1. Forget dieting:
You'll probably end up heavier than when you started
2. Be clear about why you want to lose weight:
Losing weight, and keeping the weight off, is not easy. To be successful, losing weight needs to be a top priority; you need to want to do it for you and not for someone else
3. Gradual weight loss is the best way:
There is no "quick fix" when it comes to losing weight. You want to lose your excess fat and the only way to do this is to lose around 1/2kg (1lb) per week
4. Be realistic about how much weight you can lose:
You may want to be several stones lighter but if you set too big a target you'll end up feeling a failure when you don't achieve it. Most people don't keep losing weight for more than 4 - 6 months so never aim to lose more than 6 - 12kg (13 - 26lbs) at a time
5. Before you start find out about your own eating habits and activity:
WHY you eat (Is it only to satisfy hunger?)
WHEN you eat (Do you have regular meals?)
WHERE you eat (Do you always sit down?)
HOW you eat (Do you eat quickly?)
WHO you eat with (Do you eat more when you are eating alone or with others?)
WHAT you eat (Are you eating as healthily as you could be?)
How active are you; During the week? At weekends?
You can answer these questions by keeping food and activity diaries
6. Keep making small changes over time to your eating that will last for life:
The aim is to eat more healthily for your body's needs but not to cut anything right out. You should be able to eat any foods you like but will need to limit the ones that are high in fat and/or sugar. You may also need to limit alcohol
7. Be more active:
Being more active doesn't mean joining a gym. Walking more is a good starting point but if you are not very active build up slowly
8. Find someone to help and support you:
This could be a member of your family or a close friend. You want positive support to keep you going, especially when you're finding it tough, not nagging!
9. Stay positive:
If you have a bad day, or are going through a bad patch, don't feel that all your hard work has gone to waste; get back on track as soon as possible. Learn from it and move on.Plan ahead if you can to help you cope with difficult situations, and don't be too hard on yourself. Bad days are normal; everyone has them. It will help if you are flexible in your thinking; "I will try to ....." rather than "I must ..........."
10. Plan to keep your weight steady once your weight loss has slowed or reached a plateau:
To prevent regaining all the weight you've spent time and effort losing it's a good idea to spend 4 - 6 months actively staying around the same weight (weight maintenance). You can then decide whether to attempt to lose more weight.