It's that time of the year again, feeling guilty about overindulging on mince pies, chocolate, and far far too much alcohol! We all do it, especially us mums, combining Christmas & motherhood is a lethal combination! Wine or chocolate (or both) is often consumed in LARGE quantities to get us through the festive (but let's be honest stressful) period!! Then just as we all start to reduce our alcohol and food intake BAM we are hit with the excesses of New Years Eve!!
Jeans now have become a teeny bit tighter than before, depressing if you'd worked hard to lose those pounds before Christmas to get into that beautiful, sparkly black dress!
Waking up on New Year's Day with a thumping head, kids demanding attention and that feeling of dread, remembering that today is the day (along with the majority of the population) for starting some crazy diet! Whether you've opted for the Cayenne Pepper Diet, the Apple Diet, the Cabbage Soup Diet (definitely the yuckiest of all) or God forbid, calorie counting (Calorie counting actually drove me insane, hunger and maths definitely didn't go well together!) they all are restrictive when really all we want is something to fill us up quickly to take away the affects of the night before! Most 'diets' involve eating teeny tiny portions, depriving yourself of important nutrients & to be quite honest making us mums damn right miserable & grumpy! To add insult to injury, after completing the diet many mums end up putting the weight back on & often more!
This cycle of yoyo dieting can go on for years, combine this with motherhood; weight creeping on through pregnancy, then the postnatal struggle against the bulge, followed quickly by the constant bombardment of yummy children's snacks & finishing off our little munchkins left overs that a quick fix often seems like the answer.
Society conditions us to believe losing weight involves putting ourselves through hell but it doesn't have to, thankfully, understanding the cycle of yoyo dieting & emotional eating has enabled me as a nutritional councillor and yoga/fitness trainer to help my clients realise the problem & take control of their eating & maintain a healthy weight without the need to constantly "diet".
Now I can't giving you a miraculous weight loss tablet however, if you want to lose weight, the best tip I give clients is to change their mindset first. Your goal isn't just to lose weight but more importantly to keep the weight off. As soon as you acknowledge and accept this your view on weight loss will change for good, after all we can't sustain those crazy diets forever can we? Therefore, if you want to slim down and remain that weight for life your diet must be sustainable, fullfilling and enjoyable, for example swap triple fried chips for jacket potatoes.
My 6 top tips for achieving a yummy lifelong "diet".
1. There Is No Rush
Remember how long it took you to get to your present weight, therefore don't give a deadline as this can be depressing if don't make ideal weight and encourage you back to those crazy diets.
It is far more important to take longer to get to ideal weight and keep if off than fall back in to yo-yo dieting trap again.
2. Don't Make All The Changes At Once
Ensure the changes are small to start with, for example eat a good breakfast to start the day, reduce your portion sizes or introduce 2 more pieces of fruit/vegetables every day.
Start with cutting out just one or two of your bad foods/habits each day, this will make it easier to make changes longer term. The problem with diets is that they often cut out everything at once making it painful and miserable as you feel deprived and hungry.
3. Ask Yourself If You Are Happy With The Changes
Do what you enjoy and what suits your lifestyle, as you want to encorporate these changes for the rest of your life. If you love healthy salads, great eat them regularly, if not, don't force yourself to eat them every day as it will be unsustainable for life and you may feel more inclined to rebel and eat junk food. Instead make healthy changes you are happy with. The same goes for exercise, don't convince yourself you will run 5 miles every morning for the rest of your life if you don't like running instead think about a walk each day or a swim or something you could see yourself doing regularly and enjoying.
4. Have Compassion For Yourself - There Will Be Slip Ups!
A lot of diets are really strict, therefore allow yourself some compassion if you slip up. The change in your eating patterns and behaviour is often quite dramatic so allow yourself some slack. Remember just learn from it and move on.
5. Get Your Family/Friends Support
Support from family and friends, especially at the start is vital. Talk to the people you live and eat with and explain why you are dieting and why it is important for you to lose weight and become healthier. Hopefully, they will be more inclined to help you and will hopefully start eating similar foods (or at least hiding the rubbish they eat from you so as not to tempt you) and positively encourage you.
External help may also be a good option, knowing you can recieve advice, reassurance and support from a local group is a valuable tool on your weight loss journey.
6. IGNORE "No Pain, No Gain"
As you are looking at long term weight loss rather than a quick fix, the "No Pain, No Gain" rule definitely does not exist. You need to avoid the painful feeling of missing out at all costs otherwise you wont sustain your long term goal, instead focus on what you like that is good for you. This also applies to your fitness, never push yourself so it hurts, this is all about life changes and sustainability, it has to be doable for the long haul!
Good Luck, I hope this helps :)
Till the next time
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