We get the skinny from Eating and Behavioural Therapist James Lamper on how to get into the right mindset to lose those extra pounds! Beach body, here we come...
1/ BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
It doesn’t matter if you’ve tried and failed before – negative thinking won’t help you. ‘You need to believe that you are capable of changing your thoughts and behaviour,’ says Lamper. ‘Believe that you can and will lose weight!’
How: Lamper suggests setting an alarm on your phone so that positive messages pop up at times when you’re vulnerable to eating junk food. Check our our favourite motivational mantras for some inspiration!
2/ GET MINDFUL
‘Focus on the here and now when you eat,’ says Lamper. That means really paying attention to the taste and texture of your food and the pleasure you get from eating.
How: At every meal (even a quick snack!), make sure you turn off your TV, phone and computer and tune into your food experience (sorry, the next episode of Orange is the New Black will just have to wait). Also, put down your cutlery between every mouthful - this literally forces you to slow down your eating.
3/ CHALLENGE TOXIC THINKING
It’s normal to relapse and have moments of weakness when dieting, but don’t let these moments ruin all your hard work. Instead, try to think about why you’re having these thoughts. Next time you start reaching for the biscuit tin, catch yourself mid-unhelpful thought and replace it with a more helpful soundbite, advises Lamper.
How: For example, instead of, ‘Oh go on, I deserve this,’ say to yourself: ‘I’m full, but I want to reward myself - how else can I nurture myself right now?' Then treat yourself in a non-food way. Massage, anyone?
4/ TRACK YOUR JOURNEY
Not only is it easy to forget those extra calories you’re mindlessly consuming (milk in your tea, handful of nuts at the bar, a bite of your friend’s dinner – you know the drill), but it’s just as easy to lose track of how what you’re feeling affects what you eat. Always reach for a sugary snack before your boyfriend's mum comes round? Yep, that'll be stress eating. ‘Track your eating, feelings, successes and challenges’, says Lamper. ‘This will help you recognise patterns and how to avoid them, plus keep you focused.’ Focus = dieting success!
How: It may sound boring to track your life, but with the help from nifty apps like Evernote, it's surprisingly easy. Check out more health and fitness apps to help you get the results you want.
5/ SLOW DOWN
OK, time to get real. There is no fast-track to weight loss – at least not if you want long-term results. ‘Dump the magical thinking of instant weight loss, says Lamper. ‘If you want to be slim, then knuckle down for a lifestyle and mindset overhaul.’
How: 'Mark a date in your diary in six months time and put down a realistic target weight. Next, list all the ways you want to change your life and thinking. Now you've got a plan for a total life overhaul, that includes weight loss.'