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Weight Loss NHS
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Any tips on developing willpower?

I looked in the mirror the other day and was presented with an ugly truth that i had been trying to avoid. I'm in my mid-30's, i'm overweight and really unfit. I need to turn things around, get my life in order and try to get fitter and lose some weight. But there is an issue....

I've tried and tried and i just don't seem to be able to enjoy "healthy living." I find healthy food to be bland, expensive and time consuming to prepare. Exercise leaves me feeling miserable, disappointed in myself and if anything makes my depression feel worse.

So given the fact that i don't seem to enjoy these things, it looks like willpower is going to be the only way i can force myself down this path. Does anyone have any tips on keeping willpower up and generally trying to keep myself on this healthier path?

7 Replies

Welcome Phil.

Firstly, I'm glad that you use the phrase 'healthy living' and not 'diet'. Healthy living for me has still been to eat most of what I've always eaten, with the only thing changing being my portion sizes.

Check out the NHS 12 week plan which many people here are following.

Losing weight is supposed to be 80% sensible eating and 20% exercise so you can still lose weight without exercising. At the same time, exercise does help and can be anything from a brisk walk to "sky's the limit". That would be down to you finding something you like. I've rediscovered my love of cycling but also I now enjoy swimming in a pool when I only used to enjoy it in the sea.

An administrator will reply shortly with a link on how to get the most out of this forum, which is a must read :)


Hi Phill,

It sounds as if you need a re-boot. My suggestion would be to throw yourself into community life, as the positive energy is catching and therefore motivating. What we can't manage alone, we can as a team.

I'd like to invite you to join our Newbie Club, which we hope will be a good place for you to connect with members, who are also just starting out. If you just post a few words to introduce yourself and respond to others there, you'll soon break the ice. Here's the link


You'll find all the information you need to navigate the forum in the header, so please take the time to read it carefully.

Wishing you all the best :)


Hi Phill,

I think we get a bit bombarded with healthy eating and maybe try and make to many adjustments all at once. We are so lucky to have the choice of so many foods, but we don't have to have them all!

I'm making healthier choices but pretty much sticking to normalish foods and my exercise is not that intense because I don't want to be miserable whilst trying to get healthier.

For example, yesterday I made chilli for dinner, it was lean mince, tin tomatoes, measured out the oil for frying onion, kidney beans and a taco dry packet mix (so prob high salt), but it was easy to make, I measured the portion and even stuck some avocado and cream cheese on. - normal food.

Another tip I picked up on this forum is that full fat is actually more tasty and reduces cravings and need to snack - this really works, measure your portions I.e I measure the amount of milk on my porridge, so I'm aware of calories,

My exercise might be a walk of 20-30 mins or a swim or a game of squash if I'm feeling energetic. I'll try for a really long weekend walk, and I gradually have been trying to take more steps in my working day.

So my suggestion is take smaller steps and be flexible with your routine because then you aren't setting yourself up to feel bad and just remember your doing it for you so you can look/feel the way you want to x


Hi phill81,

I'm in my mid 50's and I have tried to get my weight down.

A few weeks ago I looked in the mirror and decided that I looked like Flintstone.

My weight had stayed the same for the previous 3 weeks.

I started to cut down on carbs eat regular meals .

Have the odd treat and when I see what others eat that makes me feel so much better.

Don't try and do too many things at once .

Try changing little by little.

Good luck,don't worry this forum is amazing and without it I wouldn't be replying to you .



Hi phill81 you have come to the right place. Not sure if there is a secret recipe for Will Power but I know that here people Will Provide as much support, help and encouragement as they can. With healthy eating as the others say its changing portions and slowly phasing somethings out. I love pasta but now instead of two bowls, yes two bowls I have gone to just under a bowl. I am eating more vegetables but still have to improve my fruit intake. It takes time. Not everyone is in to exercise but going out for a walk can be good, you know just around the block or even taking the stairs (depending how far you have to go up:)) Anyway, you have already started on your journey by coming here and wanting to change things, thats Will Power. Remember its small steps first:) Good luck on your journey and look forward to reading more about it:)


Hi phill81 well done for coming on this forum. We are all on the same journey of learning what fuel our bodies need to be at their best performance. Like others have said it's small steps that help us to change our perspectives on what our bodies need I think it's fair to say we all learn from each other on here so reading the posts as often as you can will help and motivate you. Good luck - you can turn things round

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Hi Phill

I followed Dr Michael Moseley's 8 week blood sugar diet and he has a theory that it is really important to make every calorie you eat be as tasty and satisfying as possible. There is a lovely illustrated recipe book written by his wife who is a GP and a nutritionist which compliments the diet book ( the 8 week blood sugar diet recipe book) and it is full of excellent tasty and spicy recipe which are low GI and also low calorie. My favourites are the Hungarian Goulash ( which all the family love) and Michael's Thai fish cakes, and Coq au Vin. Why not get a copy and try some of them. If your main meals are satisfying you will need less will power because you won't crave food so much particularly if you keep your blood sugar levels even.

thought I did not enjoy walking but since I have been walking regularly and us a fit bit to count my steps I actually enjoy it especially on a sunny day. I shop for fresh vegetables each day in order to have a purpose for walking into town and increase the exercise by carrying the groceries home on a back pack after taking the long route through the park and across fields. It has enabled me to change my eating patterns and activity levels and I have lost 18kg in 4 months.

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