For some people, managing weight can be a real chore, yet for others it comes easy. Here are some tactics that are used by people who are great at managing their weight, which will work just as well for those who want to reign in their weight a bit! You can apply these tips to yourself, and fit them into your own lifestyle, practising and repeating them until they become the ‘new normal’. Or, if you’re a therapist, you can use these tips to create tasks and goals for your weight loss clients, giving them a whole bunch of different ways to more easily connect to their own weight-loss process!
1 – Cut the snacks
Even if you’re really overweight, you probably don’t resemble a cow. So, because you’re not a cow, you don’t need to graze like one! Cows eat grass all day, because that’s how cows work. Humans used to be hunters, which means food was not available 24/7. Our bodies are not used to constantly eating and snacking, in fact, they work best when you give them a break. If you can limit your food (and drink) intake to mealtimes only, you’ll be surprised at how many calories you save, and how much quicker you’ll begin to lose weight!
2 – Reduce portion sizes
Similar to the idea of cutting out snacking to reduce calories, consider how many calories you’re stuffing into your body each day. Not all foods are created equal, so if you’re choosing less-healthy options, then reducing the size of your portions is a sure-fire way to cut the calories. If you love big portions and don’t want to change the size of your dinner plate, then consider eating more natural, healthy foods. As a dramatic example, one medium portion of mc-fries is 340 calories. You could eat around six and a half whole cucumbers for the same amount of calories. Now, which one of those 340-calorie meals is going to fill you up more? This works the same way with many different health and unhealthy food swaps – feel free to google it, you might be surprised at the results!
3 – Learn to read labels and measure your food
Sure, it might sound boring, but by reading food labels and working out how many calories you’re actually eating, you’ll be able to calculate what your normal portions sizes should look like. Average calorie intake is around 2,000 calories per day for women, and 2,500 for men. If you’re eating more than that on a daily basis, then your weight is likely to increase. Also think about drinks, and the calories they contain (for example, a pint of beer can contain up to 250+ calories per pint, and a large latte from a coffee shop can be over 400+ calories per cup)! Managing your calories in vs calories out is the best way of losing weight (and mis-managing it is the best way to gain it back)!
4 – Get moving and keep moving
So, you’ve started monitoring your calories, and reducing your food intake. To make faster progress, you need to get rid of calories and burn away your excess fat. Exercise will help you do this, and anyone can make time to fit exercise into their daily life. Whether it’s doing a workout in your living room, walking to work, hitting the gym, cycling, or walking the dog, the more you can move, the quicker your fat stores are going to get burned up. Make exercise a habit, and you’ll also notice that by moving and exerting yourself, your mood will also improve, as your mind will be flooded with endorphins and feel-good chemicals. It’s a real 2-for-1 bonus!
5 – Ditch the weighing scales
Many dieters rely on weighing scales to keep track of their weight loss progress. However, by focusing too much on what the scales say, and weighing in daily (or even more frequently), it can be very disheartening. The reason being, weight loss is usually not a linear process. You won’t lose weight every day, nor will you lose the same amount. Some days weight will fluctuate, some days you will only have lost a fraction of what you did the day before, some days the weight will have even gone up, despite your best efforts! Weight management is not something you can fix quickly, it requires long term lifestyle changes and consistency. By over-monitoring numbers on a scale, you can end up disheartened and upset, and it can even lead to quitting and reverting back to old habits. So, ditch the scales, or if you need to keep a record, aim for monthly weigh-ins, rather than weekly or daily – by doing this, the larger drops in weight will become much more motivating than daily tracking ever could be!
6 – Focus your eating
By making a rule to only eat in one place in your home, and to focus on what you’re eating, you automatically make eating a more conscious process. It helps you to avoid snacking (as you’d have to lay the table and sit down just for a snack) and also, it helps you avoid a really significant factor in many people’s weight issues, mindless eating! So, don’t sit in front of the TV, or sit on your phone, or reading a book whilst you’re eating. Focus on eating. Sit in your designated eating area and be present with your food. Make this a rule, let it become a habit. By doing that, you’ll find you gain more control over your eating habits overall, and you will begin to reduce your weight.
7 – Stay hydrated
Drinking water boosts weight loss – that’s a fact. So, if you’re dehydrated, you’re doing all this other stuff a disservice. Aim to drink around 2 litres of water per day, and more if you are doing heavy exercise. Also, it might surprise you, caffeinated drinks and alcoholic beverages do not count towards your overall hydration levels (in fact they can dehydrate you more – not to mention add excess calories to your diet)!
8 – Do your best
Everyone is different, and we all have good and bad days. If you have a bad day, and you accidentally find yourself snacking, or you accidentally fell mouth-first onto half a strawberry cheesecake with extra cream, it’s not the end of the world. Just because it wasn’t your ‘best day’ or ‘smartest choice’, doesn’t mean you have to quit entirely. Remember, tomorrow is always a new day, so don’t beat yourself up about it. We’re all human, so sometimes we need a little treat. It’s when ‘treats’ become a daily (or hourly) occurrence that you might want to take yourself in hand, and start moving towards a healthier lifestyle.
Want some more tips?
If you want to learn more about how you can lose weight using a combination of tried-and-tested methods (including hypnosis), check out my best-selling book, Hypno-Fasting, available now on Amazon in paperback and kindle versions