Fat to Fit: Top 10 tips for staying on track on the Cambridge Weight Plan

I’ve been on CWP for just over 8 weeks now. I’ve lost quite a bit of weight and have learnt a lot about weight loss and myself in the process. They key thing I have learnt is that with dieting, as with sticking to anything else in life, it’s all about mind over matter. Discipline, self-control and motivation are key ingredients to success on this plan, as well as being able to effectively deal with self-sabotaging thoughts that rear their ugly heads from time to time.

Anyone else doing this plan will know that it can be challenging at times. So I decided to compile a list of things that have helped to make my life a little easier and stay focused.

These are my top 10 tips for staying on track and maximising your weight loss on CWP:

1. Download the ‘Monitor Your Weight’ app on your phone

It’s free and it’s great. It allows you to chart your weight, see it on a graph and provides a good source of motivation as you see that line on the bar graph steadily going down.

monitor-your-weight
See yourself reaching your goal!

2. Get your body moving

I have found that I live a horrendously sedentary lifestyle – it’s no wonder it’s so easy for me to gain weight! To keep the weight off in the long-term and live a healthy and balanced lifestyle, it is critical to be active in your life in some way. Something as simple as making the effort take 10,000 steps a day can make a huge difference (on average we take about 4,000). You can get a pedometer or download an app on your phone to keep track and make the process of getting fit fun! I have the ‘Health’ app on my iPhone which helps me monitor how many steps I take every day.

I would also recommend trying to fit in some gym sessions weekly. My Consultant has advised that on CWP you should only do light-moderate exercise, for about 30 minutes and consume about a litre of extra water that day/throughout the workout session. The recommended exercises are the treadmill, cross-trainer, rowing machine and stretching. You shouldn’t be sweating heavily and if you feel dizzy or light headed at any time YOU MUST STOP.

You can mix it up and sign up for a class or two. I recently signed up to Zumba (I used to go a few years ago quite often, but moved cities a few times so fell out of the habit), but now I plan to go every Thursday after work. It’s good to schedule it in your diary, make it look pretty with some crayola, and stick to a routine.

zumba_fitnesss
#workit

If you’re not a fan of going to the gym, you can take a short jog, do a speedy walk or buy a weighted hula hoop to use at home and get that coke-bottle figure. I recently bought one and have used it only once since but plan to use it more! It does give you a bit of a bruising when you first use it but once you get used to it, it’s fine (apparently).

The other thing that works just as well is housework! I am definitely not the domesticated kind, and never have been really. But again, I decided to make it fun – I put some music on and turned up my speakers and just whizzed through the hoovering, washing up and laundry. I actually found it to be quite therapeutic. Again, it’s all in the mind and about making that mental shift.

3. Keep on top of your water!

Tip to stay on top of your 3 litre water intake during the day: buy a 500ml bottle of water and refill and drink from that bottle that 6 times a day, or if you can, recommended by my brilliant Consultant – buy 6 x 500ml bottles of water, line them up or put them in the fridge and work through them throughout the day so you know 100% you’ve drank 3 litres – you can’t go wrong with that! Having 3 litres a day can be the difference between losing 2 pounds or losing 4 pounds in a week.

water
#StayThursty

4. Stay motivated!

We all start rearing to go at the start of a diet, but as time goes on and we encounter hiccups or food-centric scenarios e.g. birthday parties, weddings, socialising with friends, Friday in the office etc. it’s easy for our motivation to deflate and we start having those lovely self-sabotaging thoughts. I read motivational quotes and books regularly, especially when feeling down or just needing something to help refocus on my goal. You can literally just google them.

I would also recommend looking at CWP success stories – on videos, blogs and in the news. It really helps you visualise what the diet can do for you if you persevere with the plan. I am currently reading The Beck Diet Solution. This book is about training your brain to think like a thin person using CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), which is about changing the way you think about things and consequently your behaviour. The book shows you how you can use this approach to follow your diet through to the end, develop a healthy relationship with food, lose weight and keep it off for life. I downloaded the Kindle version, and read it on my Kindle app on my phone on my bus journey to and from work. I am also a huge fan of Dual Dynamics videos on Youtube, where he showcases some of the amazing losses of the women he has helped. I also follow Chanden’s blog, where she charts her weight loss journey and has some great recipes for Step 2 and 3. I would also recommend following positive pages or groups on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or joining a Whatsapp support group (if your Consultant has one). I follow all the main CWP accounts across all networks, and they’re a good place to go for the latest updates and motivational stories, tips and advice.

