Is being healthy or losing weight one of your resolutions for the new year? Then this article is for you!
The following 6 tips are intended to help your weight loss journey in 2019.
1 – Set a realistic goal
To set up a goal, it’s important to know what your desired weight is. This weight should be a weight that you had previously which made you feel good. It doesn’t necessarily mean that your desired weight must be within the range of a BMI for healthy weight (which is between 18.5 and 24.9 Kg/m2) if you never had a weight in that range before. The most important thing is that your desired weight it’s a weight that makes you feel at your best.
Don’t aim for a rapid weight loss. Usually the quicker you lose weight most likely it is to put on weight again. A healthy weight loss rate varies between 0.5Kg to 1Kg per week. If you lose 0.5kg to 1Kg per week means that in one month you will lose 2kg to 4kg. Aiming to lose more than that could compromise your health and it’s also more difficult to achieve which might cause frustration.
2 – Make a plan and stick to it
The secret is to plan! Planning your meals and your days in advance are key for success. It will avoid last minute meals and eating whichever food is in front of you. At the end of each week plan the following week by writing your diet plan and times of the meals for each day of the week (you can get a personalised diet plan written by a Dietitian), then get all your shopping done according to your diet plan (don’t buy any other food that isn't a part of this plan!). If your week will be very busy with not much time left for cooking, you can do batch cooking at the weekend and freeze your meals in little containers. If you are spending most of the day outside home, take healthy snacks and water with you, this will help you be in control of what you eat and stick to your diet plan.
If you are meeting a friend for dinner at a restaurant, you can take the lead in choosing a restaurant with more healthy and delicious options, if not at least try to look for the menu online and choose a healthier option. Some restaurants highlight the healthier options to help customers.
3 – Get support
Losing weight is a journey and for any journey in our life you need people beside you. Specially for those times where you might feel demotivated and want to give up. Or for those times when perhaps you feel lost and don’t know which path to go. You can get support from your family or friends, budding up with someone who also wants to lose weight for example, it’s important to share experience and motivate each other. Get support from your family at home and create a healthy environment. You shouldn’t feel any different from anyone else just because you are on a journey to lose weight. Creating a healthy environment by eating healthy meals together and getting rid off fast food will just help everyone become healthier and happier.
It’s also extremely important that you seek support from a registered Dietitian. They are the experts in diet and nutrition and will help you by assessing your nutritional needs and designing a personalised meal plan with practical meal ideas taking into account your goal and lifestyle.
4 – Stay focused
Focus on your goal every day. Don’t forget the main reason that made you start your weight loss journey. Whatever reason is, for better health, to be fit, to improve your physical condition, or to just improve your self- esteem, never forget that reason. It helps keeping focus on your goal by having a picture of you from when you had your desired weight so you can start visualising your body at its best. This will help you staying motivated and continue working every day for your goal.
If for some reason you had a festive occasion which you ate a little bit more or ate a piece of cake, don’t blame yourself, don’t loose your focus! You will be successful in your weight loss if you continue focused on your goal and follow a healthy lifestyle most of the days.
5 - Be active
Any physical activity counts. If you are not a big fan of gyms, don’t worry. Try to find something that you like to do, it could be walking the dog in the park, gardening, dancing around the kitchen, having a chat with your friends while walking or choosing the stairs instead of the escalators or lifts. If you feel more adventurous why not trying jogging or trying a yoga class for example? Physical activity will make you feel energised, with a better humour and less stressed! Not just that will also help you to burn calories and get fit.
If you are looking for motivation to exercise, read my article here.
6 - Celebrate your achievement
Any small steps towards your goal counts. Don’t underestimate your efforts. Each week celebrate your success by praising yourself for your dedication during the week. Even if on that week perhaps you didn’t achieve the desired weight loss but you felt improvements on your physical condition, be grateful for your dedication and health. Feel proud of your achievements, this will keep you motivated to continue on your weight loss journey - a journey for a healthier and happier life!
Leave your comments below in how this information was useful and if you would like to know more about weight lost.
Are you looking for practical diet advice in how to eat healthier? Read my article here.
Do you have other tips to lose weight?
Your Diet Advice by Joana Jardim RD MSc
Hi, I'm Joana, a Portuguese registered dietitian in the UK. I am passionate about helping others achieving their health goals.