So you’ve decided to lose some weight, but you’re a bit lost on where to begin. There are so many diets, exercise routines and other tips floating around that you just don’t know what will help! To make things that bit easier, we’ve compiled a list of the most effective guidelines for losing weight in a sensible and safe manner, and turning your initial diet into an ongoing healthy lifestyle.
Take It Slow
If you just start cutting out foods all in one go, you’ll quickly find yourself succumbing to cravings and regretting ever starting! Instead, try to ease yourself into it slowly. If you’re planning on cutting our certain foods or drinks – such as fizzy drinks, or biscuits – then do it one at a time. You’re far less likely to end up craving things if you still have other options available to you. Plus, taking it slowly increases the chances of you sticking with it and avoids it becoming just another fad diet.
Keep a Food Diary
One of the hardest parts of keeping up a healthy lifestyle is working out where your weaknesses are. One quick and easy way of doing this is to start keeping a food diary. Note down important factors such as what you ate, when you ate it and how you were feeling at the time (this is particularly good if you comfort eat!). By doing this, you’ll start to build up a picture of where you struggle, and be able to target those areas specifically.
There’s only so much changing your diet can do – for the rest, working out is pretty much the only option. Many people think they have to suddenly start doing a lot of strenuous, difficult exercise but again – this will only hinder your progress! Rather than doing an intense workout that leaves you sore and wondering why you ever thought this was a good idea, try doing smaller, regular workouts. Starting with just ten minutes a day can ease you into the habit far more effectively – and you’ll soon find your stamina increasing!
Watch Your Vitamins
One thing that people sometimes forget when trying to lose weight is that cutting certain foods can also cut vital things you need – vitamins, minerals and so forth. For instance, cutting red meat will leave you lacking on protein. Alongside your food diary, try and keep track of these important nutrients and if you feel like you’re missing something, add in a supplement to make sure you’re getting enough. Vitamins and supplements – when implemented sensibly – can make sure you don’t accidentally make yourself feel worse while trying to hit your weight loss goals.
Allow Yourself Snacks
Trying to stop snacking all together is an easy way to make yourself regret dieting at all! Instead of stopping snacking, try to swap them out instead. Where you might have had some chocolate, try eating a cereal bar or some fruit instead. This should help keep you from feeling hungry without compromising your food plans.
If you’re the type of person to just decide on the night what to eat, you’ll find dieting much harder. Try to make a food plan for the week ahead and stick to it. This has other benefits too – you’ll find that planning ahead will cut down your food bills, since you may well start using leftovers or making multiple meals in advance. Try to avoid going shopping midweek or ordering in if you can help it, and stick to your plan as much as possible.
Don’t Shop When Hungry
Try to pick a time to go shopping when you’re not hungry, and you’re wide awake. Make a list in advance, and stick to what’s on it. This way you’ll avoid buying any of that tempting comfort food you’ve been trying to avoid! If you shop when you feel hungry, you’re far more likely to buy more than you need and things that you didn’t plan to. By avoiding this, you’ll not only keep what’s in your kitchen healthier, but also save money!
So, the simple version: plan ahead, take vitamins and supplements where needed, take it slow and exercise regularly. Do this, and you’ll be well on your way to being healthy!