Updated: Oct 13, 2019
Instead of weight management we all seem to be bombarded with information about weight loss on media platforms and television. Celebrities, Instagram Personalities, and YouTubers are continually telling us about ‘This amazing Weight Loss product’ that will supposedly burn the fat, calories and inches off our bodies. All without having to lift a finger, and often in an incredibly short amount of time.
While some of these may offer beneficial results, a lot offer short term ‘fixes’ in achieving weight loss. They also do not provide a way to maintain your ideal weight. And it is here that lies the big difference between ‘Weight Loss’ and ‘Weight Management.’ Managing your weight can only be achieved by understanding bad habits. Adopting sustainable methods and techniques which are fundamental to effective weight management. A Weight Management Plan becomes essential; but what is it and how do you start a plan of your own?
Weight Management is a lifestyle choice. You must be prepared to be patient and make some small changes to your mindset and day-to-day way of life. Below are my 7 tips for starting your own Weight Management plan.
Change Your Mindset - Weight Management
Try to be more mindful about your choice of words when talking or even thinking about your weight. Try to avoid saying ‘I want to lose weight’. Instead try to look further ahead to your specific long-term goals. Something like ‘I want to start managing my weight and improving my health and fitness is a much more positive goal.
It can affect all aspects of your day-to-day life which helps it become a ‘lifestyle.’
Put the Scales Away and Get Out That Tape Measure
Take it from me, becoming obsessed with what the scales say is a bad idea! It is effortless to get sucked into thinking that the number on the scale defines you and your progress. Even though to begin with the numbers will start to go down, there will come a time when they’ll start to creep back up. Why? Well, muscle weighs more than fat. Once you have burned off excess fat, you will start to gain lean muscle mass. This means you may begin to weigh slightly more but this is good.
So get that tape measure out and take the following measurements. Retake them once every 2-3 weeks to chart your progress:
The smallest part of your waist - which I usually define as just under your rib-cage
Hips - I personally like to measure on the hip bone
Arm/Leg - 5cm from your elbow joint and knee of your dominant arm
Find a Form of Exercise You Like
Personally, I love walking, which is a great way to burn fat and calories, but why not try running, cycling, or swimming. I also love going to the gym, but sometimes life just gets in the way so I workout at home. I know this can be daunting if you don’t know what to do, so go online! Get yourself on a free streaming site and find some free home workout videos.
Be careful as some of these people are not qualified instructors, so make sure to research their credibility first.
Improve Your Knowledge of Nutrition and Portion Sizes
Like I said earlier, we all get bombarded on Social Media platforms and Television about Weight Loss and what we should eat . Though some of this information may be worth listening to, a lot isn’t. Take some time to research nutrition facts and download the NHS Healthy Eating Plate Guide to help you get your portion sizes correctly.
Ditch the 'Cheat Day' Mentality
Remember that 'no food is bad for you in moderation.'
Do I eat chocolate? Yes. Do I have a pudding? Yes. Do I have takeaways? Yes. Do I drink alcohol? Yes. But not all the time! A healthy, balanced diet means eating food that your body needs and not just what you want. Indulging in your favorite foods in moderation is perfectly fine.
In a recent study by runnersworld.com, they have found that if you deprive yourself of these foods, you are more likely to ‘binge’ on your cheat day. I always say to my clients’ ditch the cheat day’ and try to find healthier choices to satisfy your craving. Fancy something sweet, try reaching for a piece of fruit. Want a takeaway? Why not try making your own quick, healthier version at home. You will not only save money, but you will enjoy treats that much more.
Don't Confuse Thirst With Hunger
Did you know that over 89% of Britain is not drinking enough water according to a study by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution? Being thirsty can often give you the same feeling as hunger. Instead of reaching for a snack, try grabbing a glass of water. You should aim to drink at least 8 glasses a day or 2 liters.
I know this sounds a lot. You can buy water bottles with times written on it to help you keep track of your daily intake. Not a big fan of plain water? Try adding some squash to give it a bit of taste or my favorite, some fresh mint, and lime.
Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep
It has been clinically proven that sleep can help with all manner of things such as reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, and maintaining your weight. Make sure you get at least 7-8 hours a night. If you find it hard to ‘switch off’ at night, why not try putting your phone away 30 minutes before bed. Attempt to keep a regular night-time routine to get your body into ‘sleep mode.’
Final Thoughts - Weight Management
Sometimes you may need a little help to get your Weight Management on track. This is where people like myself come in. You can look online or ask at a local gym, fitness studio or Physiotherapist. See if they have any qualified and insured Personal Trainers (PTs) like myself, that may be able to help you. I personally am a PT and Pilates Instructor based in Derby and I spent years battling my own Weight Management problems. Three years ago, I decided that I wanted to turn my passion for fitness into a career. Now I enjoy helping others gain the benefits from exercise and healthy eating. I even run sessions for people who suffer from chronic illnesses, anxiety, eating disorders, and other more complex needs.
Remember that you are not alone. The road to healthy Weight Management always has its bumps but believe me it is worth it!
I originally wrote this blog for https://healthyforyou.org. Head on over to their site to view it or to check out the other guest bloggers!