Being a bit of an expert in the world of fad diets and slimming, I feel that I am more than qualified to guide you into a kick start January weight loss programme. Forget the fad diets and quick fix eating plans, they are a fast fix promise, and won’t provide long term satisfaction if you want to lose weight and keep it off.

The most important ingredient is for you to really want to shape up and lose weight.  Once you have that mind set, you are already half way there. Four years ago, after a hearty Christmas and New Year comprising of enormous helpings of festive food and alcohol, the scales tipped at an outrageous 14 stone.  It was then I decided to do something about it.

I had tried many diets and had lost weight in the past but had gained it again when returning to normal eating patterns.  As you probably know, when you starve yourself or deprive yourself suddenly of food, our primitive bodies go into starvation mode, and so retain the fat in all of the foods you eat from then on in.

I did some research and with a combination of the various diets I had explored over the years, decided that a low fat food intake was for me.  This way I could eat a lot of the foods that I like, without depriving my body of the nutrients and vitamins and indeed the amount of food that I craved every day.

For me it was a way of life rather than an immediate solution to the problem.  I had still retained my baby fat long after my kids had grown, and so had quite a fight on my hands.  But as it turned out it was easier and quicker than I thought.

I began by investigating all of the low fat foods available, especially the ones I am most partial to.  In addition to that, I still managed to lose weight whilst having the odd sprinkling of cheese on pasta, or a glass of wine or so with Dinner, as I do not believe in total deprivation of anything you are partial to.  It only demotivates and pushes you back into your old ways of eating.

So, once you have decided to change your diet and fitness regime, set your targets, and make sure they are attainable.  For instance, one or two pounds a week are ample to start with, the good news is, if you are really impatient like me, you will probably find with your change of lifestyle you will lose weight very quickly in the first month.  So set January as your prime target and then plan monthly after that.

I went for the low fat options at the beginning of January with a daily brisk walk of twenty minutes each day and managed to drop 10 lbs by the end of the month.  I then set my targets and had dropped three stone (yes THREE STONE) by the following January, which I have managed to keep off – with the odd gain and loss of a few pounds here and there as we are only human.

So, let’s get started, and I will give you some starter tips.  Even if you are feeding a family or you are on your own, you can do it, and the rest of the household will benefit from your new healthy mode of living.

Make sure you have breakfast, because remember that your body craves food even if you do not feel hungry.  You can kick start your metabolism with boiled or scrambled eggs (the latter cooked in one cal spray cooking oil) on a slice of wholemeal bread.  If you like a full English, you can even add mushrooms and bacon (without the fat) and coffee or tea with skimmed milk.

Bananas are a great mid morning snack if you are averse to the usually recommended and uninspired raw carrots.  They will provide bulk and fill you up, as well as giving you loads of energy.  Many athletes and dancers swear by them in their training breaks.

Jacket potato is a nutritious and filling lunch snack, and can be served with baked beans or tinned or fresh tuna, sweetcorn and salad, with a balsamic or vinagrette dressing.

Dinner can be cooked fish or chicken with vegetables and boiled potatoes, followed by no fat yogurt or jelly.  If you really love fries or chips and can’t live without them, you can find low fat frozen chips or make them yourself and fry them in the one cal spray.

Explore the food shelves yourself to source other low fat options, because you will be surprised what you find which will fit in with your own tastes and preferences.

If you are better doing this with company, then Slimming World is my recommendation, who follow this regime, and there will definitely be one in your area.   There are also a lot of low fat recipes you can access on their website.

Take the stair option rather than the lift when possible, and if you live near the shops, walk rather than drive to buy that forgotten ingredient.  Joining a gym is of course really helpful, but a more successful route is to join a fitness class close to you where you will receive support from the other participants, so that you will continue to attend throughout the year.

Hope I have given you some inspiration to set you on your way, but I will be checking back with you on Glotime to see how it is going – and if you need any online support, please click here and email me – because we will do this together.

Have a Healthy and Happy New Year.

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