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The do’s and don’ts of getting slim.

Do eat regularly

Eating when you are hungry is a good idea, but only when you are truly hungry. Also make sure that you snack on the right things. Good snacks are fruit, vegetable sticks, smoothies and low fat/diet yoghurt.

Do get support

This is really important if you are to succeed at losing weight in the long-term. Being surrounded by people who will eat the same foods and encourage you along the way is a good idea. Find a ‘buddy’ or someone in your family to boost your morale. Hire a personal trainer who can help you stay on track and keep you motivated with both your food and exercise.

Do watch your portion sizes

Be aware of your portion sizes. Take note of whether you are eating more than others do.Next time you are out look at the amounts that your friends eat, you may be surprised at how much you consume in comparison to others.

Do set yourself achievable goals

This is important as you have something to aim for and if you make it achievable then you feel good when you reach the goal, rewarding yourself perhaps with a new pair of shoes or a night out with your girl friends – dancing!

Do tackle problems instead of relying on food as a comfort

A large number of us use food as a way of relieving stress and as a way to unwind when we are not even hungry.

Do remember there are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ foods, only ‘good’ or ‘bad’ diets

This means that you can have treats, it is really important to be able to have what we call ‘flexible restraint’ and pick and choose when you have foods such as chocolate and crisps.

Do monitor your food intake and physical activity

Using a diary to record what you eat how much you exercise is an excellent start. This helps you to understand your ‘danger periods’, such as in the evenings when you relax in front of the TV. Once you have found out when you are most likely to waver it is easier to find ways to help yourself e.g. going for a walk instead of watching TV or having a bath, reading a book etc.

Don’t rely on just changing your food intake to lose weight

Research has proven that a combination of both exercise and altered eating habits is the best way to lose and maintain weight loss.

Don’t think a fad diet will be the answer to your weight issue

Many fad diets promise great weight loss but are unbalanced, and as they only make you crave the foods they advise against it’s a sure-fire way to end up hitting the biscuit barrel. Life is for living and you should try to have a sensible and realistic approach to weight loss.

Don’t be conned by marketing

’Low fat’ does not necessarily mean low calorie: many manufacturers lower the amount of fat in dessert foods and increase the amount of sugar to compensate.

Don’t miss breakfast

A classic way to think you are cutting back on calories is to skip the most important meal of the day: breakfast. If you miss an early-morning meal, you are far more likely to go for a snack mid-morning, and it may not always be a healthy one you reach for…

Don’t become obsessive about your food intake

Feel you’re permanently on a diet? Ask yourself why. There is no point going out for a meal and feeling deprived, instead, think of coping strategies to make such occasions as enjoyable as they should be. Why not cut back the day before you go out for that meal, or even the day after?

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