Do you feel like you’re up and down with your food? One minute you’re being ‘good’ the next minute, you’re gorging on crisps or chocolate? Nutracheck nutritionist Emma Brown reveals how to get your eating habits under control
Losing weight for many of us can be like riding a never-ending roller coaster. You lose weight. You slowly regain some, or all that weight. You lose it again, before something sets you off track and you regain it again. Thanks to the cycles of events throughout the year – birthdays, Christmas, holidays, emotional turmoil – we’re often up against the next challenge at regular intervals.
The figures support this too, as statistically, it’s been found that most people (around 80 per cent) who successfully lose weight, end up regaining that weight over time. As depressing a thought as that may be, I’m not here to rain on your parade. I’m here to tell you how you can get off this never-ending roller coaster, or better yet, make sure you never get on it at all! Here’s some tips to keep you on solid ground.
Ditch the fads
While you might be tempted to start every week with renewed vigour to avoid all carbs, snacks, alcohol, takeaways, chocolate, cake, crisps.., general fun actually – this approach inevitably leads to falling off the wagon. Losing weight doesn’t have to be an excruciating process. Don’t go on a ‘diet’, which can feel restrictive and temporary, instead embark on a gradual ‘lifestyle’ change. Make smaller positive changes that will benefit your health, and waist line, and that you can stick to long term.
Going on extreme diets, it’s easy to forget about actual nutrition and why we eat in the first place. We eat to give our body the energy and nutrients it needs to function properly. So learn about the foods you’re eating and what they offer your body. Treats are fine on occasion, if the majority of your diet is varied, vibrant and nutritious. Once you know more about why you’re eating something, it will come naturally to you to opt for better choices. To give you greater insight into your diet, try keeping a food diary each day so you can see what and how much you’re eating. Nutracheck is a handy calorie counter and food diary App, aimed at the UK market which makes keeping a diary easy and convenient while on the go.
Acknowledge benefits aside from weight loss
While weight loss may be your ultimate goal, choosing a healthier lifestyle comes with countless other benefits. Improved mood, better sleep patterns, more energy. Even a small amount of weight loss will have significant benefits for your overall health too, such as reducing blood pressure and improving blood cholesterol profile. Recognise that all the positive steps you’re taking to change your lifestyle are benefiting far more than just your waist line.
Develop personal mantras
Your mindset is key to your success. Choose your own mantras to repeat to yourself when needed. You could say ‘I am eating for my health’ to encourage you to make healthier choices, or ‘I’m making lasting changes, giving up is not an option’.
Consider your maintenance plan
When you reach your goal weight, it’s easy to think ‘job done’. In fact, you’re really only part way there. Looking after your health and following a balanced lifestyle should be a life long choice, so it’s important to consider how you’ll make the gradual switch from losing weight to maintaining weight. Aim to keep many of the good habits you’ve formed, but just allow a bit more flexibility at times. Keep a regular check on your weight and set yourself a maximum threshold. If you find your weight is creeping up a little, go back to keeping a diary and watching your intake until you drop back down to your preferred level. The saying goes, look after the pounds and the stones will look after themselves!