The weight loss industry is huge and full of fads, new ideas, latest crazes and an abundance of highly polished organisations just waiting to take your cash from you. They play on our emotions and self doubt and happily take our money in the process.
Losing weight however doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. It does require a change in habit, lifestyle and how you think about food but small changes really can make a big difference.
Here are our top ten tips to get your weight under control and keep it there:
1. Don’t go crazy
Most diet regimes advocated in the tabloid press are based on short term fixes that demand you place your digestive system under extremes of pressure. This type of approach may case your body to lose weight in the short term but there is always a backlash. Losing weight quickly normally means losing lean tissue and water not fat, leaving you less healthy, less fit and less able to hold back the storage of additional fat once the fad diet has reaped its havoc.
2. Accept your starting point as a positive
Self hate does not serve anyone well and there is a fine distinction between liking yourself as the person you are and being happy with your current weight issues. Having a positive attitude about who you are right now will pay large dividends when you start the process of adjusting your body weight. You will approach your changes with far more vigour and staying power when you see yourself in a better light. Knowing you are a winner at all stages of body transformation will help you focus and stay with your plans, where before a negative attitude would drag you down and predict failure.
3. Realise that you have all the answers already
Healthy eating is no secret. Ask 100 people in the street to choose healthy selections from a list and the vast majority will score highly without the need to consult an expert. We all know the fresher the food the better and that more processed foods do not hold the same nutritional value. Making healthy choices, very simply start in the supermarkets and grocery stores. When you decide to place healthy food in your basket instead of unhealthy you are taking the easy step to a fitter, healthier, leaner and ultimately happier you.
4. Lose weight for the correct reason
Far too many people choose an upcoming event like a wedding or a summer holiday as their focus for losing body fat and looking great. The problem with this system is the all or nothing mental attitude that comes from aiming to ‘peak’ at one particular point in the year and this attitude leads to unsuitable diet ideas being tried in an all out assault on the problem. Losing weight needs to be accepted as a general lifestyle change and process that simply improves the longer the lifestyle continues. With this approach you will reach your goals and maintain a comfortable body shape all year long.
5. Only supplement your diet when you really need to
The importance of nutrients through vitamins and minerals are well known. The main question that needs to be asked is, where do you get your daily requirements from? A healthy diet will supply all of your needs without the need to spend time and money sourcing additional supplements. If a specific diet regime advocates the need to include additional supplements each day, it normally means the diet itself does not offer the necessary nutritional requirement, which should immediately set off alarm bells. There are times in people’s lives where the addition of some supplementary nutrition may be required for example when ill or pregnant but generally aim for a healthy diet first and save yourself time, effort and money.
6. We are designed to be grazers
Cutting down or cutting out meals is a regular mistake made by those aiming to lose weight. Using the assumption that less calories in will amount to less body fat stored. The truth in fact is that the exact opposite is generally true. Our body works throughout the entire day and night, even when we are asleep. During the day it is moving, thinking, breathing and generally living. Then at night it sleeps to regenerate, reform and restore energies for the day ahead. This constant activity needs a steady release of nutrients and missing out on meals disrupts this steady stream and causes the body to switch to emergency mode. In emergency mode the body only wishes to survive, it doesn’t care what shape you are, it only knows things are tough and it should store fat for the times ahead. Eat regular meals and stop this unhelpful process beginning.
7. Look at foods in a different way
We judge food on how it looks, smells, tastes and even how it is presented but this doesn’t help to identify whether you are eating the right food or not. Your food should be tasty, presentable, aromatic and satisfying along with this you should look at what makes up the food on your plate. Think in terms of fats, proteins, nutrients and simple or complex carbohydrates. You do not need to be an expert, simply checking on what is in your foods, from the labels, will help you gain a better all round impression of what makes up your daily intake.
8. ‘No-one ever got fat eating one piece of cake’
Many diets have been abandoned following a single cream bun event or a glass of wine. Placing such importance on a single food or drink and its presumed negative effect on a week long diet is, quite frankly, ridiculous. The truth is most people use this type of excuse for stopping a diet plan because they can no longer face the extremes of the diet. Follow the healthy eating steps contained within these tips and you will accept that the odd discrepancy will have no great effect in the long run.
9. Team work makes the dream work (not in dieting it doesn’t)
On the face of it, having a friend or colleague diet with you can seem like a good idea, as you assume that you will both try harder so that you do not let each other down. The reverse side of this coin is more often the truth, where your diet routine stops when your partner falls by the wayside. This can be an easier way to give up and accept defeat as you make the excuse that you would have continued and achieved more if only your friend could have kept up their side of the bargain.
10. ‘If it’s going to be, it’s up to me’
This is the ultimate truth of successful weight loss. Rely on yourself, source your own healthy food, prepare in advance for the long run, realise you are the best person to take control of your weight, allow others to fail but not you, allow others to try and put you off but do not let them, build up your own knowledge about what you are eating, eat small healthy meals regularly and be more active. Losing weight really is a simple topic that has been overly confused by an industry driven by sales of magazines, clothes, supplements and a massive variety of peripheral products. You do not need any of these, just take control yourself and keep it simple.
A note of caution
Don’t rush in but make a start and there’s no need to spend money on the latest diet plan, expensive gym memberships, personal trainers or a range of exercise machines that you’ll probably never use. Committing to large financial outlays, particularly if finances are tight is certainly not the answer and there are many instances where this has led to financial difficulties and unwelcome debt problems for people in their desperation to lose weight. So, there is no need to sign up to the long term gym membership plan or buy a cross trainer on hire purchase. However if you really feel the need to spend your cash on keep fit equipment then take the time to look for the auction sales from the many organisations in the keep fit industry that struggle financially and go into bankruptcy every year. There are bargains to be had.
With a bit of thought, forward planning and commitment you can make positive changes in your weight, body shape and overall fitness and it doesn’t have to cost much. So make the start now and take control of your weight problem.