There is a lot of hype around the subject of weight loss. You only have to type in “weight loss” in your Search Engine toolbar to realise that there are so many opportunities to throw good money after bad in your quest for the perfect body weight.
Before you jump in with both feet to a weight loss program that seems to be too good to be true, take time to consider the basic steps you need to follow.
Firstly, what should be your ideal weight?
This will depend on a number of factors, including your age, gender and height. The NHS have produced a BMI (Body Mass Index) Healthy Weight Calculator, which is available on their website.
Once you have worked out your ideal healthy weight you can then set your weight loss goal. It is important that you set a goal that is achievable without putting your health at risk. Experts say that you should aim to lose between half a pound and two pounds per week. The exact target will depend on your age, gender and how active you usually are.
The simplest kind of weight loss goal is to set yourself a date when you will expect to have reduced your weight to your ideal healthy weight.
Having set the target, you need to calculate how many calories you should take in through your food. There are some useful online tools that will help you with your calculations.
The next step is to work out the number of calories that your favourite meals contain. Again, there are many useful resources on the internet to help you. Obviously you may have to make some sacrifices. After all, like our grandmothers taught us, everything nice is either illegal, immoral or fattening. That said, you really shouldn’t make your diet so regimented and dull that you stop enjoying your food.
You should be able to use your imagination and come up with some succulent creations using lower calorie foods. Keeping a diary of the food you eat will help you to monitor your weight loss.
As well as considering what food you eat, you should also start an exercise regime. That may consist of walking, cycling, running or you may like to enrol with a fitness centre or your local gym. Again, keep a diary of your exercise activities. Together with your food diary, and regular weight checks, you will soon see a pattern developing within your progress.
There are clear health benefits to losing weight and taking regular exercise. You should, however, take care to ensure that you do not damage your health through doing too much too soon. It can get quite addictive! Seek the advice of your doctor if you have any doubts; particularly if you are liable to suffer from asthma or other respiratory conditions.
Discipline and partners
All of the above, when written down, looks so simple. Surely, if you follow the steps as suggested, you will reap results within a week or so.
Well, to be honest, if you are anything like me you might be able to manage this for a few days, maybe even a couple of weeks. The most important assets you can have when trying to follow through a healthy eating and exercise routine are willpower and discipline. And that is where I, for one, would come unstuck in a fairly short time.
The solution is to make yourself accountable to your goal. If you are fortunate to have a will of iron, you may well come through on your own. Most of us, however, if we are honest with ourselves will fall, if not at the first or second hurdle, then most definitely at the third.
The key is to work together with a partner, relative or friend. Help each other; support each other through the difficult challenges and share your successes.
There are also many organisations, such as Slimming World and Weight Watchers, that you can join to work together in an informal social setting.