Embarking on a new diet and fitness routine can be daunting but developing the right mindset will motivate you to reach your goals. Follow our essential guide to ditching unwanted pounds…

Monitor your measurements

Muscle weighs more than fat, so ditch daily weigh-ins and monitor changes with a measuring tape instead. Take your measurements once a week and record your results as a reminder of your progress.

Create a schedule

Following a plan or writing down your diet and workout schedule week by week is vital for successful slimming. From meal planning to deciding when and where to work out, precise forward planning will help you stay on the wagon.

Be patient

Small, subtle changes equal long-term success, so ease your way into your diet and fitness routine rather than jumping in with high hopes of losing a stone in a week. This way you’ll be more likely to keep the weight off for good.

Enlist an exercise buddy

Even during lockdown, there’s no reason why you can’t team up with another family member from your household and go out for a brisk walk, run or cycle ride together. If you have another person to exercise with, it makes you accountable, meaning you’ll be less likely to skip a workout.

Go shopping

Investing in flattering workout gear helps you to feel good about yourself. Order some flattering workout kit you like to make you feel and look the part when you head for a workout.

Treat yourself

Reward yourself – go on, you deserve it! Set yourself weekly targets, and when you reach them, shout yourself a pretty lipstick, a pair of shoes or a whole new outfit if you’re feeling flash.

Create a challenge

Whether it’s being fit enough to run your first 5K or getting down to a size 10 in time for your best friend’s wedding, having a goal to strive for is a great way to keep focused. Referring back to your end target will help when motivation slumps.

Stay regularly active

To push your body into fat-burning mode, keep active throughout the day. Take the stairs instead of the lift, cycle or walk to work instead of taking the bus and do the housework with plenty of extra vigour. Don’t just think of being active as the time you spend exercising. Move around as much as you can when not working out.

Don’t give up

It’s normal to have off days, and one bad day isn’t going to undo all your hard work. So don’t beat yourself up if you’ve missed a fitness session or gorged on a takeaway – simply pick up where you left off tomorrow. The longer you beat yourself up, the more likely you are to keep eating the wrong foods.

Stay motivated

Think of a time you felt good about yourself. That summer holiday where you were tanned and slim? Your 25th birthday? Stick up a photo of the ‘old’ you as a constant reminder of what you want to achieve.