The NHS are taking the problem of obesity more seriously and now provide some pretty good weight loss tips on their website. Called “Lose Weight for Life” their page on weight loss provides some sensible eating and exercise tips that will help you drop a few pounds and start feeling healthy again.
The NHS have sought advice from some of the top scientists in the UK to provide additional information on how to lose weight. Dr. Mike Green from the psychology department at Aston University provides some good tips on how to overcome eating addictions:
“You’re trying to change attitudes to food that you’ve built up across a lifetime, including the idea that to lose weight, you need to suppress hunger. In fact, research has shown that the reason overweight people eat often has little to do with biological hunger. More often it depends on mood and habit, which means that ‘comfort eating’ can be sparked by stress, boredom or a desire for a reward. If dieters fail to deal with this, as soon as they stop dieting, the weight will go back on.”
So the first step in losing weight is to overcome comfort eating. We know that eating too much is the reason why people are overweight. Inactive people can be very skinny, so do not blame lack of exercise for being overweight!
A dietician who works for the British Dietetic Association explains why you should avoid the short term fad diets which generally involve starving yourself for a few weeks and then putting the weight back on:
“People who have struggled with their weight are more prone to the dangers of ‘all or nothing’ thinking. This means that if they eat a ‘bad’ food, or miss the gym a few times, they start to tell themselves that they’ve failed, and may as well give up. Changing this thinking is the key to success. If you follow a rigid weight-loss programme, the risk of ‘all or nothing thinking’ is greatly increased. That’s why fad diets usually fail. When the diet is broken, the dieter feels like a failure and gives up. Really it was the fad diet that was the failure.” Lyndel Costain, British Dietetic Association
The problem with fad diets is simple – they do not work. Think about it. In fact, let me tell you why they do not work by talking you through the steps that lead to weight gain, quick weight loss, and regaining weight:
- You spend years, or decades, eating the wrong foods and putting on weight. You have no interest in healthy eating or exercise which makes matters worse.
- You decide to lose weight, so pick a “fad diet” that promises fast results without you actually having to do anything.
- You lose a significant amount of weight by starving yourself. You feel terrible during the diet, but manage to convince yourself that it is the only way to lose weight.
- After several weeks you end the diet 10 pounds lighter. You immediately revert to your old lifestyle once again.
- Within 4 weeks you have put all the weight back on again.
This happens all the time. It is really exceptionally obvious that it will happen every time. You put on the weight in the first place because of your diet, so naturally when you go back to your old diet of eating too much bread and sugar you gain weight again.
The UK Government’s health and weight loss initiative is called Change4Life. This name was very carefully chosen – you need to make a CHANGE FOR LIFE to remain at a healthy weight. Every single person that you meet that is of a healthy weight simply eats only enough food to meet their daily requirements. This rule applies to every healthy person, without exception. None of them have ever needed to go on a short term crash diet to lose weight. They simply have never gained an excessive amount of weight.
“Always ask yourself: will your chosen approach help you recognize and change the behavior that has stopped you losing weight, and keeping it off, in the past?” Lyndel Costain, BDA.
To lose weight and keep it off in the long term you need to change your daily eating habits to ensure that you never eat more than you need. To do this you need to make a permanent change to the way you think about food, to your relationship with food and you need to get active too, start exercising.
Join a Weight Loss Group
Studies have shown that people who join weight loss groups lose more weight. Being in a group allows you to share experiences, get support and become more motivated. Groups provide positive peer pressure, which means that you will make an extra effort to lose weight as you do not want to be the failure in the team.
You can learn more about the NHS’s weight loss and health initiative on their dedicated Change4Life website: www.nhs.uk/change4life/
Get Active – Do Some Exercise
The advice from the NHS is simply to get active. They provide a series of articles on how to get more active with activities such as:
- Jogging / Running
- Racket Sports
Recommendation for better health: Learn more about the NHS Exercise referral scheme for weight loss and how it can help you lose weight and get fit.
As well as the NHS there are many other groups that provide support and guidance. Motley Health has pages dedicated to weight loss and fitness, and they also give free fitness advice through the website.
Exercise Needs to Make You Sweat
For exercise to work, i.e. get you fit and help you to lose weight, it must be intense enough to make you sweat. If you are performing gentle exercise each day that does not see you break sweat you are probably not going to lose a significant amount of weight or get much fitter.
The recommended amount of exercise is 30 minutes per day for 5 days a week.
This is the workout that was followed by Jason Statham to lose weight.
- Do a 10 minute cardio warm up, increasing intensity after 5 minute so that you work your heart and lungs well and get thoroughly warmed up
- Do 10 minutes of intensive weight training – this involves performing big compound weight training exercises like the squat, bench press, deadlift, shoulder press, bent over row, pull up and dips.
- Do 15 minutes of circuit training, with jumping jacks, push ups, crunches, leg raises, hanging leg raises, medicine ball throws, sprints, burpees, lunges and a variety of other exercises that combine muscular endurance and fitness.
So this workout will actually last about 35 minutes and will include a warm up, some weight training and intensive circuit training. The perfect workout to help you lose weight and get a flat stomach.