Losing weight is about changing the mind as well as the body. As Subodh Gupta, author of 7 Habits of Skinny Woman, knows well. Here are seven habits to keep you slim for good.
1. 100% commitment, no matter what
Yo-yo dieters lose the weight, think they can eat what they want to and go back to their old habits. Breaking the cycle means changing your mindset and adopting new habits, which you have to stick to every single day. It’s not about dieting, it’s about changing your lifestyle for good.
2. Choose a diet you can stick to
Yo-yoing happens when we turn to extreme diets because we want quick fixes, according to Subodh. Skipping meals, limiting the foods we’re eating or starving ourselves are not methods that are going to work in the long term. But you don’t need to completely overhaul the way you eat. Instead, make small changes – more veggies on your dinner plate, yoghurt for pudding and one less spoonful of sugar in your tea.
3. Eat for the right reasons
‘Before you take your first bite, ask yourself: Why am I eating?’ advises Subodh. ‘And if it’s not because you’re hungry – stop.’ Yo-yo dieters eat for all sorts of reasons – stress, guilt, tiredness, boredom and comfort are just a few.
4. Bad days are part of the process – accept it!
There are going to be times when you don’t stick to your diet. This doesn’t matter. What matters is how you respond to it. Yo-yo dieters throw their arms in the air in despair and sit down on the couch with a packet of biscuits. But, if you want to succeed in the long term, don’t worry too much about it. Get up the next morning and carry on with your healthy eating plan.
5. A little bit of what you like does you no harm
Don’t pretend you’re never going to eat another ice cream again. Subodh says: ‘We see some food as good and some as bad. During extreme diets we avoid bad foods, but that’s not the right thing to do. If you include all the foods that you enjoy, but only in moderation, you’re much more likely to succeed with your diet.’
6. Dump the need for quick results
If you want to shed kilos and keep them off, it’s not about how quickly you can do it, it’s about how you do it. We all want immediate results, but life’s not like that. Remember, you’re changing the eating habits of a lifetime, so it won’t happen overnight.
7. Incorporate exercise
Yes, you do need to move your body, but you don’t have to exercise for hours. Take your dog for a walk, or go for a swim – do whatever you love doing and you’ll be more likely to maintain it. Working out first thing in the morning is best, because you burn more fat then. Exercising alongside friends improves motivation, especially when you know that your friend is waiting for you outside your house at 6am, ready for that run. So try working out with others whenever possible.