What is the Secret to Effective Weight Loss?
Part 3 – What, When and How.
If you have decided that 2016 is the year when you get fit, lose weight and feel great…here’s the big secret that you won’t hear anywhere else…it’s all in the planning.
You need to plan around your real life, not the one where you magically become a gym freak, juicing addict, with the will power of a super hero and no social life when you wake up on the 1st of January 2016.
The truth is, you could spend loads of money buying a meal plan, some magical weight loss tea, a gym membership and a juicer BUT if you haven’t thought about how you will fit this around your life you will fall at the first hurdle … or the first invitation out to dinner or the first time your friend says ‘shall we just get a take-away?’
So you’ve written down why you want to lose weight and set some goals, and you have thought of the things that are going to trip you up. Now you can plan what you are actually going to eat and when you are going to exercise.
Unfortunately, there really isn’t any big secret to exactly what you should eat to lose weight. Don’t be fooled by crash diets, detoxing or juicing, it isn’t sustainable and won’t make you feel good.
Some people find that a lower carbohydrate eating style works well for them, so you might try limiting your rice, pasta, potato, cereal and bread to two small portions per day and eat more nuts, lean meat, dairy and vegetables to replace them. Some people find that a low fat diet works for them, where they limit high fat foods like red meat, cheese and oils and eat more of the low fat carbohydrate foods.
Some people even find that eating the same food but using a small plate instead of a dinner plate works, some find that swapping their snacks for fruit is enough to start with.
You might even just focus on one meal, for example, if you are lured into eating too much at work during the day, take a healthy lunch and some healthy snacks into work with you 3-4 days per week and watch the weight fall off!
As a general rule, if it has one single natural ingredient – meat, fish, lettuce, apple, almond, chickpea, avocado, carrot, milk etc. it is a winner. Limit refined foods like sugar, white flour or refined cereals, processed meat and foods with ingredients that don’t sound like food, to a couple of portions per week.
You need to take an honest look at your diet and see where you are overeating to be able to make a change. Whatever you decide to do, it needs to be a realistic, lifestyle change that you can stick at, not a crash diet or a preprepared diet plan that has no relevance to your current diet or lifestyle.
You also need to cut yourself a bit of slack. If in 2015 you had a packet of crisps and a chocolate bar from the vending machine at work every day, you are very unlikely to have the will power to go cold turkey in 2016. Think about giving yourself one treat day per week or trying an 80/20 rule where 80% of the time you are careful about what you eat and 20% of the time you allow yourself to enjoy a piece of cake or a small portion of your favourite take-away food and DON’T FEEL GUILTY.
I would also like to put in a good word for exercise. I am not a Personal Trainer so I am not going to give out exercise advice but I would say that you should have the same attitude to exercise as diet; be realistic. You are not going to go to the gym every morning at 6am. You’re just not. Three days maybe? Just an idea.
My final thought is that if you have a special occasion…or just a bad day, and you have too much to drink and eat half a buffet for 12 people and a whole cake; DON’T GIVE UP!! There are 364 more days in the year, you haven’t failed, you are human. Read your motivations and goals and get back on it the next day.
Write down your plans and write down your starting weight and monitor your progress. It will do you good to see how far you have come. Look out for healthy recipes in the new year from me and elsewhere and keep a note of them in your book!
Good luck out there! Remember if you want to tailored diet plan, see a good dietitian! I know one: sophiedietitian.com