5 Steps to Prepare for Weight Loss:

We hope you had a fun festive season – after the year it has been, we all definitely deserve that!

Now Christmas Day is behind us, it’s time to take stock. As the year end approaches, are you tugging at your jeans and wondering how they have come to feel so…. snug? If you’re one of many people who intend to tackle their health and weight in 2021, what’s the plan?

All too often that ‘plan’ starts and finishes with creating a list of ‘naughty’ food and drinks to avoid in order to shift those excess pounds. It’s a tried and tested strategy – you brace yourself for deprivation in January and see how long you can white-knuckle your way through the month before you give in to that uncontrollable urge to hoover up the contents of the biscuit tin.

We’ve been there. It is certainly tried and tested, but it rarely works. In the cold, dark winter months it is also completely joyless!

So, what’s the alternative? The expert team at Momenta https://discovermomenta.com recognises that deprivation, and reliance on willpower alone, can be detrimental to long term weight loss. Of course, making any positive, sustainable life change requires a degree of dedication and discipline – but no more so than, say, doing our job successfully or raising our kids. 

Above all, sustainable change requires a plan with structured, achievable activities. Our 5 steps will help you decide how best for you to focus on your health in 2021.

Step 1: Get Clear About Your Goal

What do you most want for yourself around your health and fitness? What will it really mean for you to lose weight, get more active or develop a relationship with food that supports your health and frees you from guilt? 

Spend some time dreaming – and perhaps jot your thoughts down as they emerge, for example in a journal. 

Step 2: Prepare to LEARN.

To adopt healthier behaviours, you must challenge your own thinking and some of the myths relating to food and exercise. An important part of this is to learn or revisit key information on topics such as nutrition, being physically active and the psychology of weight loss. Educating yourself is a component of what makes the difference between a short-term fix and long-term change.

Consider – how do you learn best? For example, is a solitary approach your thing… or are you better in a group where you can bounce ideas around with others? 

Step 3: Don’t Battle on Alone

Even the most disciplined and focussed successful people will tell you they’ve not done it alone. This is recognised by scientists with regard to weight loss, and a common feature of reputable weight management programmes is the support you get. Sometimes you just need someone by your side – to help you celebrate your successes and identify your blind spots, and to cheer you on when you feel ready to throw in the towel.  

Maximise your chances of success by signing up for a programme that strikes a balance between education, coaching support and being part of a like-minded group.

There are many such programmes out there, so ask yourself: 

  • How much personal contact would I like?
  • Could I get what I need from an app, with a few text or chat messages from a virtual coach?
  • What kind of participant group works for me, if any? Large, or smaller, with a more intimate feel?

Step 4: Put Yourself First

Improving your health is an investment you make in yourself. A big mistake many make is to leave it to chance – then other priorities inevitably take over. You will need to plan ahead and allow time in your schedule to work on your goals. 

Start to think now about what gaps you can create in your days or weeks to focus on exercise, what you eat, and educating yourself around successful weight loss. Little and often can be as effective as big chunks of time. For example, reading articles like this one counts! 

Step 5: Make a Commitment to Yourself

Robust health and vitality are amongst the most valuable things we can have. With restrictions still in place due to Covid and fewer external demands on our time, now might be our best opportunity ever to change some unhelpful habits and lay down the foundation for a more healthy lifestyle. 

Whether you do it alone or as part of an organised programme, what commitment are you willing to make to yourself in 2021?

Helen Krag, December 2020

Footnote:

The Momenta weight loss programme with Helena Shirley and Helen Krag runs for 12 weeks from 13 January 2021. https://www.vitalityhealth-fitness.co.uk/weight-management/

This is one of a series of articles on the psychology of weight loss, nutrition and exercise. Check out our blog for more.