6 WEEK WEIGHT REDUCTION PROGRAMME

Start the weight reduction programme on the diary date you have chosen, and keep exercising regularly throughout the six week period. Remember successfully losing weight requires combining both eating less and being more active.

Weigh yourself on your diary a start date, and record both your weight and waist and measurements on that day. Also diary to measure your weight on a weekly basis for the next six weeks.

Have a target of 4 to 5 kg for the six weeks (nb do not do ‘crash diets’!), and regularly remind everyone (family, friends and neighbours) what you are doing to lose weight and enlist their support. Use their help for encouragement and to stay committed.

MEASURING (plus Recording, and Calculating):

Like taking on ‘flat pack’ home furniture assembly, before you start you need to make sure you have the right tools, and that you follow the instructions. It is the same for losing weight, but thankfully the instructions are quite simple. All you need is:

a.) Bathroom scales. Weigh yourself today and write it down.

Now diary to repeat this on a weekly basis for the next six weeks

b.) Tape measure. Measure and record your waist size

– at belly button level

– at hips (at widest part of buttocks)

Ask “Do I need to lose weight?” Answer this by checking the following measurements. The  waist to hip ratio compares your size at belly button/ your size at widest part of buttocks. This calculation gives a very reliable measure of whether you are overweight:

– Quick calculation: Waist (at belly button)  37” inches / 104 cm or over = “Yes I need to lose weight!”

– Waist to Hip Ratio calculation Waist to hip ratio 0.95 or over = “Yes I need to lose weight!”

If you want help doing the calculation, there are several quick online calculators you can enter your data into:

 www.healthcalculators.org/calculators/waist_hip.asp (or) www.bbc.co.uk/health/tools/hip_to_waist/hip_to_waist.shtml.

 TOOLKITS: Check out the Weightloss Planning Toolkit, Healthy Eating Toolkit, and follow the ‘5 A DAY’ Toolkit fruit and vegetable programme. You will lose weight steadily if you eat a little less than you are used to, and systematically cut out all the following foods for the six weeks:

  • All dairy except for fat free milk and yoghurts.
  • All biscuits, cakes, puddings, chocolate, nuts and fatty snacks.
  •  All alcohol for the six weeks (you will feel much better for the break)

If you are hungry between meals eat fruit (and dried fruit) for snacks. If there is time, keep a food diary recording your main meals and other food and drink intake. Being honest and scrupulous about the foods you can and cannot eat over the six week is vital.

As well as being careful with what you eat you need to think about mealtimes, and your eating and drinking habits:

  • Eat regular meals. This is very important. Aim to have 20% of your daily food at breakfast, 50% at lunch, and 20% at dinner. This leaves 10% extra – fit this in where and whenever you usually feel hungry!
  • Experiment consciously having smaller helpings for each meal. If you get used to eating less at each meal, it can become a new habit, which will help keep your weight down on an ongoing basis.
  • Drink plenty of water. Avoid all sweet or sugared drinks, but have a bottle of  (room temperature) water with you at all times. Thirst can mimic hunger, especially when there is the desire to snack between meals, so always keep well hydrated.

Review the programme weekly. This means measuring yourself on the bathroom scales on the planned weekly date in your diary. Your aim is to achieve c 0.5 – 1.0 kg loss / week. Do not expect your weight loss to be even; some weeks will show more, some less. Always be kind and caring to yourselves about your progress (or lack of it) and try not to get discouraged if you have a bad week. Refer back to the list of weight loss reasons you wrote down, reminding yourself what you are trying to do. Stay committed and keep going!

At the end of the six weeks repeat the Waist to Hip Ratio calculation, measuring your waist and hip measurement, and calculating the ratio. You now need to consciously decide what to do next. If you want to continue losing weight at this point, then a final target of losing between 5 and 10kg altogether is a very good target. Good Luck!