How to restart your weight loss

Sometimes, losing weight becomes harder than normal. Plateau, stall – there are lots of names for this, but sometimes it feels like the weight just won’t come off.
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Of course, that’s not true – there’s a way to get rid of the weight, but it will probably need a little change to your approach.

So, before you despair and think about giving up, run through this list.

Has this been a consistent problem for more than 6 weeks?

Weight loss isn’t a straight line; we all go up and down. This is especially true for women, where hormonal differences can cause weight gain. Weigh yourself on the same day at the same time each week. If your weight hasn’t changed for 6 weeks, you should start to look for other reasons.

Are you drinking enough water?

Amazingly, many of us confuse thirst for hunger. If you’re not getting enough water, you’re making it harder for your body to run and harder for you to avoid the snacks!

Are you getting enough sleep?

It’s not just that if you’re asleep, you’re not eating (although that’s a help). A recent study has shown that just one night of bad sleep leads people to be hungrier and to choose larger portion sizes. Here’s Why You Should Get More ZZZ.

Are you eating enough veg?

Green, leafy vegetables are low in calories and help you feel full after a meal.

Are you measuring your portions?

It’s too easy for portions to creep up as you get comfortable with your new style of eating. It’s usually gradual; a slightly-larger portion of Shreddies in the morning, or the swap of the soda water back to a swift half on Friday evening. Why not go back to weighing your food, just to make sure you’re eating what you think you are.

Are you eating something which only seems good for you?

Salad dressings, Greek yoghurt – there are many foods out there that are healthy in principle, but are easy to eat too frequently or too much. Always check the nutritional label!

Are you overeating for emotional reasons?

It’s something we all do from time to time, but it’s not really helpful. If you’re eating just to change your mood, see if there’s something you can do instead. I’ve taken to making and enjoying a big cup of tea.

Have you reduced your physical activity level?

Maybe you’ve gone back to taking the lift at work, rather than walking up the 4 flights of stairs. Amazingly, little things like this add up. Have you tried to walk 10,000 steps every day?

Are you weighing yourself consistently?

Remember the old rhyme, ‘a pint of water weighs a pound and a quarter’? Well, if you drink a pint of water, that’s how much your weight will immediately increase! It’ll go down again as you go through the day, but that’s why we always recommend weighing in the same clothes at roughly the same time of day.

Have you already been losing for a while?

If none of the above apply, it’s possible that you’ve done so well that you’ve shrunk below your current calorie-count. When you started to lose weight, you were larger, and so needed more calories just to fuel yourself. Well guess what? You’re smaller than you were before, so now (cruelly) you need fewer calories to ‘run’. That unfortunately means you may need to reduce your intake to continue the good work. Try working out a reasonable calorie target here.

Life’s a game. Let’s play.

It’s the holy grail, really. If you can enjoy your way towards a goal, you’re more likely to keep going – and get there. Can you enjoy weight loss? You can. Embrace whatever competitive streak you have and turn it to your advantage. Turn weight loss into a game – your own game.

  • It’s meant to be enjoyed.
  • It’s supposed to be challenging but not impossible (even though it can feel that way).
  • You get to play your with any strategy you want, any one that works for you.

Here are some ideas for how to make fitness fun:

The tree dash: If you’re out and about, pick a tree to run to. Once you’re there, see if there’s another you can go to. Switch it up – perhaps you have to go as slow as possible without anyone noticing?

The music sweep: Cleaning is a chore, but it’s also good aerobic exercise. So, pick a song (one with a good pace) and try to sweep or vacuum a room before the song ends. Too easy? Pick a shorter song, or make it washing the bathroom floor!

The advert smash: Every time the adverts come on, don’t just sit there! Get up and do star jumps, running on the spot. Beats watching adverts for chocolate!

The supermarket switch: When you get home from the supermarket, get out the receipt. You are awarded 1 point for every healthy thing (like vegetables and fruits) and deducted a point for unhealthy foods. Tally up; can you get a better score next week?