1. Reduce portion sizes of both food and high calorie drinks. It may help if you weigh your portions or use a smaller plate. When it comes to drink avoid drinking fizzy drinks for refreshment and stick to water whenever you can. Remember that specialist coffees and other drinks can also be high in calories so be careful how many you have each day.
2. Never eat whilst doing something else such as watching TV, walking, driving, working, etc. You should always try and be mindful of what you are eating; when you eat whilst doing something else you may not even be aware of what you have eaten or how much you have eaten. When you are eating try and think about your food, how does it looks, how does it tastes, what is it made of, try to be aware of what you put in your mouth.
3. When you feel full stop eating, if you hate wasting food save the food for another meal. The slower you eat the less likely you are to eat too much. Eating fast can stop your stomach telling your brain you are full in time.
4. Eat regular meals and cut out snacks in between. If you make sure you eat 3 meals a day you will be much less likely to snack. It might also help if you take your meals at a table, sitting down and being mindful of what you are doing.
5. Weigh yourself regularly (for some this might even mean daily) it is easy to bury your head in the sand about your weight. What is it that would worry you about weighing yourself? If you are scared to find out the truth then you really should get on those scales. Many people use their clothes to assess if they have gained weight but we can all fool ourselves into believing that our clothes have always fitted this way. It is easy if you weigh yourself to see if you have gained a few kilos (lbs) and do something about it before it gets out of hand, but let this slip to 7kilos or more and this will be much more difficult to lose.
6. Avoid processed foods and takeaways, where possible try to cook from fresh. If you plan your meals in advance it will be much easier to avoid eating processed foods. Everyone is much busier these days than in the past but cooking from fresh does not have to take long. If you cook from fresh you can have a much better idea about what you are putting in your body.
7. Get the whole family involved in cooking. Rather than one person taking charge of the cooking it’s important that everyone gets involved and has an interest in what they are eating. Children love cooking and you can make it fun as well as teaching them the art of cooking for when they leave home and have families of their own.
8. Drink more water, don't confuse being thirsty with hunger. We often feel hungry, or at least think we are hungry, but what our body is really crying out for is fluid. So if you start to feel hungry between meals, try drinking a glass of water first before you reach for the biscuit barrel.
9. Make physical activity a bigger part of each day, use interactive tools to measure your steps. Although physical activity on its own is not so useful for weight loss, physical activity, along with changing your eating behavior is very effective. It’s easy to make excuses not to engage in physical activity such as no time, too difficult, not fit enough, you don’t enjoy it, but believe me the more you do the more you will want to do, and eventually you will actually enjoy it. Walk to the shops at lunch time, park your car a little further away from your place of work or the supermarket, walk up the stairs as often as you can, stand up at least every hour and try and walk around for 5 minutes. Keep a diary of your activity levels or using interactive tools such as your mobile phone, apps, Fitbit or pedometer to record it. You do not need to be a super athlete, regular walks for more than 30 minutes each day will benefit your health
10. Remember changes need to fit in with your lifestyle otherwise you will stop doing it very quickly. People often make the mistake of taking on too much of a change all at once. This if fine for a week or two but maintaining these changes becomes almost impossible. Try to make small changes, drink less fizzy drinks, eat less chocolate, ice cream, crisps, cakes or whatever your weakness is, don’t cut it out all together as you will just crave it more and relapse all together. Introduce small amounts of exercise into your daily life then build it up. Going to the gym every day, cycling or running or swimming miles everyday will not be sustainable, so be realistic. That way you are much more likely to make changes that fit into your life.