Over the years I’ve worked with hundreds of clients exploring the underlying ‘drivers’ that are responsible for weight gain.
Excess weight can be complex because often there are deeper emotional factors at play. Being overweight can weigh just as heavily on the mind, doing untold damage to a person’s self-esteem.
Personally I think people are great just the way they are (I really mean that, if I look at a field of poppies I don’t think one poppy should look better, or different than another) but my work experience has shown me that people struggling with weight issues can be desperately unhappy, more because of the damage it does (or they do) to their self confidence. As I once said to a client, you wouldn’t dream of saying some of the unkind spiteful things to someone else that you say to yourself on a daily basis.
One thing I’ve found in common with these clients is a certain mind set.
For example they will be highly disciplined for a period of time, then (and perfectly naturally to my mind) will have a day where they give in to a desire for something they consider to be (bad) such as chocolate or chips.
Then they take a big metaphoric stick and beat themselves up telling themselves they’ve ruined everything, the whole diet’s gone out of the window, they are weak, useless, not worth it.
This is often followed by a beano where they eat a whole lot more of those types of food than they (or anyone else) would ever normally do, usually accompanied by large amounts of negative self talk!
It is essential to develop a healthy mind-set, to feel up-beat and positive about yourself in order to challenge any habit or addiction.
The first step toward this is to input something regularly that will help you to believe in yourself, a good confidence-building program such as Stress-Free with Confidence or Super Charge Your Confidence. This is a fundamental step in hypnotherapy training. If you are going to withdraw a psychological prop from someone, you MUST put something positive in that same space.
In my yoga teacher training I remember we explored a ‘square meal’ – a little of everything and balance. I still believe that balance is the key to healthy eating. I think it’s human nature that the minute we say we can’t have this or that, we want it more than ever. This is why most people will ‘fall’ off of a diet plan.
I don’t believe in diets and would never go on one.
I do have a few rules around eating though and I want to share a few of my top tips for maintaining control. (For more of this kind of advice, you can sign up to my Mindful Weightloss ecourse now.
You must set some time aside to plan your week’s food. Once this is done if you want to change your mind and eat something on a different day that’s fine but plan first, this way you offer yourself choice.
More importantly if other things take over you haven’t got to think about food, you have it there in front of you written down.
SUBSTITUTES FOR SNACKS AND DANGER POINTS
Remember, anyone who eats chocolates, fatty, starchy snacks and sugary beverages everyday is likely to eventually put on weight. So if like me, you have a sweet tooth, know that and prepare for it.
Equally, if you are a grazer and cannot restrict yourself to your set meal times, plan ahead for those times. Interestingly when there’s a craving for sweet things if you can negotiate with yourself and substitute the sweet for a protein it often hits the spot and satisfies the yearning.
For example, in the past if I had a craving for something sweet I’d have satisfied that craving with a cup of tea with two sugars and a biscuit or two. Now I’ll have a handful of cashew nuts or almonds. Or, if I’ve got some cooked chicken in the fridge, I’ll have a piece of that, because now I know that it does work.
Grazers prepare sticks of celery, courgette, carrot and put in the fridge ready for that craving.
EAT BEFORE YOU SHOP
This little tip will save you a small fortune by stopping you going for the instant gratification foods. So remember never go shopping when you’re hungry. Have a shopping list of healthy, nutritious foods prepared and a full stomach when you hit the supermarket.
Ensure you buy plenty of ‘green’ foods, salads, spinach, kale cucumber, celery, rocket, broccoli, mint, parsley, coriander, tomatoes, radishes. As soon as you’re home, wash the salad foods and lay a tea towel in your salad drawer and another to cover the washed salad.
This way when you’re hungry you can grab a handful of fresh food without having to faff around preparing it (which we all know can put us off).
DON’T BUY IT!
Don’t buy chocolate or high sugar desserts in case you fancy it! You will eat it if it’s in the fridge! If you really want some chocolate or a sweet treat buy it there and then eat it, enjoy it and forget about it. (But not everyday).
If you’ve been to an event, or special dinner and had the works – three courses, alcohol and then sat around for half the night – tomorrow eat lean. Protein and green foods all day is the way the day after! Take the stairs, run up the escalator do a tougher work out – compensate for the day before.
Take the pain out of losing weight by listening to Lose That Weight Now at least four times a week.
Can I ask a favour, if you found this article helpful please share with a friend.
Thank you. Sue x