Imogen Edwards-Jones reveals the three small steps to losing weight and keeping it off

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Ever since I have been Amelia Freer-ed  and lost over two stone and most importantly kept it off for over a year, I have become catnip to every skinny and wannabe-skinny on the school run. The result being after drop-off I am often cornered and pinned against the wall by their teeny tiny little bird arms as they demand in hushed and dulcet tones: “How the very hell did you lose all that weight  – you cow/witch/bitch/generally awful person?”

“Well,” I normally inhale. They stare, watch, wait for the pearls to fall from my, frankly, smug lips. “Try eating a little less?” Their shoulders slacken, a groan of teenage proportions emanates from the collective cabal of thinnifers and then they all slope off to their four by fours to drop some wad in Matches and thereby compensate for their lack of carbohydrates.

What are they hoping for? A silver bullet? One bon mot to ensure they are forever Kate Moss?

OK, so gather round. For I will say this only once. After a year of being able to fit into my jeans and even buy a smaller pair (I know I AM horrible) I am going to share what I have learnt along the skinny little cow path of righteousness.

Firstly, don’t eat between meals. Not ever. What the fragrant Amelia has taught me is to have your breakfast, lunch and dinner and leave at least five hours between each of them, so that you are properly, ravenously hungry. Sit down, don’t eat in front of the TV, concentrate on what is on your fork, and most importantly ENJOY what you are eating. The hypnotic diet guru Paul McKenna (who once hypnotized me to give up eating crisps!) has a phrase –“eat slowly and consciously.” You should chew every mouthful and notice when your stomach tells you it is full. And it will do, you just have to listen.

Secondly, step away from those diet drinks . As every survey ever written says, the sweeteners in those drinks only ever actually make your body want MORE sugar. They increase, rather than decrease, the craving.

And thirdly, as was shown last week in a survey of successful slimmers interviewed by Birmingham University, weigh yourself regularly. The survey said that slimmers who weighed themselves every week not only kept the weight they had lost off, but they continued to carry on losing more.

For me this has been crucial. I have gone from a woman who positively ran away from the scales to a habitual weigher. I honestly don’t think, before meeting Amelia, I had weighed myself in three or four years. I had heavy bones, you see. I am also terribly terribly tall (5ft 7’ – I’m almost a giant!). But when you weigh over 12 stone, which I did, it is important to find a lot of excuses, rather than blaming the evening tub of taramasalata and family pack of Doritos.

So now I weigh myself, obsessively. Every morning. Without fail. It sounds bonkers I know.  And I am not really that sort of person. I can barely be bothered to wax my legs and I have pedicures that last four months at a time. I am not high maintenance and I am not one of those freak women who have three carrots and then pat their skinny concave stomachs and complain how god damn full they are.

But the weighing helps. It’s like consulting your bank account before you hit the shops. If you know how much is in there, so you know how much you can spend. If you confront a problem head on, then you know how much work you have to do to fix. Conversely, if you are ahead of the game, three or four pounds down, you know just how many little squares of Green and Black you can shovel in your hamster pouches and still be at your target weight.

So this morning? I am two pounds below. The result? A little fist punch in the air and tonight it’s two vodka and tonics and a bag of Walkers Smokey Bacon. Only no one tell Amelia.