From the period of 1975 to 2016 the World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported a three fold increase in the number of people that are obese worldwide. More recently the WHO reported that the UK was the third fattest nation in Europe as a result of the obesity epidemic.
This is not a statistic to be proud of. It's also one that I could have contributed to, had I not chosen to take back control of my weight and wellbeing back in 2016.
So how did I do it, keep the weight off and achieve things that I never dreamt were possible? I focused on five key steps that I knew would enable me to be healthy over the long term. Below are these top five tips, which will help you lose weight and keep that weight off.
Set yourself clear wellbeing goals - whether that's weight loss, waist size, achieving an event such as a 5km run. Whatever it is, be clear about it. The goal doesn't have to be something that you know you can achieve - make it challenging. My goal was getting the fittest I've ever been by getting to my ideal weight that I had from 10years ago - i.e. losing 26lbs.
Why do you want to lose the weight and keep it off? Why is it important to you? Obesity can lead to so many health issues including:
For me I knew that my emotional wellbeing and mental health was suffering. The workplace environment I was in was toxic, leading to me setting up bad habits such as eating cake and drinking alcohol. As I gained the weight, I started to dislike my body image.
I knew I needed to take back control of my health by losing weight to boost my energy, reduce the stress, anxiety and depression I was suffering, and also improve my connection with my body image and those that I loved. What is the why for you?
So often people go on a "diet" and as soon as they come off the "diet" they go back to their old, bad habits and the weight piles back on again. If you're in it for the long term - if you've clearly defined your why and the goals that you want to achieve, take the time to change your habits to those that will support your goals. Focus on what you consume - what you eat and drink, as well as what you do.
Try not to bite off more than you can chew (pardon the pun!) . Scientific study has shown that it can take up to 66days to embed a new habit. Stay the course. Break the bad habits. Set up good habits. If you fall off the wagon, get back on it. Focus on one habit at a time and embed it into the new you.
If exercise was a pill, we would be taking it daily. Exercise has so many benefits to your health. In some scientific studies it has been shown to be more effective over the long term than taking anti-depressants alone for people suffering from depression. Exercise helps you generate dopamine, which increases your level of motivation, as well as serotonin, which boosts your level of happiness. It also improves blood flow as well as helping you burn the calories, plus many more benefits.
Find an exercise routine that you enjoy, whether that be going to the gym, going dancing, walking - whatever works for you. Start small - perhaps one class / activity a week to embed that habit. Aim to work up to 150 minutes of exercise a week in total - the recommended minimum from the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, subject to any advice from your health practitioner.
For me I started going to a fitness class once a week, tried lots of different ones to find what I enjoyed, and then embedded that habit of going weekly.
To keep on track with your weight loss, and keep it off once you've reached your target, make sure you track your progress. For me I tracked my weight loss on a health app, using a weight unit that didn't mean anything to me (kilograms), so I could focus on the difference, not on the actual weight I was at. Pick a tracking system that works for you. It's been shown in many studies that those that track and monitor their progress are more likely to achieve success, so get tracking how you are doing! Be honest with yourself.
If you are struggling with weight loss and would like to find out how you can take back control of your wellbeing, visit www.ruthmaryallan.com/workwithme to learn how you can work with me.
Alternative, download the FREE One Page Goal Planner here.
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