Britain is far from healthy. In fact, one in four Britons are classified as obese, but I think it is safe to say we are all painfully aware of the problem; a survey recently reported that women will go on twice as many diets in their lifetime than they will have lovers. But why aren't these diets working? What exactly is stopping us from losing weight?
We spend millions each year on weight loss-related fads but they never seem to last long. Our motivation wanes quickly, so now regular gym-goers represent only a small minority of the nation's demographic. Your average gym-goer is:
• 60% more likely to be 25-34
• 24% more likely to work full-time
• Most likely to work within the financial sector
• 83% more likely to wear designer clothes
So how do those of us who aren't gym bunnies maintain the drive to live healthily?
The most important starting point to any weight loss journey is to gain the necessary energy to sustain your willpower. The brain may take up a mere 2% of the body's total weight but it uses 20% of the body's energy, so to help you focus you will need to eat more - but more of the right foods.
You may have noticed feeling sluggish after eating junk food despite the huge amount of energy-giving calories in the meal. This indicates it is not the amount of fuel you take in that matters, but the quality. For instance, too much sugar in your diet causes sudden energy surges and crashes that can lead to fatigue, irritability, dizziness, insomnia, poor concentration, digestive disturbances and much more.
Therefore, in order to be in the right frame of mind for losing weight, your body will require slow-releasing energy that can only be obtained from fruits, vegetables, protein-rich foods, dairy-rich foods and small portions of complex carbohydrates. The right balance will help you to lose weight, sustain that weight loss and will generally keep you feeling positive.
Once you have suitable energy levels, the next obstacle is to familiarise yourself with a healthier lifestyle before the novelty wears off! A routine should be established in order for you to view the new diet as a permanent fixture rather than an inconvenience. A great way to start is to have the support of others going through the same experience. With a weight loss community you will be able to learn from others as well as have much needed encouragement when you start to miss your old habits.
A community of like-minded people can also provide inspiration to forge short-term and long-term goals. You should create clear objectives, not just to 'lose weight' or 'be healthy' but realistic and attainable achievements such as 'lose 14lbs', 'run 5k in 40 minutes' or 'lose three inches from my stomach'.
Rewards are another integral part of the process as feeling like you're being continuously punished will make you want more 'treat days'. Find a form of exercise you enjoy as not only will you be more likely to keep it up but it is proven that people eat 35% less food after a fun workout! Also reward yourself when reaching particular goals with new clothes or maybe a trip out.
Ultimately, the foundations for successful weight loss include high energy levels, a solid routine, support, goals and rewards. However, if you are still struggling to control your weight and feel you need additional support there is the Alevere therapy programme available at Courthouse Clinics. Alevere is a doctor-led weight loss programme consisting of a medically-devised diet, two weekly treatments to break down stubborn fat and tighten your skin and continual support and advice from a qualified doctor. This is a rapid weight loss programme and you will not be able to achieve the same results safely any other way.
No matter how you decide to lose weight, remember that it is never too late to work towards a healthier lifestyle!