Three tips to kick-start weight loss

This time last year I was almost 2 stone heavier and getting very unhealthy. I thought I would share three tips on how I started a weight loss programme.

  1. Buy a fitness tracker and use it! I have a Fitbit Charge 2, and I love it because I didn’t realise before I used it how little I moved my big fat butt off of the seat and I was eating way more than I was moving around. Without this, I would never have known the scale of the problem I had. I also bought a different strap for it so that it looks and feels much more like a watch.  I put in the things I eat every day into my ‘phone, along with my weight loss goal and it lets me know when I am near the limit of what I can get away with shovelling in each day. I have also set mine to tell me when to move so that I get up off my seat and then it becomes easier to move about more and get more exercise in. 


2. Look at what you’re eating/drinking and make small swaps to reduce calorie intake. For example, I swapped my morning cappuccino for a skinny cappuccino with cinnamon on instead of chocolate sprinkles. I also swapped my morning crisp snack habit for nuts and seeds, they are more protein dense so keep me feeling full for longer and they have the crunch I like. 


A lot of weight gain occurs because you have made small changes to your lifestyle that you haven’t noticed – it’s a bit like the plane that was supposed to fly to Düsseldorf recently and ended up in Scotland (Plane flies to Edinburgh instead of Germany). It got there because the small course deviations weren’t noticed and it’s the same with weight. You only have to end the day with an average of 500 extra calories (i.e. 3500 calories per week) to put on a pound in weight. The upside is you only have to reduced your calories by 500 every day to lose a pound per week. This means you can eat 250 calories less and do 250 calories worth of exercise every day and you’ll lose a pound per week. How good and how easy to do is that for you!

The cappuccino swap saves me around 70 calories and that’s a lot towards my 250 saving for the day and it doesn’t taste any different so I have managed to keep to this when I had lost my weight.

3. Find the exercise that you like doing, for example, I have found a Zumba class (Zumba with Annie) where everyone is friendly and the class is fun. Guess what – I actually look forward to going to the class and it burns around 250 calories every time I go. 


I also love going for walks – it’s totally free and I get to look at the great countryside (again a nice 3-mile circuit about an hour’s walk burns over 200 calories).

So to kick-start your weight loss, in summary:

  1. Use a tracker
  2. Make small food and drink swaps
  3. Find and do exercise you like doing.

If you do these 3 things, you’ll be well on your way to losing weight and being healthier – good luck!

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I'm a science writer and presenter. In my spare time, I'm an actor.

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