How do I lose weight without dieting?
This week I thought I’d share my advice for how to lose weight without dieting, because far too many people think that ‘going on a diet’ is the only way.
But dieting makes it worse long-term.
Before I share my step-by-step guide, let’s get clear on a few things… Firstly, remember that you never NEED to lose weight. It doesn’t matter what anyone else tells you, what you do is up to you.
Your worth as a human being, is NOT tied to that number on the scales.
The number one priority should always be about how you feel. What are your goals in life? Can you achieve those goals? How does your health factor into that? Are your eating & exercising habits helping you or hindering you?
This isn’t about aiming for some mythical perfect body or size. If that’s what you’re after and you don’t care how you do it or what it costs you (in terms of your health I mean!) – then this really isn’t the place for you!
If however you want to break-free from the cycle of yo-yo dieting and build healthy habits for life then keep reading…
I’m going to take you step-by-step through what I cover with my clients in one of my ‘Kick-Start’ 1-2-1 sessions.
This guide really is the best place to start if you’re sick & tired of yo-yo dieting leaving you bigger than when you started.
Grab a pen if you’re a fan of journaling. And a cuppa of course…
Step 1 – get clear on where you want to be
Ask yourself what is your target, what are you aiming for?
Maybe it’s not about losing an amount of weight or getting back into your favourite outfit. It could be about reaching a certain level of fitness or having healthier eating habits.
The key thing is to make sure it’s specific and clear enough so you can tell when you’ve achieved it.
The way to check this is by asking yourself, how will you know when you’ve got there? If you were to write down your goal & put a tick-box next to it, would you know when you can tick that box?
So for example if you want to eat better, maybe you could pinpoint a particular healthy habit. Like eating breakfast at least 5 times per week.
Say you want to be ‘more flexible’ or you need to ‘get fitter’ – these are both a bit vague, get more specific. Do you want to be able to touch your toes or do the splits? Or getting fitter could mean being able to run a mile without stopping or walk up a certain hill in one go?
Step 2 – know why your goals are important to you
People tell me all the time that they want to lose weight, but when I ask them, they’re not really sure why. They often have a goal that someone else has given them like a health professional has told them what their ‘ideal’ weight is. Or they’ve spent their whole lives thinking they should be a certain size because that’s what the magazines say.
Forget other people’s goals, it has to be meaningful to you or you’ll always struggle.
I ask my clients how important their goal is to them on a scale of 1-10. Then I ask them why they picked that number. Reflecting on this helps them come up with a list of their reasons for changing. Once you have a list of reasons why you want to achieve something, you can use this to help drive you.
The more reasons you have on your list, the more it will help you.
Don’t have any reasons to change? Maybe you need to pick a different target…
Don’t really want to change? That’s ok, it’s your life!
Step 3 – be clear on what you need to change
Ask yourself what you’re struggling with. What is getting in the way of you achieving your goal?
Before you can make changes to your habits, you need to know what your current habits are. You could try keeping a record of your eating habits or how often you move each day. Then look back at the end of the week to pinpoint what could be changed.
Look at your eating habits and check that you’re eating regular meals each day starting with breakfast. Are your meals balanced? Do you eat enough fruit & veg and drink enough fluid? Making a note of the improvements that can be made will help you to get started.
Not sure what a normal healthy balanced diet is, after a life time of yo-yo dieting? Check out my free ‘Healthy Eating Explained’ course to get back to the basics – it CAN include the cake & chocolate, yay!
Step 4 – just tweak it!
You might think you need to change it all… After watching my free course and comparing it to what you’re doing, you may have a whole list of changes you could make. Or maybe you already know what habits you want to build, but every time you’ve tried to do it before you just can’t keep it up.
Don’t panic, you don’t have to change everything. You don’t have to do it all perfectly. This is where so many people stumble. They think that they have to get healthy eating ‘just right’. They try to change everything or follow a plan exactly. It’s too drastic.
Just take the first step.
Ask yourself what feels easiest to do, but would make the biggest difference? That’s the place to start.
When I’m working with 1-2-1 clients we set an action plan of just a couple of changes that they’re going to focus on – usually a maximum of 3 tweaks.
So for example it could be that you decide you’re going to start by having breakfast at least 4 times each week. Or maybe you’re going to aim to include a portion of fruit or veg at each meal, to start building up towards having at least 5 handfuls each day.
Once you have an idea of what your first steps are, ask yourself – does it feel easy? What might get in the way? How could you overcome that?
Remember it takes time to build new habits. You have to keep practicing and persevering, but eventually it gets easier. Then when you’ve nailed the first habit or two, move onto the next one… if you want to. Take it step by step.
What’s your first step?
Need help to ditch dieting forever? Want to eat normally again AND lose weight healthily ..? While still enjoying the cake & chocolate? Hell yes!
I can help you ditch dieting forever, either with my 1-2-1 support. Or if you prefer to work independently, you can learn all the skills I teach my 1-2-1 clients, on my ‘No More Diets’ online course.
My Weekly Round-up! AKA; what I’ve been up to recently…
- The tea of the week this week has been English Breakfast, alternated with Vanilla Chai tea (I love it pretty milky!).
- I went to an in-person event at the end of last week!!!! It was a talk about vampires in modern culture at the library as part of Shrewsbury Lit Fest. I love vampires so the book by Violet Fenn is definitely on my wish list now!
- Sadly didn’t get a chance to check out any of the other Shrewsbury Lit Fest events, or do anything really for the rest of the weekend! Genevieve was poorly, starting with conjunctivitis that needed eye-drops, then she had a cough so we had to take her for a covid test… neither of those things go down well with a 6 year old! Luckily the test came back negative, but we had to wait in for a few days before the results came through.
- So my bird nerd update is a bit lacking this week as I’ve barely been out for any walks. I did see a buzzard yesterday though. Then today I saw a load of tree-creepers and nuthatches up one tree and a grey wagtail flitting around on the brook.
- It was super windy over the weekend, loads of trees have broken branches down by the brook. In one place it looks like beavers are back in the UK… I’m pretty sure it’s just the wind though – shame!
- The daily walks & mini-work-outs slipped at the start of this week due to Genevieve being off school. But I’m back on it and it was so good to get out after 3 days stuck indoors. The blue skies, fresh air and tweeting birds always make me feel happier.
- I was really excited to get my Goal Getter workbooks by Leonie Dawson (yes I am a super-fan with an affiliate link!). This is the first time I’ve tried these books and I’ve already filled in a big chunk of the life one. They’re so pretty and inspiring.