By Angela Cox, a life coach who has transformed her figure since taking control of her eating.

Having spent my life on a diet, and a lifetime fat, I know more than most how difficult sustainable weight loss can be.  In 2016, I finally cracked it and I’ve not only lost a considerable amount of weight, I have managed to keep it off since. What I have discovered is that losing the weight and the maintaining is not only a question of eating the right amount of food and moving more. It’s more a question of how we think, feel and behave.  The trick to sustaining weight loss for the long term lies in the mind. Here’s my top five tips for sustainable and happy weight loss.

Ask why

We can all conjure up the willpower to stick to a healthy regime for a number of weeks but what happens when the willpower tank runs dry?  How do you find the motivation to say no to the cheesecake or to get out of bed at 6am for a workout?  I believe the motivation lies in having a strong and compelling reason WHY you want to lose weight. This has to be something that hooks into your heart and drives you to carry on.  Oftentimes we will say we want to lose weight to fit into a dress or tone up for an event.  These are perfectly logical reasons why but they don’t have any soul.  Your reason why needs emotional clout, so connect to things that really matter such as being a great role model for your children.

Make time, not excuses

Prioritise time for exercise. We can all pretend we don’t have time, but the cold, harsh reality is this is a myth we tell ourselves to feel better about not doing it. Get up earlier or cut down TV and Social media time and you’ll soon find 20 minutes for a workout.  You can even involve the children if you have them.   If you have the intention of doing a workout in the morning, do it.  Make an appointment with yourself and see it through.  If you wouldn’t cancel an appointment with a friend or professional, then don’t cancel appointments with yourself. Making yourself a priority makes you a better partner, friend, colleague and parent in the long run.

Set your sights

Set goals to provide a focus and something to work towards.  Make them big and scary and then break them down into bitesize chunks.  If you know you want to lose 3 stones it can feel like a tall order.  Deciding you will focus on the first 7lbs of this target will make it more palatable, and adding complimentary goals such as trying 5 new foods or starting a new sport in the first month will mean you can celebrate lots of mini achievements rather than just a number on the scale.

Give it your all

Know that 100% is easier than 99%.  If you are putting the effort in 99% of the time and then having a takeaway and a bottle of wine every weekend, your hard graft will be undone, and you’ll feel like you’re trapped on a hamster wheel never reaching your goals.  During the transformation stage, give it your all and you’ll reach your destination much quicker. Once there, apply the 80/20 rule, choosing healthy meals 80% of the time and treats 20% of the time to ensure you maintain.

Shake your pom poms

I am a big believer in celebrating successes by being your own cheerleader.  Give yourself a pat on the back and find the victories in a variety of things.  It might be that you notice you no longer touch the sides in the bath, your belt has gone down a notch or you can climb the stairs without gasping for breath.  Give yourself little cheers and, if you want to reward yourself, use non-food treats like having your nails done, taking a candlelit bath, trying something new or buying a new lip gloss.

More information

For more tips and tricks for becoming the best you check out mindset mentor Angela Cox’s new book Enough, priced £10.99. To find out more follow @coxange78 or visit: www.angela-cox.co.uk