One of the most important steps, when you’re trying to lose weight, is getting in the right mind frame. Losing weight can feel like a daunting task to start with so it’s a good idea to write down your goals and break those down into mini-goals.

The changes you make to your diet and lifestyle need to be sustainable in the long-term so that when you lose weight, you’re able to keep it off. There are a few things you should think about before starting out on your weight management journey, these include:

Motivation

What is your motivation is to manage your weight?  Is it to improve your health; to have more energy; to feel better about yourself or to fit back into some of your favourite clothes?

Writing it down, visualising your end goal and reminding yourself of why you want to lose weight in the first place will help with your motivation.

Lifestyle

This includes your diet, physical activity, how much alcohol you drink and whether you smoke. All of these have an impact on your overall health but also your blood glucose control, which can make your diabetes more difficult to manage.

You might find it helpful to keep a food and physical activity diary for a week as this can help identify some areas where you can make some small changes. Try identifying one or two things you can change to start with – this could be going out for a short walk every day, or perhaps eating breakfast at the same time every morning. Once you start making some changes and start to see and feel some benefits then try making some more changes.

Support

What and who is going to support you in your weight management journey? It might be a friend that you can exercise with; planning out all of your meals; using an app to track your food and exercise; attending a weight management class or your partner or family also joining you with the changes you are making.

Doing things differently isn’t easy to start with but having support will make the journey there much easier! How many times have you said to yourself that you’ll go out for a walk or run but when the time comes you can’t muster the energy? If you have a friend or family member that can join you then you’re far more likely to do it and enjoy it! You can register for Diabetes My Way to see you GP diabetes record to see you latest diabetes test results and track your progress. 

Barriers

Think about what stops you from losing weight. Is it a lack of time; you’re not sure what foods to eat; do you eat when your mood is low; does the thought of doing exercise seem daunting or do you feel that when you get off track that you should just give up altogether?

By identifying what your potential barriers are you can come up with some strategies for overcoming these. Preparation is key to weight loss so things such as planning your meals for the week or schedule when to exercise can really help with weight loss. Set yourself up for success and have a plan for overcoming your barriers.

Mood

Depression and low mood can lead to gaining weight and in turn, your weight gain could be a consequence of low mood; it is a vicious cycle. Taking some small steps and achieving some of your mini-goals can put you in a more positive mind set which can make the rest of your journey easier.

If you’d like to get started with writing down some of your goals, download our SMART goal worksheet. Creating SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals are designed to help you identify if what you want to achieve is realistic and determine a deadline.

Additional resources

For more information about weight management and type 2 diabetes or type 2 diabetes prevention, why not take one of our eLearning courses?

It's really important to have a starting point so you can track your progress when you decide to make lifestyle changes. You can register for access to your patient dashboard where you will see you latest diabetes test results.