This blog is for you if you have spent more time wondering what to do about your weight than you have doing something about it.
This blog is for you if you are confused about what exactly it is that you need to do if you want to lose weight.
This blog is for you if you are fed up of starting diet after diet after diet but end up bigger and heavier than you were at the start.
This blog is for you if you have just decided you want to lose weight for the first time, or if you are at your wits end and ready to throw in the towel and accept that you’re just ‘supposed to be fat’
I am going to share 8 simple steps that you can take to start your weight loss journey right now – without going on a ‘diet’ and without joining a slimming club. All that I ask is that this isn’t the only resource you use on your journey, that you seek help when you need it, do research and read more, and find a group of people who you can share your journey with (because everybody needs accountability).
Okay, here goes:
1. Swap all beverages for water.
It seems pretty simple, doesn’t it. It’s likely that you’re dehydrated, which in itself can be detrimental to weight loss. So simply by drinking more water, you are providing your body with what it needs to be able to start the process of losing weight.
Plain, filtered or mineral water is best – but if you find that you can’t drink plain water, you can add some fresh lemon or lime to it to make it more palatable. Infusion bottles seem to be all the fashion these days too – if you must 🙂
Aim to drink 2 litres of water every single day. There are even apps you can download for your phone that will remind you to drink.
2. Swap processed foods for natural, whole foods.
Think about it like this – if it ran, swam, flew or grew – eat it. If it comes in a sellophane package, ditch it.
Eating real food doesn’t need to be boring, there are loads of really good recipe books out there nowadays so you can be creative without spending hours in the kitchen. Base most of your meals around meat, fish, eggs, fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes and you’re winning.
It’s not just your body that will thank you for this, but your skin, hair, nails, mood & sleep will all improve as well.
3. Exercise regularly.
It goes without saying that you’re going to want to exercise regularly too. I’m talking 3-5 times a week consistently.
It’s really important that you find something you enjoy doing, because even the best laid gym program won’t work if you don’t enjoy doing it. There are loads of options to increase your activity levels – it doesn’t always have to be structured exercise in a gym. Try out some fitness classes like Body Pump or Body Combat for fun, perhaps a dance class like Zumba or Sh’bam or even get outside and start walking regularly for an hour a day.
So long as it’s something you enjoy doing, and you can commit to doing it often, that’s the most important thing.
My favourite is Crossfit. It’s changed my body shape beyond recognition in the last 12 months. Google it, try it out.
4. Get outdoors more often.
I’m not even sure why this is a thing, but it does wonders for your mental health.
Spend. Time. Outdoors.
It reminds me of that weathered feeling I used to get as a kid who had played out all day long in the summer. When I got home in the early evening, proper belly growling hungry and aching all over. That smell of fresh air clinging to my mud covered clothes after a long day of playing out in the fields surrounding my house, building little fires and picnicking. Ahhh, those were the days, they really were.
Plan to go outside more often. Walking, hill climbing, rambling, taking the dog out, playing with the kids. It’s like exercise in disguise, and it’ll tire you out for an epic sleep.
5. Speaking of sleep – sleep more.
Sleep is one of the most underestimated tools we have in our toolbox (much like drinking water). Aim to sleep more than 7 hours a night. Between 8-10 hours is optimal.
Swap your mindless, brain wasting reality TV for an extra hour of sleep at night and find out how much better you’ll feel when you wake up refreshed in the morning.
Switch off your phone and your laptop an hour before bed and let your mind relax. Trust me, you really CAN survive without Facebook in the evening, the world will keep turning – I promise.
6. Surround yourself with people who are on the same journey as you.
There will always be people who will want to sabotage your efforts to lose weight and get healthier. That’s why you will naturally start to gravitate towards people who are on the same journey as you.
You might need to distance yourself from the sabateurs for a while, until you can easily put up an invisible force field around you which keeps their negativity away.
There are lots of online groups that you can join where you’ll find people who are genuinely interested in helping you – and it’ll help you stay accountable.
7. Find a way to STAY ACCOUNTABLE.
This is vital. You’ve got to find someone, or some people, to hold you accountable for what you’re doing.
An accountability buddy is a great idea. Perhaps a friend, partner or workmate who is willing to help you stay on track – or better still, follow your plan WITH you.
It might also be a good idea to consider investing in a coach. Not only will you have someone outside of your usual bubble to hold you accountable, but they’ll be able to provide you with a ‘paint by numbers’ plan of what you should be doing. Taking the guesswork out of what you’re doing is a big relief.
8. Track your progress.
Lastly, record your progress! How will you know if what you’re doing is truly working unless you track it?
Things to track:
Sometimes, weight isn’t a true measure of the changes in your body, that’s why it’s important to take measurements and photos too.
I suggest you update your measurements and progress photos once every 4 weeks, and your weight every week or two. Then you will have a well-rounded view of your progress.
Take progress photos in as little clothes as possible, underwear is best – that way, you can really see the changes that are happening.
Make sure you join the FREE Facebook community where you’ll get loads of free hints and tips and accountability from like minded women: www.facebook.com/groups/bodyconfidenceforbusymums