How would you like to lose weight without giving up a single thing? Losing weight without pain is possible! Here are 51 tips to help you shed those pounds.
Some people abuse alcohol. Others choose from a wide variety of drugs. Problem gambling, addiction to pornography, trichotillomania are all methods of dealing with some deep set unhappiness.
There are many means of dealing with uncomfortable psychological issues but food-abuse takes the biscuit, so to speak.
Food is different to everything else to which people might become psychologically dependent. It’s different because food, unlike porn, alcohol, gambling or drugs is utterly essential to our lives. We can’t simply ‘give it up’.
Losing weight, therefore, is often far more than simply cutting back on calories and getting to the gym a little more often.
I work with people every week in order to help them to lose excess weight. I help them to make changes to the habits which surround their food-abuse. I help them to resolve those emotional issues which lie behind their habits. If you comfort eat, eat because you’re stressed, eat because you’re bored or eat because you’re lonely then diet tips alone aren’t ultimately going to be of much use in themselves. You need to resolve what lies beneath.
I tend to see those people for whom food has become an emotional crutch. However, if you’ve simply fallen into bad habits and have none of the emotional problems which other pages on this site have described then this page is for you.
Losing weight is easy in theory, less so in practice.
It’s rarely that easy, however, because habits become hard-wired and can prove hard to shake. It can also seem incredibly daunting.
Weight may have crept on over the years but seeing where you are now and imagining how you might reach your goal can seem an impossible leap.
Diets have been tried and dieting just doesn’t seem to work. Commercial diets compete to sell new ways of losing weight fast. You know by now that they simply don’t work. Hypnobands? Well, in my view they’re not much use either. Click here for why if you’d like to know more.
A new approach to losing weight is needed – weight loss without dieting. This will, however, be weight loss with a naturalistic time scale. If you are determined to lose twenty stone in twenty days then this isn’t for you. There are plenty of people out there who will promise you the miracle cure.
This is a marathon, not a sprint.
Hypnotherapy could help you to lose weight
This is why hypnotherapy for weight loss can be so effective. Hypnotherapy could help you to approach the process of slimming in a step by step and sustainable fashion, working on the psychology of losing weight and leaving all the talk of diets and hardship behind.
I’ve helped all kinds of people in Reading, Oxford, Thame and Wallingford to lose weight using these tips and hypnotherapy.
It’s up to you to decide whether you’d like some help with slimming. These tips, however, stand the test of time and have been proven to be effective. Some of them are old.
Some of them are new. All of them, however, could contribute to your total annihilation of obesity as a factor in your life. You can do it and these suggestions will help you.
Pick a few which seem easiest and see how it goes. Add more in over time. Breaking those habits which surround unconscious eating will prove to be a great way or rendering each mouthful a conscious decision.
When it’s a conscious decision it becomes a choice. You then have power.
Of course, if you’d like to ask any questions regarding the tips then please do feel free to get in touch. I’d be more than glad to talk with you.
Is eating your source of comfort? Does it act as a psychological support?
For many people things are still harder. For some, food has become a source of comfort. It can be a source of reward. For many people food becomes a true emotional crutch and over the years they may find themselves becoming habitual binge-eaters or constant grazers. Weight then becomes a source of unhappiness in itself and will only deepen the psychological need for food as comfort.
It’s a nasty self-perpetuating loop at this stage. For these people the following tips may prove useful but more will usually be needed. Resolve the emotional issues which underline obesity (using hypnotherapy or any other method) and these tips could prove to be a great partner to whatever form of therapy you choose. Stick to these tips alone and the danger will be that you revert to old habits in the future.
Perhaps a sedentary lifestyle has just allowed weight-gain to creep up on you
For others, however, weight gain is the result of years of a sedentary lifestyle and / or a number of other unhealthy habits. For those people who have simply allowed weight to creep on, over the years, these weight loss tips may well prove to be enough.
These tips will help you to establish new habits. They will reset your relationship with food. Stick with them and you’ll find that weight comes off at a steady pace and you’ll find that you very rarely feel deprived.
Diets don’t work because they’re based on the idea of deprivation. These tips, these approaches, work because they avoid those feelings of missing out.
