What Is The Key To Losing Weight?
If you are overweight, losing weight will bring you a range of important health benefits. The key to success? Making realistic changes to your diet and level of physical activity that can become a part of your daily routine. Evidence shows that the best way to lose weight is to make long-term changes to diet and physical activity that result in a steady rate of weight loss. Aim to lose weight at around 1 lb. to 2 lb., until you achieve a healthy BMI. Follow my tips below to help you start your journey towards a healthy weight. Once you’re on the way, there is lots of information and advice that can help you keep going in our blog section. Along the way, you can monitor changes in your body mass index (BMI) by updating your weight in your online diary or for non members by visiting our Health & Fitness Tab on our website.
Commit To Change
Modern life can make it easy to eat and drink more than we realise and do little physical activity. The result is often weight gain. To lose weight, we need to change our current habits. This means eating less – even when eating a healthy, balanced diet – and getting more active.
Drastic fad diets and exercise regimes that result in rapid weight loss are unlikely to work for long, because these kinds of lifestyle changes can’t be maintained. Once you stop the regime, you’re likely to return to old habits and regain weight.
Instead, choose diet and physical activity changes that you can make a part of your daily routine, and stick to for life and this is what our Why Weight Ireland weight loss & fitness plan is all about.
Ready to get started?
You can take four actions today that will start your journey towards a healthy weight:
If you haven’t already, check your BMI with our Why Weight Ireland BMI Calculator. If your BMI is in the overweight range, aim to achieve a weight that puts your BMI in the healthy range. If it is in the obese range, aim to lose between 5% and 10% of your starting weight. Having lots of muscle may put your BMI in the unhealthy range, even if you have little body fat. However, this will not apply to most people.
Now take the next snack you plan to have and swap it for something healthier. Many common snacks, such as sweets, chocolate, biscuits and crisps, are high in fat and sugar and supply calories that we don’t need. Today, swap your mid-afternoon snack for a piece of fruit. Aim to do the same every day: you’ve adopted your first weight loss habit.
Try to swap drinks that are high in calories for drinks that are lower in fat and sugars. Swap a sugary fizzy drink for plain water, or a sparkling water with a slice of lemon. Don’t forget that alcohol is also high in calories, so cutting down could help you to control your weight.
Next, find a way to fit just one extra walk into your day. Fast walking is a way to burn calories, and you can often fit it into your daily routine. You might walk to the shops during your lunch break, or get off the bus one stop early on the way home and walk the rest of the way. Commit to this and you’ve adopted your second long-term habit. Ideally, you should aim to walk 10,000 steps a day: it’s not as many as it sounds. Most people would complete approx. 2500 steps just as part of their normal day.
Last, think about breakfast tomorrow morning. Can you make it healthier? Weigh out your cereal portion and try sticking to the portion guidelines on the packages – most cereals would be around 30g per portion.
Do This Week
There are four actions you can take this week:
First, plan a healthy weekly shop. I’m sure members are sick of me saying this but Plan, Plan, Plan! Healthy, balanced meals are key to a healthy weight, and eating a balanced diet often starts with having the right foods at home. At the supermarket look out for fresh foods and healthier options. If you find it hard to do the shopping without buying the wrong food then why not try doing an online shop if its available to you. It will give you the chance to only buy what you need and every time you select the wrong food you can easily “remove” it from the basket.
Everyone likes a treat occasionally, like a pizza or a takeaway. So this week, swap your treat for a healthier, home-made alternative as you can make lower-calorie versions of many takeaway foods at home. Look through the hundreds of recipes in your online food diary for great take-away low calorie recipes. If you do order in, choose healthier options.
Next, commit to one more way to increase your level of physical activity. The right amount of physical activity for you depends on your age. It’s recommended that adults between 19 and 64 get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity – such as fast walking or cycling – per week, and you are likely to need more to lose weight. If you are already a member you will already have an exercise target so you know exactly how much you need to complete.
Last, identify this week’s danger zones. These are times when you might find yourself eating lots of foods that are high in fat and sugar, perhaps because you are eating out or simply because you’re tired or stressed. Plan ahead, so that you can limit those foods. But don’t be too strict: an indulgence from time to time is fine; everything in moderation.
