If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.’
This is one of the best ways of explaining weight loss; it can either be magic or tragic. Without a structured plan, it’s hard to succeed. Each of my client’s will have short and long-term plans.
How do you decide on short & long term goals?
For instance ‘ Client A wants to lose 2 stone for their 40th Birthday (4 months away), the short -term goal will be to steadily lose 2 lbs a week for 12 weeks. The long- term plan would be to achieve the 2 stone weight loss within the 4-month period.
Breaking the long-term goals into smaller phrases makes the psychological challenge easier and seen to be realistic. This helps to keep the client’s focus and determination throughout the 4-month period.
2) Don’t get fixated on a weight loss goal. Combine it with a fitness goal.
From experience if a client is focused too much on a weight loss goal this can sometimes become a negative rather than a positive. If they slip off the wagon one week, this can easily slip into the next few weeks if they are seen to be not achieving their goals. However, if they have a fitness goal alongside a weight loss goal the results from their fitness gains helps to re-focus the mind and it helps with the emotional weight loss side.
3)Start the day with breakfast
This is one of my biggest tips. Breakfast is essential when trying to lose weight. Breakfast should include some carbohydrate, protein and essential fats. A bowl of oats, Greek yoghurt and berries are a great way to start the day. Studies suggest that eating breakfast has a correlation with weight loss; people are less inclined to have snacks during mid-morning or a large lunch because their appetite was suppressed as soon as they woke up.
4) Avoid products labeled as ‘diet’ or ‘low fat’
Diet or low-fat products have very low nutritional value. Opting for a low fat snack seems to be ‘the healthy option’ but the majority of low fat products don’t have the high nutrients, which the body is craving, the hungry signals will be back within an hour. If you opt for a product, which is higher in fat, it will suppress the appetite. Fat digests slower which provides long burning energy hence feeling fuller for longer.
Fat is essential for weight loss, it has many functions but there are three which are important for weight management. Fat supports; detoxing, hormonal balances and liver health.
5) Focus on nutritional balance rather than calorie counting
Obsessive calorie counting is a recipe for disaster. After, a few weeks’ clients get bored of having to write into my fitness pal how many calories they’re having a day. Calorie counting isn’t essential for losing weight. As long as nutritional changes are made within a diet a body shape/weight change will happen.
The focus needs to be placed on eating the right foods and not calorie counting. Chose foods, which will, keep you fuller for longer and don’t limit carbohydrates or fats, make sure a balanced diet is achieved. Carbohydrate, fat and protein are all essential for a balanced diet, missing out a food group will affect the substantiality of weight loss.
6) Aim for a sustainable plan
Avoid fad and celebrity diets. Most of the tabloids fail to mention the negative sides of fad and celebrity diets. There is no quick fix to losing weight. To make a difference, there needs to be a realistic and sustainable plan. Fad diets work for a few weeks and then excessive weight gain occurs once the diets are stopped. By opting for a sustainable plan the results might be steadier but the end results will be greater.
7) Keep a food diary
Keeping a diary is a great way of monitoring the quantity and quality food, which is consumed. Awareness is the biggest factor when using the food diary, sometimes you forget what you have eaten so by monitoring food intake will help establish which food consumed are working and which aren’t.
8) Plan and prepare meals
Planning is essential when you’re trying to lose weight. My most successful clients are the ones who plan and prepare their meals. I always suggest that over the weekends, clients should write a meal plan for the week and then get the ingredients. Client’s who are not so successful are the ones who don’t plan and just grab something on the way home from work.
Instead, of eating out during lunch breaks, I always suggest that client’s take their own lunches. The barrier for most people is time, however, people who want to achieve will find time to achieve their goals. If this means preparing 5 dinners on a Sunday night and freezing them for the rest of the week then they will do it. These barriers can always be overcome.
9) When eating out order wisely
This is one of the easiest tips within the blog. When dining make sure sensible choices are made.
There is no need for a three-course meal every time we eat out. Skip the starter and dessert and chose a healthy nutritional main. I appreciate that restaurants don’t always offer the most nutritional food, but make simple choices such as; having jacket potatoes instead of chips and avoiding creamy/Italian dressings on salads opt for balsamic vinegar and a bit of olive oil.
These are simple changes, which can make a big difference at the end of the week when you jump on the scales.
10) Drink plenty of water
Everyone is guilty of not drinking enough water. To overcome the lack of water intake I would suggest buying or filling up a 1 litre bottle, and take it to work and make sure that there is a conscious effort to slip away every hour.
The thirst mechanism can frequently be disguised as hunger. Rather than being hungry, the body is dehydrated. Hydration helps boost the metabolism, which will increase weight loss. Dehydration increases water retention so if you’re feeling puffy drink more water!