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Sometimes to stay motivated, we need to set ourselves clear rules and boundaries to help us towards our goals. I decided to write the 10 commandments of weight loss as I see them. I hope you enjoy these tips.
The 10 Commandments of Weight Loss
Think ‘Healthy Eating’ not ‘Diet’
Yes, it may be headology, but you can demotivate and put yourself off track by enforcing the idea in your own mind that you are on a ‘diet’. Instead, if you tell yourself that you are eating healthier and doing well, you are more likely to stay on track.
- limit sugar and refined carbohydrates
- Use less fat in cooking and trim fat from meats
- roast, grill or steam rather than fry
- fill up with high fibre carbohydrates and pulses
2. Limit Alcohol
I actually call most alcohol ‘liquid cake’. The calories it contains are enormous and empty. It really should be only consumed on special occasions. Plus, it reduces your resolve and inhibitions and just makes you want to eat more.
3. Stay Hydrated
It is so important to keep drinking water, as your brain and body interprets being thirsty as being hungry. Plus, if you do drink some water, it fills you up slightly, meaning that you eat less. Win-win!
4. Get enough sleep.
if you are not getting enough sleep, you feel hungrier. Lack of sleep also means that you are less likely to want to get out there and move more, thus hindering your weight loss regime even more. Is Lack of Sleep Affecting Your Weight Loss? read my article on 8 Best Ways to Sleep Well
5. Move more
It stands to reason that you need to move more, to burn off more calories than you consume. Find an exercise that you love and you are more likely to stick with it. Adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. Anyone for Tennis? But remember to start slowly and work up to this. A great thing to do is increase your walking steps a day to 10,000. Even standing more during the day is a good idea. If you work at a desk stand up for a few minutes every hour and walk around the office or workplace. Little things soon add up.
- take the stairs rather than use the lift or escalator
- park further away from your office or store.
- get off the bus a stop earlier
Anything that makes you slightly out of breath such as gardening, washing the car or taking the dog for a walk is a good thing. (Don’t have a dog? Offer to take the neighbour’s!)
6. Eat a Good Breakfast
The saying is “Breakfast like a King, Luncheon like a Queen and Dine like a Knave”, meaning that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Doesn’t mean it has to be the biggest though.
A good breakfast should have some protein and fibre, so think scrambled eggs, brown toast with peanut butter and zero fat yogurt with fresh fruit. This is more likely to keep you satisfied for longer as it releases energy more slowly than a sugary cereal.
7. Only Eat when you are Hungry
Now, this is my particular nemesis. How many of us eat because we are bored, sad, anxious or stressed?Depression and weight gain is a real problem for me. A lot of people who overeat do so in response to emotional triggers.
So only eat when you are hungry. Trust your gut. The trick is to rediscover your true hunger levels. Ask yourself when you go to the cupboard, “How hungry am I on a scale of 1 to 10?”
- Not Hungry at all
- Slightly Hungry
- Fairly Hungry
- Very Hungry – this is where your body really needs food
- Absolutely ravenous!
If you are less than 5, you are not hungry really, so you do not need to eat, and should step away from the cookie jar! Reflect on why you are seeking food for comfort. Have a glass of water as you may just be thirsty. Think of another way to ease your stress, boredom or sadness.
- Have a bath
- Phone a friend
- Go for a walk
- Clean out your wardrobe (you can also Make Money from Selling your Clutter on eBay )
- Listen to some soothing music.
If you are at 8,9 or 10, you may overeat. Never go shopping or out for a meal if you are as hungry as this, as you are bound to make bad choices.
So aim to feel only slightly hungry when you decide to eat. With practice this should become easier.
8. Eat more Slowly
There are nerves in the stomach that tell the brain that it is full, but it can take 20 minutes for the brain to get these full messages. I don’t know about you, but I can put away an awful lot of food in 20 minutes.
So if you are eating fast, you can be taking in a massive amount of calories before your brain shouts ‘STOP!’
- Eating more slowly, chewing your food at least 20 times and putting your knife and fork down between every mouthful can really help you to rediscover where your hunger stop signal is.
- Try and savour the food consciously rather than eating mindlessly.
- Never eat whilst watching TV or reading a book, as you consume more if your mind is distracted from the action of eating. You will also enjoy your food more.
9. Allow Yourself to Cheat – Occasionally
Think of it as the 80:20 principle. You have to be good for 80% of the time, but you can have that chocolate, ice cream or pudding. Life is for living, and sometimes gets in the way.
The problem comes if you have a tendency to ‘all or nothing’ thinking. People like this have a tendency to think that they have blown the diet, so they then go off on a blowout or stop eating healthily altogether.
Let it go. Don’t beat yourself up about it, draw a line under it, and start again.
10. Celebrate your small victories
Celebrate the little things, even non scale victories such as getting into a smaller clothes size, dropping inches or doing your goals in exercise.
Give yourself a little non-food treat such as a new shower gel, lipstick or tie that reminds you when you wear it how far that you have come. You are doing a great job. Well done!
I would love to find out how you get on with the 10 commandments of weight loss. Do comment below, or get in touch with me on social media. Good luck with your health goals.
Do read my Motivational and Funny Weight Loss Quotes