I'll Start Again On Monday...
I often see those that embark on a diet wanting to start on a Monday – or the beginning of the month. The common theme among these clients is wanting to go hard and fast for a short amount of time. They are going in with the mentality that this is going to be hard and they are going to have to deprive themselves of everything they love and be unhappy to lose weight and therefore they have one last weekend before they start.
The common theme with these dieters is that they are very strict on Monday and probably go to bed hungry that night. They then might be able to last a few days until they succumb and have a nibble of a biscuit. This then comes with a “I’ve blown it” attitude and the rest of the week and weekend is a gorge fest until Monday rolls round again. However, this is not the way to lose weight. A much slower and less harsh regime will bring you a quicker result in the long term.
The first thing you need to do when embarking at GreggWallace.Health is understand that this is a long-term approach. This is not a quick fix and harsh diet. We are not asking you to give up everything you enjoy and never celebrate your birthday or enjoy a glass of wine or beer on a Friday or Saturday night. What we want from you is some restraint – you aren’t going to lose weight without getting a little uncomfortable – but you don’t want to feel deprived or hungry. This will just lead to failure after a while, or until you get invited out for a meal or BBQ.
Think back to when you first started to notice your weight creeping it up. It wasn’t overnight or in a week it was probably a steady incline over many months or years. The same approach is needed to losing the weight – it will take many months or even years. This is especially true if you are female, of menopausal age or suffer a thyroid issue or some other condition that might affecting your metabolism. It will also take you a bit longer if you are a serial yo-yo dieter as your metabolism will have been affected.
I always encourage my clients to buy themselves a journal to track their progress. On the first few pages write down what you think caused you to put the weight on in the first place. Be honest with yourself, no one else needs to read your journal. The more honest you are the more likely you are to succeed. When you write down the causes of your weight gain then you might start to see a pattern and which habits you need to change in order to lose the weight. However, you don’t need to give everything up. If you notice that alcohol is a culprit – rather than give it up totally, can you reduce the amount of days that you are drinking alcohol? Then after a few months when you have reduced the alcohol and are feeling comfortable and the weight loss is stalling, it might be that you need to reduce slightly again. The same goes with any habit or food that you tend to overeat. Start by reducing the amount rather than totally give it up. If you have been having a sweet treat every night then can you reduce it to 3 times a week rather than every night? When this is under control then you could look at reducing to once a week.
In your journal also write down when you have a lapse. Don’t worry you will have one. This is normal and not because you lack willpower, motivation or are lazy. However, what I would like you to analyse is what lead you to have the lapse. Were you eating out of comfort, boredom or stress? Think about how you could change your routines or habits to avoid this in the future. What strategies could you put in place? A lapse is totally normal and in no way means that you have failed. You don’t need to punish yourself or go hungry after a lapse. Just start back at eating the GreggWallace.Health meals again.
My number one piece of advice for successful weight loss is getting your mindset right. Get your head to understand that this is not a quick fix and needs a long-term approach. With this mindset you are much more likely to succeed and for the weight to remain off and be gone forever.
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Author: Katherine Bright MBANT, CNHC