It's now 2016, and with the New Year comes the usual rounds of New Year resolutions. While some may give up smoking, others be more responsible with their finances, and others might want to give up work, you're probably reading this article because you're one of those who seek to lose weight this year. A laudable goal, but one that can often be very difficult to achieve. And not always for the reasons people may assume.
When it comes to losing weight, the immediate assumption is that all you need to do is avoid a few cakes and maybe eat some more salad. And while those do help, they're not the do-all end-all methods. Indeed, on their own they may prove to be ineffective entirely.
In order to avoid becoming one of the countless people who will fall short on achieving their New Year goals, it's important that you have a solid, workable strategy to help you succeed. With some dedication, foresight and common sense, you may well find yourself feeling very satisfied with yourself come 2017.
While many diet to lose weight, it's important to recognise that a diet isn't just about avoiding certain foods. It's also about eating the right sorts of food in the right amounts. An apple may well have less calories per pound than, say, a bag of sugared doughnuts. However eat fifteen apples and you may as well have eaten the doughnuts in the first place.
When planning your meals, don't just focus on avoiding the fatty, sugary foods. Also keep a close eye on your portions. Ideally you should only be eating enough to keep you fed. If you find yourself piling more onto your plate than may be strictly necessary, you may want to consider cutting the portions back a little.
When dieting, some people also fall into the habit of eating nothing for much of the day, only to gorge on a huge meal in the evening. This is a bad habit, and one that is both unhealthy and could actually do more harm to your diet than benefit. Make sure you eat regularly in accordance to your usual meal rhythms. At the very least, you should be eating a meal for breakfast, lunch and supper.
And we say a meal, we mean a meal. A stick of celery and some dip is a snack, not supper. Actually eat something that will refuel you properly.
One of the best and fastest ways to lose weight is to burn off calories. While you may believe this is something that requires a gym, the truth is that it's something that can easily be done at home or work. All you need to do is be more physically active in your day to day life. For example, if you catch a bus to work, consider getting of a stop earlier than usual to walk the extra distance. If you spend your evenings sitting at home, consider going for an evening walk for twenty minutes each day.
All these things are small, but make a difference. They're also a lot easier to commit to and feel enthusiastic about than a gym, which may at times feel too artificial and intense.
You can keep things as easy or as hard as you like. Ultimately the idea is to find ways to get your body moving more than is your usual habit. The goal is to wind up burning more calories during your daily activities than you take in.
There are many little mental tricks you can do to make you more inclined to stick to your diet and exercise. One pretty nifty one is to make effective use of plate sizes. Instead of using large plates, use smaller ones instead. Then when your food is served to you, you're tricked into thinking you've eaten more than you actually have, which should help keep you satisfied after a meal. This also works with cups and cutlery – eating ice cream with a small spoon will not only make it last longer, but make you feel as though you're eating more than you have.
Another trick can be useful for those who struggle with the idea of exercise: try to avoid using the word. If you can make yourself believe that it's not exercise, but a pleasurable activity, then you may feel more enthusiastic about doing it. A simple one is this – you're not exercising, you're going for a quick bike ride. You're not exercising, you're going to go for a walk with the dog. All these can help the idea of being active seem less like work, and more like a fun activity. Because it should be!
The point where most New Year diets is fail is, funnily enough, when they fail. If someone finds they've taken to eating fatty foods, have missed a chance to be active, or else fell short of their expected standards, it's quickly used as a cue to give up entirely and fall back to bad habits. You must avoid this temptation.
You will slip up on occasion. That's just a matter of life in general. But that's not a reason to give up.
It's never too late to pick yourself up and try again. Instead of looking at an accidental indulgence as a failure, just look at it as an opportunity to learn and start afresh. The more you keep this attitude up, the less frequently such stumbles will occur, until at last they seldom happen at all. If ever.
If you have a BMI of over 30, there are pharmaceutical medications which can help you to lose weight safely and effectively. Xenical or Xenical Orlistat is a medication which can be prescribed to you if you have a BMI of over 30. All you need to do is fill out a quick consultation which will be checked by our partner doctor to make sure that this is the right medication for you.
Alternatively, to find out more about weight loss and other options available to help, visit our weight loss page.