Weight Loss NHS
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What You Really Must Do If You Want to Successfully Lose Weight & Keep it Off


In order to successfully lose weight & keep it off you HAVE TO forget about being 'on a diet'.

Being 'on a diet' implies that at some point you will be 'off a diet' & that is one of the biggest reasons people are unable to stick with healthy eating and leading a healthier lifestyle to lose weight and keep it off forever.

The more you focus on being 'on a diet' the harder everything will seem, because even the thoughts that surround 'dieting' are negative & imply you will have to go without things you enjoy & exercise hard to shed those pounds.

Instead focus on creating a healthy style of eating & way of living that you can enjoy & therefore sustain. One that will promote weight loss, but without you having to eliminate all your favourite foods & drinks all the time. This 'style' will become your new habitual way of eating.

If you're not sure what this new healthy style of eating and living looks like, take some time to consider what you need to learn to be able to do this, think about areas where you may need some help and don't be afraid to ask for that help or where to find the information.

To help with this new 'mindset' it may also be better to approach your goals & targets in a different way. Obviously most people have an overall target weight, clothing size or fitness level that they would like to achieve & this is the ultimate goal, but it can be more successful to look at the way the goal is reached, in a slightly different way.

Rather than setting weekly or monthly targets for weight loss, try keeping your goals focused on the habits you want to change or develop which will get you to your ultimate goal.

So instead of having a goal to lose, say 5lb in the first month, you could set a Week 1 goal to complete a full week's menu plan of healthy meals & snacks in the right portions & stick to it. If that goes well, introduce another small goal in week 2, maybe something like adding 20 minutes of walking/running (or activity of your choice) 3 times during the week, as well as continuing with the success of week one with the menu plan. Write this exercise activity into your weekly plan so it's booked in for a time convenient to you - a fixed appointment.

Then carry on each week building in new small goals as you go and see what effect that has on your progress, rather than thinking about the number on the scales all the time. (make sure you take your measurements to compare to over time)

The reason this can work better, is because for some people, it can be really disheartening if a goal to lose 'X no of lbs' is not achieved. It can lead to feelings of failure, cause de-motivation & increase stress levels, which are all major barriers to staying on track.

Setting goals and targets this way can really help you to move away from the 'being on a diet' mindset & get into the 'creating a healthy style of eating' mindset.

The whole process is geared toward positive things to DO rather than negative things to try & stop doing.

Always focus on what you 'want' to be doing rather than what you don't want to be doing, because the more you think about what you are trying to stop doing, the more you actually focus on that, making it really hard to stop doing it! :)

Maybe this little explanation will help explain what I mean

If I tell you NOT to think about a pink elephant

You HAVE to think about a pink elephant

In order to be able to try and NOT think about a pink elephant

and the more you try NOT to think about that pink elephant, the more he pops into your head?

The same is true for food... the more you try not to think about it, the more you think about it

So focus on the foods you want to be eating and the habits you want to be doing only - and the other stuff will quite literally 'fall out of your mind' in time.

I hope this helps in some way. :)

18 Replies

Well am not on a diet .i didn't even mention going on a diet lol.thanks for the reply and advise hun Il take it on board. I was a member of slimming world at one point but I stopped going after my 1st time just wasn't what I expected it to be.my sister didnt wanna go after the 1st time thats why I didnt keep I up although it wasn't for me id have stuck at it if my sister did I suffered anxiety and cant go out on my own and I dont really have friends anymore as they always show true colours in the end .

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Have you tried any of the online slimming options? I believe slimming world do an online version? May suit you better than the weekly visits.

I hope you're finding this site good for support and encouragement, for many people having support and people to talk to who are going through the same thing and working toward the same goals can make a big difference :)

PS: Great that you're not on a diet :D

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Good stuff, and a positive way to look at it. That is soo true. If we look on losing weight as going on a diet, we will forever try to lose weight, i call it a lifestyle habit.


