Some of the most important elements of successful long term weight loss are getting your environment and exercise and eating habits right. Here are some weight loss tips for women that should help give you the best chance of achieving your weight loss goals.
Having a supportive environment around you is important. Trying to do anything alone is more difficult than if you have a supportive network of friends and family around you.
- Explain to your family what you are trying to achieve, what it will mean for you and for them and ask them for their support. Explain to them how important it is to you that they be supportive and be specific about how they can help you. For example, ask your family not to buy junk food and keep it in the house. If they want to continue eating junk food while you are trying to lose weight, that is fine, but ask them to eat it when they are out of the house. Ask them not to tempt you or offer you a “treat” – it takes energy and will power to keep refusing temptation.
- Watch out for people who will try to sabotage your efforts. For the most part people will be supportive but every now and again, you may find a particular friend or family member who appears supportive but really tries to sabotage your weight loss effort. Sabotagers will often appear supportive but will offer comments like “oh you are getting too thin, come on have some chocolate” or will have tempting foods around you and say “you have done so well, you can have a little treat” Be watchful and if you find yourself with someone like this in your circle, be sure to remove yourself from any situation where you feel your motivation is threatened.
- If your friends and family are not as supportive as you would like them to be then find your support elsewhere. Maybe a colleague at work is also trying to lose weight and you can support each other. Or there are lots of forums on the internet of people trying to lose weight. Some of the big name weight loss systems such as Weight Watchers offer weekly meetings where everyone there is trying to lose weight together and will talk about issues and recipes and motivational tips. If you surround yourself with positive approaches to weight loss and people you can discuss it with, it will make your journey easier. And don’t forget your family doctor. Any serious weight loss program should be started only with the support of your family doctor and regular appointments may provide you with that extra bit of support and motivation, particularly if you have a lot of weight to lose.
- If you are a person that finds inspiration in quotes or pictures then put these around the house to help you maintain motivation. On your fridge, on your desk, on your bedside table, wherever you think might help you.
Obviously food and exercise are fundamental to any weight loss program and what you do with food and exercise can severely test your motivation. So here are some tips to help:
- Make sure you choose a weight loss program which is healthy and sustainable for the long term. There is no point starting a program that only allows you to eat cabbage and sprouts all day – you will never stick to it. Choose a reputable, reliable method which allows you to eat a range of healthy foods and is flexible enough to accommodate eating out with friends and the occasional treat. Boredom with food is one of the top reasons people fail in their attempts to lose weight.
- When you are starting out, try to allow a two week period where you don’t include any treats or eating out. This is to help establish your new way of eating and help build momentum. Then slowly ease into a sustainable situation of an occasional treat or occasional meal out.
- Make sure you understand your weight loss program. If you are counting calories then take some time at the beginning to work out what calories are in the most common foods you like to eat and the calories you are burning. Make sure you understand your daily limits and make sure they are realistic. You need energy to function without fatigue. Education is the key here. If you don’t know what you are eating you will never be able to control it.
- Make sure you take some time to plan your meal and snacks for the day. Have healthy snacks on hand for those times when you know you’ll be hungry and will just open the fridge and grab anything within reach. Throw out all the bad foods which might tempt you at times like this and replace them with healthy, easy to reach for items such as punnets of cherry tomatoes, grapes, low fat cheese squares. Make sure any food is washed and ready to go so you don’t have an excuse to reach for a biscuit instead.
- Make sure you have healthy snacks in your office. Buy yourself a fruit bowl for your desk at work and make sure you don’t have loose change lying around for the vending machine. Every time you are tempted to go to the vending machine, put the money aside in a jar and save it for a non-food treat for yourself. You’ll be amazed at how much money you will save cutting out junk food.
- Understand your weak periods. Do you crave chocolate after lunch? If so, make sure you have an alternative ready to go so temptation doesn’t get the better of you at a moment of weakness. Keep a wrapped low fat snack like a low fat muesli bar in your handbag and car in case you get stuck out somewhere and would otherwise buy a packet of chips.
- Never, ever go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. Make sure you eat well first and are then not tempted to buy inappropriate foods for the pantry.
- The key here is knowing yourself and knowing your foods.
Weight loss based on food intake alone will never be as successful as weight loss combined with appropriate exercise but this is often the bit people find hardest. If you are quite overweight, exercise can be particularly daunting and exhausting. Here are some tips:
- You need to find and exercise regime which suits you and your current weight. If you are seriously overweight there is no point starting an intensive running program – you risk injury and won’t be able to sustain motivation. Talk to your doctor about what exercise will be safe and appropriate for you.
- Start slowly. If you haven’t been exercising, don’t try to begin with a 5 day program all at once. Start with a few days a week and build up.
- Start with gentle exercise. You don’t want to be so sore and tired that you can’t do anything else for the rest of the week. It is all about easing into an appropriate level of exercise for you. Set up a program which builds the level of activity over a month so you can easily see where you are heading and can easily track your progress.
- Choose an exercise that is in line with your interests and avoid those which you dislike. If you enjoy walking or the water, then make these a part of your exercise regime.
- Variety in the types of exercise you do will help prevent boredom and help keep your motivation on track.
- Exercising with others is a lot easier than on your own. Get your family and friends to join you or join a local walking group. There are lots of classes available, starting at low intensity aqua aerobics if that is what interests you.
- If you are really struggling, think of ways to make it more appealing. Maybe a walking machine in front of your favorite tv program will help you.
- Remember your fluid intake. Exercising when you are dehydrated is a lot harder and not healthy. Make sure you always drink lots of water.
- If you are self conscious about your weight while you are exercising just remember you are doing this for yourself and so that you won’t feel self conscious in the future. Keep your eye on the prize, which is a healthier, slimmer, more energetic you! And remember most people who see and overweight person exercising will think “good on you”!
I hope this has helped give you some ideas. If you are still after some more tips, you might like to take a look at our diet tips post for some general advice on dieting.