Yep, It’s that time of year again. The Christmas festivities are over and the New Year revelry is about to begin. AND you know what else is just warming up? Yes, those guilt ridden weight loss adverts “suggesting” you join an expensive weight loss programme (food not included!!).

Well kick them to the curb and take your bulge in your own hands. You don’t need fancy programmes or quick quackery diet tips to succeed. What you do need, if you are serious about losing a bulge or two, is basic food education, some knowledge on the relationship of food and a healthy lifestyle and a smidgen of self motivation! If the smidgen of motivation is hard to come by, check your Doctors latest opinion or your mirror.

You can’t wish that spare tyre away but you can educate yourself on the simple steps to a healthier lifestyle. Lifestyle changes are a process that takes time and a matter of being aware. Change one behaviour at a time. Unhealthy behaviours develop over the course of time, so replacing unhealthy behaviours with healthy ones requires time. The recipe is simple. Focus on a realistic goal. Make one behaviour you wish to change the hero of the dish. Add in some light food label reading. Mix in some simple exercises. Simmer in a sensible time frame and then you will have cooked up a successful lifestyle change.

The key is to START SMALL and SMART. As a first off, the biggest and best small change to make is the removal of ADDED SUGAR from your diet. Try this one simple change to kick off a positive change in your life. Be warned though, it is one of the hardest to make!

First step: You need data to work with so initially, write down EVERYTHING you put in your mouth, from the medium steak at dinner, to that teaspoon of sugar in your coffee. No need to weigh and record size. Just note the food stuffs and become aware of what you are eating. Do not cheat!

Second step: After you’ve identified the food, work out the items that have a lot of added sugar. Check out the list in the image at the top. You might be surprised to find that just about everything you eat has a component of sugar – after all it is our body’s preferred energy source and addictive but totally void of nutrition. It is these added sugars that needs to be junked. Determine which are “unessential” and CUT these OUT of your diet, or substitute the added sugar with an alternative. Say, for example, Stevia in your coffee rather than 3 teaspoons of sugar. If that seems rather drastic, just cross off 3 or 4 and reassess in a weeks time. For that little bit of extra motivation, keep in mind that it takes around 15 minutes of “exercise” to burn a teaspoon of sugar – that’s about 90 min of movement for each can of pop drunk!  

That’s it. No other changes needed at this time. Still have those Big Macs but skip the sugary drinks and replace them with a bottle of water. Once you have nailed this, step it up with other ideas from The Non-Obsessive Way of Eating blog for more tips.

Making the changes that you want takes time and commitment, but you can do it. Just remember that no one is perfect. You will have occasional lapses. Be kind to yourself.