Have you come to a grinding halt on the weight loss, or never got started? We've got some simple tips that may help kick start your slimming and give you more motivation to keep it going.
Whether it's the New Year, pre-summer or any time really, if you are struggling to lose weight, the challenge seems immense. Almost all people that want to lose weight start with the best intentions, but as the weeks and months pass, it becomes harder and harder to keep on track. So why is so difficult?
Unfortunately, the problem with a New Year resolution approach is that the best and healthiest way to lose weight doesn't involve crash diets, sudden manic bursts of exercise or miracle pills or shakes. We are too quick to identify the problem and then try and apply a quick fix plaster because the theory says it's so!
If you look at weight gain, it's a slow and gradual process. Putting on those pounds is a result of thousands of little decisions and hundreds of bad habits you have fallen in to. If you want to lose weight, then to mimic that process, but in reverse, will help to ensure a slow and gradual weight loss, but a successful programme of weight loss around making constant positive decisions and changing bad habits for good ones.
The bottom line (excuse the reference) is that if you increase the amount you exercise while gradually and sensibly cutting your calorie intake, you will inevitably lose weight.
If you are currently loathe to walk to the shops, never visit the gym and hate a walk in the park when it's a crisp sunny winter's day, then any exercise, even a short 20 minute walk, will be beneficial at this stage.
The key to exercise that will help you lose weight is consistency. If you exercise three times one week, then the following week do nothing at all, then you will not give your body a chance to adjust or give it enough time for the exercise to have a significant effect.
If you haven't exercised for years, its not wise to start running miles a day or pounding the weights. Too much too soon will leave you feeling disheartened and de-motivated, and will more than likely lead to an injury.
There are lots of ways that you can achieve a level of regular exercise. Running, walking, swimming and cycling are the first things that most people think of, but you can also try team sports, racket sports, aerobics classes, weight training, a dance class even. Any of these will improve your fitness levels and burn extra calories.
Make sure that whatever you start works for you. If you enjoy it, it fits in with your lifestyle and it's local, then you have no excuses or potential barriers. Ideally if you are walking 30 minutes, then try 4 or 5 times a week for a couple of weeks and then increase to every day. You may feel some stiffness to start with, but this will very quickly pass.
Enjoying the exercise you are doing is one of the key factors in you having the motivation to keep it up.
The bottom line is that you can't continue with your current eating habits if you want to lose weight and your current habits are adding those pounds. You need to make changes if you want to lose weight.
For most people that means cutting down on cakes, sweets and soft drinks. In fact if you cut out sugar, soft drinks and alcohol, this for many will cut hundreds of calories out of your intake each day. Junk food will also have to go!
Does this mean you can never have any treats? No! But you have to learn how to limit yourself to small, occasional portions of these sugary 'treat' foods.
As well as the type of food, tone of the main issues is now the quantity and portion size. You simply have to eat less. If you consistently eat 300 to 500 calories less per day, and exercise regularly, you can expect a weight loss of between one and two pounds per week it might not sound much, but in just six months you could lose up to three stone (or about 20kgs!).