Tips to Lose Weight
By Shauna Reid, aka Dietgirl
In 2001, Shauna Reid was a size 26 and weighed 25 stone. After six years of healthy diet and exercise, she is literally half the woman she used to be. Today she shares her 20 best tips to lose weight successfully.
- Begin with the big picture. Write down your goals and be specific. What do you want to change? Where do you want to be a year from now?
- Then focus on the details. Every day we make dozens of tiny decisions that can spell the difference between whether we lose weight or gain. Do you pick the muesli for breakfast or the chocolate muffin? Do you spend twenty minutes on the couch or twenty minutes on a brisk walk? Small changes can add up to huge results.
- Start exercising no matter what your fitness level. At 25 stone I could only shuffle to the end of the street, but I gradually built up to the whole block. Within a couple of years I was running!
- Eat breakfast. A wholesome breakfast makes me feel smug, satisfied and determined to stay on track all day. My favourite is porridge, livened up with grated apple and cinnamon, or chopped banana and teaspoon of peanut butter.
- Be kind to yourself and your body. You don’t have to look in the mirror and chant, “I love me! I am beautiful!” but at the same time yelling at your thighs won’t encourage your weight loss efforts.
- Make your treats miniature. Instead of banning puddings, I choose smaller portions – like an apple crumble baked in a ramekin dish or a small bar of Green and Blacks chocolate. I get my sugar hit without dangerous leftovers!
- Lift weights. It won’t make you bigger – it’ll make you svelte and strong! If you’re worried about loose skin, resistance training is the best thing you can do to tone your body as you lose weight.
- Planning is crucial. Every Saturday I take ten minutes to plan our meals for the coming week. I choose from a list of 25 easy, tried-and-true recipes, so it’s quicker to cook than phone for a takeaway.
- Buy your groceries online. It saves time and you’re not tempted by all the sights and smells of the supermarket. Or tortured by your screaming children.
- Feel your emotions, don’t feed them. In times of stress it’s tempting to bury your feelings in cake – better to feel bad about binging than tackle the real issue! But try to find non-edible ways of coping – I highly recommend kickboxing classes.
- Go Greek. If you’re a cream or sour cream fiend, 0% or 2% Greek yogurt is an excellent substitute. Dollop into meringue nests and top with fresh fruit. Splodge onto a bowl of chilli. Swirl into butternut squash soup.
- The best exercise is the one you enjoy. So what if your best friend swears by aerobics at dawn? If you’re a shift worker or just plain grumpy in the morning, this will never suit you. Choose an exercise you like and do it when it’s most convenient for you – this way you’ll stick with it.
- Stock your office pantry. I can ignore the vending machine when I’ve got half an orchard sitting on my desk and a drawer full of oatcakes, nuts and seeds.
- Have a cuppa. When hunger strikes and it’s not meal time, I make a cup of tea. This gives me time to figure out if I’m really hungry or if I’m just bored or cranky. Herbal tea is great – experiment until you find one that doesn’t taste like grass clippings!
- Have a moan. Losing weight isn’t easy, but you don’t have to feel alone in the struggle. Start a blog or speak up on the WLR forums. Remember, we’re all in this lardy boat together!
- Put the scales in perspective. Don’t fret over small fluctuations – focus on all the healthy things you’ve been doing for your body. Get out the tape measure or have a pair of “measurement jeans”, so you’re not dependent on the scales for feedback.
- Be adaptable. Make your plans to lose weight fit around your life, not the other way around. Sometimes circumstances will change – a new job, a family crisis, moving house – and suddenly your usual routine doesn’t work. The trick is to be flexible and know when it’s time to tweak your methods.
- Set a non-scale goal. Why not train for a charity 5k race or challenge yourself to do ten push-ups? Focusing on fitness means I don’t fret about the numbers so much. And all those endorphins make me feel less inclined to go on a chocolate bender.
- Accept that sometimes it’s going to suck. Despite your best intentions, there will be days when you fall into a bag of crisps. But long-term success is about persistence, not perfection. It’s picking yourself up when you fall, over and over again.
- Don’t wait to be “skinny” to start living your life. If you have dreams of travelling or writing a book or learning to scuba dive, don’t think you need a smaller bum before you deserve them. Your life is happening right now – so forget about your wobbly bits and jump right in.
About Shauna Reid (aka Dietgirl)
Shauna has been a member of WLR since 2005 when the site helped her lose weight and slim into her wedding dress. You can read more about Shauna's amazing weight loss in her Dietgirl Blog
Shauna also writes a monthly blog for WLR. Take a look at the story of her journey into maintenance:
After The After Photo
Coping with Christmas
How to Dress
Practice What You Preach