Who wants to miss out? FOMO is one of the most powerful ways of wrecking a determination to achieve a goal. Need to cut down on alcohol but fear going teetotal? Why bother (unless you’re truly dependent) when you could find other ways of moderating your intake? Enjoy that night out with your friends. Just don’t drink in that manner every night of the week.
Need to cut back on cannabis but quite enjoy the occasional joint? Why bother cutting it out altogether (again, unless you’re truly ‘dependent’ and are losing jobs, relationships and friends) when you can learn to be moderate in your consumption of the substance?
Moderation in all things is one of the most important lessons we learn as adults. If you find it difficult with regard to food then try these tips or give me a call.
Mindful eating links these tips together into a coherent whole.
Of all these tips, the first is the most important. Put some effort into this and the rest will be far easier. Don’t attempt to take any short cuts. If you choose to deprive yourself then these approaches will be undone. You’re probably here because you’ve tried rapid weight loss methods before. This approach will help when it comes to losing weight in a solid and sustainable fashion. The quick methods didn’t work, did they, or you certainly put the weight back on again afterwards. If you’ve had enough of get-thin-fast approaches then commit to this approach, a different approach. It all begins here, with a single phrase: ‘I can and I am committed’.
Listen to the recording below once per day until you get the hang of the instructions which follow* It will help you to become more aware of your thoughts, your food-based urges and everything else too. Practise being aware of everything with every sense. You will often forget to do it but when you remember, persevere. It takes a few weeks to bed in but I promise you that it will be worth the effort.
Go out for a walk and just let yourself hear the sounds, feel the air upon your skin and see all the different shades of green which usually go unnoticed. Lie in the bath noticing the way hot water feels on every part of your body. You’ll find that it helps with weight loss and you’ll also find that it makes everything feel more enjoyable.
Eat whilst noticing the colours, smells, tastes and textures of every mouthful. Keep going with this until it becomes a habit. Whilst practising this, keep checking into your thoughts and feelings. Don’t edit them, don’t correct them, simply observe them.
Doing this will help you to recognise thoughts such as ‘I’d like a twix right now’ and will give you the space to simply let them pass. Doing this will allow you to recognise those old reflexes of reaching for more chocolate / cake / biscuits and you’ll find yourself having the space to decide – ‘do I really want / need this?’ Thoughts and cravings used to be followed as if they were commands. This approach puts you in the driving seat!
*Never listen to it whilst driving or if suffering from any heart defect, organic mental health condition, epilepsy, breathing condition or uncontrolled diabetes.
Don’t skip breakfast
This is a real biggie. If you skip breakfast then you’re storing up those hunger cravings for later, a later time in which you’re probably going to be busy and less able to eat healthily. Eating breakfast will release energy throughout the morning and will leave you less desperate for a snack later on.
Brush your teeth after dinner
How many people eat after brushing their teeth? Nobody does, what’s the point of brushing if you just have to do it all again? You have years of conditioning on your side here. Brushing your teeth is a sure-fire signal to the brain that the day’s eating is done. So, eat a good dinner / supper / tea or whatever you call it and brush your teeth soon after (dentists recommend waiting twenty minutes). That’ll be it. No more snacking for you!
Eat small regular meals
Ghrelin is the hunger hormone and is one of the fat-fighter’s most deadly enemies. Keep it at bay with small and regular meals. Hunger is not a good sign. It simply means that your body is running short of energy and the cravings will build until you reach for the nearest food.
This will not be the best way of eating. What’s more, will-power depends upon the brain being in a good state and for this it needs glucose. Eat small, regular meals to keep your brain fighting fit and on your side.
Use weird or inappropriate cutlery
The big enemy of the fat-fighter is unconscious eating. This is that kind of eating we do when we’re sat in front of the TV whilst munching away and barely tasting a thing. You can learn to enjoy less food a whole lot more. Eat with a wooden spoon and a chopping knife. Eat ice cream with a ladle.
Use chopsticks or cutlery for treats such as crisps. Use the most inappropriate cutlery you can find for every meal. It could mean that you end up eating less and enjoy your meals a whole lot more.
- a) slow you down. The brain is slow to recognise that the body is full and so fast eaters tend to over-eat. Slowing down will reduce the amount you eat.
