Well, this is I think always the most popular New Year’s Resolution given our propensity to overeat at Christmas.
I know this is a resolution I am working towards myself already this year. As with any resolution I think it is important to understand why you are doing something so you have a strong motivation to achieve it. Now, this motivation does not need to be profound, unless you want it to. For example, your reason might be ‘I want to lose weight so that I am a role model to my children’ or ‘so I can run around after them and play with them’. Or it can just be, ‘I just want to look smoking hot to get myself a new partner’ or ‘get in shape to look good on beach this summer’.
So, whatever your motivation, remember it, feel it strongly, you will need it! I personally like to pin up pictures on my vision board or in my office where I exercise, of the shape I am going for.
In terms of losing the actual weight, there are many different ways to do this but in my experience in understanding what creates sustainable weight loss, whatever programme or strategy you choose, it must have four key components:
1. Detox not diet with nutrient rich food
This means that your programme must be based on nutrient dense food, ideally plant based so that the body breaks down impurities and the weight loss is from fat cells not proteins or muscle. Synthetic products, bad fats or bad carbs will just result in you not only feeling sluggish during the process but will more than likely result in you putting the weight back on. This is demonstrated in this picture:
2. There are less calories consumed daily
You actually have to reduce your calorie intake substantially. I know this one might sound like a no brainer but people do not understand the calorific value of food and what it takes to burn this. To give you an idea: 1 apple is about 100 calories, you have to walk a mile to burn off 100 calories. Without substantial calorie reduction and also significant gaps between meals for sugar levels to drop and fat to burn, you will not lose weight. The above point takes into account the quality of those calories and this point is about the quality. Read more about calories here.
3. Creates new habits, new lifestyle choices
A good weight management programme needs to help you to create new habits long term. This means educating you about the food you eat, step by step.
4. Easy to follow, not complicated or overly burdensome
In my opinion, a lot of programmes, in trying to achieve point 3, over complicate and burden you in trying to create low fat, high fiber, calorie controlled meals which means weighing, measuring, complicated shopping trips…and cooking 3 meals a day! Look for something easy to begin with, that gets results quickly to keep you motivated and as you continue on your weight management journey, you will learn more about what good habits are.