Lose Weight This Summer – Here Is How


Summer has suddenly arrived, bringing with it strappy tops and straw hats, open sandals and short skirts. Who knew it would creep up on us so quickly and I am sure many of you are wishing you just had one more month to tone up those arms or lose a few more kilograms before you expose your winter bodies for all those to see. Well, there is no need to panic because no matter what people tell you it is never too late and there is no better time to start your weight loss strategies than right now! Here are a few simple tips that can help you to look and feel better for the summer months ahead.

  1. Set achievable goals and associate them with specific, non-food related rewards

Rewards should be related to specific and attainable goals. They can be immediate and small scale, like buying yourself your favourite magazine, or more significant and linked to longer term aspirations, for example “If I lose 5kg I will buy myself a new outfit”. It is important to ask yourself how you expect to feel once you have reached your goal. Would it be possible to start experiencing those feelings right now? Try to start off with a positive attitude and visualize yourself reaching your goals. When setting goals it is important to consider the following:

  • Why are you setting your goal

  • What are the obstacles you could face in reaching your goal and how can you overcome them

  • Who could you associate yourself with that will help you reach your goals

  • What is the time frame for achieving your goal

  • How often and when will you re-evaluate your goal

  • How will you reward yourself once you have reached your goal

  1. Plan meals and snacks

This encourages regular eating and it eliminates the temptation of unhealthy food options. So often we tend to forget to eat our snacks and allow our blood sugar levels to drop so low that we grab whatever food is available, no matter how healthy it is. Always carry some fruit, nuts or crackers in your bag to prevent this from happening.

  1. Shop from a list and never shop when hungry

Having a list helps to reduce impulse purchases and assists with advanced meal planning. Always have a healthy snack before you begin with your grocery shopping to avoid getting lured into that mouth-watering chocolate and chips aisle. Write your shopping list according to the layout of your local grocery store so that you don’t wonder into the aisle where you know you will be tempted.

  1. Keep high risk foods/tempting foods out of the house or out of sight

The old adage “out of sight, out of mind” really holds true for many things, especially when it comes to those deliciously unhealthy foods. By keeping these foods in a closed cupboard out of sight helps decrease triggers to inappropriate eating. Try to purchase individual portions of food so you will not be tempted to over eat. Alternatively buy in bulk and repackage the product into smaller portions. For example, if you buy a 100g bag of nuts portion it out to 30g packets and store them as such.

  1. Keep healthy foods available and easily accessible

Just as important as it is to keep unhealthy foods out of sight, it is as necessary to position those fruit bowls and raw vegies in a place that is easily accessible. Always make the healthy option the easy option!

  1. Always eat in a designated place

It is very important to establish a comfortable, peaceful eating place. Try to focus on your food and be mindful of what you are eating and avoid external distraction such as TV. As far as possible try not to eat in the car, while standing in the kitchen, on the couch etc as it is very difficult to monitor the quantities you take in when you are not eating off a plate. Try to eat slowly and enjoy the experience whether you are with friends, family or by yourself.

  1. Develop Strategies to cope with social eating

With the festive season around the corner we all know that we will be dining out whole lot more. Try to plan ahead, check what is on the menu at a restaurant or ask a friend what they are planning to cook for dinner. Don’t be shy to ask the waiter for dishes to be cooked without extra fat, salad dressing to come on the side and to replace chips with a baked potato. Even if these foods are not on the menu most restaurants will try to accommodate your requests. Do not avoid social settings because you are concerned about the food. Rather identify and practice coping strategies to help you in these situations.

  1. Keep a diary or food journal

This old weight loss technique does not work for everyone but it does help you to become aware of what you are eating and identify bad habits. If you are going to be documenting your food intake try to include what you eat, when you eat, where you eat and the reason why you eat. This will enable you to target your problem areas and work on making the necessary changes.

  1. Recognise the behaviour chain

Many things influence the way we eat, be it triggers from our environment or cues within ourselves. Sometimes we associate certain activities with eating certain foods (e.g. going to the cinema and eating popcorn) and we eat purely due to habit and not hunger. Other times it’s a mixture of environmental and emotional triggers that influence our eating. It is very important to start identifying real hunger symptoms and not eating due to boredom, sadness, frustration and other emotions.

Make healthy food choices most of the time

It all comes down to making better choices most of the time. Don’t be too hard on yourself, no one is perfect but every little bit helps. Identify your problem areas and find new ways to deal with them. Keep positive and never give up and I am sure you will be rocking a summer body in no time.