- b) make every mouthful a conscious choice. At some point you will realise that you’ve had enough and you then have a choice – ‘do I really need any more?’ If the answer is no then you’ve turned down a forkful of surplus calories and you’ll be lighter on the scales as a result.
Cakes and biscuits can be eaten with knives and forks. Crisps can be eaten with chopsticks. As with tip 4, this will make every single scrap of food a conscious choice and will help you to learn to eat mindfully. You’ll eat less, enjoy it more and every single crisp refused will see the weight disappear.
Are you aware that eating a pack of crisps per day adds up to 5 litres of cooking oil in a year? Cutting back on these, whilst enjoying them more, is an easy way of losing weight.
6. Drink plenty of water
Hunger is sometimes misidentified thirst. Drinking our eight glasses of water per day will reduce our hunger craving and will help the body to feel fitter. Fitter bodies bring happier minds and happier minds are less likely to eat rubbish for comfort or through boredom.
7. Do something new and exciting as often as possible
Losing weight could see you changing your entire life. You’ll feel more confident, you’ll want to go out more, you’ll want to try new things. Begin now! At the very least, making these changes to your way of living, or at least to your routine, will cause you to re-evaluate habits and old ways of doing things.
Park further away from the supermarket
As I said above, this isn’t a sprint, this is a marathon and every step carries a marathon runner closer to the finish line. Every single calorie you expend will help you to lose that weight in a sustainable manner. Stop trying to park as close as possible to the supermarket doors, Park as far away as is reasonable and enjoy the fact that the extra ten seconds will have seen you burn off a few milligrams of fat. Every step counts, every calorie matters.
Take stairs instead of the escalator or lift
Every calorie counts! Take every possible opportunity to burn a few more away. Exercise needn’t be all about punishing routines in the gym (consult a personal trainer before going from nothing to seven days a week torture sessions), exercise leading to weightloss can be little and often.
Turn down the heating
People tend to gain weight during winter but this is more due to the fact that we tend to stay in more, eat more and pig-out over Christmas. Cold weather actually encourages the production of ‘brown fat’ which is then burned in the cold to keep us warm. Researcher Jon Dempersmier, in the University of California, found that mice kept in lower temperatures put on 30% less weight than others kept in more ambient temperatures. Turn down the heating, get out in the cold, wear a layer less and the benefits will build. Every calorie counts!
Visualise your ‘just a little bit more won’t hurt’ thoughts as a cartoon character
Many people feel as if their good intentions are at the mercy of thought patterns and urges beyond their control. Picture the part of your mind which is prey to temptation as a cartoon character. Give it a voice and a character. Picture it and talk back to it when those thoughts or urges appear. Tell it why you’re no longer paying it any attention. Explain why you don’t need that item of food right now. Tell it go get bent / stuffed or worse. Personifying your ‘I want it’ thoughts and urges will make them easier to master. This means that you can take control when they begin to misbehave. Besides, when you follow the other tips in this article this character won’t show up nearly as often as it used to during those old, ineffective diets.
Use a smaller plate
Research has shown that the same sized servings appear differently in different sized plates. Pour identical servings of breakfast cereal into two bowls- one twice as big as the other – and the person who receives the bigger bowl will feel short-changed.
Find yourself a plate and bowl which are 4/5 as big as your usual crockery. The mind will adjust to see this as being a complete meal, even though you’ve reduced the amount eaten by 20%.
Don’t ban treats. Weight loss doesn’t happen if we feel miserable
My clients still eat cakes, chocolate, crisps etc and they’re losing weight! They simply eat them using the other tips in this article. They eat their cakes and biscuits with knives and forks. They eat crisps with chopsticks. They eat every morsel using the mindful approach outlined in tip no. 1 and so enjoy ten times less ten times more. You can too!
Deprivation just builds resentment and cravings. Most people in this world eat cake and biscuits and remain at a healthy weight. You will learn to be like them. You can do it!
Eat lots of fibre
Fibre contributes nothing to weight gain but bulks out our food, helping us to pass stools more easily and helping us to feel fuller. Processed foods such as white pasta and bread don’t give us this benefit and so try to eat more whole-grain products. Fibre is also found in vegetables which tend to be healthy choices too. Eat more of these foods (whilst not depriving yourself of ‘treats’) and you’ll feel fuller, fitter and the weight will begin to disappear.
