STUART McGINLEY: Plan to lose weight? Keep realistic goals

WELL let me start by wishing you a Happy New Year and by the time you read this I hope you are still managing to stick to any new year’s resolutions?

Perhaps to quit smoking, lose weight or even take part in Dry January.

The most popular one for many people, I am sure, will be to either lose a few pounds after the Christmas excess or to go on a bigger life-changing diet and fitness regime.

For me going on a diet has always failed in January because it’s always cold and bleak

and I always just want to eat comfort food, which unfortunately doesn’t usually tie up with low-calorie diets!

‘Diets’ just don’t work either, we are already being swamped with endless commercials on TV for weight-loss shakes, food plans, pills and of course cut-price treadmills, etc.

I lost four stone just over a year ago and someone told me that’s the easy part, the

work then begins to maintain your weight and avoid slipping back into bad habits, and they are so right.

Since my weight loss, I have kept up regular exercise, (a very active dog helps!), stopped buying chocolate bars and just kept an eye on what I eat each day, without becoming obsessed with calorie-counting.

This has worked for me but I know that over Christmas I will have put a few pounds on, so will work a little harder to shed the extra padding.

My advice to you if you need to lose more than a few pounds is to pick a time that suits you and keep your goals realistic, don’t set the bar too high or you will fail.

Treat yourself once a week or you will become obsessed with the foods you have had to cut back on.

You should never cut out anything if you don’t want to either, just have a smaller amount.

A good time to start a diet for me was in spring, as the days really start to get longer and warmer, you can get out more and feel more positive with the summer just around the corner!

Whenever you start and however you do it,

I wish you the best of luck!