Feel like you are constantly undertaking a new diet regime in the hope that it will lead to lasting weight loss? A diet not seeming to work for you, despite it working for your friend? Tried everything but it never lasts? Perhaps you haven’t found the right weight loss strategy for you!
When it comes to lasting weight loss, everyone is different. Take me for example. I have a rebel brain. If I ban a certain food it becomes all I think about (hello sugar!). I will be able to hold off for a couple of days, and then my inner voice will start telling me ‘why are you doing this? You don’t have to do this. Sugar makes you happy. Screw the rules. Eat the sugar!’. And then I eat sugar. Lots of it. However, if I take a day by day approach, trying to eliminate the food, JUST FOR THE DAY, or minimise consumption, then I manage a lot easier.
After reading a great book, Mini Habits for Weight Loss, by Stephen Guise, I realised there are different strategies you can undertake that will help you see the results you want. And what’s more, by choosing the strategy that suits your personality type, you are taking full control of your eating plan, and doing something that will actually work for you to achieve lasting weight loss. This is your BATTLE PLAN! The key to victory, and keeping high morale, is that the execution of your goal is your choice.
Guise makes a clear point in the book – the end goal is not the strategy. My goal is to give up added sugar. But the strategy is not necessarily ‘give up added sugar’. Take a look at the list of lasting weight loss tips below and see what you think! And if you’re not clear on your goal, check out my blog on setting the right intention.
Here I outline the 8 main strategies for lasting weight loss (and there are more – if I’ve missed something you do then add it in the comments below!). I’m using my example of trying to give up sugar.
- Stop eating added sugar completely – Direct Resistance Strategy
- Gradually decrease amount eaten until no longer eating any – Weaning Off Strategy
- Stop buying products with sugar in – starve the source, change your environment. This includes when you are out at restaurants, encouraged by friends, at the cinema etc! – Starve the Source Strategy
- Create a consequence for eating sugar, for example if you eat it you have to do 20 minutes of treadmill intervals/put £10 in your sugar jar – Negative Reinforcement Strategy
- Choose a comparably enjoyable replacement, for example every time you want a sugary snack you eat a date – Substitution Strategy
- Delay the eating of sugar. Every time you get a craving, set a stop watch for ten minutes and see if you still want it. This establishes control, reduces temptation and waits out the craving – Wait It Out Strategy
- Every time you get a craving make yourself a cup of green tea and allow yourself five minutes on social media, or some other form of enjoyable distraction – Distraction and Positive Reinforcement Strategy
- Drink a full glass of water before every sugary snack – Healthy Obstacle and Semi Substitute Strategy
These strategies to lasting weight loss are about changing in-built habits, and will take time to relearn. But if you sway slightly from your strategy, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed. If you were teaching a child to ride a bike and they fell off, would you tell them they’ve failed and they will never ride a bike, or would you tell them to immediately get back up, get on the bike and try again? (Hopefully the latter, otherwise you are mean!). It’s the same for us, and aligning with our strategy. We may not always follow it to the letter, but as soon as we deviate we recognise this, and then get back on track.
As Stephen says in his book – ‘Your strategy, not your desire, determines your success or failure.’
Planning always helps me stick with my intentions, so if you want to get super organised and know exactly what you’re going to eat in order to stick to your strategy then check out my guide to meal planning. The blog includes a free printable to help you plan.
Get good at your strategy, and you will soon find yourself reaching your goal without even realising, and achieving lasting weight loss.
Be sure to comment your strategy of choice, or one I may have missed. And good luck achieving lasting weight loss!