Drink less alcohol
People tend to discount the calories they drink but alcohol is simply full of them. Cut back on your drinking and the weight will begin to decline. Furthermore, alcohol reduces our inhibitions and so we’re much more likely to succumb to other temptations and pile the weight on.
Don’t shop when hungry
Shops recycle odours from bakeries and spit-roasting chickens and pump this into the air we breathe whilst shopping. The intention is to make us hungry and hungry people buy more. Hungry people tend to buy more of the high-sugar and fat foods which provide immediate relief. Eat before you go shopping and you’ll find that your wallet will be as grateful as your waistline.
Order food online
I’m not totally certain about this one but it occurs to me that we see lovely food, beautifully presented, and are tempted to put it in the basket. If we shop online then we’re not quite so subject to the psychological tricks employed by supermarkets.
If we buy online then no food can look quite so beautiful as it does on the shelf. Give it a try and let me know how you get on.
Coffee is full of anti-oxidants and raises metabolism. A higher metabolism loses weight more quickly. Don’t pour in full-fat milk or sugar, this will completely destroy the gains to be had. For best results, drink your coffee black.
Weigh yourself once per week
We all want to see progress but this weighing yourself every day is simply an over-anxious behaviour which is likely to prove psychologically counter-productive. There are all kinds of reasons why our weight will move up and down on a daily basis. Don’t be all neurotic about it. Stop! Weigh yourself at the same time, in the same place, on the same scales once per week.
Plot weight loss results on a graph
All we need is a simple line graph with weight on the vertical axis and time along the horizontal. Plot your weight on this graph every week and it will give you a sense of progress. Furthermore, even if we have a blip of a week we can still look back and see how far we’ve come without being overly discouraged.
21 Pick a favourite piece of aspirational clothing
I expect you have a piece of clothing which you once loved but which you can’t wear anymore. So, there it lingers at the back of the wardrobe or at the bottom of a drawer. Well, you’re going to wear it again. Take it out, put it on and repeat this every week. Every week those buttons will come closer to being done up. Every week that zip will move closer to the top. You’ll begin to feel the difference in how it fits and this will prove to be a motivating force.
Take up aerobic exercise (cardio)
Well, we all know that exercise is going to help. Don’t, however, rush into silly commitments in expensive gyms. Consult a GP if suddenly exercising might pose a health risk. Consult with a gym as to realistic and sustainable weight-reducing programmes of exercise.
Remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint. You are going to lose weight and this time you’re going to keep it off by adopting sustainable and new relationships with food and exercise. Every calorie counts and ‘get-thin-fast’ routines haven’t worked for you in the past anyway.
Do weights to prevent muscle loss
Again, consult with a GP and/or fitness professional but weight-lifting will help you to maintain tone whilst your body is busy cannibalising your fat reserves. Exercise will also help you to fit into those clothes again, more quickly. Be aware, however, that exercise can actually slow down weight loss because the muscle you build will weigh more than the fat you lose. Still, this is fine because what you’re actually after is to feel better about yourself. Weight-loss is never a goal in itself.
24 Eat more slowly
Some of the tips explained above will force you to eat more slowly. However, you should also make a conscious effort to eat slowly even when you’ve become a world-class expert with chopsticks or ladles. Eating slowly causes us to realise that we’re full before that horrid feeling of being over-full kicks in. Eating slowly means that every mouthful becomes a conscious pleasure and we can feel more satisfied with less.
There’s sooooo much science and research to support the idea that people who sleep well tend to be slimmer than those who skimp on shut-eye. Sleep keeps our brains in tip-top condition, leaving us with a higher level of impulse control.
Tiredness causes people to skimp on exercise and exhaustion means that we often reach for fatty and sugary foods for a burst of energy. Sleep is the friend of weight-loss. Get your eight hours and sleep that fat away!
Get some therapy to find alternatives to comfort eating
Most of my weight-loss clients have an emotional connection to food. Food is comforting. Food can be a reward. Food is reliable and always there. If you have rushed through the introduction to this article and have some kind of emotional problem for which food provides a temporary solution then it really is a good idea to have this resolved through counselling, hypnotherapy or a clever combination of both.
