Eat This, NOT That: Who Else Is Confused About Food Labels?

Have you noticed how we’ve gotten really weird with food?

Like really weird.

We’ve got all label-ly.

We’ve got our “I’m being super good today foods.”

And we’ve got a drawer bursting with “Oh, b*gger it, I’ll start my diet on Monday, so I’ll be naughty today treats!”

Media and advertising encourages this labelling. Some brands of chocolate are “sinfully” good. Certain desserts are “devilishly” delicious.

Foods aren’t intrinsically good. Or  bad. Food’s just food.

But we’ve gotten all judgemental and labellist.

I once had a client tell me that salt and vinegar chips were “the work of the devil”. She wasn’t joking.

Can you even remember the time when food was…um, well – just food?

If you’re tired of our collective weirdness around food you’re going to love Step 4.

It is this…

Step 4: No food is off limits.

Yep.

You read that right.

I can hear the group sigh of relief from here. Women tired of the “good food versus bad food” debate.

You see, this is not another diet – there are no good or bad foods.

Eat what you want. Yep, that’s what I said…

Eat. What. You. Want.

(Just to be clear, this is a very different thing from eating all that you can – see Step 3)

Why does ‘de-labelling’ work?

Eating what you want works as a long term strategy for weight loss because you’re human.

We both know that if I gave you a list of ‘no go’ foods, the inner rebel – that lives deep inside all of us – would crave the exact food that’s banned.

It’s like the repressed becomes the obsessed. Suddenly, all you want is that precise food that’s been labelled as ‘no go’.

But, when you allow yourself to eat what your body wants, the previously ‘naughty’ items lose their appeal.

You’re a smart women. You understand an apple is inherently more nourishing for your body than a Snickers bar. But sometimes the exact thing your soul needs is a Snickers….amen sista!

So have the Snickers – it’s not a diet! What I do want you to do this: eat said Snickers sloooooowly, be mindful, enjoy every single mouthful, and when you’re satisfied, stop.

So, to recap Step 4 in the path towards permanent weight loss – no food is off limits. JUst apply the other three steps when eating said “devilishly” delicious dessert!

Here’s to allowing food to be “just food” again.

And you being the shape and size YOU want to be. Permanently, step by step by step.

Love etc, Avril

PS: If you’re not getting the results you seek – there’s a good chance the label-maker in your head is sabotaging you. If you’re ready for the freedom of ditching the label-maker, why not c’mon over and have a chat…..

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Enough’s Enough: Do YOU Know When That Is?

Be honest.

How do you know when to stop eating?

For example, do you eat until the plate is licked clean or the packet’s empty?

Do you eat until you’re absolutely stuffed, full to bursting?

If so, you’re not alone.

Many of us adults have forgotten how to hear our bodies’ “I’m satisfied now” cues.

Or, we only hear the cues when they’re screaming at us, and we’re undoing the top button of our jeans.

The Intuition Of Children….

It’s the natural design of our body to eat when we’re hungry and stop when we’re satisfied.

Children know this intuitively. Think of how difficult it is to overfeed a two-year old. They eat when they’re hungry, when they’re satisfied, they stop. That’s it. Then they go outside and play.

But many of us forget this as we age. We grow up surrounded by well-intentioned notions that override our natural hunger and fullness cues.

Who didn’t grow up with the saying, “Finish your plate – just think of all those children dying in Africa”?

Or, often we eat more than our body needs as an adult out of a social expectation or feeling of obligation, “I’ve been slaving over a hot stove all day – I’ve made your favourite, so eat up!”

And, then it becomes habit.

After years of habitually eating more than our body needs we can no longer fit our jeans.

Grrrr!

So here is the third step in the simple eating habits series. Step 1 and Step 2 if you missed them.

Step 3: Eat when you’re hungry, STOP when you’re comfortable.

To lose weight permanently you must begin working with your body, not against it. Be that child again.

