Many of us want to lose weight but we can get bored and demotivated by the cycle of dieting success followed by regaining weight. Find out about the tools you need for successful weight management.
There are three things you need if you are to change your lifestyle habits:
- Knowing what changes you need to make to your lifestyle to achieve your weight loss goal e.g., habits that lead to weight gain.
- Developing new skills that will help to change bad habits into more helpful ones e.g., planning your meals ahead so that and writing a shopping list so you are prepared.
- Motivation for change
- Motivation is a combination of:
- How much you want to lose weight (the value you attach to it) e.g., to feel more comfortable in your clothes or for particular health reasons
- How confident you are that it can be achieved
- Motivation is a combination of:
Change your behaviour to change your weight
Gaining weight is often caused by bad habits that we have taken on. The good news is that bad habits that we have learnt over the years can just as much be ‘unlearnt’. This is easy if you change one habit, one step at a time.
- Have a think about any lifestyle habits that you’ve gotten into that are not helpful towards achieving your weight loss goal.
- Make a list of these.
- Next to this, make a list of which habits you could realistically change and if you can, what more helpful habits you could swap these for.
- What are the pros and cons to changing these habits e.g., you will have to wake up 20 minutes earlier to walk to work instead of drive, but ncreasing your activity levels will help you to lose weight and save you petrol money too!
- Have a look at your diary and make a note at the start of each week of a habit you plan to change.
- Self-monitor - set yourself a target date when you will review your achievements.
Self-monitoring is a well known and useful weight loss tool because it makes you more aware of your achievements and slips. Feeling in control can be very motivating. Self-monitoring is keeping track of:
- What you eat
- How active you are.
- Your weight.
Often people find that when they begin a diet they can lose weight quite quickly and find this motivating factor which helps them to continue. But then the weight loss seems to stop which is demotivating and this usually leads me to the return of old habits.
At the start of a diet we appear to lose lots of weight in a small amount of time because our body loses water too. This speedy change in weight can be very motivating. Fat takes longer to lose and so the weight loss slows down, which some people find de-motivating. This is when a little willpower might need to come in to play to continue your weight loss achievements. Keep in mind how fat is gained and lost when you feel as if you might be slipping:
- Consume an extra 3500 calories = gain a pound of fat
- Burn an extra 3500 calories = lose a pound of fat
By following the LOVE life you count meal plan you will be consuming around 1500 calories per day, which is 500 calories less than the recommended daily calorie intake. This adds up to 3500 less calories per week, which is around a pound of fat - the recommended amount of weight loss per week.
How can Waitrose help?
Our team of Waitrose Nutritionists can answer your nutrition or diet questions and offer guidance on diet and healthy eating. Click here to view previously answered questions and submit your query.