1. Reflect on why you are losing weight. It's all very well saying you want to lose weight, but why are you doing it? Maybe it's so you feel and look better, or perhaps it's so you're looking after your future health. Whatever your reason for losing weight, it's important to have one.
2. Create realistic goals. You may want to lose ten stone over the next six months, but think about what is realistic. Start with smaller goals that will ultimately contribute to your bigger one. For example, aim to lose half a stone in one month. Then aim for another half a stone the next month. Take smaller steps that will help you to achieve the ultimate goal.
3. Spring clean your fridge, freezer and cupboards. Throw out any food that your body doesn't need (or donate it to a local food bank or homeless shelter) and get rid of your old treats. Organise your fridge, freezer and cupboards with healthy, nutritious food at the front and a little bit of what you fancy at the back.
4. Make sure healthy treats are on display. Keep fruit out on the counter in your kitchen and have other healthy treats within easy reach. Then when you feel like you'd like a treat, you'll be more tempted to reach for the healthy foods rather than the things that will keep you fat.
5. Keep track of what you eat and drink. Even if you have to write a food and drink diary, it's important to be mindful of what you are eating and drinking. Sometimes it's easy to eat more than we need and not consider how unhealthy certain drinks can be. Think twice before you put that food or drink in your mouth. Ask yourself whether your body really needs it. Become more mindful of how you treat your body.
6. Fill up on veggies. One food group that is often severely lacking from people's diets is vegetables. They are low in calories, provide essential nutrients and will aid your weight loss success. In fact, I recommend eating at least two vegetable based meals each week.
7. Make exercise a social or family activity. Now that the evenings are lighter, make an effort to go for a walk after dinner with friends or with your family. Walking boosts metabolism, helps control weight and can also boost your mood. So make it a healthy part of your routine.
8. Drink plenty of water. If you are one of my Virtual Gastric Band clients you will be aware of how much I talk about the importance of drinking plenty of water. Your body will massively benefit from the healthy intake of water. It can help you to lose weight too. I recommend always keeping a drink of water nearby and sipping throughout the day.
9. Eat smaller amounts of food. Many people are guilty of eating more than their body needs. Make a choice today to not be one of those people. Don't abuse your body like that. Don't use your body as a waste bin. You deserve better, and eating smaller amounts of food will aid your weight loss success.
10. Find an old item of summer clothing from your wardrobe that is too small for you, or buy a new item of summer clothing in a smaller size. Hang that item of clothing on the front of your wardrobe so you see it every day. Whenever you look at that item of clothing, tell yourself that you WILL fit into it at some point in the summer. Tell yourself that every day and let it shape your motivation and determination to lose weight. Try on that item of clothing each week to see how close you are getting to feeling it fit you perfectly. Let that provide another boost. Are you going to remain fat this summer or are you going to take control and make sure you can fit into that item of clothing?