Both hunger and fullness change after every bite, which is why slowing down and eating mindfully are sooooo vital to being the shape and size you want to be.

The more you slow down and are mindful, the more you will recalibrate and be able to re-tune in with your inner cues for hunger and fullness.

The more you’ll notice that feeling of satisfaction.

And you’ll start to notice there comes a time in every meal where each subsequent mouthful becomes a little less enjoyable.

As soon as you notice this feeling, STOP eating. No matter how much food is left on your plate.

No matter how obligated you feel.
No matter how guilty you feel about the children in Africa.
Just stop eating.

And go outside and play.

Love etc, Avril

PS: Losing weight isn’t about one silver bullet or magic pill – it happens through small, daily action steps. If you’re struggling to take the steps hypnotherapy can help. Why not drop me a line over here

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The Popcorn Effect: How Mindless Eating Prohibits Weight Loss

We’ve all been there.

You’re at the cinema enjoying a night out with the girls. You order one of those enormous packets of popcorn. Perhaps you tell yourself “I’ll only eat half”. Imagine the surprise, when after a short time, your hand scrapes the bottom of the box already. Where’d all that popcorn go?!

That – dear reader – is a classic case of mindless eating. So mesmerised were we by the big screen, that we didn’t even notice how much we ate.

The problem with mindless eating is that it’s breathtakingly easy for us to eat waaaaay more than our body actually needs.

And worst of all, we don’t even know we’re doing it….until bit by bit we need to up-size our jeans.

Busy, busy, busy!!!

“I’m busy!” is the most common answer to the question “so, how are you?”

In response to our busy lives we multi-task, tick off our endless To Do list and juggle competing  priorities.

Among this busyness we’ve become mesmerised.

Mesmerised by the noise around us, so that we no longer hear what’s going on within us.

INTERESTING FACT: Did you know that one of the forefathers of hypnotherapy was a German chap called Mesmer. Yep! We literally get ‘mesmerised’ by the noise and distractions around us – and we’re completely unaware of the hypnotic trance we’re in.

e.g.

One client was a self-confessed bookworm. Every evening, to reward herself after a stressful day at the office, she’d enjoy a novel while nibbling on chocolates. She’d be so engrossed in the story she’d not even taste the flavour of the delicious morsels.

Another client would routinely eat a big dinner in front of the evening news. By the end of the news he’d have finished his generous portion, but because he’d been so distracted by the headlines, he’d take little notice of his dinner. Within 30 minutes he’d be heading to the pantry driven by the feeling “I just need a little something more”.

Another client would buy takeaways at the Drive Through and eat it while she was navigating traffic. Then, once home, she’d eat dinner. It was like her burger en route didn’t register in her tummy because she was distracted with driving.

So….what is mindful eating?

Mindful eating is about engaging ALL of your senses when you eat.

Really taste the sweetness of your chocolate.
See the colours of summer in that salad.
Feel the delicate texture of the steak on your tongue.
Inhale the savoury scent of garlic.
Say a silent blessing to the farmer who raised the chicken you’re about to enjoy.
Be still and focus on the food in front of you.

Simple steps to being mindful

The easiest way to be mindful is to close your book, turn off the telly, power down your iPad. You can always update your Facebook page and answer those emails after you’ve eaten!

If you’re at the Drive Through, do not eat while driving. Instead find a quiet spot where you can give your burger the attention that it needs, and you can hear your the signals from your body.

Be present.
Be grateful.
Be mindful.

Food was meant to be enjoyed, to be savoured. Eating is not just another thing to tick off your To Do list!

So why not take the time to honour and nourish your body. Slow your eating down (see Step 1) and be mindful.

When you’re truly mindful, you’ll be able to hear your miraculous body giving you significant cues as to when to eat – but more importantly – when to stop eating.

Love etc, Avril

PS: We get what we want in life by taking small, regular steps in the right direction. If you’re finding even these simple steps difficult to action, hypnotherapy can help you do what you need to do.

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