Make a healthy weight loss plan

Make a healthy weight loss plan

Once you understand your current habits, the next step is to plan how you will lose weight.

Try to make your goals SMART – be:

  • Specific – write down exactly what you are you trying to achieve. (For example, rather than I want to do more exercise, make it specific, I will ride my bike to work on Monday and Wednesday.)
  • Measurable – use numbers or amounts where possible. (For example, I will eat 2 pieces of fruit, each day.)
  • Achievable – there is no point writing down a goal that you will never reach. (For example, if you know you are unlikely to stop drinking on weekends, a better goal might be instead of having a glass of wine each weeknight while watching my favourite tv program, I will drink a glass of water.)
  • Realistic – your goal needs to achievable and meaningful to you. (For example, when I feel stressed, instead of snacking, I will stop and ask myself why I feel this way. I will focus on this thought for 10 minutes to establish whether I am hungry before I eat anything.)
  • Time-bound – set a time frame for your goal to track your progress. (For example, I will walk to work twice a week by the end of May.)

Remember, the best way to lose weight is to do it slowly by making small, achievable changes to your eating and physical activity habits. You may like to set yourself one or 2 small changes to work on at a time, only adding to these once these have become your new way of life.

Be kind to yourself, if things don’t go according to plan, keep trying. You may need to adjust your goals or the time it will take to achieve them.

How to stay motivated on your weight loss plan

One you have a plan in place, be realistic and try to focus on small gains to keep you on track. Some suggestions include:

  • Don’t rely on the numbers on the scales. Instead, measure your waist circumference – a healthy waist circumference is less than 94 cm for men and less than 80 cm for women.
  • Notice how your clothes fit – maybe they feel loose, or you now fit into something that was hiding in the back of your wardrobe.
  • Become confident in an activity you’ve been avoiding (such as being able to keep up with the kids without getting out of breath).
  • Maybe you have more energy, things take less effort, or you are sleeping better.

How to lose weight the healthy way

Losing and maintaining weight is a life-long commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Don’t change everything at once – a few small tweaks to your diet and movement in the beginning can make a big difference.

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