How do you lose weight?

Do you want the honest answer? WITH COMMITMENT, HARD WORK AND A POSITIVE ATTITUDE, an attitude that means you forgive yourself when you experience setbacks and get right back up to continue on your journey 
On a physical level, there are two ways of losing weight: eat less or exercise more, or both. To lose weight, you must create an energy deficit…that is, you need to consume less food (energy) than you actually use. You need to eat fewer kilojoules or calories than your body needs to get through the day; this way, your body will use its energy stores to make up the energy deficit.


Understanding this is the basis of successful weight-loss, but clearly there’s more to it than that, otherwise few people would he overweight. Your mind is the key, you have to really want to lose weight and you have to deal with all the blocks your mind puts in the way. Successful weight-loss is all about attitude. What gets you up in the morning early so you can go for a walk? A positive can-do attitude and being organized by having clothes and joggers by your bed. What helps you forgive yourself when you eat too much? A positive attitude and an ability to recognize that one setback does not mean you have blown everything.


To succeed in your weight loss, you will need to:
  • accept yourself and where you are right now
  • understand what triggers you to overeat
  • break bad habits and learn new ones
  • develop a strategy for bouncing back from setbacks
  • change your attitude to yourself and learn positive self-talk
  • recognize that an all-or-nothing attitude does not help your weight-loss
  • be responsible for, and accountable to, yourself
  • change your lifestyle.

Eating a nutritionally balanced diet and exercising are the keys to long-term weight loss. This isn’t a new idea, yet it remains challenging for many people. Why? Because we make poor choices that over time become bad habits, which we then find hard to change. While your current habits and lifestyle have brought you to this point, it has happened over a long period of time. To lose weight, you need to recognize that it will take time to unlearn those habits and develop new responses, so that eventually you will have a new set of habits that support your new healthy lifestyle. Change is always challenging, and successful change takes time. It also depends on what stage of acceptance for taking action you’re at. You might he ready to change, you may still be working out whether change is worth it or you may be preparing to change. Sometimes it’s hard to accept that we have a health problem. We ignore it procrastinate about it or simply deny its existence.

The following are some guidelines for modifying your behavior.

Make one change that will have the most effect
If you’re starting by making one change, choose to change the one habit that will make the most difference to your health. If you want to reduce the amount of sugar you eat, don’t cut out the cake you have once a week, cut out the can of soft drink you have every day with lunch.

Be patient
You didn’t gain weight in a week, so you can’t expect to lose it in a week. Don’t be in a hurry and don’t give up when you fall back into an old habit remember, you’re still learning. Here’s a simple analogy. When you were little, you couldn’t tie your shoelaces. Your parents did it for you. After a while, they took the time to show you how to tie them, then they helped you to tie them. Sometimes you’d forget so they’d show you again, Then you became so used to tying them that you didn’t need help anymore. Now, of course, it’s second nature. The same thing applied with learning to drive a car. Did you give up after your first lesson when you stalled in the middle of an intersection? No. So don’t give up while you’re learning new healthy patterns of behavior. It takes time and perseverance, and it’s completely normal not to get it right straight away.

Be consistent
Modifying behavior successfully is all about consistency. You need to replace bad habits with good habits, created through repetition. Commit to creating your good habits daily. The more consistent you are, the faster you’ll reach your goal. The less consistent, the longer it will take.

Be aware
Often eating is done without thinking, it’s mindless. Start to become aware of what and when you eat. Practice eating with mindfulness, that is, pay attention to what and how much you are eating, and what you’re doing at the same time. This gives you a chance to learn what triggers your overeating. Do you always eat when you’re watching TV? You need to start by breaking the habit. Make a rule that you don’t eat in front of the TV.

It’s difficult to change your behavior if nothing else changes. Making your home health friendly will help you create and stick with your new habits. Very few people have willpower of steel, so avoid having to use yours in the first place, get rid of all the junk food in your house. Restock the fridge, freezer and pantry with healthy food. Change your routine so you eat only at the table.
As well as your home environment, manage other eating occasions. Eating healthily doesn’t mean you can never eat out or get takeaway. This is a lifestyle, not a diet of deprivation. The secret is planning ahead, what’s the healthiest takeaway you can get? Can you have a healthy snack before you go out to dinner? Any support you can give yourself in learning new behaviors will help make them your habits.


Good food and exercise are just as vital for our mental wellbeing as our physical wellbeing our state of mind drives our choices and influences our decisions. Generally, the healthier you are, the more positive your mental outlook will be and the less likely you’ll be to engage in unhealthy habits.

Choose a positive attitude and start believing in yourself now, as hard as it may feel; don’t wait to lose 2, 10 or 30 kilos before feeling good about yourself This sets you up to fail and perpetuates the negative cycle. Be proud that you are actively changing your life rather than just wishing for change. Remember what you like about yourself and what you are good at. Change your self-talk — start talking to yourself as you would a close friend. Be caring, sensitive, understanding and friendly. You achieve nothing by putting yourself down. You are your first and most important supporter, and the positive support you give yourself is essential in helping you to lose weight.


You need to like yourself now, before you start losing weight. You need to believe that you are worth the effort. Don’t underestimate the power of positive thought, your mind is a powerful tool for creating positive change in your life. 

Saul Edmonds

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