Behaviour Strategies for Sumer Weight Loss

Summer has suddenly arrived, bringing with it strappy tops and straw hats, open sandals and short skirts. Who knew it would creep up on us so quickly and I am sure many of you are wishing you just had one more month to tone up those arms or lose a few more kilograms before you expose your winter bodies for all those to see. Well, there is no need to panic because no matter what people tell you it is never too late and there is no better time to start your weight loss strategies than right now! Here are a few simple tips that can help you to look and feel better for the summer months ahead.

  1. Set achievable goals and associate them with specific, non-food related rewards

Rewards should be related to specific and attainable goals. They can be immediate and small scale, like buying yourself your favourite magazine, or more significant and linked to longer term aspirations, for example “If I lose 5kg I will buy myself a new outfit”. It is important to ask yourself how you expect to feel once you have reached your goal. Would it be possible to start experiencing those feelings right now? Try to start off with a positive attitude and visualize yourself reaching your goals. When setting goals it is important to consider the following:

  • Why are you setting your goal

  • What are the obstacles you could face in reaching your goal and how can you overcome them

  • Who could you associate yourself with that will help you reach your goals

  • What is the time frame for achieving your goal

  • How often and when will you re-evaluate your goal

  • How will you reward yourself once you have reached your goal

 

  1. Plan meals and snacks

This encourages regular eating and it eliminates the temptation of unhealthy food options. So often we tend to forget to eat our snacks and allow our blood sugar levels to drop so low that we grab whatever food is available, no matter how healthy it is. Always carry some fruit, nuts or crackers in your bag to prevent this from happening.

  1. Shop from a list and never shop when hungry

Having a list helps to reduce impulse purchases and assists with advanced meal planning. Always have a healthy snack before you begin with your grocery shopping to avoid getting lured into that mouth-watering chocolate and chips aisle. Write your shopping list according to the layout of your local grocery store so that you don’t wonder into the aisle where you know you will be tempted.

 

  1. Keep high risk foods/tempting foods out of the house or out of sight

The old adage “out of sight, out of mind” really holds true for many things, especially when it comes to those deliciously unhealthy foods. By keeping these foods in a closed cupboard out of sight helps decrease triggers to inappropriate eating. Try to purchase individual portions of food so you will not be tempted to over eat. Alternatively buy in bulk and repackage the product into smaller portions. For example, if you buy a 100g bag of nuts portion it out to 30g packets and store them as such.

 

 

  1. Keep healthy foods available and easily accessible

Just as important as it is to keep unhealthy foods out of sight, it is as necessary to position those fruit bowls and raw vegies in a place that is easily accessible. Always make the healthy option the easy option!

  1. Always eat in a designated place

It is very important to establish a comfortable, peaceful eating place. Try to focus on your food and be mindful of what you are eating and avoid external distraction such as TV. As far as possible try not to eat in the car, while standing in the kitchen, on the couch etc as it is very difficult to monitor the quantities you take in when you are not eating off a plate. Try to eat slowly and enjoy the experience whether you are with friends, family or by yourself.

 

  1. Develop Strategies to cope with social eating

With the festive season around the corner we all know that we will be dining out whole lot more. Try to plan ahead, check what is on the menu at a restaurant or ask a friend what they are planning to cook for dinner. Don’t be shy to ask the waiter for dishes to be cooked without extra fat, salad dressing to come on the side and to replace chips with a baked potato. Even if these foods are not on the menu most restaurants will try to accommodate your requests. Do not avoid social settings because you are concerned about the food. Rather identify and practice coping strategies to help you in these situations.

 

  1. Keep a diary or food journal

This old weight loss technique does not work for everyone but it does help you to become aware of what you are eating and identify bad habits. If you are going to be documenting your food intake try to include what you eat, when you eat, where you eat and the reason why you eat. This will enable you to target your problem areas and work on making the necessary changes.

 

  1. Recognise the behaviour chain

Many things influence the way we eat, be it triggers from our environment or cues within ourselves. Sometimes we associate certain activities with eating certain foods (e.g. going to the cinema and eating popcorn) and we eat purely due to habit and not hunger. Other times it’s a mixture of environmental and emotional triggers that influence our eating. It is very important to start identifying real hunger symptoms and not eating due to boredom, sadness, frustration and other emotions.

 

Make healthy food choices most of the time

It all comes down to making better choices most of the time. Don’t be too hard on yourself, no one is perfect but every little bit helps. Identify your problem areas and find new ways to deal with them. Keep positive and never give up and I am sure you will be rocking a summer body in no time.

for @FuturelifeZA By Bridget Hill

 

 

 

By Bridget Hill

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