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 just because it’s January and New Year’s resolutions time.
Try becoming more active one step at a time and slowly increase the amount you do each day and week.
Swap boring workouts for fun fitness regimes
Find an activity that you enjoy. Whether that’s walking with friends, going for a bike ride with the kids or discovering a new exercise class. If you’re having fun, you’ll soon forget you’re working up a sweat!
Swap the car for a walk when making 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.
Swap watching TV indoors for time outdoors with your friends and family
You could invite them to go swimming, cycling or walking with you as part of your new routine. Slimmers say that it’s always much easier to be active if those around you are, too.
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’re doing them. Slimming World calls this getting into a new “groove”.
Swap thinking about the end goal for smaller 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 each stone or even half-stone at a time.
You will soon look back and realise just how far you’ve come.
Swap impromptu eating for planning meals ahead
When you don’t have anything in the fridge, the cupboards are bare and you’re 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.
Swap going it alone for support and encouragement
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.
Every week Slimming World members share top tips, recipes and ideas for overcoming challenges and developing skills to tackle the emotional and psychological barriers linked to weight loss.
Swap separate diet 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 or a roast dinner, and everyone will benefit from your new healthy recipes.
Swap eating in front of the TV 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’re feeling full as quickly.
Sitting with your family will also mean everyone looks forward to mealtimes more.
Swap feeling envious of someone else’s success for being motivated by them
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 four-minute mile barrier for the first time, 37 other people did it, too?
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.
Food for thought
Good news! You don’t have to live on carrot sticks and lettuce leaves to lose weight and eat healthily. With these small, simple tweaks you can enjoy the food you love and still lose weight.
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.
Swap skipping meals for three healthy, balanced meals a day
It’s easy to go without breakfast if you’re s and rushing to get out of the house in time, or to work through your lunch when it’s busy. But research shows that people who eat regular meals and enjoy healthy snacks are more likely to make healthy food choices throughout the day – and much less likely to be reaching for the biscuit tin or heading to the vending machine when their energy dips.
Swap the same old meals for a variety of more exciting dishes
No one wants to eat the same foods over and over again. Mix up your meals and vary how you cook the foods you eat a lot.
For instance, potatoes can be mashed, roasted or baked as wedges or chips, and veg can be steamed, boiled or roasted. Adding a little spicy flavouring makes all the difference, too. After all, variety is the spice of life.
Swap juices and smoothies for whole fruit
Whole fruit helps you feel full, but with a juice, it’s easier for the calories to slip down without satisfying your appetite.
Think about how full you would be after five oranges compared with how easy the juice from five oranges is to drink without feeling full.
You can also swap your usual store cupboard staples for lower-fat versions, including…
- Mayonnaise for extra-light mayo.
- Whole milk for skimmed or semi-skimmed milk.
- Sugary cordial or fizzy drinks for sugar-free or diet drinks.
- White bread for wholemeal bread.
- Sugar for artificial sweetener.
- Your usual cuts of meat for extra-lean cuts, trimming all fat from meat and removing all skin from poultry.
- Butter for low-fat spread.
- Regular yoghurt for fat-free natural yoghurts or fromage frais.
- Regular salad dressings for fat-free salad dressings.
- Oil for low-calorie cooking spray.