How to lose weight safely (if you want to)

This works for me, but massive disclaimer on not being a nutritionist

I’m a bit of a Bridget Jones in that I constantly fluctuate between 8st 11 and 9st 4 (oops). Losing weight is really easy for me and so is gaining it, but that’s about my average range, which is luckily pretty standard. My mum gave me some advice that’s never failed: do it on the basis of how your clothes fit you.

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Liquid calories are so easy to mess up on

If your skirt is getting too tight, just skip that biscuit you have in the afternoons. If your jeans are hard to do up, don’t treat yourself to that latte. Little bits like that make a massive difference. Anyway, here are my 10 non-fad tips that I promise involve no weird expensive seeds or horrible work outs.

  1. Drink two whole glasses of water and wait 2 minutes before starting a meal. A lot of ‘hunger’ is actually being dehydrated. Water will make you feel fuller before you eat, so you might eat less.
  2. Don’t feel that you have to eat more than you want. If there is too much on your plate, don’t finish it. A lump of potato is another 200 calories. Again, it adds up.
  3. Eat more vegetables. Fruit is weirdly high in sugar, but vegetables are relatively large and low calorie. I find rocket leaves are suitably low calorie and filling, and they are so disgusting I lose my appetite.
  4. Accept that dieting is boring. No one has ever said ‘wow I’m looking forward to my small portion of pumpkin seeds’. Once you get over the tedium it becomes more achievable.
  5. Do NOT lose too much weight too fast. It can be really tempting to starve yourself for two weeks but this messes up your metabolism and will mean that your body will store fat when you regain it. Slow down and don’t cut back too drastically.
  6. Talk to your doctor. They actually kn0w what they are on about most of the time in relation to your body and can actually recommend personal dietary changes. It might just be that you need to reduce your evening meal.
  7. There are no quick fixes: stay away from commercial pills. All dieting pills are is caffeine and appetite suppressants. They won’t ‘burn up fat’ like they claim, they just speed up your digestive process and that has limited effect unless you are cutting back on food too. Unless your doctor recommends them, avoid. Worst case: you’ll waste money. Best case: you’ll get seriously sick.
  8. Try trampolining. If, like me, you despise running, press ups and anything remotely resembling sport, try trampolining. Does amazing things to your legs and is pretty fun.
  9. Have an iced black coffee instead of a frappe at Starbucks when you are with your friends. It can be tempting to have a huge cream latte when you are socialising but avoid it. Any drink over 50cl is not worth the exercise. Liquid carbs are bad news.
  10. Check your measurements, not your weight. Weight changes with muscle and water retention, but if you want to say, go down a dress size, tape measure your thighs, waist, hips and chest. It’s a more accurate picture of how different your body looks. Remember, change is gradual so don’t give up if you haven’t lost 8 inches in a week.

Written by

24 year old with an awful lot to say about everything. Opinions entirely my own. Usually. madelaine@madelainehanson.co.uk

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