Introducing... The Plan

Over the past 10 years or so in my clinic, and especially over the past few years on TV, I have found that the people who are most successful at losing weight long term are those who embraced making a complete change to their lifestyle and who avoided the pitfalls of falling into a yo-yo dieting pattern.

My intention with my book is that you will start to think a little differently about how you eat, what you eat, when you eat and why you eat. I want to help you to be successful at making better meal choices for you and your family and, in turn, to lose weight if that is your goal.

Aoife Hearn's The Plan

What is the best approach for weight loss:

Most people don’t know how to focus on losing weight without going on a diet. Did you know that only 2% of people lose weight successfully when following a diet? The thing is, diets don’t work. In fact, most people who follow diets will actually regain more weight than they lost in the first place.

So this book gives  you an opportunity to take a different approach. That approach is to focus on wellness and lifestyle changes. Instead of focusing on avoiding certain foods, you are placing your focus on the bigger picture of changing your habits and behaviours to make weight loss stick.1 Much of current research suggests that this approach will be more beneficial for you and your family in the long term.

Aoife Hearne with the OpTrans Team

'Just tell me what I need to do!' My Top 5 Tips:

Sound familiar? Yes, because this is what most people want – I regularly hear ‘just tell me what I need to do and I’ll do it’. The first important step is to make sure your head is in the right place so that you can get off to the best start. These are some starter tips, but you will notice other tips along the way to build up your toolbox.

  1. Have a strong foundation for WHY you want to lose weight/make changes. This needs to be something that resonates with your soul, a reason strong enough to stop you having two biscuits on the way up the stairs to bed.
  2. Be honest with yourself. If you really want to be successful in maintaining a  healthy  weight for life, you need to stop believing the ‘line’ you are telling everyone around you. For example, ‘I overeat because I’m lonely/I’m sad/I’m bored’; the list can go on. Or instead of the line ‘I’m too busy to cook’, the truth may be closer to I’m not organised/ prepared at the weekends to be able to cook mid- week and I don’t want to take the time needed to do this.

  3. Make the healthy habits EASY to do. Think of the ‘triggers’ that make the healthy habits/food choices easy to do. For example, if you want to drink more water, rather than focusing on drinking 2 litres of water a day, what I recommend is to keep the focus on bringing a water bottle with you to work. If you have your water bottle with you (the trigger), you are more likely to achieve your goal (healthy habit).

  4. Build barriers to unhealthy habits. Make it difficult to continue the unhealthy habits that get in the way of your weight loss goals.

  5. Make sure you are not on a ‘diet’. Keep your focus on the habits you want to change rather than on an ‘all or nothing’ approach.

But seriously, what do I need to do?

Okay – now over to the practical tips and tricks to get you started:

  • Keep a food diary. Although very tedious and boring at times, food diaries do work. Research shows that people who keep a food diary lose almost twice as much weight as those who don’t.
  • Eat regularly. Make sure you never skip meals, especially breakfast. My recommendation is to eat three main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)  each day, in addition to two snacks.

  • Get your five-a-day. This very basic advice – but there is not a person on the planet who is overweight or obese from eating too much broccoli. Make sure half of your plate is filled with vegetables, at lunch and dinner.

  • Choose wholegrain carbohydrates in moderation. So many people are ‘carb-phobic’ right now, but there is not strong enough evidence to really suggest we should avoid carbohydrates. In fact, they are a very important energy source. However, be smart about your choices – choose whole grains that are high in fibre and aim to keep them to one-quarter of your plate, at lunch and dinner.

  • Be sure to have lean protein choices at all your meals. Lean protein choices such as lean meat, fish, poultry, tofu and eggs will provide long-lasting energy when combined with carbohydrates at meals. Aim to have lean protein on one-quarter of your plate, at lunch and dinner.

Keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more extracts, recipes and advice from Aoife over the coming weeks!