To celebrate the start of 2017, Longford Slimming World Consultants are sharing their secrets for successful slimming to help local people make their healthy New Year’s resolutions a reality.
Siobhan Brier, who runs three Slimming World groups in the Temperance Hall in Longford, says: "Lots of people will be making resolutions to lose weight and improve their health this New Year. Successful weight loss isn’t just about losing weight, it’s about keeping it off too.
“Making temporary changes and going on a ‘diet’... we think that’s unsustainable in the long-term. It will only ever be a quick fix, meaning you’ll sadly be bound to regain any weight you lose – and maybe more – as soon as you go back to your normal eating habits.
“If you really want to live happy for the long term, the key is to make healthy, realistic changes to your lifestyle that you can keep up for the rest of your life.
“Here are our own top ‘New Year, New You’ tips to do just that.
“You’ll find even more slimming support, advice and inspiration at our Slimming World groups all over the county of Longford.”
N – "Never go hungry," says Ballymahon Consultant, Lorraine Sheehan.
Most people who embark on New Year diets fail within days or weeks because they follow plans that are too restrictive and leave them feeling hungry or deprived. They’re absolutely impossible to keep up.
In contrast, Slimming World’s fabulous 'Food Optimising' programme is flexible and generous, with members able to satisfy their appetite on hundreds of healthy, everyday foods like fruit and veg, pasta, rice, potatoes, lean meat, poultry, fish, fat-free dairy, eggs and more without weighing, counting or measuring.
Keep your appetite satisfied with wholesome, healthy meals the whole family can enjoy – think spaghetti bolognese, roast dinners, curries, stir-fries, cottage pie, chilli, and many more, even homemade chips! Visit www.slimmingworld.ie for tons of recipe inspiration!
E – “Easy changes to make," says Granard Consultant, Liz Reynolds.
Believe it or not, if you’re looking to slim for good this New Year you can still cook and enjoy all of your favourite meals, just by tweaking them slightly.
Try switching to lean or extra-lean meat, trim off all visible fat and remove skin from poultry. Swap cooking oil for low calorie sprays, whole milk for skimmed or semi-skimmed, sugar for sweetener and calorie-laden salad dressings for fat-free vinaigrettes.
These substitutions may seem small but put together they will really boost your weight loss.
W – "Write a weekly plan," says Newtownforbes Consultant, Sandra.
Spending some time at the weekend planning your week’s menu can really pay off; you’ll feel fully in control with your healthy eating and know exactly what to get at the supermarket, saving euros at the checkout and bags of time.
Thinking ahead about any potential pitfalls such as a social event will also help you to plan how to stay on track.
Y – "You choose," says Edgeworthstown Consultant, Amy Mulvihill
At home, keep your fridge stocked with filling, natural foods you can snack on such as fresh fruit, vegetable crudités and lean meat.
When you’re feeling peckish in between meals you’ll be able to dive right in, rather than eating that extra chunk of cheese or a packet of crisps while dinner is cooking.
At Slimming World, we know that you don’t have to cut out treats completely to lose weight, and in fact having a little bit of what you fancy can do you a world of good.
No food is banned at Slimming World – we recommend a wonderful mix of flexibility in your diet, along with just enough structure.
Choose one or two treats per day - a glass of wine or a chocolate bar for example - and you’ll feel beautifully in control.
E – "Enlist super support," says Siobhan, Longford Consultant.
Changing long-term habits can be challenging, and research shows that getting regular, effective support is a vital component in losing weight and keeping it off.
Slimming World members attend weekly group sessions, led by us, the Consultants, and we all have lost weight with Slimming World ourselves.
We are trained to support members with understanding and empathy, as well as empowering them to learn how to make healthy choices they can keep up for life. It helps you to stick to your promise when you make a commitment at group each week too.
A – Add some activity
Resolutions to be more active are often at the top of our New Year lists.
Luckily though, being active doesn’t have to mean joining the gym or enduring a rigorous exercise regime. It’s important to start off slow and find something you enjoy. Increasing your activity levels could be as simple as taking the stairs instead of the lift or pledging to park the car further away from work or the shops.
Signing up to short races is a great commitment-booster and smartphone apps such as ‘Couch to 5k’, a training programme to get you running 5k in 9 weeks, are brilliant at building your activity confidence one step at a time.
Increasing your activity levels helps to boost your weight loss (and your mood and sense of wellbeing) and research shows that those who make a habit of being active are more likely to maintain their weight loss in the long term.
R – Remove Guilt
We all go off track sometimes when it comes to making healthy lifestyle changes. When that happens, it’s easy for us to give ourselves a hard time for not being able to stick with it.
However, learning to be kinder to ourselves and recognising that we’re only human and all have lapses at times can make it easier to get back on track with achieving our weight loss dreams.
The reason diets so often fail is because they are restrictive. By following a flexible, generous, plan that fits with normal living, you’re much more likely to succeed in keeping weight off in the long term.
Here’s to a healthier, happier and slimmer Longford in 2017!