When it comes to weight loss, nearly everyone has a plan, an idea or a story.

Some work and follow basic common sense guidelines. 

Unfortunately, a great majority don’t and are born from misguided concepts or even worse, scandalous money-making schemes preying on the desperate and vulnerable. 

The basic theory around losing weight revolves around reducing your calorie intake and increasing the amount you burn through exercise to achieve a ‘negative energy balance’.

Forget about Dr Google and expensive weight loss regimes.

Here are some real weight loss tips and guidelines to follow from real doctors. 

Maintain a diary

This is a great place to start because it underlines your commitment to the cause.

It also allows you to track your progress, reacting and adjusting your diet and exercise plans to what does work and what does not.

You can use a paper diary, PC or app.

Recording your weight on a weekly basis will hopefully give you small rewards and encouragement along your journey, providing extra motivation to stay on course.

Eat a balanced diet

Your diet should be rich with colourful, nutritionally dense foods.

When designing healthy meals and snacks, aim for roughly 50 per cent fruits and vegetables, 25 per cent protein and 25 per whole grains.

You’ll also want around 25-30 grams of fibre daily.

Cut out trans fats and reduce saturated fats to a bare minimum in favour of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

The good – fish, nuts, seeds, legumes, brown rice.

The bad – fatty meat, processed foods including meats, baked goods, white bread.

Measure serving portions

Even when sticking to healthy foods, overeating is still not good for you and will likely result in weight gain.

Hence it is a good idea to measure your serving portions.

Guessing portion sizes usually leads to overestimating and overeating.

Eat mindfully

Mindful eating is a state of awareness about why, how, when, where and what you are eating.

It is a Buddhist concept and revolves around making better, healthier choices, savouring your food, eating slower and appreciating how it makes you feel.

It also involves being able to identify the differences between real hunger and binge eating.

Successful mindful eating eliminates unwanted eating habits, increasing the chances of weight loss.

Exercise regularly

Before beginning any exercise regime, see your GP for a check-up to ensure you are fit and healthy enough to undertake it.

Regular exercise is critical for both physical and mental health.

Like your calorie intake, you can keep track of your activity in your diary or an app and increase it if necessary.

Ideally, you should aim for one hour per day of moderate intensity such as brisk walking.

If you have not previously exercised, begin slowly, gradually increasing your duration and intensity.

Incorporate movement into your daily routine.

This can include:

  • walking the dog
  • gardening
  • dancing
  • playing sport
  • taking the stairs rather than an elevator

Avoid liquid calories 

Sometimes people consume vast amounts of calories without even realising it and drinks are the usual culprit.

Soft drinks are loaded with them – around 150 in a 375ml can.

Beer is around the same and wine has twice as many calories per 100ml.

A typical 150ml glass of wine has around 125 calories.

Tea and coffee with sugar is another trap.

These are all known as ‘empty calories’ … because they give you sugar without any nutrition.

Learn to identify the difference between feelings of thirst and hunger.

Drink more water.

Have a pantry clean out

Now you are serious about losing weight, go through your pantry and throw out any foods that are detrimental to the cause.

Anything processed or laden with sugar has to go.

Restock it with basic ingredients you can turn to for making healthy meals.

Removing junk food snacks and forcing you to prepare food when hungry will help you resist the temptation to binge between meals.

Remain positive

Weight loss takes time and effort so remain positive and stay focussed on the big picture.

To achieve your goal, you need patience, resilience and persistence.

Setbacks along the way are normal.

What is important is how you cope with them and recover from them.

Don’t give up. Stay on course and be prepared to tweak your goals along the way if necessary.

Seek support 

Engage family and friends to help you on your journey.

Some may even wish to join you on your weight loss crusade.

The simple encouragement and validation of others will help push you along.

If things look like going off the rails, do not hesitate to seek professional support.

Book an appointment

When beginning a weight loss program, a visit to your GP should be your first port of call.

They will assess your physical and mental health for the road ahead and tailor a program specifically to your needs and desired goals.

They can give you rock solid advice on all the dos and don’ts along the way.

You should also visit your GP whenever you hit a hurdle.

They will counsel you about your progress and offer encouragement when the chips are down.

They can also refer you to nutritionists, dieticians and even psychologists if necessary who can help you if you look like slipping into bad old habits. 

GPs working from AHA Clinics are kind, caring and have great empathy for anyone undertaking the challenging path of a weight-loss program.

Book an appointment here today at either our Seaford Road Day and Night Clinic or our Seaford Meadows Day and Night Clinic.