To lose weight, it is mainly thought that you burn more calories and eat less. However, hopefully you will be understanding it is a little more complex that that. You will already have heard me babble on about not all calories being equal, and the nutrient content of each food is more important etc, and hopefully you will have started to appreciate how powerful your mind is in all this, but I thought it might be useful to emphasis it further. So here are some simple ways to help you lose weight with your mind!!
Only eat when you are hungry
Sounds obvious, but how many of us eat because its time to eat, rather than because we are actually hungry. Think of hunger on a scale of 1 to 10. Aim to eat when you are around 2 to 5. Above 5, and you are not really hungry, and below 2, you have left it too long, and now need to be careful not to over eat, or make less healthy choices as you are so hungry.
Stop eating when you are no longer hungry
Again fairly obvious, but in practice it is a little harder. Our stomach takes 20min to tell our brain that is it full, by which time, most of us will have over eaten. So instead, stop eating when you are no longer hungry, and you will then have not over eaten.
Got a craving? What to do next!!
I am with you with this one, as a chocoholic, it is a tricky area. There are a couple of options here for you. First one is to have a drink. Your body may be telling you ‘you are hungry’ when actually you are thirsty. It also will help you to feel full. Next up, try a healthier option, so a couple of squares of dark chocolate, or some vegetable crisps, or a healthier biscuit etc. Finally try distracting yourself by doing something else nice - a walk, a bath, read a book etc.
Out of sight, out of mind
If you know you like a biscuit or 2, or a good old bar of chocolate, there is nothing more challenging on your will power than actually having it in your house. Bin it, give it away, what ever you fancy, but try not to have it in the house. That way if you are having a craving, you will have to go out and get it. If you opt for that little number, walk round the shop and decide if there is something else healthier that you might fancy instead.
You may have heard me explain this before, in which case I am sorry to repeat myself, but it is a very important point. Relaxation is vital to losing weight. It helps balance out your cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone that tells your body whether to store fat, or burn fat. Too high levels of cortisol equals fat storage, so make sure you make time to relax.
I don’t know about you, but if I am having a bad day, the chocolate comes out. We often get confused with physical hunger and emotional hunger. So if you are having a 'moment', make yourself feel better by picking up the phone to an old friend, going out for a run, opting for a bit of retail therapy, and you'll soon be feeling much better, rather than annoyed with the empty wrapper.
If you like to eat in front of the TV or reading the paper - Stop. By doing so, you are missing vital cues from your body telling you it is filling up. Aim to put your fork down between mouthfuls, add only a fistful of food to your plate at a time before deciding if you are still hungry for more, and chew, enjoying the taste rather than eating to quickly.
The above are simple easy ways to lose wight and keep it off without having to make huge changes to what you eat!!
My two girls could not be more different when it comes to what they like to eat. One loves the usual kid ‘staple’ foods, whilst the other loves to try anything I am eating. However one thing they are both brilliant at, is avoidance tactics at the table - can I have another drink? I need a pee, It’s too hot, I don’t like it, I’ve had enough, can we watch TV, can I have ketchup? I have pins and noodles (yes thats what they are called in my household), I can’t do it. You get the jist, so when I know they are off for lunch at school or nursery I have to pack very wisely, otherwise I get back a box full of mouse nibbled food. So here are a few of my favourite tactics