Those last 5 kg are stubborn! And they’re easy to hide – which makes getting motivated to shift them, well, challenging. To really move the kilos, you need to first win the battle of brain. You need to want it. And you have to prioritise it. Start by looking at yourself in the mirror
“See the evidence where you have not been taking care of your body,” says psychologist and accredited practicing dietitian, Susie Burrell, author of Losing the Last 5 kg. “Think about how much better you would feel if you were fitter and had less weight to carry around each day. Then consider the easiest and most important changes you can make.”
Identify the small habits you can alter
Most of us have signed up for a fad diet, lost a few kilos, and bam: bungied back to our old size within a month or so. Don’t over-commit to unsustainable change. Can you really eat soup 15 times a week… for the rest of your life? “The general rule is to only make changes that realistically fit into your life,” says Burrell. Imagine one or two – eating smaller dinners and always carrying a veggie snack with you (baby corn or sliced carrot). “Sustaining these small changes long-term will add up, and so too will your weight loss.”
You gotta have a goal
Ask yourself: what change do I really want to make? In my case, for instance, I not only want to drop 5, but I also want a workout that benefits my brain. For others, it could be a health issue that needs to be addressed, such as high cholesterol. Once you’ve fleshed out your goals, start with the mechanics of mapping your ride: getting motivated and organised.
Personal trainer Michelle Bridges, author of Crunch Time, says to take a photo of yourself: one in your jeans, and one in your swimmers. “These are ‘benchmark’ clothes, and often work better as motivators than measurements.”
Make a calendar
Here’s the place to map out how much you’re going to lose and when. If you’re under 100 kg, expect to drop 0.5-1.5 kg a week (once your calorie intake in lower than the amount you burn, that is), and up to 3 kg a week if you’re between 100-130 kg. “Stick it somewhere that you can see it every day,” says Bridges. So as well as plotting your weight loss targets, mark the dates and time you’ve set aside for your workout.
Start a ‘new you diary’
Buy a journal to keep you on track: this should record what you’re eating (N for nutrition), how you’re feeling (E for emotions), what you’re doing (W for workouts). As Bridges says, “This journal is your bible. It is the tangible reference to each step to take you towards your goal… It’s where you learn about yourself and how these changes are affecting you physically and mentally.”
Want to chat about it? Head to our Weight Management Community and share your weight loss goals with other members.
References available on request