By making small changes today you will be making life time changes. I often get people saying to me a few weeks after starting, “Why did I leave it so long”. And as one of our members said to me yesterday, “The only way to learn to do something is by doing it…there is no other way”. Do you ever ask yourself, ”How can I be putting weight on, even when I am exercising so much”? If you don’t know how you are putting it on, you won’t know how to lose it – it’s why using our food diary is so good. If you can see what you are eating, you will be able to see how to change it.
Benefits to Using A Food Diary
You Will Lose More Weight
Just the simple act of keeping a daily food journal can help you lose twice as much weight than you would have if you didn’t do it at all. There are many mechanisms through which this happens, but the main reason is because it makes you more aware of what you’re putting into your mouth. Many people don’t realise how much they are eating until they see it in writing right in front of them. It’s easy for a few bites of this, and a few bites of that to add up. Writing down what you eat makes you more mindful of your nutrition.
You Learn About Food
Nothing teaches you more about food and what you eat than tracking your own food intake. You learn about calories, fats, exercise and how your body reacts to certain foods and food combinations. All of this information becomes invaluable once (or if) you do finally stop tracking.
You’ll be able to just eat and know the general breakdown of a particular food without having to look it up. You’ll be able to better keep your calories under control. You’ll be able to make better choices when you go out to eat, and you’ll experience more freedom as time goes on.
Find Hidden Problems
Using the Why Weight Ireland food diary helps you uncover hidden problems. Before using the diary you might have thought you were eating a healthy diet that was sufficient in calories, but once you write down and analyse your diet, you might notice that you were eating too few calories to support healthy weight loss. You might realise you were eating too much. Whatever the case, tracking helps you uncover areas of your nutrition that can be improved.
Revisit Your Success
One of my favorite reasons for tracking is that it gives you a successful reference point in your fitness journey that you can revisit. When times get tough, and they will, you can end the confusion and look back to what you know worked in the past. You can see exactly what you ate and the exercise you did that got you results. That’s enough piece of mind to give you the confidence to keep going about your journey.
You can see what calorie intake worked for YOU. You can see the food choices YOU made that got YOU results. You can see how often YOU can cheat and still make progress. Tracking your food gives you a highly individualised blueprint for your success.
Keeps You Accountable
You’d be surprised how different your food choices are once you start entering in what you eat. Tracking your food helps keep you accountable. Not only does seeing a full day of healthy eating in your diary help bolster your willpower, but being forced to enter in your mess ups also makes you think twice about your decisions. If tracking your food can make you just 25% less likely to eat unwanted food, you will make great progress.
Helps You Make Dietary Tweaks
Probably the most practical of reasons for tracking your food is that it makes dietary tweaking a breeze. Is your weight loss stalled? Simple, just cut 200 calories from your diet, be patient, and then reassess the results. You can’t do that very easily if you aren’t entering what you’re eating. Need more energy for your high-intensity workouts? You will know exactly where you can fit in more food so that you can boost your intensity levels. Using our diary will help you make precision tweaks to your diet that will help you keep your progress moving forward.
I published the results of our first survey and the results were very promising and shows that the future is bright for Why Weight Ireland. Thank you to all of those who took part in the survey and as part of my “open door policy” I published the full results for all to see Click Here for Survey Results. It was a great opportunity to get fantastic feedback from members & non-members and also getting the opportunity to respond to any queries that people had.
Thanks to your previous feedback I am now in the position to offer everyone 2 Days FREE access to Ireland’s best and only online food & exercise diary 🙂 Click the link below to be brought to the diary home page where you can click on Take a 2 Day Free Trial – once your trial is complete you can visit our Prices & Packages page on our website and select one of our memberships to continue and receive the benefits of being a full member. Those who complete the 2 day free trial and who would like to continue will receive 20% Discount off our most popular 6 Month Membership.
Don’t forget to subscribe to our Why Weight Ireland Newsletter for monthly news, tips & advice.
I have added a new “Have Your Say” section to the left sidebar of the website so I would really appreciate it if members (and non-members) could leave a little note on how they found their experience with us – and don’t forget to select those 5 Starts ***** 🙂
You can also join our Facebook Community Page where members & non-members can chat and support each other in a private closed group and encourage each other to succeed.
And finally, thank you for reading and if you enjoyed it, don’t forget to like, share and leave your lovely comments below 🙂