faddy diets
Aim for a safe sensible weight loss of about 2 pounds (1 kg) per week. Set yourself small attainable target weights each month and take it slowly.
Faddy diets that promise rapid weight loss can make you feel lethargic and lacking in energy, they are extremely difficult to stick to and the chances are that as soon as you stop any weight lost will immediately be regained.
Get off the scales (Don’t weigh yourself too often)
Try to limit your weigh-ins to once a week, and don’t get too hung up on what the scales say, you could use your clothes as a guide instead.
Don’t give up just because you gave in
Treating yourself once in a while after you have been so good can help spur you on. Giving in occasionally doesn’t take you back to square one. Reward yourself in others ways, such as treating yourself to a manicure or buying yourself something new.