Friday, 7 March 2014

The Big Weight Loss Secrets

In the past 4 months I have lost over a stone in weight, over the summer following my Uni graduation I put on an awful lot through excessive drinking, partying and just generally eating really crappy food. I don't regret that for one second, I had graduated and was having the time of my life, but when I got home reality hit.
My self esteem was at an all time low and I knew I needed to do something about it and so I did.
Now in the past few weeks people have really started to notice and this has been followed by a lot of 'whats your secret' type questions.
I could easily tell you there is no secret but that's the most frustrating thing to hear & it isn't entirely true.
No there isn't a magic pill or a quick fix that I can offer but there are some secrets and myths that I can share to help you out so here goes.

Firstly I want to share some really common myths that are not true.

1. Don't count calories.
I don't want anyone walking round the shops examining every last label for calorie count BUT the idea that you should ignore calories altogether is, in my experience, a load of crap.
I don't count calories at all anymore but I did find that keeping track of my daily intake when I started was hugely helpful. Why? Because in all honesty I didn't realise how many calories were in every day foods. I am one of those people who will eat throughout the day; a biscuit here, a quality street chocolate there, and because the quantities seem small I just figured they didn't really count when actually they can add up to hundreds (one quality street is about 40 calories; just three and you've eaten the equivalent of a slice of pizza).
So yes I think counting calories when you first start out is a really good way to learn what's going into your body but remember its just a guide to get you started.
I used the iPhone app My Fitness Pal because it also told me nutritional values.


2. Don't weigh yourself.
Like counting calories people often say they don't weigh themselves because it gets obsessive but, if you don't let yourself get carried away, its a really great motivational tool.
It takes roughly 4 weeks for you to see a physical change in your body when you start losing weight. That's a full month of dieting.
The scales will tell you when you lose just 1lb. Say you lose 2lbs a week then in 4 weeks your looking at over half a stone. You can't see a 2lb loss physically but your scales are basically saying 'you're doing good, keep going'.

Secondly I would like to share the tips that have made a huge difference to my success:

1. Don't do a strict diet.
I have a sweet tooth, an enormous sweet tooth, and in the past I've done the whole 'I'm not eating any sweets for the next month' type diet. This does not work for me, it usually results in me giving up very quickly or binging after that month and the diet being pointless.
My advice here is if you want to keep the weight off in the long term, make a lifestyle change. Unless you think you can stick to a very strict diet and exercise regime for the rest of your life, don't do it. 
I have certain rules about my food now; don't mix protein & carbs, one snack per day under 180 calories, always eat three meals but I have figured out what works for my life style. 

2. Don't give up.
Yes that sounds like I am captain obvious but hear me out.
Your mind will, undoubtedly, give up before your body does. You HAVE to listen to your body at all times. Whether that's when you need to lose weight or if you need to stop losing weight.
My key here is this:
Every time you want to give up force yourself to wait a little longer.
If you feel like having a chocolate bar at 8pm then tell yourself you can have it at 10pm or that you can have it tomorrow. When it gets to the time you have said yes you have it think to yourself whats stopping me from waiting another two hours or another day?
If you are on the treadmill and you have run for 20 minutes and you want to stop then tell yourself to run just one more minute. Keep saying that until your body is the one stopping you, not your mind.

3. Focus on what your body needs & not what you want.
Yes ultimately your goal may be weight loss but if that becomes your entire focus then it can be difficult to achieve. Work on what your body needs and deserves health wise. Eat HEALTHY foods, not low calorie foods, exercise based on your distance or time not how many calories you've burned. As soon as I did that instead of obsessing about weight, the pounds dropped off.

4. & finally, give yourself goals.
Sometimes we focus on the long term. 'I want to drop two dress sizes' 'I want to lost 2 stone' etc. 
Human beings generally don't work for the long term, are brains are designed for short term, that's why weight loss is so difficult. 
The answer?
Give yourself short terms goals.
This can be anything from 'I'm going to lose 2lbs this week' to 'I'm going to run until I reach 3k'. It can be as small as 'I'm not going to have any snacks tonight'. Every time you achieve a short term goal it propels you to reach the next one and before you know it, you're doing the long term.

Sorry for the lengthy post and I genuinely hope this becomes useful to people out there.
I am an endorser of loving your body and being healthy, please always remember your top priority is your health and fitness and that that is the key to success.

Until next time, E xx

1 comment:

  1. Great article! Thanks for the tips and congrats on your achievement xx