Tuesday, 19 May 2009

So Where Do We Start Our Weight Loss Quest?

Look at How You Are Thinking and Talking To Yourself - for us humans everything starts in the mind. You will find it much easier to lose weight if you are happy and thinking positively. Avoid using the words ‘weight loss’ as our subconscious minds tend to have very negative associations with the word ‘loss’. Always try to think of everything you will gain by being slimmer. Always think in the positive and concentrate your mind and thoughts on how you want to be; visualise the slimmer you enjoying your life and all the things that you want to do. Be kind and gentle when you are talking to yourself; and again always use a positive voice. Often we are much harder on ourselves than we would ever be on others – would you call one of your friends a ‘fat pig’ for instance? When talking with others, do not dwell on being overweight – talk about how slim you are now, all the things you can do now that you could not do before, and how much you are enjoying your new eating habits and exercise regime.

Affirmations are very useful; repeated out loud or silently to yourself and always positive (if you include the word not, as in ‘I will not eat lots of chocolate’ your subconscious will knock off the word not for you, and you will find yourself wanting eat even more of it!)

I achieve my goals regarding my weight effortlessly and joyfully
I choose the weight that I want to be
I choose to eat healthy and nutritious food
I am happy that I am the weight that I choose to be
I enjoy exercising and am pleased at the benefits it brings me

Set Your Goal – how much do you want to lose? Be realistic about how much you would like to lose and how long it’s going to take you. Work out your BMI and see where you really are on the charts. Very few women are naturally a size 8, and none are healthy at Size 0. The average size for a woman in this country is a 14-16. Remember, being underweight poses as many, if not more health problems as being overweight. In addition, you want to build a healthy eating plan that you will be able to keep up and, very importantly, enjoy for the rest of your life.

Start a Food Diary – write down in a notebook everything you eat – even the half of fish finger you took off your child’s plate – you will probably be amazed at what you can get through in one day. Also note down how you felt before you started eating and what types of food you chose to eat based on those feelings

Eat Three Meals A Day – and one of them has to be breakfast! If you want to snack have fresh fruit, nuts, or seeds. Do not skip meals, as this will lead to fluctuations in your blood sugar levels.

You Can Eat Everything – there are no ‘bad’ foods. You can still enjoy chocolate, cakes, pasta and potatoes but not all the time and not as a substitute for proper meals. Three packets of crisps, a Mars Bar and two glasses of wine a healthy dinner doth not make!

Get Enough Sleep – there is a lot of current research that says that getting enough sleep is crucial if you want to lose weight. Lack of sleep causes the ‘hunger hormones’ to malfunction which leads to an increase in appetite and an inability to recognise when we have eaten enough. Lack of sleep can also lead to sugar cravings. One study showed that the increase in appetite caused by not sleeping enough can cause people to consume an extra 1,000 calories a day. Another has shown that those who regularly sleep between seven to eight hours a night have the lowest BMIs. (See http://www.horlicks.co.uk/ for Dr Stanley’s sleep report)

Up Your Exercise Levels – the equation is really quite simple; if you consume too many calories that are not burned off, you will convert these calories into fat which will be deposited somewhere in your body – usually where you would least like to see it go! Try to boost your activity levels; walk if you can, take the stairs rather than the lift, don’t use the remote but change the channels on the set, go swimming, join a gym. Again, it’s important that it’s something you enjoy; if you don’t enjoy it you will not keep doing it for long.

Drink Plenty of Liquid – quite often we misinterpret thirst for hunger. Before you reach for the biscuit barrel, have a large glass of water, as you may just be thirsty. Try to keep well hydrated all the time by drinking plenty of plain water – remember alcohol dehydrates you, and coffee and tea are diuretics which help you lose water from your body.

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