Louise Parker’s 4 Steps to Stick to Your Weight Loss Goals :Each year when January rolls around, thousands of people set out on a weight loss journey determined to transform their bodies and lifestyles. However, by the time February arrives, the same thousands abandon their goals and slip back into bad habits. The strict diets, exhausting exercise routines and friendless nights become too much and they’re left with a serious sense of failure, depression and lethargy.
Results take time. However nicely packaged and well-meaning, there’s no quick-fix solution that will help you radically drop the pounds in a month and keep them off — meaningful and long-lasting body transformation takes commitment and lifestyle change.
The Louise Parker Method is a habit-changing body-transformation process established in our signature six-week, twelve-week and annual programs. Using our unique four-pillar approach — eat beautifully, work out intelligently, think successfully and live well — we help our clients reach their goals and transform their lives for good. Here are our top tips to make sure that you stick to your weight loss goals.
Don’t Starve Yourself: Eat Beautifully with 3 Meals and 2 Snacks a Day
How many of us have been seduced by severe calorie-restricting diets that promise rapid weight loss? And how many more of us have ditched the diet and grabbed a sugary treat after a short while due to extreme hunger pangs, hormonal moods, lethargy and tiredness? Food is fuel, and cutting out important food groups or restricting yourself to tiny portions of low-calorie foods is not only unsustainable but also unenjoyable.
Instead, follow our first pillar and eat beautifully with three meals a day and two additional balanced snacks. It may seem nonsensical to eat more when trying to lose weight, but eating regularly helps to stabilize your blood sugar levels, balance your hormones, speed up your metabolism and, of course, keep your hunger pangs under control so that you don’t reach for unhealthy snacks.
Each time you sit down for one of your full three meals, ensure that you’re getting the balance right by including:
- Lean protein: White fish, chicken thighs or breasts, tofu or yoghurt.
- Low GI carbs: High fiber grain-based foods like oat bran and whole meal bread.
- Fruits and seasonal vegetables: Try to mix it up and fill your plate with color — each different-colored fruit and vegetable contains a unique mix of health-boosting nutrients and minerals.
- A small amount of healthy fat: Add a little olive oil, half an avocado or a few nuts to your plate.
Lacking in inspiration? The Louise Parker Method books contain hundreds of great and easy-to-cook recipes to get you on the right track.
Steer Clear of Sugars
Eating a balanced diet should be your aim but if there’s one food group to keep a close eye on, it’s sugar. We all know that sugar is linked to weight gain, and we may even make a conscious effort to steer clear of chocolate bars and gummy sweets, but sugar lurks in unexpected places. Many of our clients will indignantly declare that they’re completely sugar-free — they’ve cleared their house of sweet treats and filled the cupboards with cereal bars and energy balls, yet they still aren’t losing the weight.
Unfortunately, those cereal bars and energy balls often contain a huge amount of sugar, which will impede your weight loss goals. Even natural sugars found in dried fruits have the same effect on your body as those gummy bears. Instead, opt for whole fruit or carrot sticks with some humus, which helps keep hunger at bay, helps stabilize blood sugar levels and more likely to help you achieve your goals.
Alcoholic drinks and juices also contain surprisingly high amounts of sugar — and there’s nothing worse than drinking your calories. That doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a glass of wine at the end of the week but it’s worth keeping in mind. As with all things, balance is the key.
Exercise Intelligently Everyday
No wonder gym memberships drop off after January. Far too many weight loss programs are a white knuckle ride with beastly training session six times a week. And while for that first week it may seem to work — lifting heavy weights, pushing up the reps and committing hours to the gym can make you feel like you’re making progress — over time, that initial enthusiasm wanes, your willpower succumbs and you are left feeling burnt out and exhausted.
To reap the rewards of exercise, you need to be consistent. Rather than killing yourself at the gym in a long three-hour sweat fest and then crashing for the rest of the week, exercise intelligently every day.
Incorporating activity into your everyday life could be as simple as taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking in the park during your lunch break or even blitzing your house with the vacuum during a spring clean — anything that keeps you active and mobile will work. For a general guide, you want to try to reach at least 10,000 steps every day. With a good foundation of activity, you can then focus on short and manageable 15-20 minute full-body home workouts.
During these workouts, it’s important to remain focused on what you’re doing. Working out intelligently means connecting your body with your mind. The mind-muscle connection is an incredibly powerful tool that helps you to get the most out of your workouts, so a little goes a long way. If you master the basic full-body moves such as squats, lunges and planks, and ensure that you’re constantly challenging your body to improve form and reps, you’ll start to notice incredible changes to both your muscle tone and your weight.
In fact, working out in high-intensity 15-minute sessions is proven to get your fat burning on tap, which means that you’ll continue to reap the benefits for up to 48 hours after you finish your workout.
Exhaustion has become a “badge of honour” in recent years. Somehow, we’ve become accustomed to qualifying our hard work by how worn out we feel by the end of it and measuring our success through the lens of how much we do each day. The result? We end up taking sleep and rest time for granted.
Lack of sleep and feelings of exhaustion are the main culprits for why we tend not to stick with our positive habits. Exhaustion is linked to anxiety, depression and makes it hard to concentrate, while also triggering your hunger hormones. We find that clients who get a consistent 7-8 hours’ sleep a night tend to see the best transformation, while those with erratic sleeping patterns experience a whopping 30% drop in results.
Priorities sleep and rest. If you have problems dozing off, try establishing a relaxing bedtime routine that helps you mentally prepare for drifting off and allows you to let go of all the stresses and strains of the day. You could run a hot shower or bath and give yourself a 30-minute digital detox before lights out, or drink a cup of calming camomile tea while reading a book — find something that works for you and commit to making it a habit. The better you rest, the greater your transformation will be.
Louise Parker is a sustainable weight loss expert and best-selling author of the “Louise Parker Method” and “Lean For Life”. Her company, Louise Parker, runs wellness and weight loss programs globally and from its London clinics in South Kensington and The Wellness Clinic at Harrods. Designed to transform both your body and overall lifestyle, all programs are supported by a team of fitness professionals and registered dieticians.
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