The 5 Secrets to Successful Weight Loss

by : Allison Whitehead

We've all stood in that spot - right in front of the mirror, side on, frowning and wobbling the bits that really shouldn't be wobbling. What is it they said on the advert? 'If you can pinch more than an inch...'

Well, if it's more like a six inches you're pinching, read up on these five tactics that will help you pinch a lot less...

1 - Drink plenty of fluid.
When you're trying to lose weight, your body will naturally feel the difference. But did you know that hunger pangs can sometimes be caused by being thirsty? Strange but true. So the next time you feel hungry, try having a glass of water or a diet drink before you eat anything. Your hunger may magically disappear.

2 - Eat slowly.
In the fast moving world we live in, it's easy to start thinking of food as just a necessity, and we stop enjoying it so much. So from today, try slowing down when you eat. Really savour each mouthful. Enjoy the different flavours. Not only will you enjoy your meals more, you'll also feel fuller faster, and you'll be less likely to overeat.

3 - Don't deny your hunger.
Did you know the human stomach can only hold about two fistfuls of food comfortably at any one time? That's a good reason not to overload your plate - but try not to go too far in the opposite direction either. If your stomach is rumbling, it's telling you it needs feeding! So feed it - you should never feel hungry when you are trying to lose weight, as it ends up backfiring on you. Just make sure you choose a small and healthy snack (and don't forget to try having a drink first!).

4 - Make lots of small changes.
You don't have to make huge sweeping changes when you're on a diet. Slow and steady is the best way to cultivate better eating habits that are more likely to stay with you. Try leaving the butter out of your sandwiches. Reduce your portion sizes (remember the 'two fistfuls' rule). Switch to skimmed milk. Use sweeteners instead of sugar. Small changes add up, and they are among the easiest changes to make.

5 - Set realistic targets to aim for.
Reaching your ideal size by your 40th birthday is a good goal to have... unless your 40th birthday is two weeks away, and you have a stone to lose. Setting a tough (and almost unreachable goal) is never a good idea, as you are setting yourself up for almost certain disappointment. If you set yourself the achievable challenge of a pound loss a week, you'll lose a stone in a little over three months. And since a loss of between one and two pounds a week is generally considered acceptable, you could lose nearly two stone in that same amount of time.

So where do you want to be in three months time? You may well be standing in front of that same mirror, but will you be smiling?

If you set yourself some realistic goals, you'll have far more chance of reaching them successfully. Follow the tips above, and you'll be smiling.