January is famous for New Year’s resolutions – there’s something so motivating about pressing the ‘reset’ button and starting a New Year with a fresh set of goals – a brand-new year for a brand-new you. And this year, that feeling’s likely to be stronger than ever, as we are looking forward to getting our lives back to normal.
For many of us, becoming slimmer, fitter and healthier will be at the top of the list of our New Year’s resolutions for 2022.
Don’t go hungry
To lose weight you have to eat less, right? Well, not always. The kind of food you’re eating is much more important than the volume. Swapping high-calorie foods (think chocolate, alcohol, pastries ) for foods that are lower in calories and bulkier, so they fill you up for longer, is key to losing weight in a way that’s easy to live with. Slimming World’s Food Optimising plan takes away the tedium of weighing, measuring and counting the calories in everything that you eat (and drink ). Every week in their local group, members learn how to make healthier choices to satisfy their appetite and lose weight beautifully, without hunger or guilt, and still enjoying treats.
Linda Gorham who runs groups in Castlebar and Belmullet, says: “We might think we need to be overly strict with ourselves when we’re losing weight – counting and measuring all our food and reducing portion sizes right down – but this type of restrictive approach ultimately leaves us feeling hungrier and more deprived.”
It’s OK to walk before you run!
If it’s your goal to get fitter, remember you don’t have to become a professional athlete to get active - just making a commitment to moving more all adds up. Many people make the mistake of joining a gym, overdoing it in week one and quickly giving up, thinking ‘exercise isn’t for me’. Finding an enjoyable, achievable, and sustainable way of building new active habits into your routine is key – anything that gets you moving more, from gardening or vigorous housework to brisk walking, dancing, cycling, or playing frisbee in the park, counts. What’s most important is making it a regular habit.
Mandy Killoran, who runs the groups in Ballina on Fridays and Saturdays, says “Our groups are packed with motivation and ideas on how to get more active, and we have a brand new online library of more than 50 activity videos to do at home, they are fabulous!"
Be kind to yourself
We all start January with great intentions, but it’s all too easy to go off track. A Slimming World survey of 1,700 slimmers showed that when they did have a slip up, being self-critical was more likely to lead to comfort eating and giving up completely, whereas when they were kinder to themselves (imagine how you’d talk to a friend who’s had a setback ), they more quickly got back to healthy eating, lost weight and they kept it off. So, cut yourself some slack!
Set a goal
It’s hard to achieve a goal if you don’t clearly set it out in the first place! When thinking about your dream weight, don’t be afraid to be ambitious. In fact, Sheila McLoughlin, who runs the groups in Claremorris, Swinford and Ballyhaunis, says: “Slimming World research found that slimmers who set ambitious targets lose twice as much weight as those who try to be ‘realistic."
Don’t opt for a quick fix
It’s no secret that many people find losing weight far easier than keeping it off long-term. To avoid becoming trapped in a yo-yo diet cycle, it’s important to approach weight loss as a permanent change to your lifestyle – and focus on developing new healthy habits that are sustainable for life. Slimming World research shows that the more groups that members attend, the more successful they are. Members are equipped with all the tools they need to stay slim for life, so that they can be confident that the changes they’re making are sustainable forever.
Strike a balance
An all-or-nothing approach is rarely effective when it comes to weight loss. Michelle Corbett, who runs the groups in Westport and Castlebar, says: “Restricting yourself when it comes to food and drink might work in the short-term, but pretty soon you’ll be fed up, hungry and giving up completely. A little bit of what you fancy is key! That might be a Saturday night glass of wine, or a bit of chocolate in the evenings. Whatever it is for you, having a flexible approach and a balanced mind-set is much more likely to deliver long-term success.”
You don’t have to go it alone
The principles of losing weight are quite simple, yet if it was that easy – we’d all be doing it! Studies show that embarking on your weight loss journey alongside other slimmers, brings more success than going it alone – sharing tips and advice, as well as the ups and downs, and celebrating success together.
Everyone is welcome to come along to our groups in Mayo.
To find out more about Slimming World Mayo, visit www.slimmingworld.ie, or contact your local Slimming World Consultant, (see details in the Slimming World advertisement in this paper ).