The thought of introducing healthy changes to your lifestyle can be daunting.
Where do you start? What do you do to stop falling off the wagon? What’s the point?
While there’s no denying the process is tough, it can be made easier with a wise and helpful tip (or two). Formerly ‘overweight’ Reddit users recently shared the best weight management tip that actually worked for them — and stuck.
1. Ditch the juice.
While replacing fizzy drinks with juice might seem like a good idea, it requires moderation.
“Fruit juice and smoothies are terrible if you’re trying to lose weight,” wrote one Reddit user.
This is because they can often be packed with more sugar than your favourite form of bubbles.
Watch: How much sugar is really in your favourite drink? (Post continues after video.)
2. Be honest with yourself.
Don’t just write down the good stuff.
“Recording intake, even when you ‘cheat’, is the biggest thing … I would give up on tracking my meals/macros because I was ashamed I had given in to a craving,” wrote one Redditor, who worked at managing her weight for a long time.
“I started again, and now even I record everything I eat even when I know I will exceed a sugar/calorie goal. Getting over the shame of ‘failing’ was a huge improvement. Most of the time, my calorie intake averages out to my goal over the course of the week, and I’ve started seeing my diet as a long-term lifestyle change and not a short-term weight loss regimen.”
3. Drink milk.
“I have a full glass of milk every day at lunch, and the protein and fat help me stay satisfied from lunch until dinner without needing to snack. It’s the only thing I drink besides water and unsweetened tea (and the occasional glass of wine).”
4. Give things time.
Changes don't happen overnight.
"There's a relationship between how long you've been heavy and how long to take it off. This is taking both the mental and physical aspects of losing weight into account," wrote one user.
"If you gained three kilograms over Christmas, the weight will come off quickly. If you've been heavy all your life then it will take a bit to retrain your body and brain. It's worth it regardless."
5. There's no shame in 'falling off the wagon'.
"You will fail. You will stick your head in that bag of chips and eat the whole thing. Feel bad (learn the lesson) then start again. It's not a contest, there's no prize for a perfect record. The prize is at the end," wrote one Redditor.
6. Forget about 'dieting'.
"Don't diet. Just change the things you eat," says one user, who has lost 50 kilograms.
"Even if you find a diet that looks good, don't rush in head first," added another.
"Cut one bad thing at a time while steadily shrinking your portions. Dieting can be a nightmare if you jump in headfirst and try to handle the chaos that follows such an abrupt, dramatic shift. You will feel like shit because you're cutting too much too fast, so you'll stop going to the gym, and you'll give up."
It's always important to consult with a doctor or dietitian before making major changes to your eating habits. (Post continues after gallery.)
7. Turn exercising into a hobby.
"Find new hobbies that use your body [like] cycling, hiking, rock climbing, swimming That way it doesn't fee like exercise. Or pick up new hobbies that use your mind; that way it keeps you mind off of food, if you have an addiction," suggested one Redditor.
8. Don't give yourself access to things you can't resist.
"The biggest thing that helped me was keeping the calories out of my apartment. I would buy a thing of Oreos and grab a couple at a time. Then a couple more, and then a couple more until I ate a row," wrote one user.
"I have a terrible sweet tooth so if I have cookies/whatever in my apartment it's getting demolished. But if I have to go somewhere to get a snack I'm too lazy."
9. Don't discount the power of small changes.
"I did small things, like park twice as far away to walk somewhere and always took stairs if possible. Just changing little things made it simpler to change big things."
10. Make fruit your lollies.
"Want sweets? Strawberries and grapes are awesome for snacking and give the sugar craving a kick. Also buying those pre-cut veggie trays people use for parties is a great way to snack during movies without loading up on calories, even with the dip," wrote one user.
"This isn't entirely the most economical way to go for fresh veggies but if it helps you stay on track due to a busy life like me, then it is worth it. I hate food prep and I am fine paying a little extra for the convenience. My kids actually eat more veggies with this method. I just buy the trays and set them out."
11. Start slow.
"Get in the habit of working out every day. You don't have to be exhausted by the end, just do something. Every day. Slowly build up from there as you are able. You don't want to hurt yourself by trying to lift a ton a weights a zillion times when you haven't been doing anything like that for so long," recommended one user.
"Start with one rep on the lowest weight if you have to, it's okay. When you start out, the most important thing is getting in the habit of going to the gym and actually working out."
12. Think long-term.
"Don't scare yourself away by trying too much too fast. Remember ... you're altering your lifestyle. Take your time, you'll be doing this for the rest of your life," wrote one Redditor.
"If your goal is to [reach] a particular size or weight, you might get there, but then you'll stop. This is a forever change. Make that true for you if you want this to work."
What's your best weight management tip?