In my previous post I looked at why you can’t keep off lost weight, so I thought I’d do a follow up showing you ways in which you can.
The truth is you can lose weight with any diet or programme, but where most people go wrong is they don’t focus on the bigger picture of what’s maintainable long-term.
That’s why today I am going to share 7 top tips with you to keep those changes you worked so hard for.
1) Get to grips with your relationships with food
The reason why dieting doesn’t work is because it doesn’t tackle the root of the problem, which at the very core is our behaviours and relationships with food.
These are often spurred on by the fact that we tend to have very little control over what goes on in our lives, causing many of us to turn to food as a form of comfort or relief.
We use food a coping mechanism during difficult times, even though it doesn’t give us the relief we are after.
For instance, some people may turn to sugar after a stressful meeting, or a cup of tea with biscuits after a long day.
Our brains are programmed to make us think these outlets make us feel better, when in reality they often just make us feel worse. Causing everything from guilt to self-doubt or regret.
Picture any soppy romance film with the girl turning to a tub of ice cream after the break-up and you get the point.
That’s why if you actually want to make lasting changes, you need to firstly recognise, then actively work on changing your habits, behaviours and responses, which at the very core starts with your mindset and beliefs.
2) Realise that 80% of your weight loss comes down to diet
There’s no way around it, you simply can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet, yet people try anyway, which is why you see so many people year after year grinding away in the gym with nothing to show for it.
Exercise doesn’t magically make everything better and in some cases, can even make things worse, as people use the fact that they have worked out as justification for their food choices later, often eating far more calories than the otherwise would have.
Exercise is a great weapon to have in your weight loss arsenal, but it shouldn’t be the only measure you rely on at the expense of everything else.
3) Plan and prepare meals ahead of time
Where so many people go wrong is they simply don’t have a plan, constantly acting on impulse without actually thinking about what they are doing.
This can cause them to indulge far more often that they realise, with little to no regard for the amount of calories they consume on a daily basis.
Even worse, when constantly eating out you have no real idea or control over what goes into your food, which leaves it entirely down to judgement.
That’s why if you are serious about losing and keeping off that weight, then you need to think ahead, have an actual plan for what you are doing and stick to it as best you can.
You don’t have to have a rigid plan that you have to endlessly abide to, but you do need to have at least a rough idea about what you are going to eat on a weekly basis.
4) Become more mindful of your actions
Are you eating because you are hungry? Or just out of habit, because you’re bored or dehydrated?
Again, this links back to our relationships with food and many of us will eat food simply if it’s around, without as second thought as to whether or not we actually want it.
In the grand scheme of things there are two types of hunger, ‘physical’ which comes on gradually and can be satisfied by food, and ‘emotional’, which is sudden, urgent and led by cravings or a desire to change how you feel.
So next time you are tempted by a snack ask yourself if you are truly hungry or just looking for a source of comfort?
That’s why as a starting point for all clients I get them to keep a food diary for a week so we can get a complete overview of their actions, along with what and how much they are eating.
I’ve found this is one of the only ways to get an honest reflection, and many people come back to me shocked at how much they are actually consuming.
As a useful tip, it’s easy to confuse feelings of thirst with hunger, so if you are hit with a sudden bout of cravings, then have a glass of water and wait 15 minutes to see if they pass.
5) Stop trying to be perfect
So many people fail because they put so much pressure on themselves, thinking they can never eat their favourite foods again or spend every day in the gym.
So always remember, the goal is not to be perfect, the goal is to make the healthy choice 80% of the time, and not dwell on the times you choose to enjoy life.
That’s what balance is all about.
6) Look at your lifestyle on the whole
Often our weight loss efforts can be sabotaged by other factors in our life, such as stress, a lack of sleep or how we think and feel in our environment.
That’s why improving your health is all about finding balance, and not just obsessing over what you eat or how much you move.
It’s easy to completely overlook these outside factors and they are an aspect few people pay any attention to.
7) Have an actual plan
Every week there seems to be a new miracle diet or workout routine, most of which are based on a quick fix and looking at cash in on people’s desire to lose weight.
Everyone is different though, so chances are what works for one person isn’t going to work for you, which is why you need an actual plan develop around you.
The thing is there’s no shortage of information out there about what we should be doing, but where most people go wrong is they have no guidance on how to implement these changes, or a support network to keep them accountable.
That’s why if you are serious about losing weight and improving your overall health, then you need to stop bouncing around from one diet to another, and instead focus on making lasting changes.
I know first-hand it’s tough, as I went through years of fluctuating weight and not knowing what to do, living a life of restriction and feeling helplessly overwhelmed.
If you know anything about my story then you’ll know how many dad’s cancer was the wakeup call that I needed to do something about my own health. That’s why I set out on my own journey to not only lose the weight, but also keep it off, get qualified in nutrition, personal training, how to change our behaviours and wrote my book ‘Become a Better You‘.
As you can see from the picture above I’ve now not only lost the weight, but I also look younger, revived and no longer exhausted or burnt out by life.
That’s why I’ve made it my mission over the last few years to help as many people as possible avoid going through what happened to my dad.
As implementation and following through is the area where so many people go wrong, I have taken what I have learnt over the last few years and developed the ’12/80 Body for Life Programme’.
This tailored coaching programme is going to give you all the skills, guidance, knowledge and support to gain the confidence to take control of your own journey, as you transition into a life where you become a healthier, happier, slimmer you.
Not only are not only going to lose weight, but you are going to make lasting changes to the way you eat, think, move and live, as we focus on everything that was discussed within this article and help you move from where you are, to where you want to be.
There’s going to be no more dieting, restriction or starving yourself, just lasting changes for the rest of your life.
To find out more and apply for a place on this programme simply book in for a break through session call with me, where we can talk about you, your goals and the changes you want to make, and from there see if you are the right fit.
What do you think?
Share your thoughts, questions and reasons why you have struggled keeping off weight in the comments below.
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