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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A Simple, Low Tech Way to Create BIG Weight Loss

I received an email recently. You know the kind. The kind that makes you break out your happy dance and go all “whoop whoop” .

It read: “We’ve never met, but I wanted to let you know how much you’ve impacted my weight, my wardrobe and health.”

“Over the last three months I’ve dropped 12kgs – that’s three dress sizes – all without counting calories. Guess how? All I did was follow your list of 8 success principles which I found pinned to the fridge (my housemate is a hypnotherapy client of yours).

Bright idea

But her email gave me an idea. You see, I love impacting lives of women I’ve never met. I’m all for helping women get confidence and control around food. I’m a big believer in the power of women to influence the well-being of the house. We all know that when we women are happy, then the whole house is happy.

So I’ve decided to share with you the success principles that I teach clients, so that you – dear reader – can apply these simple habits in the comfort of your home.

How’s that sound?!

Just so you know, I’m intentionally going to tackle only one habit per week so it’s nice n simple. Do not be fooled. If that voice in your head says “this is too simple to make any difference”, ignore it.

You see, small daily habit change adds up to radical change over time. Radical change re that number on the scale. Radical change in your confidence. Radical change in being comfortable in your own skin.

HEADSUP: Although awareness is the essential first step in creating change in your weight, unfortunately reading about the habits isn’t enough for you to lose weight – you actually have to ‘do’ them!

So, here is this week’s habit change….

Step 1: Eat slowly

Yep, I know what you’re thinking. Que???! That’s ri-donk-ulously simple. Yep. It’s very simple, low tech, even.

So simple that it’s easy to dismiss the idea, thinking “how can something that simple help me lose weight?”

But here’s why it’s important.

You see we all have an enzyme in our stomach that tells our brain when we’re full. It’s the “I’m done now, so stop eating” signal.

But this is enzyme is a slowcoach. It takes about 15 minutes for it to travel from our gut to our brain.

Which means if we’re shovelling in our Sunday roast or scoffing the hors d’oeuves at a party, it’s easy, oh so easy, to go from utterly famished to absolutely stuffed. Our poor brain doesn’t even have a chance to register the “I’m done” signal.

This means if you’re a quick eater, it’s very easy to overeat, which can add up to a lot of extra calories, over time.

So, sloooooooooooooooow it down. The easiest way to slow down your eating is to put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls.  It sounds silly, but it’s a great strategy.

Eating: cake? Put that slice of deliciousness back on the plate between mouthfuls, and chew. Fried chicken? Lay the drumstick down on your napkin between mouthfuls. Chips? Take one and a time and really enjoy the flavour.

By slowing down you receive the “I’m done” signal from your tummy, which means you’ll be less inclined to overeat and you’ll be satisfied with smaller portions.

You’ll also have the opportunity to have some conversations and engage with other around the table. How civilised!

Permission granted to ‘mess it up’

We’re all human and we all stumble when we learn something new.

So, when you find yourself half way through hoovering your pasta and you remember, “Ooops, that Avril-hypno-chica said I’m supposed to put my knife and fork down between mouthfuls!” – simply start where you are, even if it’s mid-chew.

That’s it: no drama, no beating yourself up, no – “OMG, I fail at everything!!” – just “remember to remember” and put your utensils down.

Confession time….

Do I eat slowly at every meal? Heck no! For example, if I have five minutes for lunch between clients, then I’m going to eat pretty darn quickly. But it’s what we do MOST of the time that matters.

So, starting from your next mouthful, simply remember to slow down your eating and allow that wonderful ‘slowcoach’ enzyme to register “enough now, I’m done.”

Yes, this is a tiny shift, miniscule even – but these changes add up to radical change over time.

Tune in next week for Step 2.

Love etc, Avril

PS: Losing weight isn’t about one silver bullet or magic pill – it happens through small, daily habit change. If you’re struggling to change what you know needs changing, hypnotherapy can help. Why not drop me a line over here

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