If your new year’s resolution is to look after your health and lose weight, these motivating tips from Slimming World will get you started
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There’s always something so motivating about starting off a new year with a fresh set of goals – a brand-new year for a brand-new you.
If you’re ready to make 2022 the year that you take control, meet the challenges you set yourself, stick to your commitment and find your confidence, there’s no better network to help you get there than a supportive weight-loss group.
Here are some top tips to help you taste the freedom, succeed in reaching your goals and make 2022 your healthiest and happiest year yet.
Don’t go hungry
To lose weight you have to eat less, right? Well, not always. The kind of foods you are eating are often much more important than the volume.
We might think we need to be overly strict with ourselves when we’re losing weight – counting and measuring all our food and reducing portion sizes right down – but this type of restrictive approach ultimately leaves us feeling hungrier and more deprived.
By filling up on nutritious low energy density foods, like fruit and veg, and foods that are most filling – or satiating – like lean meat, fish, eggs, pasta and potatoes, you can actually eat a larger amount of food and feel more satisfied while losing weight.
It’s OK to walk before you run
You don’t have to become a professional athlete in order to get active, just making a commitment to move more will make a big difference. Dieting alone produces a weight loss of 1-2lb per week. The addition of moderate intensity activity, three or four times a week, produces an additional weight loss of 1-2lb a month, equivalent to 12-24lb a year.
Adding exercise into your routine preserves muscle tissue and increases the proportion of fat you lose when you lose weight.
Finding an enjoyable, achievable, and sustainable way of building new activity habits into your routine is key.
Anything goes, from heavy gardening or vigorous housework to brisk walking, dancing, cycling, or playing frisbee in the park or your back garden.
What is most important is making exercise a regular habit – as natural to your day as brushing your teeth.
Be kind to yourself
It’s easy to beat yourself up for going off track with your healthy eating, but the truth is that most of us have been there.
A Slimming World survey of 1,722 slimmers found that 98 per cent have experienced a slip-up when trying to lose weight.
However, it’s how people feel about themselves after a lapse that’s most crucial to long-term slimming success.
The survey showed that while self-criticism often leads to comfort eating and giving up completely, when people learn to be kind to themselves, they quickly get back to healthy eating, lose weight and keep it off. So, cut yourself some slack.
Set a goal
It’s hard to achieve a goal if you don’t clearly set it out in the first place. When thinking about your dream weight, don’t be afraid to be ambitious.
In fact, Slimming World research found that slimmers who set ambitious targets lose twice as much weight as those who try to be ”realistic”.
Getting off to a great start is really important too.
A recent Slimming World study found that people who lost 5lb or more in their first week of attending a Slimming World group were four times more likely to lose 10 per cent of their body weight within three months. Shoot for the moon – you never know where you might land.
Don’t just opt for a quick fix
It’s no secret that many people find losing weight in the first instance far easier than keeping it off long term.
In order to avoid becoming trapped in the yo-yo diet cycle, it’s so important to approach weight loss as a permanent change – from the outset if possible – and focus on developing new healthy habits that are sustainable for life, as well as getting support to make changes.
Strike a balance
An all-or-nothing approach is rarely effective when it comes to weight loss. Heavily restricting yourself in terms of what you eat and drink might work in the short term, but pretty soon you’ll be fed up, hungry and give up completely.
A little bit of what you fancy is key. That might be a Saturday night glass of wine, a bit of chocolate in the evenings or a delicious cooked breakfast.
A balanced mindset is much more likely to deliver long-term success.
Don’t go it alone
The principles of losing weight are quite simple, yet if it was that easy we’d all be doing it.
Embarking on your weight-loss journey with other members brings people together and allows everyone to share in all the highs and lows a weight-loss journey can bring.
In fact, recent member research carried out found that people who are supported to lose weight in a group increase their mental toughness – developing control, commitment, taking on challenges and growing in confidence – more than those who choose to lose weight on their own – and go on to lose more weight than those who don’t have the support of a Slimming World group.