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I've never shied away from a challenge HMM
So, with some of the groups I've been helping in this area in the last few years, we usually kick off with a meeting that allows me to outline a few helpful points, dispel a few myths and give people some of the tools to be able to motivate themselves going forward. I know some people will be able to get down to the Bagel Bar next Thursday but I'm aware that most people on here will not, so I will try to post in a way that helps people going forward.
A few starting points. People will have various different reasons for wanting to lose weight. The aim should include being healthier and a little fitter, giving your heart and lungs the best chance to function efficiently.
Once you decide to start making changes, be aware that it is long-term sustainable lifestyle changes that will give you the most effective results. Diets do not work. Any drastic change to your usual habits is not sustainable and will most likely leave you back at square one. Don't expect to lose in 6 weeks what took 10 years to add. If you make one change per week, that is 52 changes in a year. This is not a TV show so we are not aiming to show 3-4lb weight losses every week. Remember, 1/2lb per week is almost 2 stone in a year and if you lose it this way, you are far likelier to keep it off.
A point worth being aware of (which also explains why sometimes someone can lose a large amount the first week and then little or nothing after that). You are not a weight, you are a band of weight that fluctuates up to 3-4lb each day. It takes between 24-72 hours from ingestion of food to expulsion of waste, so whether you like it or not, you are carrying around 3-12 meals of waste at any given time. A sudden "healthier" eating plan just means you are still expelling waste but not replacing it as much, hence the sudden weight loss in the first week (and the same with any fads that suggest you practically starve yourself for the first few days).
The first thing to do to kick off a healthier lifestyle, is to keep a detailed, honest diary of every bit of food, drink and exercise. Don't just put "chicken, potatoes and veg", instead list "1 boiled chicken fillet, 5 baby potatoes baked, 2 tablespoons carrots and 3 tablespoons peas". Instead of "tea", list "large mug of tea, 1/4 milk, 1 sugar" etc. We can try examine some of the diaries going forward and make some subtle, slow changes.
It takes a deficit of approximately 3,500 calories to burn a pound of body fat. So to achieve half of that, it is only 250 calories per day. This could be achieved by cutting out a slice of white bread with butter and walking for 20-30 minutes. Don't try to change too much in one go.
I'll cover a lot more over time but hopefully this gives a flavour of things.
Have a great (healthy) weekend.