December 27, 2021

A ‘New You’ for 2022

January is famous for New Year’s resolutions. There’s something so motivating about

pressing the ‘reset’ button and starting a new year with a fresh set of goals – a brand-new

year for a brand-new you. And this year that feeling’s likely to be stronger than ever, as we

emerge from the worst of the pandemic.

For many of us, becoming slimmer, fitter and healthier will be at the top of the list of our New

Year’s resolutions for 2022. Spending so much time indoors, often coupled with more

indulgent food choices and disrupted routines, saw many healthy habits fall by the wayside

during the pandemic – and then Christmas rounded it off! And let’s not forget, getting into

great shape is the very best thing that we can do for our long-term health.

If you’re ready to make 2022 the year that you take control, lose weight, get fitter and gain

confidence, read on. Here are seven secrets of success – all backed up by the latest

research into weight loss and behaviour change, from local weight loss expert Emma from Slimming World.

1 Don’t go hungry

To lose weight you have to eat less, right? Well, no! What you’re eating is much more

important than how much. Swapping high calorie, unsatisfying foods (think chocolate,

alcohol, pastries) for foods that are lower in calories and more bulky, so they fill you up for

longer, is key to losing weight in a way that’s easy to live with. Research shows that by

basing your diet on low energy dense foods, like fruit and veg, and foods that are most filling

– or satiating – like lean meat, fish, eggs, pasta and potatoes, you can actually eat a larger

amount of food and feel more satisfied while losing weight.

We might think we need to be overly strict with ourselves when we’re losing weight –

counting and measuring all our food and reducing portion sizes right down – but this type of

restrictive approach ultimately leaves us feeling more hungry and deprived, says Dr Jacquie

Lavin, Slimming World’s Head of Research.

Some quick and easy changes include using less fat when you cook, so you boil or dry fry

instead of frying in oil, swapping full fat dairy products for low fat or fat free, ditching sugary

drinks in favour of low calorie drinks and adding more fruit and veg to your daily meals.

‘My members find that by making simple changes to their shopping and cooking, which we

talk about in our group every week, they lose weight without feeling hungry,’ says Slimming

World Consultant Emma in Limerick.

2 It's OK to walk before you run!

If it’s your goal to get fitter, remember you don’t have to become a professional athlete to get

active - just making a commitment to moving more all adds up. Many people make the

mistake of joining a gym, overdoing it in week one and quickly giving up, thinking ‘exercise

isn’t for me’. Finding an enjoyable, achievable, and sustainable way of building new active

habits into your routine is key – anything that gets you moving more, from heavy gardening

or vigorous housework to brisk walking, dancing, cycling, or playing frisbee in the park,

counts. What’s most important is making it a regular habit – as natural to your day as

brushing your teeth. Jasmine says: ‘In our local group we encourage each other to get more

active, and we’ve got a new set of 50 online videos for members so they can easily get

started at home.’

3 Be kind to yourself

We all start January with great intentions, but it’s all too easy to go off track. It’s what you do

next that matters most – and the most important thing is not to beat yourself up about it. A

Slimming World survey of 1,700 slimmers showed that when they did have a slip up, being

self critical was more likely to lead to comfort eating and giving up completely, whereas

when they were kinder to be kind to themselves (imagine how you’d talk to a friend who’s

had a setback), they more quickly got back to healthy eating, lost weight and they kept it

off. So, cut yourself some slack!

4 Set a goal

It’s hard to achieve a goal if you don’t set it out clearly in the first place! And when you’re

thinking about your dream weight, don’t be afraid to be ambitious. Research from Slimming

World shows that slimmers who set ambitious targets lose twice as much weight as those

who try to be ‘realistic’. Shoot for the moon – you never know where you might land! Emma

says: ‘As well as setting an overall weight loss target, all my members set a mini goal every

week – whether it’s to lose weight, to get more active, to plan ahead or to try something new

– making that commitment to a goal definitely helps them achieve more.’

5 Don’t opt for a quick fix

It’s no secret that many people find losing weight far easier than keeping it off long-term. To

avoid becoming trapped in a yo-yo diet cycle, it’s important to approach weight loss as a

permanent change to your lifestyle – and focus on developing new healthy habits that are

sustainable for life, as well as getting support to make those changes. Dr Jacquie Lavin,

Slimming World’s Head of Research, says: ‘A group support approach is tried and tested -

research shows that the more groups Slimming World members attend, the more successful

they are. Based on their weight-loss over a year, the top 10,000 slimmers who attended their

weekly weight-loss group regularly lost 30% of their body weight – around 5st each. In our

groups, members are equipped with all the tools they need to stay slim for life, so that they

can be confident that the changes they’re making are sustainable forever.’

6 Strike a balance

An all-or-nothing approach is rarely effective when it comes to weight loss. Restricting

yourself when it comes to food and drink might work in the short-term, but pretty soon you’ll

be fed up, hungry and giving up completely. A little bit of what you fancy is key! That might

be a Saturday night glass of wine or a bit of chocolate in the evenings. Whatever it is for you,

having a flexible approach and a balanced mindset is much more likely to deliver long-term


7 You don’t have to go it alone

The principles of losing weight are quite simple, yet if it was that easy – we’d all be doing it!

Studies show that embarking on your weight loss journey alongside other slimmers brings

more success than going it alone – sharing the ups and down, having cheerleaders who are

on your side, and sharing advice and tips. And not only that - recent research revealed that

people who are supported to lose weight in a group increase their mental toughness –

developing more control, embracing challenges and growing in confidence -- more than

those who choose to lose weight on their own - and go on to lose more weight than those

who don’t have the support of a Slimming World group. Dr Jacquie Lavin says:

“The power of the group and the peer support members give one another is what sets

Slimming World apart. Our members become part of a community, something special, which

helps them to realise that they are not alone in the challenges they face. That’s combined

with our personalised approach – called IMAGE Therapy – which helps every member

discover more about themselves as a slimmer, identify their own pitfalls and danger zones,

and create practical plans to overcome them.”

To find out more contact Emma on 087 7712959 or come along to Garryowen Rugby Club, Dooradoyle Wednesday or Saturday morning at 8.00 or 9.30am.

Joined as a member in 2014, became a consultant in 2015 & a team Developer in 2018.

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