10 golden rules of fat loss success

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1/ You are an experiment of one

No one else has to live your precise life, with your specific challenges, biochemistry, anatomy, injury history, calendar, boss or family.

2/ When something works, excuse-proof it

Running and weight-watching are tough; make the habits that work for you as easy as possible. Remove tempting foods from the house, for example.

READ: 8 common mistakes that can stop weight loss

3/ If it stops working, stop it

Give any new strategy at least a week before you call it quits. If you’re not seeing results from the strength-training routine you’ve been doing for two months, try something else.

4/ Take good notes

Record every run. And every calorie. A study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that among 1,700 overweight runners, those who kept a food diary for more than five days a week lost almost twice as much as those who didn’t.

READ: 7 reasons to keep a running diary

5/ Wait it out

Scientists have shown it can take less than two minutes for a craving to disappear. If you’re hankering for crisps, tell yourself you can have them in two minutes, then walk round the block.

6/ Test your hunger with an apple

Are you hungry? Have an apple. If you crave a specific item, such as crisps, you’re probably looking for relief from something else, like boredom.

READ: 9 'healthy' foods that can ruin your running

7/ Get outside

Research published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found those who spent time in a wooded, natural setting reported better moods, more vitality and lower levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) compared with those in an urban setting.

8/ Reach out

A study published in Obesity found that a powerful factor in successful weight loss was ‘social influence’ – that is, close friends with similar goals who exercised together and exchanged pep-talk emails.

READ: 8 ways to be a more positive runner

9/ Compromise, don’t sacrifice

A study published in Obesity found that a powerful factor in successful weight loss was ‘social influence’ – that is, close friends with similar goals who exercised together and exchanged pep-talk emails.

10/ Set up non-food rewards

Make a list of five things unrelated to food to celebrate your success. Get a massage. Make a date to see friends. Plan a holiday. You’ve earned it…

READ: 19 running motivation boosters