how to lose weight

How to lose weight in 10 steps

In this report we will show you how to lose weight by addressing the 10 most common factors which cause people to be overweight.

If you are overweight or gaining weight, then chances are you are eating and drinking more calories than your body needs. The NHS says the secret of how to lose weight is to eat fewer calories than you burn off, and they recommend that a safe rate of weight loss is 0.5kg to 1kg (1lb to 2lb) per week.

For most men, they say, this means no more than 1,900kcal a day. For most women, it means no more than 1,400kcal. 

This is good advice, but it is by no means the end of the story.

You see, if you want to know how to lose weight and keep it off, you have to understand that overeating is just the symptom – and just by knowing how many calories to lose weight and cutting back to that level is not enough for long term success.

To succeed long term, you need to address the following areas:

#1: Control automatic eating

Human beings can only concentrate on a few things at a time, and most of our daily actions and behaviours are purely automatic and habitual.

In other words, we tend to respond consistently, and without thinking, to the situations we face in day to day life.

For example, studies have shown how people tend to eat 71% more when dining with six or more friends than they would do if eating alone.

If you’ve ever found yourself snacking just because food is there, or found yourself staring into the fridge wondering what will give you inspiration, then you’ve experienced automatic eating first hand.

Controlling automatic eating is not always easy, because you need to stay fully alert for times when your habits are taking over, so you can use willpower to break those habits.

The alternative is to use the Influence Audio tracks in the DietAssist Programme for a few minutes each day. They use cognitive psychological techniques that teach you how to break old habits and influence your brain into adopting the new helpful patterns of behaviour while you sit back and enjoy some chill-out time.

#2: Manage portions

‘Portion distortion’ is part of our set of automatic eating responses above, but it deserves special mention here as it is so important, and pretty easy to control.

Essentially, most people find it easy to overeat because they have forgotten what a “normal” portion looks like in our “super-sized” world.

This is especially a problem in restaurants, where we are encouraged to eat (and pay) more by ‘going large’.

A great way to check your portion size is to use your hands. Here’s how:

  • A portion of protein, such as chicken, beef or fish should fit into the palm of your hand.
  • A portion of starchy carbohydrate, like pasta, rice or potatoes is the size of your fist.
  • A portion of vegetables should fit into the palm of both hands.
  • A portion of fruit should fit into the palm of your hand
  • A portion of fat, such as olive oil or butter, is the size of half your thumb.

If you start using your hands to measure out normal portions, you’ll find out how much easier it is to avoid the trap of overeating by overfilling and clearing everything on your plate.

If you find it hard, then switching to a smaller plate can be a big help too, as a full looking plate is more likely to trigger feelings of fullness and satisfaction than a plate which looks half empty.

Again, if you need more help, the DietAssist Programme can show you how to make the change in portion sizes even easier.

#3: Do more exercise

Once you have your portions under control, you can boost your rate of weight loss by increasing the amount of exercise you do.

If you are not naturally sporty, or were put off exercise by an over-zealous physical education teacher at school, then don’t panic.

Studies have shown that overeating is by far the bigger factor for weight loss than exercise.

So although it’s a great way to help you burn off the calories faster, and provides some amazing health benefits, such as boosting your immune system and keeping your metabolism fired up, it’s useless at helping you lose weight if you reward your efforts in the gym with a tall skinny mocha afterwards.

#4: Stay motivated

How many times have you started a new diet full of enthusiasm, only to find the motivation fades after a few days or weeks and the weight piles back on?

It’s interesting how losing weight can be full of ups and downs. Sometimes you’ll experience ‘good weeks’, where the weight seems to fall off. Sometimes it seems like you are going backwards.

Remember that being tempted off your diet isn’t failure. It’s allowing that incident to spiral into the end of your diet that makes it a failure.

So, expect some setbacks, don’t beat yourself up about how it happened. Simply put them behind you and keep moving forward.

If you need more help in this area, the DietAssist Programme is great for keeping your motivation and commitment high, and teaches you how to overcome the setbacks more easily.

#5: Avoid snacking and food cravings

Like portion control, snacking and food cravings are part of the set of automatic eating responses we talked about above.

The key is to start becoming consciously aware of when you are putting food in your mouth, and the reason for it.

Studies have shown how we are more likely to snack and crave foods that are visible and available, so hiding your favourite snack out of plain sight or out of arms reach can make it easier to avoid those overwhelming snack attacks.

Again, if you want to know how to control snacking, food cravings, or emotional eating even more easily, then consider getting the DietAssist Programme.

#6: Drink more water

Our tendency to act in habitual ways without thinking too hard about what we are doing means that we tend to judge how full we are by the weight of food we have eaten, rather than its calorific content.

To make matters worse, people tend to confuse hunger and thirst, which leads to overeating.

A simple strategy here is to drink a glass of water whenever you feel hungry. If the feelings of hunger go away, you were probably thirsty or wanting food out of habit.

#7: Avoid social sabotage

In a perfect world, your friends and family would be very supportive of your diet goals and help you every step of the way.

The truth is, at a subconscious level, they very often want you to fail, and will sabotage your efforts without even knowing how and why they are doing it!

If you’ve ever had a friend tell you, “Go on… how can just one hurt?” or a partner say, “Forget the gym tonight, how about we go out for a drink”, then you’ll know exactly how powerful this social sabotage can be.

Learning how to avoid falling foul of such well intentioned temptation can be tricky, but learning to say ‘no’ in the face of peer pressure can make the difference between success and failure.

Again, if you need more help with this, the DietAssist Programme will teach you how to take control of your socialising and stop sabotage in its tracks.

#8: Watch what you eat

All calories are not created equal, and sugar rich foods such as alcohol, chocolate and even supposedly healthy smoothies can soon derail your progress.

And according to research, sugar makes you fat regardless of how it is delivered.

So watch out for the supposed ‘low fat’ options – chances are they contain plenty of sugar to make up for the flavour lost by removal of the fat content.

Be careful with food laden with salt too. As I talked about in a previous article, salt causes the body to retain fluid, which can make you feel like you are getting nowhere fast. 

#9: Choose non-food rewards

Adopting healthier eating and exercise habits can often feel like hard work, and it’s important to reward yourself and celebrate your success.

Unfortunately, most people tend to treat themselves by falling back into old habits, which only serves to undermine your efforts and set you back.

Think about how you can treat yourself in ways which don’t involve food, and make sure you plan your rewards so that they are motivating to you too.

If you need any more help in how to achieve this, the DietAssist Programme will teach you how to effectively reward yourself without food, and how to effectively set goals that work.

#10: Keep the weight off!

Finally, when you reach your target weight, it’s important to avoid slipping back into old habits and undoing all your hard work.

Staying vigilant is the key, and it’s important to keep track of your weight and deal with small weight gains before they spiral out of control.

Remember, the longer you keep up your new behaviours, the easier and more normal your new lifestyle will become.

Again, if you need help to make the mindset changes which will help make the changes seem normal and natural much faster, then why not grab a copy of the DietAssist Programme.

It’s is a 12 module programme that gets you motivated to lose weight in the short term, as well as helping you change your habits and behaviours for long term success.

As a result, you can lose weight more easily and faster than you ever thought possible and, most importantly, keep the weight off!

Find out more about DietAssist or see some of our weight loss success stories.

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