Thinking Thin

Most of my SlimSeekers clients have already tried to lose weight and failed miserably before seeking my help. In many cases, it has been due to the type of diet they have been given. Putting fad diets (that never work!) aside for the moment, 'blanket diets' to cover everyone may not suit a person's mentality. Then it becomes easy for them to give up at the first 'temptation' hurdle.

According to recent research, only 1 in 100 dieters are successful - just 1% of British dieters manage to stay with it for more than a year!

This is why at SlimSeekers every diet I devise is based on a person's existing diet. I gradually evolve this to include healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime and also be easy to follow, as well as introducing more physical activity into their lives. After all, if I guarantee a client to lose just 2lb (1kg) a week, that would be over three and a half stone (22kg) in six months!

But without doubt, the key to any successful diet regime is the willpower required to change an existing lifestyle. This will entail changing eating and drinking habits, and should also bring more physical activity into a person's life.

It all starts with the desire to do something about your weight, your figure or just to be more fit and active. But the novelty can soon wear off when you have had a heavy day at the office, you are upset, or the housework offers little respite. Then there are those well-worn excuses like: "I only have to look at a cake and I put on weight" (usually because you eat it!), "my mother was big, so I will be too" (genetically you can make dietary changes), and "I'm just meant to be fat" (chances are that you eat more calories than you use up).

So the first thing you have to establish is your goal and stick to it, but make sure it is manageable. If you want to lose two stones in one month then you've left it too late! Plan ahead and have realistic aims so that you can see gradual success on a weekly or monthly basis. Not on a daily basis!

Just remember how long it has taken to put on those excess pounds or become unfit. Odds are that it will have been many years, not months. So please be prepared to spend months, and not weeks, on getting your body back into shape.

With this realistic target in mind, have an idea of how much weight you want to lose in the first stage. Half a stone (7lbs) is a good target to aim for and can be achieved in a couple of weeks or so, with both dietary changes and physical exercise. Then, subject to your ambitions, tackle another 7lbs over the next 3 weeks, and so on until you reach your target weight, dress size, or fitness level.

Next forget about that word diet. Consider healthier eating and adding extra years to your life. Think about all the good food that you will be eating instead, and training those taste buds to enjoy every morsel on your plate. There's so much choice out there that you can eat all day without adding an ounce! So healthy shopping is an important part of the formula.

Remember, you won't be giving up anything apart from feeling tired, bloated, having indigestion, heartburn, not able to wear what you want, clogged up arteries, stress, hangovers, headaches and constantly thinking about diets. All over and done with! If that's not an incentive, I don't know what is!

Next step is to be disciplined with those bathroom scales. Don't jump on them every day because you'll only be disappointed. Even if your new diet is successful, your weight will still fluctuate through fluid loss and gain so look at the overall picture, not more than once a week. Weigh yourself at the same time, same place, preferably in the morning before breakfast and without any clothes on.

Also measure yourself so that you can see the difference after a month. Sometimes with regular exercise you can improve your figure without losing any weight, simply by toning the body, as muscle weighs more than fat. But it can still make all the difference for that dress or waist size. It may be worth taking a 'before' photograph of yourself to compare as you make progress.

So choose your moment and go for it. Select a particular day or date and give yourself at least a month to follow the advice you've been given. It will be a waste of time if you choose not to stay motivated, especially during the earlier weeks. Stick to the recommended changes and the positive results themselves will supply further motivation for you, helping that sustained weight loss and a far healthier you.

Also explain to your partner and/or family what you intend to do and ask for their help and support (perhaps your partner may wish to join you for the first month). We constantly remind our clients that it is not the amount we eat - it is what we eat that makes the difference.

SlimSeekers client
One of my clients had already lost two stone for her daughter's wedding but had put the weight back on again soon after. All because her motivation had gone once her daughter was married. I examined her diet and made several adjustments to her eating, cooking and shopping habits, which were far more user-friendly than her previous diet regime. She only took a little longer to lose the weight the second time around, but a year later she's weighs even less because she's also taken up tennis. She can eat what she likes when she likes, as long as it is not every day. She's now totally in control.