Reduce your consumption of fizzy drinks and fruit juice
Not so long ago I had a client who drank two litres of full-fat coke per day. By stopping this, alone, he shed so much weight so fast that I was amazed. Fizzy drinks are full of sugar. Fruit juice, perhaps surprisingly, is also full of sugar. Cut back on every single fizzy, sweet drink. The amount of sugar hidden within is astounding and it’s often a surprisingly easy path to weight-loss.
Eat more vegetables and fruit
Well, they’re healthy and a healthy body is a healthy mind. A healthy mind needs rubbish food less. Furthermore, they’re full of fibre which helps us to feel full and so reduces the room for sugary, salty foods.
Plan meals ahead
If you’re always living hand to mouth then you’ll often reach for the quick option. Unfortunately, however, the ready meals and snacks tend to be just those foods which are full of salt, fat and sugar. Make time to plan ahead and you can choose healthier options.
Cook your own meals
This works in three ways. First of all you’re in control of what goes into your food and can make healthier choices than the mass-manufacturers of processed foods would bother with. You’ll also be able to make far more than you need and can freeze some for meals later in the week.
Secondly, those who cook commonly report feeling less hungry than otherwise would be the case whilst enjoying their meals more. It’s good to sit down and enjoy something you cooked yourself.
Eat in a different chair
When we get into bad habits everything which surrounds that habit tends to help it become difficult to shake. The pint becomes associated with the cigarette, for example, and the pint of beer later feels strange when there’s no cigarette to accompany it. Our brains are strong at building associations between situations, people and objects.
So, if we have learned to associate a certain chair with a certain way of eating, weaken the habit by sitting elsewhere. New habits, new traditions, new results!
32 Don’t eat whilst watching TV
You may be getting the hang of this by now. If we’re busy watching TV then we’re not eating mindfully and consciously. If we’re not doing this then over-eating or needless eating becomes more likely. Turn it off and focus on what you’re doing.
Go straight to the butter section when you visit a supermarket
Each pack of butter is about half a pound in weight. Stack up as many packs of butter as it takes to represent your total weight loss to date. Lift them all and feel how heavy they are.
If you’re one of those strange types who prefers metric measurements of weight then head for the sugar aisle instead and do the same thing.
Let yourself break into a smile, feel proud and then complete your shopping determined never to allow the process to reverse itself.
Ignore any bemused looks from other shoppers whilst you stand there with 20 packs of sugar in your arms. When you next see them they might not even recognise you!
Eat spicy foods
The British Journal of Nutrition reports that eating lots of spicy food causes an increase in metabolism. A faster metabolism burns calories faster than a slower one. Be careful, however. This doesn’t mean that you can go to the local Indian every evening for supper – some curries are loaded with calories.
Eggs are full of protein and are low in calories. Go to work on an egg, as the adverts used to say!
Don’t let yourself get hungry
Hunger is not a friend of weight-loss. It builds a feeling of resentment and leaves us more likely to reach for unhealthy snacks when these become available. Don’t let yourself get hungry. Losing weight using these methods (save for those who comfort eat and who should focus on tip 25) could be a surprisingly easy and simple process.
Keep a food diary
The American Journal of Preventative Medicine reports studies which show that those who keep food diaries are significantly more likely to lose weight. All it involves is writing down everything you eat during the day.
I ask my clients to do this BEFORE they eat because this then introduces a sense of choice and responsibility. Make a record of it all and it becomes conscious and you have a choice. It also means that any mistakes or slip-ups are recorded and lessons can be learned.
Put one spoonful back in the pot
Serve up a normal serving and then put something back in the pot. This may only remove 50 calories but that could add up over a year and lead to significant weight-loss.
Cut back on the salt!
Salt makes you thirsty and this can be confused with hunger. Salt is commonly found in less healthy food choices. Cut it back and see if it helps.
Don’t serve food at the table
Those ‘just a little bit more’ thoughts are easier to obey if the serving dish is on the table next to you. Make eating more than is necessary a little bit more inconvenient and you’ll probably find that it’s easier to eat less.
