Now is the time for you to decide if you really have the motivation to lose weight. It is a well proven researched fact that you are far more likely to succeed if what is called your ‘intrinsic motivation’ is clear to you. I suggest sitting down with a piece of blank paper and a pencil, and taking some time to write down all the reasons you want to lose weight. This will help you see for yourself the benefits that you want to gain from losing weight, and support you to make the commitment. Ask yourself some searching questions:
- What do you think the results of losing weight will be?
- How much do you genuinely value achieving these results?
- How do you feel about losing weight (confident, embarrassed, anxious, determined)?
- What do other people think about your idea of losing weight, and what influence do they have on you?
- How easy do you think it will be to actually carry out a six week Losing Weight programme at this time?
- How much control do you have over your life at the moment, and how likely is it that you will be able to stick to the programme?
Whatever your actual weight and however overweight you are, having realistic goals which aim to lose 4 to 5kg is a good initial target for weight loss. You might need to lose more than this eventually, but losing 5 kg altogether will begin to reduce your health risks, as well as make a huge difference to your well-being and quality of life.
When you are clear about your motivation and definitely decided that you do want to lose weight, you next need to look at your diary and plan out a six week period. Don’t pick a period when you are traveling or going on holiday, or are likely to be horribly stressed. Try and find a relatively quiet period when you are going to be at home, and can be supported and encouraged by family and friends.
It is important to be aware that to lose weight effectively, you need to combine eating less with increasing your metabolism through taking physical exercise. Refer to the WELLBEING Physical Exercise Toolkit. As well as make changes to your diet you need to build up to doing do more than 150 minutes ‘moderate intensity physical activity’ a week (see the WELLBEING Walking Toolkit; between 200 and 300 minutes a week is the goal).