Tip 1: Think Slim
People who are overweight tend to imagine how food is going to taste and feel as they eat. In contrast, people who naturally ‘eat slim’ tend to imagine how that pie or cake will feel heavy in their stomachs for so long after they've eaten it.
Jumping from a great height might feel fun whilst it lasts, but the consequences that come after we hit the ground are what we consider when deciding not to do it.
So when you’re tempted to eat something you don’t need, practice imagining how your stomach is going to feel ten minutes or an hour after you've consumed that weight-increasing food. Keep it up until this becomes a natural habit for you.
Tip 2: Surround Yourself with Slim People
No, I'm not suggesting you dump all your less-than-slender friends. But research has shown that the average body type of the people with whom you hang out affects your weight and size (1). Start hanging around with slimmer, fitter types (perhaps at the gym) and your subconscious mind will pick up a new template for what is ‘normal’.
Tip 3: Be Fair to Yourself
Imagine someone walks up a hundred steps but feels a bit tired, so they stop and step back down one step. They tell you bitterly: “Now I may as well forget this whole idea of reaching the top! I've totally blown it!”
What?! You’d think that was crazy, right? Acting as if all that progress, the 99 steps they did climb, never happened, because they had one slip! But people do this all the time when it comes to weight loss.
You lose weight, maybe four or five pounds, maybe much more. But you slip, have a bad day or a ‘weak moment’, and eat something you shouldn't have. And what do you tell yourself? “I've completely blown it! Now I might as well really binge!”
Beware the perfectionism trap. Aim to eat sensibly and healthily most of the time, not all the time. We all consume more than we should of the wrong kind of food or drink now and then.
Everyone’s weight fluctuates a bit and you should prepare for this (once you've reached a healthy weight). Have a ‘sliding scale’ in your mind of a couple of pounds on either side of your target weight.
Tip 4: Weight Loss is Not a Cure-all
However, even as a slimmer person you’ll still have a bad day in the office, moments of self-doubt, or times when you feel undervalued.
Many people feel let down when they become slimmer and then find that being slim doesn't solve all their problems in one go. They then revert to eating poorly again. Don’t fall into this trap.
You have lots of different needs which need to be fulfilled in life. Being slimmer, healthier, and fitter is just one of them.