1. Identify what needs changing: It is really important when you embark on a journey to lose weight (and more importantly keeping that weight off) that you start by really getting to understand yourself and why it is that you currently are carrying extra weight. It is very easy to blame other people, situations or circumstances in your life for why you struggle with your weight, but until you learn to accept the past and decide to be responsible for yourself, it is very hard to make changes that can last. So, what are the big things that you need to address? Is it your portion size? Do you eat when you are bored? Do you not know how to shop/cook healthy food? Work out what is that is holding you back. Check out Claire’s book Lose Weight For Life for a full list of things you might need to work on.
2. Why are you eating? It might sound like a silly question, but it is really important to look at why you eat what you do. If you are eating when you are sad, lonely or feeling angry – then you are using food as a coping mechanism and that can be very unhelpful when it comes to losing weight, because even if you do get the basics of your diet right on a day to day basis, as soon as you feel lonely/angry/tired or whatever it might be – your default habit will be to go back to food. You need to find an alternative coping strategy. Claire’s book can help with this.
3. Avoid the Quick Fixes – There are so many quick fix solutions out there - detox diets, cabbage soup diets, carb free diets – but they are unlikely to help you in the long term. There is no quick fix, to lose weight and keep it off, you need to change your whole lifestyle. Make a long term plan on how you will lose the weight. The means eating the right amount to be a healthy weight, planning and cooking healthy meals and making sure you have a plan for when challenging times arrive.
4. Set realistic goals: Losing half a kilo a week is reasonable. Obviously, this will depend on your starting weight, but remember, there's no race to lose the weight, you want to lose it safely and keep it off, so be realistic. Make sure your food intake is healthy, filling and nutritious.
5. Add exercise: Changing the way you eat is the biggest thing when it comes to losing weight, but it is crucial to add exercise to your schedule. It will boost your energy, add to your weight loss and leave you feeling great. Exercising doesn't necessarily mean going to the gym, do something you enjoy, whether it's working out, walking, playing basketball or doing an exercise DVD. Find something you like, it will be much easier to stick to!
6. Enlist the support of your family and friends: Having the support of friends and family will make a huge difference to this lifestyle change. While friends and family might not be joining you on this journey, they need to understand how important their support is to you. Ask them to take your diet and exercise requirements into considerations when doing activities with you