Don’t continue to take part in ‘there’s always an excuse’ dynamics
They reassured each other that it was OK to fail to lose weight. After all, ‘it’s your birthday, Christmas, Friday, St Michael’s Day, the third Tuesday of a leap year day’ and so on. They provided each other with plenty of excuses, comfort and…cake.
If any of them had actually lost their weight they would have had nothing to discuss and so the group dynamic conspired to keep each of them obese.
If you find yourself creating excuses for yourself or others then be honest about it and stop. You are responsible, you are in charge and you can make changes. Others may comfort you or provide excuses but it changes nothing. You will still be overweight. If you want to make changes then you can make changes and if others hold you back then you can decide whether to let them or not.
Pre-load before parties.
It was a thing in the media, a few years ago. People were worried that youngsters were getting drunk before heading out for the night, so as to avoid high drinks prices. ‘Pre-loading’ was a symptom of our supposedly decadent youth.
Well, now you can do the same. Eat before you go out to a party and you’ll be far less likely to binge on generally unhealthy nibbles.
Wear tight clothes
Don’t go out and buy a new set of clothes because the old ones are a little too tight. Stick with the tight ones. First of all, you’re going to fit into them again. Secondly, their tightness will be a constant reminder of your goals and the necessity of achieving them. People who buy bigger clothes often tend to relax and so grow to fit them. Stick with discomfort and it’ll spur you onto success.
Find a friend to lose weight with
Finding a friend to do this with will give you a sense of responsibility. It will make you accountable. It will bring about a feeling of mutual support and even a little competition. Share this article with a friend and tick off each of the 50 tips as you put them into operation. Keep each other on course and others will want to know your secret!
Stressed? Find ways of relaxing and take the time to do so.
When we’re stressed we produce a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol causes us to crave sweet and fatty foods. Stress is the enemy to weight-loss. Find time to relax and make sure you do. If you need further help with stress then book in to see a good, local therapist. It’ll be worth the money. You’ll be thinner and calmer too!
Praise yourself for every achievement!
Look at yourself in the mirror every evening. Tell yourself the three best things you’ve achieved that day and what those things say about you as a person. Focus on the positive because positive people have less need for food as a source of reassurance and comfort.
Don’t be put off by blips or setbacks
Successful people, in every field, learn to let go and learn from setbacks, mistakes and failures. If things have taken a bad turn then take some deep breaths and decide that tomorrow is going to be different. Besides, if you’ve followed these guidelines for a while there’s still a whole lot of progress to look back upon. Take another look at that graph and let this week go down as a learning experience.
Be aware of triggers and use breathing exercises to get through them
One former client of mine had an unsupportive mother in law who would wave cakes beneath her nose. You’ll soon find out where the biggest temptations to excessive eating are to be found and you can breathe your way through them. Take a deep breath over three seconds. Hold it for three and exhale for six. Repeat. Let the thoughts come and go – just as described in tip 1 and its recording – and the trigger moment will pass. Don’t forget to recognise and praise yourself for the achievement. Well done you!
Eat foods with high water content. Soups, curries, stews etc are all water based
Water doesn’t have calories and any thirst will be sated. These meals can be surprisingly filling too.
Tell family and friends
Tell people about this plan and enlist their support. If you’re lucky then they’ll keep any temptations out of arms’
reach. Besides, if you’re following this plan then things will quite possibly be a lot easier anyway.
Vary your diet!
Firstly, varying your diet will make it less likely that you’ll become bored. Secondly, new foods eaten in different ways and in different places will mean that the old, bad habits have been entirely broken. No associations will link these new foods to old ways of eating.
If you stick to these approaches then it’s likely that you’ll find it easier to lose weight. By the time the weight has gone these new habits will have had the chance to become ingrained and it would take a lot of will-power to let it all slip again.
I wish you all the best with weight loss and please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’re looking for hypnotherapy for weight loss in Reading, Thame, Wallingford, London or Oxford. I work to help people lose weight in simple and sustainable ways whilst resolving any underlying psychological issues. Hypnotherapy for weight loss has helped a great many people in London, Berkshire and Oxfordshire to lose weight and it could help you too.