11 tricks that’ll change your shape
Slimming doesn’t have to mean making dramatic changes to your lifestyle overnight. In fact, small — often apparent — changes added together can make a big difference to your weight loss. Follow these top tips for the tiny steps that can lead to long-term success.
1. Get active…one step at a time
You don’t have to shell out on signing up for an expensive gym membership or a personal trainer. Try becoming more active one step at a time and slowly increase the amount you do each day and week.
2. Swap the car for a walk on short journeys
Whether it’s walking the kids to school or parking a little further away from work and walking the difference, finding small, manageable ways to build activity into your everyday life will make it easier to keep up your fitness regime.
3. Get into a new ‘groove’
Successful long-term weight loss isn’t only about eating differently, it’s about developing healthy new habits that you can keep up for life. Often they become so ingrained that you don’t even know you are doing them. This is called getting into the new ‘groove’.
4. Swap thinking about end goal for small targets
Losing weight is a lifestyle change, not a race. Thinking about your end goal can be daunting, especially if you’ve got a lot of weight to lose, so break your weight loss down into more manageable targets.
This could be how much you want to lose each week or thinking about your weight loss one kilo at a time. You will soon look back and realise just how far you’ve come.
5. Swap impromptu eating for planned meals
When you don’t have anything in the fridge, the cupboards are bare and you are starving hungry, it’s easy to be tempted by speedy convenience foods. Planning your meals ahead and even cooking in advance keeps you in control and you don’t waste food or money. Making a list before hitting the supermarket is a great idea, too, so you won’t be tempted by those sneaky offers at the end of the aisles.
6. Swap going it alone for support
Research shows that slimmers who get support by joining a group of like-minded slimmers are more likely to be successful than those who go it alone.
7. Swap separate meals for healthy family food
When we embark on a diet, we often expect to have to eat differently to the rest of our family, and the thought of having to force down a salad while everyone enjoys their favourite meal can be off-putting to say the least.
But by making small changes to the way you cook your food, you can enjoy all your family favourites, from curry to spaghetti bolognese, and everyone will benefit from your new healthy recipes.
8. Swap TV eating for sitting around the table
When you’re distracted while eating, it’s easy to eat beyond feeling satisfied because you don’t notice the signs that you are feeling full as quickly. Sitting with your family will also mean everyone looks forward to mealtimes.
9. Swap feeling envious for motivation
Envying someone else’s success can be excruciating, but wanting what someone else has can also be very motivating. Keep positive by thinking, “what first step can I take to get what this person has? How can I learn from them?” Maybe, even ask for their help and support.
Did you know the year after Roger Bannister broke the fourminute mile barrier for the first time, 37 other people did it, too?
10. Swap self-doubt for self-belief
We can all be our own worst critics and it’s easy to focus on our failings. But by noticing our successes and being kind to ourselves, we can believe in ourselves and achieve more. So try this — instead of beating yourself up when something doesn’t quite work out the way you would have liked, talk to yourself in the way you would a close friend, with care and reassurance.
11. Swap takeaways for fake-aways
Whether it’s Chinese, Indian or fish and chips, slimming down doesn’t have to see you go without your favourite takeaways. Instead of ordering in, cook your own healthy versions of your favourite dishes, they’ll be lighter on your waistline and your bank balance.