1st January, an upcoming wedding or holiday or the realisation that most of our clothes don’t fit any more are usually the catalyst for us to lose weight. We start a diet and cut most things out, join a gym and go every day but then the end of the first week/month comes and our weight hasn’t changed much and the foods that we have been depriving ourselves of begin to look more appealing. What do we do?
Going on a diet and joining a gym aren’t the only ways to lose weight and can work for some and not for others. Here are 3 things that will help you lose weight that most people don’t think of but usually make the biggest difference to my clients. This also works with most goals:
I rarely meet anyone who drinks enough water and this is a biggy. Get rid of the diet drinks, diluting juice, flavoured lattes and several cups of tea and drink water. Yes, good old plain water can change everything. The thing is, we tend to reach for unhealthy foods when we’re dehydrated and so we crave something that will give us more energy but having a glass of water would do the same job.
Drink around 2 litres of water each day and it will help your body function normally, keep you from craving sweet or savoury foods, help you digest your food, suppress your appetite and will help improve the quality of your skin.
Who knew that water could do all that? You can always add a slice of lemon, lime or orange if you need it flavoured without needing chemicals to do the same job.
Most people struggle with the quality of sleep as well as the quantity and this can have a huge impact on us. Studies have shown that a lack of sleep can lead to changes in the hormonal balance between feeling full and feeling hungry, which is why if you go to the supermarket when you’re tired and hungry, you’re more likely to reach for a few unhealthy items and eat more than you normally would.
A solution can be to improve the quality of your sleep by switching off social media, tv and the internet earlier, going to bed earlier, read a book or listen to music that helps relax the brain and allow you to drift off naturally. Take the time you need to get up at, count back at least 7 hours and that’s when you should be going to sleep as much as going to bed. Keeping a notepad by the bed to jot down any ideas can help, as can going for walk to allow your brain to deal with ongoing issues that normally keep you awake.
Focus on the process
It’s natural to think solely of the goal rather than journey to get there. The weight loss industry makes a fortune from those who look solely at the goal of losing weight but it’s NOT the meal replacement drinks etc that gets the results, it’s the process of cutting out the rubbish that we have been eating before that gets the results.
The most effective strategy I’ve found is making one change at a time, focus on becoming better at it until it becomes habit then make another change and so on. For example, drinking 2 litres of water a day, every day is a good one to start with. This route has seen many of my clients change their eating habits and lose weight without it feeling particularly hard to do.
The next step
The next step should be to write down the things that you feel you need to change in order to achieve your goals. Go into as much detail as you need then begin to work through them one step at a time.
You might not lose 2 stone in a fortnight but you will start to see amazing improvements to the quality of your life and the journey towards achieving your goals will be worth it.