Plan & track basics

When trying to lose weight, people focus on one thing: the pounds or
kilograms lost. But you can be more successful if you focus on dietary
and exercise changes
that will lead to keeping the weight off.

  • Being prepared for this lifestyle change and in the right frame of mind
    will mean you'll start off on the right foot.
  • Planning your meals and physical activity will help you with those lifestyle
    changes.
  • Tracking your progress can be very encouraging and will keep you motivated

Changing behaviours

You've lost weight in the past but put it back on. Remember how disappointed you felt?

To really tackle your weight:

  • look at what food and activity behaviours have led to your weight gain, and
  • set the right goals for you to achieve weight loss and to maintain it.

Every person's behaviour is different. Carrying out these 4 exercises will help you set goals that are right for you:

  1. Keep a food and activity diary: they'll show you patterns in your eating habits and activities that may be unhealthy.

    Learn more about keeping a diary

  2. Become aware of your food triggers: for example, every time you have a cup of tea, do you also eat two chocolate biscuits?

    Understanding your food triggers  |   How to tackle your food triggers

  3. Get support from friends and family: could the people around you join you on a brisk walk? Would a friend join a weight loss group with you?

    How to build a support network

  4. Think about your obstacles to losing weight: what caused you to fail at previous attempts?

    How to uncover unhealthy habits

Understanding your food triggers

We all have different habits that can lead us to become overweight. Find out what triggers you to eat more or exercise less. Spot your habits, good and bad ones. Then begin to work on changing the bad habits and reinforcing the good ones.

Don't let habits prevent you from making progress. Fill in your food diary and your activity diary for a week and then:

Focus on the times you've eaten unhealthily or too much

  • What types of food were they?
  • Were you hungry?
  • Where were you and who were you with?
  • Your thoughts at the time

Examples of food triggers can be:

  • treating yourself to biscuits with tea
  • getting take-aways when you're too tired to cook
  • nibbling on snacks if you're bored, upset or even watching TV

Look at the healthier times you had

  • What did you do differently?
  • What did you have to eat?
  • How did you feel afterwards?

How to tackle your food triggers

Are you ready to lose weight?

Getting to your healthy weight depends on being ready to make changes that suit a healthy lifestyle! Think about these questions to get yourself ready to change.

  1. Are you ready to make changes to your diet and physical activity levels in the long term? Getting to and staying at a healthy weight is a life-long process, with life-long benefits.
  2. Are you ready and able to become more physically active? You must increase your level of physical activity and stay more physically active.
  3. Do you believe that you can change your eating habits? It's easy in theory but in practice it can take determination.
  4. Is this a fairly relaxed time in your life? Are you under unusual levels of stress from illness, work, a relationship or whatever? This can stop you from fully committing.
  5. Do you understand how your weight and health are linked? Knowing about what you will get out of being a healthy weight will encourage you.
  6. Are your weight loss goals realistic? If you are overweight, losing one to two lbs each week is a great success. Losing a tenth of your overall weight can bring significant health benefits. Set realistic food and exercise goals.
  7. Can you keep track of your food intake and physical activity? Keeping records can increase your chances of success.
  8. Do you have family and friends who will support you to get healthier? Having peer support and encouragement is a great help - friends, family or a weight loss support group can really motivate you.
  9. Can you make a healthy weight programme part of your life, even at work? Can you take a brisk walk during lunch or bring healthy home-made lunches or snacks?
  10. Have you chosen a time to start your healthy weight programme? Pick a time when you will be ready to start with this new healthy lifestyle, and then go for it!