If you read my post back in January, you’ll know that one of my non-resolutions was to lose weight and get fit. And, in true, ‘who-keeps-resolutions-anyway’ style, the weight loss is not going well. I have come to the conclusion that my willpower is non-existent and, despite feeling absolutely gross and disgusted with myself right now, I can’t stop putting biscuits in my mouth. And crisps. And cake. And more biscuits….

I was good at losing weight, once upon a time. I joined a slimming club, learnt the rules and stuck to them 100%, losing 4.5 stones in 7 months. I felt great, I was healthier, I had to buy a whole new wardrobe. Then I had another baby. And life since then has been, well, pretty up and down! I have had some tough times emotionally over the last few years and, when I’m emotional, I eat.

weight loss slimming world
The incredible shrinking woman!

But, that’s 5 years of emotional poor-eating. And it needs to stop. I am utterly ashamed. I know what I need to do, but I keep making excuses for not being able to: fruit and veg is too expensive to buy lots of; Small has sensory issues around food, meaning her diet is pretty limited, so I buy things that aren’t exactly healthy as it’s all she’ll eat; I don’t want to have to cook different meals for everyone (and I’d have to, cause, Small); I’ve been ill so much at the start of this year that I haven’t felt like eating fruit… I’m sure you get the idea. Most recently, Easter happened and, even though I don’t get eggs anymore (boo to being a grown-up!), I’ve totally used it as an excuse to eat enough chocolate for me and the kids! Then we went away for a few days, and now we’re having a new kitchen fitted, so will have to live on takeaways, meals out and microwave food for a few days. See? More excuses!

Enough is enough! Once the kitchen is finished, I am determined to get back on track. However, I need a little inspiration, so I asked some fellow bloggers for their best tips and tricks for keeping motivated and actually losing the weight!…

weight loss scales

Weight Loss Methods That Really Work!

Obviously, one of the more popular options for those serious about weight loss is to join a slimming club. As I mentioned above, this worked for me a few years ago. Laura says that Slimming World has also worked for her – knowing someone will be weighing her and writing everything down really helps. Beth suggests that if joining a group, go with a friend for motivational support. The downside of this for me this time round is the cost, as well as finding a group that suits with family commitments. It can be followed online, but this too can be pricey and I found I was less motivated than when I attended an actual group. One alternative could be to join a free online weight loss community, like Clare, whose biggest inspiration was joining an Instagram weight loss community. It provided loads of support and inspiration, which really helped her to stick to her plan.

If you don’t fancy a weight loss group, there are literally dozens of eating plans that you could follow instead. Jenny is trying a plan that suggests a protein shake for breakfast, with the other two meals, and two snacks as being high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Nothing is totally forbidden, but ‘treats’ are in moderation. Sarah found the Dukan Diet worked for her. It was hard at first as ALL forms of sugar have to be cut out (including fruit and carbs) but once you get used to it the results can be amazing. I’m not sure I can stick to anything that strict! Tracey has found cutting carbs has been the only thing that has worked for her. She says that it can be hard for the first few days, but once the cravings subside, it’s not too difficult to stick to.

For some, health issues and medication can make trying to keep weight at a sensible level very tricky. Ranji has PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), so losing weight can be difficult for her; her GP suggested the 5:2 diet to break the insulin resistance cycle. However, she says that moving to France has proved too tempting food-wise, and the weight has crept back on, so she’s going to give 5:2 another go. She does say that watching the carbs also helps, and exercise is important too. Carla has found that medication can play havoc with trying to lose weight, but she found making small changes such as using skimmed milk, diet soft drinks and no sugar in hot drinks can make a difference. She tries not to snack and has a drink of water when she starts to feel hungry just in case it’s actually thirst and not hunger.  She also ensures her portion sizes are smaller than those of her partner. It may not make for huge losses, but it certainly helps to prevent extra weight gain.

Of course, you may not want to join a club or follow a specific plan; perhaps you just want to up your fruit and veg intake and reduce (or massacre, in my case!) your reliance on crap to get you through the day. Wendy has a great suggestion for making the change gradually – plan meals, but only change one meal at a time, for a week at a time. So,  week one’s focus could be breakfasts, and swapping the sugary cereal and bacon sarnies for filling porridge and fruit. The next week you would change your lunches to healthier choices and then the week after your evening meals. The last week could be for snacks, so, by the end of a month, you should have a pretty healthy looking diet! Sophie Mei takes a slightly different approach, and suggests you could choose one ‘vice’ each month to focus on rather than everything in one go.

Kaiden is also a fan of planning out each meal so you can stay on track with no secret eating, Lauren says to make sure you only buy exactly what you need and Beth believes writing down everything you eat really helps to make you more conscious of what’s going in your mouth. Lucy suggests trying to find alternative, healthier versions of the recipes for your favourite treats and Hollie suggests looking out for foods that use up more calories to eat than they contain, such as celery.

And here are a load more weight loss tips…

  • Portion size can be important; use smaller plates if your eyes are bigger than your belly!
  • Try to exercise, even if just for ten minutes a day to begin with.
  • Don’t worry about slipping up – just get back on with it the next day.
  • Put ‘treats’ in a bowl so you can see exactly what is available (and this also helps to save them for when you really want them!)
  • looking at old pictures of yourself in slimmer times is good for motivation
  • Try one cheat day a week so you don’t feel deprived.
  • Don’t expect dramatic results and make small changes so you don’t feel like you’re starving and denying yourself
  • an activity tracker can be useful for keeping an eye on steps, calories used and so on, and is great for motivation.
  • for those who sneaky-pick at the kids’ leftovers: squirt washing up liquid over the plates as soon as they’re finished!
  • cleaning teeth between meals helps to stop snacking.

And, lastly, but importantly Sally reminds us to think of the specific reasons as to why you want to diet. For example, hers is to get into the clothes she already has and loves. Losing weight, getting fitter and healthier or trying to improve your quality of life should be done for the right reasons, or else you’re doomed to fail before you even start.

For even more weight loss ideas and inspiration, take a look at these blogs and posts:

Just Average Jen has a whole blog full of ideas!

Mummy’s Knee has an inspirational post describing how she did it.

Babyfoote.com shares this great post about how you can even earn money from losing weight and exercising!

So, I have no excuses now! Thanks to all of the above for their fantastic ideas, I should be a skinny Minnie in no time… shouldn’t I?

Huge thanks also to the following bloggers for their insight and contributions:

Daisies and Pie, Twinderelmo, Muffin Top Mummy, Kaiden Laverty, Pack the PJs, Midwife and Life, Neon Rainbow Blog, Mum Guilt, Arthur Wears, Random Thoughts of a Twenty Something, Mama Mei, Thrifty Mum, Mummy Times Two, Tooting Mama, Sophie’s Nursery,

Weight Loss Tips and Tricks – From Real Parents Like You and Me!
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