My Tips for Approaching a Weight Loss Diet

by Nikki Biddiss, MNIMH
Medical Herbalist

January brings National Obesity Awareness Week and awareness that we may have overdone it at Christmas. At this time of year many of us are thinking of ways we can reduce our waistlines so we can spend 2016 in a healthier and happier state.

Before you start any diet, its a good idea to think about your frame of mind. As they say, it's often "mind over matter" and if your mind is on board you have won half the battle.

My top tips for a successful approach to dieting are:

  1. Be clear why you want to lose weight. If you are using words like ‘should’ and ‘must’ this may suggest you are bowing to outside pressure rather than internal motivation. This will get you started but won’t sustain you long-term, so decide what you want to do and get started when you are ready.
  2. Focus on what you will gain in terms of increased energy, self-esteem and improved health and wellbeing. Stay focused on this rather than thinking of the foods you are denying yourself. Wanting to be able to run around with the kids is more likely to keep you away from the biscuit tin, than telling yourself you are not allowed a biscuit.
  3. Lose it slowly –losing an average of 1 pound a week is great- diets that promise rapid weight loss are hard to sustain once you are off the diet.
  4. Think about making permanent changes to your diet rather than following a fad. Eating healthily brings about many benefits so adopt it for life.
  5. Keep a food diary to identify areas you can focus on: are you a snacker or are your portions too big? A food diary will help you to be totally truthful with yourself too.
  6. It isn’t easy to lose weight but it's not impossible and celebrating your successes ongoing will motivate you to reach your goal.

Consult your health practitioner before following any advice if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have underlying health issues or are on any other medication.