If you’ve ever started the New Year with a resolution of weight loss, you might find the below scenario very familiar.
You have the best of intentions. You start the year well. Lots of fruit and veg, hours of meal prep on a Sunday, booked in your gym classes and maybe even signed up for the Couch to 5K.
A couple of weeks go by. You’re weighing yourself, losing weight, you’re feeling good.
And then by February, you feel like you’re back to square one. Progress has stalled. You’ve had a takeaway and a few pints. Some late nights at work meant you couldn’t get to the gym. You’re telling yourself you’ll start again Monday and this time you’ll stick to it.
How do you make this year different? The one where you stick to your Resolution and achieve the weight loss you’ve always wanted?
Motivation isn’t enough. You can have all the will in the world but there will always be speed bumps and situations to navigate that you won’t have anticipated.
Here are some practical tips to help you ensure that this year is the year you achieve your Weight Loss goals.
Include more single-ingredient foods – don’t focus on what you can’t eat, focus on what you should include more of. Single-ingredient foods are more nutritious, generally have fewer calories and have more health benefits. Think plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grain sources of carbohydrates like potatoes, rice, quinoa, lentils, and leaner sources of meat.
Incorporate more proteins – include a solid source of protein at every meal, particularly breakfast. People who eat higher levels of protein at breakfast tend to snack less during the day. Think lean meats, fish, greek yoghurt, low-fat cheeses, beans and legumes.
Lose the food labels – I don’t mean the nutrition labels! I mean the way you talk about food as ‘good’ and ‘bad’. A pizza or a chocolate bar can have a place in your diet if you see it as just that. There are no bad foods, just quantities of these foods that don’t support our goals. When we place restrictions on something, we tend to want it more. Pizza and chocolate have a place in your diet, just less than they did before. Aim for once a week. Use a food diary to help monitor your consumption.
Be realistic – don’t aim to workout 4 or 5 times a week if you know that’s not going to happen. Two well-planned out sessions you can give your all to will leave you feeling like you’ve achieved much more than thinking you’ve missed the other three.
Find something you love – you don’t have to hate exercise! If you don’t like the gym and hate going on your own, find a class you can go to with a friend. There is no one form of exercise that is going to ensure you lose more weight, the main thing is that you move your body in a way you enjoy. That way you’re far more likely to stick to it.
Strength Training – incorporating some form of resistance training into your exercise routine will help build lean muscle tissue. Muscle is more energy dense than fat, so having more muscle can help increase your BMR (the number of calories you burn while at rest).
Anticipate speed bumps – there will be times it feels hard. Try to remember your ‘why’, and focus on building habits that make you a healthier individual rather than weight loss. More fruit and veg, better hydration and adding years to your life.
Sleep – ensuring better quality sleep will regulate your hunger hormones and generally improve your mood, stress levels and ability to recover from exercise. Ensure 6-8 hours of good quality sleep to keep you able to make better decisions around food.
Stress – look for a coping mechanism for your stress that doesn’t involve food. Walking, listening to podcasts and spending time with your family, friends or pets can help you feel calmer when you encounter stress meaning you don’t turn to food or alcohol for support.
Embarking on a weight loss journey is never going to be easy, and the more support you can have around you the better. There is no one food, one exercise or one ‘diet’ that’s going to ensure that you’re more successful this time around, but focusing on building habits that align with a healthier lifestyle will certainly make things a lot easier for yourself when things get tough.
If you’d like more help, advice, support and accountability along your weight loss journey, our Nutritionist is available for consultations. Simply book online or fill out the form below.