Don’t Go On A Diet!
Tips for Week 1 – Don’t Go On A Diet
Don’t go on a diet! Trying to change the way you live to accommodate a new way of eating is guaranteed to result in failure. For example, trying to turn yourself into a Domestic Goddess when you work incredibly long hours or only buying foods from a health food shop when you have a family of four to feed will quickly result in you ditching your new way of eating. Instead, fit what you eat around your lifestyle and you’ll be far more likely to shift those pounds.
Keep your food diary
Get into the habit of filling in a food diary each day. Remember to include every single item you eat and drink, including all the little extras – that chocolate you ate in the office, the sliver of cheese you had while cooking dinner and the few chips you pinched from your husband’s plate, for example!
If you only fill in your food diary once a day, keep a pen and jotter with you to help you keep track of your intake – it’s easy to forget the little things if they’re not written down, but they can make the difference between weight loss success and failure.
Weigh, then go
Jumping on the scales several times a day will do little to keep you motivated. Most people’s weight fluctuates dramatically throughout the day as fluid intakes change – often making it look as though you’ve gained 4lb between 8am and 8pm!
Weigh yourself just once a week, at the same time of day – most people prefer first thing in the morning – and wearing the same clothing. And if you can’t stay off the scales, ask a friend to store them for you and weigh yourself just once a week when you’re out shopping.
Measure your success
Don’t just focus on what the bathroom scales say – keep a record of your vital statistics, too. Many people find it doubly encouraging to see the inches dropping off, as well as the pounds!
Ditch ‘diet’ foods
Stay away from foods that make you feel like you’re ‘dieting’. You know the ones: rice cakes, thin soups, meal replacement drinks, crispbreads, limp lettuce leaves, steamed white fish and soggy cucumber – unless of course you like them. After all, food should be pleasurable not painful!
Be a copy cat
Look at the way slim people eat and drink and pick up some of their habits. For example, they might order a gin and slimline tonic (50 calories) rather than a glass of wine (100 calories); they might skip dessert or not put butter on their bread roll when eating out; or they might only occasionally succumb to the daily chocolate run at work!
Avoid ‘all or nothing’ thinking
One small overindulgence doesn’t mean you’ve ‘blown it’ or give you free licence to go on a food fest! Simply put the indulgence behind you and move on and away from the fridge!
Eat more, weigh less
Focus on eating more of the ‘good’ things and it should automatically help you eat less of the ‘bad’ things. For example, boosting your intake of fruit and veg will help you eat less fatty and sugary foods because they’ll help you feel fuller for longer.
But size still matters
To shift those pounds, it’s likely you’ll need to reduce your serving sizes as well as make some smart food swaps to cut calories. Even ‘healthy’ foods such as brown rice, wholemeal bread, chicken, fish and low-fat dairy products contain calories so you may need to limit your portions.
When you first start out, it’s a good idea to weigh portions of foods like rice, pasta, cereal, cheese, meat, fish and chicken rather than completing your food diary with a ‘guesstimated’ weight!
Identify bad habits
Be aware of things that sabotage your good intentions and swap them for new healthier habits. For example, instead of going straight to the fridge when you get home, go straight to the fruit bowl; or if you always buy a bar of chocolate when you walk past the newsagent, take a different route.
Learn How to Have a Slimmer Future
If you want to lose weight – and keep it off – it’s important to focus on changing your eating habits long term and learning how to eat for a slimmer future.
‘Going on a diet’ infers you start on a particular day and finish on a particular day, so that once your ‘diet’ is finished you return to the eating habits that made you pile on the pounds in the first place!
This doesn’t mean you can never again eat cream cakes or your favourite dish from the takeaway, just that you’ll know how to manage portion sizes and frequency to prevent weight gain.