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Kickstart your Weight Loss

Are you someone who has tried every diet out there and still can’t keep the weight off?

Are you a classic yo yo dieter? Or perhaps this is the first time you have thought that you need to lose weight? Either way, here are 10 steps that will set you on the right path towards losing weight and keeping it off for good.

1. Ask the right questions?

Before you start trying to lose weight, it’s important to ask yourself some important questions. Why do you want to lose weight? Is now the right time? Are you motivated to change? Why haven’t you been successful to date, and how confident do you feel about being successful this time?Write all your answers down on paper, along with the pros and cons of losing weight. This way you can see clearly in black and white the reasons why you want to lose weight. Making changes to your diet and lifestyle, and developing new habits isn’t easy, but having the motivation, willpower and being ready for the challenge is crucial to your weight loss success. Keep this list somewhere you can see it each day to remind you what you want to achieve. It will also be useful to refer back to if the going gets tough.

2. Set a realistic weight loss goal

A weight loss goal should be challenging and require you to make an effort, but not be an impossible mission. By setting smaller goals, which you have a real chance of reaching, you can boost your confidence in your abilities to keep on track until you arrive at your destination. Aim to lose about five to ten per cent of your initial body weight over a 3-6 month period.

3. Do the maths – it’s a simple equation

If you take in fewer calories than your body needs for day to day functions, it draws on its own fat stores to supply it with sufficient energy, and you’ll lose weight. You can achieve this by eating fewer calories, exercising more or ideally doing a bit of both. Cutting your daily calorie intake by around 500 calories a day will help you to lose weight steadily and healthily – 0.5kg per week and you may lose more if do additional exercise.

4. Keep a food and mood diary

Most of us literally don’t know what we are eating, or how all the things we unconsciously eat are adding up – finishing off your child’s fish fingers, nibbling on the odd biscuit or pinching a chip! For long term weight loss you need to identify problem foods and areas of weakness in your day. By keeping a food diary, you will become more aware of your eating patterns and the changes you need to make. Carry a small notebook with you and write down all the things you eat and drink on a typical day, along with any associated feelings. According to research in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine dieters who jot down everything they eat and drink lose twice as much weight as those that don’t.

5. Think positively

Focus on all the wonderful delicious, nutritious and seasonal foods that you can enjoy as part of your meals and for snacks, rather than all of the ones you need to cut back on. Eating is meant to be enjoyed and all foods have a place in a balanced diet. There is no such thing as good or bad foods, only good or bad eating habits save comfort foods for an occasional treat, not an everyday snack.

6. Speak out

Announce that you are serious about trying to lose weight to friends, family and work colleagues, so that they can support you and try not to sabotage your diet success with indulgent girlie lunches.

7. Eat regularly

You are far more likely to raid the biscuit tin if you’re starving, so make sure that you aim to eat three meals a day, spread evenly throughout the day and choose healthy snacks in between meals, such as a low fat yogurt, a piece of fruit or handful of nuts. For example, if you are allowed 1500 calories a day, you could have 300 calories for breakfast, 400 calories for lunch, 500 calories for dinner and two healthy snacks of 150 calories.

8. Treat yourself

Replace comfort eating with non-food treats you know you will enjoy, such as a long hot soak in the bath or a facial at the beauty salon. If you have given up polishing off a bottle of wine a week and the average bottle is around $15, you’ll save $60 a month to put towards something nice.

9. Get some sleep

Research suggests that a lack of sleep may affect our appetite, making us more inclined to overeat. The hormones ghrelin and leptin that control hunger and fullness are influenced by how much sleep we get, so getting a good night’s sleep may be vitally important in helping you to control your weight.Try to get seven or eight hours shut-eye a night!

10. Laugh out loud

A study published in the International Journal of Obesity shows laughter really is the best medicine for losing weight, by increasing the heart rate and calorie expenditure by up to 20%. Just 15 minutes of laughter a day will burn 10 to 40 calories, depending on a person’s weight and the intensity of the laughter. That’s enough to lose between 0.5-1.5kg a year. Also, having a good laugh usually gives a mood boost, which in turn can help you feel better about yourself and motivated to lose those extra kilos.

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