5. Invest in a kitchen scale

I recently bought a lovely pink kitchen scale from John Lewis (Salter Disc Kitchen Scale) to make sure that I am 100% on plan. Before that, I was spending my time guestimating when it came to the weight of my veg and meat – and in hindsight have realised that I was actually completely off the mark and was overeating on the meat and veg. Last week I lost a lot of pounds and I attribute that to being 100% on plan and measuring out everything properly. So a kitchen scale is a must have!

6. Keep staple foodstuffs at close hand and start cooking

I am on Step 2 so the list of foods for my additional meal are rather limited. I actually prefer this as it makes making decisions regarding what to eat pretty straightforward. My key essentials on this diet so far have been: chicken, eggs, tuna, lentils, spring onions and broccoli. With these you can pretty much whip up anything. I also like to keep the following close at hand: 1 cal spray, assortment of spices, low salt veg stock, lemon and sweetener tablets for my daily rounds of tea and coffee and to get my ‘sugar’ fix (I even carry them around in my bag!).

I am a rubbish cook (having always had food prepared for me by others, and catered halls during university meant that I never really invested in developing the skill). I have honestly never made an effort to cook before starting this diet – but because of the restrictions, it really pushes you to get creative. Get a notebook or blank recipe book for yourself and make a note of your favourite dishes for the Step you’re on. I have found that doing this has helped me stay on track. If you really want to get into it, you can try and challenge yourself to cook something new every week. Again, it’s all about making it interesting for yourself! Below are some pictures of what have become my regular meals on this diet and take very little effort to cook. Credit to Chanden’s blog for a lot of recipe ideas.

7. Eat out

Eating out and socialising is a normal part of life and the great thing about CWP is that you can still do this while still staying fully on plan. It also helps you prepare for when you’re progressing up the Steps as well and maintaining. You don’t have to feel like you have to be home-bound just because you’re on a diet! I have found that eating out once or twice a week helps me stay motivated because it adds a little variety to what I’m eating and I don’t feel deprived. There are also surprisingly lots of places you can eat out! My staple is Handburger and Co., but there’s also Roosters, Nandos, Deigos, Ask Italian, Pizza Express, various Indian restaurants and more! It’s just important to plan ahead by checking the menu so you’re not faced with too much of a dilemma when you get there. I would also recommend always keeping a product in your bag to stay on the safe side if you’re caught off your guard when you’re out and about and have a stomach lurch. The bars are great for this – I am absolutely obsessed with the Cranberry and Peanut ones!

IMG_2340
200g of chicken and salad at Handburger and Co. I usually get the Cajun Chicken Burger and go bunless/replace with salad 🙂

8. Surround yourself with success

Put any awards or certificates you receive throughout your journey regarding your weight loss in visible places in your room or throughout your house so it provides a constant reminder of how far you have come! Be proud of it and let it be a constant reminder of what you can achieve when you put your mind to something.

1 stone
1 stone down and counting

9. Visualise your journey

Take regular pictures of yourself throughout your weight loss journey to chart your progress, or look at your past chubby pics to use as a source of determination and energy to keep going. Being able to see the pounds come off in pictures and your old clothes sagging off you is a great feeling and helps the mind stay focused and keep the end goal in sight.

beast prince
How people will react when they see you after a while.

10. Make it your lifestyle

We are all creatures of habit: develop a routine that fits in your products, water and meals throughout the day and stick to it, and ultimately prepare as much as possible if you foresee your routine being in any way disrupted!

The aim is to maintain the weight loss once you’ve achieved your aim. The dieting doesn’t stop once you get to your goal weight. You can’t go back to old habits otherwise you will just end up where you were before you started CWP. That’s why it’s critical to start making healthy eating habits and choices RIGHT NOW, so all your hard work does not go to waste when you progress to maintaining. So embrace the plan fully and keep thinking long-term.

Simple recipe for success: 100% focus, stick to the plan 100%, you’ll get 100% results.

Good luck and keep going.

Follow me on Instagram for food-related posts and Twitter for my latest updates.

Read my other post on success on CWP here.

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