Spot on

First step is learn to eat properly not diet which encourages all the mind sets you went through, to diet before you have consistantly maintaned your weight for a reasonable period of time is to big an ask.

I have just done 30 days of eating properly and its been hard work, but its now starting to ease off.

I hope all of you who may read this succeed


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Congratulations Gratho on your 30 days of healthy eating, what have you found most challenging about it?

Anything new/different is bound to feel like hard work initially, but soon begins to feel like 'the norm' and before you know it you'll be wondering how you ever ate any differently ;)


Completely agree with you. Its about a lifestyle change and developing habits that will stay with us for life.

I often try to to think like a fit, healthy person when I have to make food or exercise choices - because that is, after all, where I am headed.


Hi Dave

Absolutely, it's about finding a way you haven't been before, otherwise you'd already be where you wanted to be.

There will always be some trial and error in finding a new way to be, but I definitely think you're on the right track by focusing on thinking like a fit & healthy person, it's the best way I know to BE a fit and healthy person.

Sounds to me like you'll be there before you know it! ;)

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Hi Michelle, good post with a lot of sense. I noticed other people baulked at the idea of losing weight as it was a loss! Simple as they couldn't get past that one concept. I'm on my way back to a healthy lifestyle and physicality - I'm having to use a lot of imagination as I'm heading back to a weight I was last at as a teenager! Bonkers - completely uncharted territory.

I'm only getting more of what I want. More Clam. More Peace. More Health. More Energy. More Life!

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Hi Andrew,

It's interesting isn't it the way psychology can play such a big part... perhaps the idea of 'getting lighter' is a better way to think about it? :)

How amazing, to be heading back to a weight you last were as a teenager! Our imagination can be an incredibly useful and powerful tool when used for positive focus (the same unfortunately is true for negative but we won't go there!)

More of all of those things sounds fantastic! Enjoy the ride and keep doing what you're doing, sounds great to me :)


Hi Michelle, Nice pointers for a change in life style. I agree with you competely, will now try to see the healthier eating patterns as a way of life. Good!

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Hi Kate

I'm glad the post bought in some positive perspectives for you, look forward to seeing your future posts and hearing about your progress :)


Excellent post. Very insightful.

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Thank You Lifestyle-Change

I hope you have a great Weekend :)


Thank you - a very helpful "thought for the day". I quite agree - that's why my name is Runningsoon, rather than Feelingfatandfrumpy (or numerous other more negative labels)! Right now I'm walking lots, but that will develop into half-running - and then may be... well who knows! Thanks again - and hang in there everyone. Here's to a healthy and happy day tomorrow for everyone. xxx

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I love that you have opted for that positive forward focused name, brilliant!... and yes that's exactly how it's done, lots of walking, start building in little bits of very steady half-walking/jogging even if it's only half a dozen steps at a time, you'll be surprised how quickly it builds up... and before you know it, you will be having to change your name on here! :D

Hope you have a brilliant weekend, keep us posted on those day by day steps xx

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Great advice and sums up what I feel now - I am not 'on a diet' or 'trying to LOSE weight' (who wants the feeling of LOSING something, it is very negative!). But I am working towards eating more healthy foods and treating myself to lovely fruits and vegetables and high fibre goodies because I am worth it. ) And yes, I will get lighter as the weeks pass and feel the weight lifted from me!

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You definitely will Nelliecat4 :)

I would recommend setting yourself up well for healthy eating with meal planning and preparing ahead where you can, having all the tastiest healthiest foods that you really enjoy easily available in the fridge and the cupboards, and only buy the odd 'treats' now and then, eat them, savour them, and enjoy them guilt free because you know the majority of the time, you are eating in a way that is moving you toward the place you want to be. This should make it easier to forget about them if they're not staring you in the face every time you open the cupboard.

Then forget about the whole getting lighter thing, the less you can focus on food and eating in general, the quicker your healthy eating and healthy lifestyle will feel more natural :D

Good Luck xx

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Sounds good to me! :)


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