Personal trainer Rob Jones looks at how to lose weight the healthy way…

Ask the experts: how to lose weight

Q. I’d like to lose a bit of timber and keep it off. What’s a reasonable monthly target for weight loss? Nick Barnes, by email 

A. Losing weight is hard, but losing and keeping weight off is harder still. The secret to, as you say, keeping the timber off is to make positive changes to diet (first and foremost), lifestyle and activity levels that you can maintain and stick to over the long term.

It’s best therefore to avoid crash diets, where you lose a ton of weight (not literally of course) in only a short period. Instead aim for a diet/exercise programme that may provide smaller increments of weight loss week-to-week, but continues for a longer period. A programme centred on changing lifestyle is something we’re all more inclined to stick to.

With all this mind, a safe target for long-term weight loss is between 0.5-1kg or 1-2lbs a week. Set yourself the target weight you want to get to and then calculate approximately how many weeks you plan to get there. For example, if you’re looking to drop 15kg then plan for a 15-week target period, which mean a weight loss of around 4-5kg per month.

Expert: Rob Jones, personal trainer with Stridefit, Stridefit.com

Image: Julian Rovagnati/Shutterstock