Tips for Weight Loss Success

Goals are like a roadmap to success – they show you where you want to be, help you plan your way there, and show you when you are off track. Before you embark on any weight loss program choose SMART goals. These are goals which are:

  • Specific,

  • Measurable,

  • Attainable,

  • Relevant and

  • have a Timeframe.

This is an important consideration for any weight loss program. Setting SMART goals around physical activity, dietary change, meal planning and daily routines will lead to better weight loss results, and can also help you stay inspired to keep up those healthy habits.

Tip 1 - Record Your Daily Food Intake, Physical Activity and Weight

  • Recording and tracking your weight can be motivating, as you see your hard work paying off! It also enables you to respond quickly to any weight increases if you’ve been neglecting exercise or indulging in too many high calorie foods. For best results, measure your weight once or twice per week. Tracking your daily exercise and food intake will also help you monitor your progress and has been shown to improve weight loss outcomes by over 10 percent.

Tip 2 - Plan your meals and exercise in advance

  • For best results you should plan your food shopping, meals and also your physical exercise for the coming week in advance. In clinical practice I provide my weight loss clients with a menu plan and we set weekly food and recipe plans and also add our exercise goals to the weekly calendar just like you add your regular work, life and social commitments.

Tip 3 - Plan to overcome obstacles

  • Unfortunately things rarely go as planned so will you invariably encounter some challenges and obstacles on your path to lasting weight loss. Emotional eating can be one such issue which is common amongst many people with weight challenges or those with a history of eating disorders. Strategies like mindfulness and meditation can be very effective in curbing emotional eating. If you have a bad day and fall into this trap just forgive yourself, move on and start again tomorrow.  When challenges arise, instead of giving yourself a hard time, be proactive and positive! Problem-solving techniques can help change your behaviours and create solutions for challenges that crop up. This strategy involves thoroughly understanding the problem and why it occurred, brainstorming potential solutions, and choosing the one most likely to succeed. This will help you respond differently next time you face a similar situation.

Tip 4 - Avoid Take Away, Processed & Pre-packaged Food

  • In our fast paced, modern world eating has become all about convenience, and buying pre-packaged meals from the supermarket, take-aways or eating out are the norm in many households. Unfortunately the majority of food related businesses are about making money not providing healthy nutritious food. As a result they are full of preservatives, sugar, refined carbohydrates, trans fats and other harmful chemicals. These foods are all very detrimental to weight loss. If you don’t have time to prepare your own meals then make sure you know exactly what is in them. Choose fresh whole foods with minimal additives and organic if possible.


Tip 5 - Don’t skimp on the Vegetables

  • One thing all diets have in common is the requirement for fibre and phytonutrients from vegetables, particularly organic vegetables which are chemical free and also offer higher nutrient content. Unfortunately not all vegetables are equal. You should aim for a minimum of 5 cups of uncooked vegetables daily. These should be predominantly non starchy low glycaemic vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, squash, zucchini, cucumber, asparagus, and leafy greens like spinach, lettuce, and rocket. Higher starch carbohydrates like white potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, carrots should be limited if you wish to lose weight.

 Tip 6 - Be Careful of Hidden Sugars and Carbohydrates

  • The rate at which carbohydrates are metabolised by the body is an important consideration for diabetics or anyone wanting to lose weight. By now everyone knows that sugar in the form of lollies, chocolate, soft drinks and sugary cereals are high in calories and when eaten in excess will cause the kilos to stack up. Many of you may not be aware that many other carbohydrates contribute to weight gain, including the sugar from fruits. As a result it is a good idea to limit fruit intake to 1 or 2 pieces daily if you want to lose weight. The best types of fruits to eat on weight loss diets are those with a low glycaemic index like berries, stone fruit, kiwi fruit, apples and pears. Fruits with a higher glycaemic index fruits like bananas and grapes should be limited. Other problematic carbohydrates for weight loss include grain based foods which have a high glycaemic index and will contribute to weight gain. These include breads, pastas, biscuits, cereals and cakes.

Tip 7 - Don’t Overeat

  • The current weight loss trend is towards reducing caloric intake either, on a daily basis referred to as intermittent fasting, or choosing 2 days or more a week where calories are restricted. I am using these strategies with many of my patients who want to lose weight. I am finding these increased fasting periods with reduced calories very effective for resetting metabolism and kick starting weight loss in patients with slower metabolisms. They are also extremely effective for improving blood sugar levels and lowering blood insulin levels which reduces the risk of developing diabetes. Intermittent fasting involves eating during an 8 hour window during the day and fasting for the remaining 16 hours. This places less burden on our digestive system, liver and kidneys which are under increased burden due to our chemical laden modern lifestyles.

Tip 8 - Hydrate

  • You may not be aware that our body stores toxins such as pesticides, fertilisers, and plastic by-products etc. in our fat stores. When you lose weight these chemicals are released into the blood stream and need to be detoxified and removed via our lymphatic system, liver and kidneys. As a result it is essential to keep hydrated during any weight loss or detoxification diet. Aim to drink a minimum of 2 litres of purified or spring water daily.

 

Tip 9 - Take supplements to Support Liver and Lymphatics

  • As mentioned in Tip 8 our body releases stored toxins when fatty acids are broken down during the process of losing weight. This puts increased demands on our body’s elimination channels, the lymphatic system, kidneys and liver. As a result it is a good idea to take herbal and nutritional supplements to support this process. If you are struggling to avoid carbohydrates like bread, pasta and cereals good quality protein powders like whey, pea, rice and hemp protein are great additions to any weight loss program. Since it has been shown that healthy gut bacteria is important for weight loss taking a good probiotic formulation is also recommended. For the best results it is best to consult with a qualified practitioner like myself to assess your individual needs and customise your supplement needs.

Tip 10 - Include Regular Exercise

  • A key component of any successful weight loss or lifestyle program is some form of exercise. Not only is exercise essential for burning those unwanted excess kilos but it also helps to improve muscle mass which is essential to burn fat. Muscle mass unfortunately declines with age so it is important to do some form of weight bearing exercise regularly to maintain your lean body mass. Exercise is also important to activate our lymphatic system which removes toxins from the body and to release those feel good endorphins which make us feel alive after a good workout. I recommend 40 minutes of exercise at least 5 times per week on any weight loss program.  It is best to combine cardiovascular exercise such as walking, jogging, swimming or cycling with some form of strengthening exercise like yoga, pilates, tai chi or weights. Mini trampolines are fantastic for activating the lymphatic system and removing stored toxins. Interval training is also a great addition to any weight loss program. Remember, the best type of exercise tends to be the exercise that you'll do regularly.

 
If you are struggling to lose weight don’t wait, act now and get moving. If you find the concept of dieting and weight loss too overwhelming consult with a qualified professional like myself to custom design the right exercise, diet and lifestyle plan to suit your individual needs.