Key is to make realistic lifestyle changes

Slimming World consultant Elizabeth Barnard lost four stone
Slimming World consultant Elizabeth Barnard lost four stone
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Slimming World consultant Elizabeth Barnard, from Emsworth, shares her secrets for successful slimming

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.

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 my top new year, new you tips to do just that.

1) N – Never go hungry: Most people who embark on New Year diets fail within days or weeks because they follow plans that are too restrictive. In contrast, Slimming World’s food optimising programme is flexible and generous, with members able to satisfy their appetite on hundreds of healthy, everyday foods without weighing, counting or measuring.

2) E – Easy changes to make: 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.

3) W – Write a weekly plan: 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.

4) Y – You choose: 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.

5) E – Enlist super support: 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 a consultant who has lost weight with Slimming World themselves.

6) A – Add some activity: Being active doesn’t have to mean joining the gym or enduring a rigorous exercise regime. Increasing your activity levels could be as simple as taking the stairs instead of the lift, or parking the car further away.

7) R – Remove Guilt: Recognising 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.

By following a flexible plan that fits with normal living you’re much more likely to succeed in keeping weight off.

Visit or join the Emsworth Slimming World group, which is held every Thursday at 5.30pm and 7.30pm at Emsworth Methodist Church