Saturday, 20 August 2011

7 simple ways to kick start your weight loss journey

 It's just this second dawned on me that it's been a year (practically to the day) since I started losing weight! WOW. I've stuck at this for A WHOLE YEAR!!

Before and After 50lb weight los. What a difference a year makes!

Start Weight August 2010 188.8lbs - Goal weight 138.8lbs reached in April 2011

I have tried to lose weight before, but I haven't kept the weight off. There have been other smaller attempts over the years, but kinda half hearted, or impatient attempts and there were times when I didn't immediately get the results I wanted and gave up.

Now I've got a whole year to look back on, I want to share some of my 'getting started' tips. From my experience weight loss takes patience and commitment and the will to not give up. I threw myself into losing weight this time around and I was more determined than ever, but I understand not everyone can, or will be, so gung ho about it. Often it's the getting started bit that people get stuck on. It's getting the momentum underway. Once that's started, it's easier to keep it going.

Getting started with loss.

What can you do that doesn't seem to overwhelming? How can you get that momentum going? How can you not rush into something and be disappointed and give up? With these things in mind I've come up with a few suggestions, remembering that this is a step in the right direction and the very beginning of your weight loss journey.

Just for one week, try one of the following:

  • Break your meals up. If you tend to eat once or twice a day and have really HUGE meals and fill up with rubbish, try eating smaller amounts 6-8 times a day. When we let ourselves get really hungry we are more likely to overeat to satisfy our hunger. If you eat a small amount every couple of hours, not only will you keep your metabolism ticking over nicely, mentally you know it won't be long before your next mini meal and also you won't get those huge hunger pangs.

  • Join a weight loss club. Take a couple of hours out of your week to attend a local class, whether that be Slimming World, Weight Watchers, Rosemary Conley etc. That might just provide inspiration for you to get your weight loss underway and you may also benefit from meeting others who are doing the same thing, and you might even want to go back again and stick with it!

  • Be a label reader.  Just for a week, get your magnifying glass out and read the small print on all the things you eat and set yourself a goal of only eating food that has 10% or less fat content in it. I once read somewhere, "If you don't eat fat, you won't be fat". Well, that makes sense! Of course we do need healthy fat to survive, but see if you can do this challenge just for one week and then see how you feel.

  • Vegetable load! Whatever you have for lunch, dinner, (or even breakfast if savoury) fill half your plate with vegetables. Be really generous! You don't want a few peas shoved in a little corner, give the veg pride of place on your plate. That will help fill you up and of course give you less room for the not so great food, plus you will be soon brimming over with even more vitamins and minerals.

  • Cut out the processed food. Set yourself the challenge of eating unprocessed food for a week. As someone said to me, you don't find sausages growing on trees! Eat more naturally and eat food as it comes (without the added fat, chemicals, E-numbers, preservatives etc)

  • Cook for yourself. Take control in the kitchen. Ditch the ready meals, convenience food and take-aways for just 7 days. Short on time? Cook once, eat twice/thrice! It saves ££ too. Bonus!

  • If you don't buy it you can't eat it! Don't bring food into the house that you know won't help your waist line and health. If you are really hungry you will find something to eat in the kitchen, but hopefully you'll have healthier alternatives to turn to. And on that note, don't go food shopping when you are hungry!  
Don't feel you are depriving yourself if you don't have junk food XY or Z. In fact you are depriving yourself if you DO have XYZ. You are depriving yourself of nutritional food and vital vitamins and minerals which your body will thank you for.

Food cravings exist and what I used to tell myself when they struck (before my taste buds changed) was that I already know what cake/crisps/food of choice, tastes like. What's new?!

Challenge do you know what you can achieve with weight loss if you don't try? :)

Say hello on twitter: @karenstrunks

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