And this year that feeling’s likely to be stronger than ever, as we continue to slowly emerge from the worst of the pandemic.
For many of us, becoming slimmer, fitter and healthier will be at the top of the list of our New Year’s resolutions for 2022. Spending so much time indoors, often coupled with more indulgent food choices and disrupted routines, saw many healthy habits fall by the wayside during the pandemic – and then Christmas rounded it off. Let’s not forget, getting into great shape is the very best thing that we can do for our long-term health.
If you’re ready to make 2022 the year that you take control, lose weight, get fitter and gain confidence, read on.
Here are seven secrets of success – all backed up by the latest research into weight loss and behaviour change, from local weight loss expert Joanna Mortimore from Slimming World.
Myth 1: Vigorous exercise is key to getting fitter. If it’s your goal to get fitter, remember you don’t have to become a professional athlete to get active - just making a commitment to moving more all adds up. Many people make the mistake of joining a gym, overdoing it in week one and quickly giving up, thinking that exercise isn’t for them. Finding an enjoyable, achievable, and sustainable way of building new active habits into your routine is key – anything that gets you moving more, from heavy gardening or vigorous housework to brisk walking, dancing, cycling, or playing frisbee in the park, counts. What’s most important is making it a regular habit.
Myth 2: You will have to go hungry. To lose weight you have to eat less, right? Well, no! What you’re eating is much more important than how much. Swapping high calorie, unsatisfying foods (think chocolate, alcohol, pastries) for foods that are lower in calories and more bulky, so they fill you up for longer, is key to losing weight in a way that’s easy to live with. Research shows that by basing your diet on low energy dense foods, like fruit and veg, and foods that are most filling – or satiating – like lean meat, fish, eggs, pasta and potatoes, you can actually eat a larger amount of food and feel more satisfied while losing weight.
Myth 3: You need to be realistic with your goals. No! Dream big and be ambitious when setting your dream weight target, says Joanna. It’s hard to achieve a goal if you don’t set it out clearly in the first place. Research from Slimming World shows that slimmers who set ambitious targets lose twice as much weight as those who try to be ‘realistic’. Shoot for the moon – you never know where you might land.
Myth 4: Going on a ‘diet’ is the only way to lose weight. It’s no secret that many people find losing weight far easier than keeping it off long-term. To avoid becoming trapped in a yo-yo diet cycle, it’s important to approach weight loss as a permanent change to your lifestyle – and focus on developing new healthy habits that are sustainable for life, as well as getting support to make those changes.