Ditch the diet and listen to your body

Ditch the diet and listen to your body

As I tell my clients, I firmly believe that you can’t go through life without ever having another muffin. And who would want to? What a boring life it would be without chocolate!

However…

We all have heard/read/been told and lectured about the increase in the incidence of Obesity in the Western world. Very simply, obesity occurs when a person’s calorie intake is greater than their calorie burn off rate. This may be for a variety of reasons, be it genetic, behavioural or both.

Food for some people can have similar effects on their neurochemistry as drugs. One study in

the U.S claims that the mere sight, smell and taste of a favourite food can raise levels of Dopamine (the reward chemical) in food deprived subjects. This only serves to highlight the view that it is essential not to starve yourself, as you are then more likely to binge on your favourite food.

Sometimes it can be tricky to strike a balance of moderation. One way is to simply listen to your body. Sounds so simple doesn’t it? That’s because it is.

There are some remarkably simple tricks that can help you start listening. After a while it just becomes habitual. Here are a couple of the simple tricks that I often suggest to people looking to lose weight.

  • Drink plenty of water every day.

Not many of us drink enough water. It’s surprisingly easy to forget to drink. Then when we feel dehydrated, our brains tell us we need something but we can’t put our finger on what it is that we want, so we eat a snack (normally a choccy bar or something equally high in sugar).

I heard a theory as to why we do this the other week. It goes like this. When we are young, our parents give us a drink of squash, or fruit juice (something flavoured) when we are thirsty. As we grow our brains learn to associate the feeling of thirst with receiving nutrients and so we confuse this thirst with hunger.

If you make a conscious decision to keep a full bottle of water with you all the time, the likelihood is that you will drink it throughout the day. Keeping yourself hydrated in this way is a simple way of flushing out toxins and staving off ‘hunger’.

  • It’s ok to leave some food on your plate, you won’t get told off!

Most of us are taught that it’s rude to leave food on your plate, and even punished by our parents in some way or bribed to polish off the meal. How many of us have heard the words “You won’t get any pudding unless you finish you main!”

But if you’re full then why force it?

  • What can you eat that will keep you satisfied 30 minutes from now?

Many diets advise to avoid Carbs at all costs. But Carbohydrates aren’t necessarily the enemy here. Eating a balanced meal that will sustain your energy levels for a period of time will mean that you won’t want to pick or snack in between meals.

For some tips and advice on healthy options and sustainable food you might like to visit Calorie Girl.

It may seem like a daunting task to override your negative behaviours. You may not even recognise all of them immediately. But that’s ok. The Think To Slim program is designed to help you gradually come to recognise and effortlessly change your negative beliefs and behaviours into positive ones.

It’s the type of small changes described above that really do have such a big impact long term. Making you feel more energetic, fitter, and slimmer too!

Also remember, you are not alone.

Think To Slim can provide you with an online network of people experiencing the same as you. Through the relaxation processes involved in the Self-Hypnosis sessions, you can find it so much easier to effect lasting change with amazing results.

Visit the Think To Slim website for more information.

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Self-talk influencing our experiences ?

Self-talk influencing our experiences ?

When presented with challenging experiences, it can be all too easy to talk down to ourselves. Does self-praise indicate cockiness? Are you conceited if you value your own abilities or are confident in your own decision making?

“There is no way you can do that and succeed.”

“What makes you think you’re worthy of feeling good?”

If we heard someone talk to a friend in this way, surely we would have something to say about it? How dare anyone make another human being feel worthless! How dare they put anyone else down, making them feel incapable of doing whatever they set their mind to!

Why can’t we be this kind and protective of ourselves?

Research has shown that negative self-statements in childhood can exacerbate anxiety in those with anxiety disorders (Treadwell and Kendall, 1996). So if we are inclined towards anxious feelings, talking down to ourselves will most likely bring about anxiety.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s the end of the story though. Treadwell and Kendall also found that with some training, it may be possible to reverse this process.

Practicing positive self-statements can lead to positive feelings.

More recently Kross et al (2014) suggest that the way in which we refer to ourselves in our internal monologue can have a considerable effect on thoughts, feelings, and consequently, behaviour. Using non-first person pronouns (you/he/she/we) as well as using your own name, promotes self-distancing. In other words, separating yourself from your goals. Kross et al argue that small changes in the internal monologue can help to self-regulate our thoughts, feelings and behaviour under social stress.

As previously mentioned, practicing these small changes in self-talk can help us break that habit of negativity. One such way of doing so may be to use ‘affirmations’.

Emile Coue, a French Psychologist from the late 19th-early 20th century introduced the popular concept of ‘affirmations’. He proposed that through optimistic autosuggestion the words we say to ourselves become ingrained in our psyche.

Simply put; we believe the words we say to ourselves, so make them positive!

A simple Google search of ‘affirmations’ will produce a statement for whatever your heart could desire. However Emile Coue suggested the following statement should be said, out loud, to ourselves (perhaps in front of a mirror), as much as twenty times per day especially in the morning and evening…

“Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better”

To some it may sound fairly nonsensical and intense. Or is that your negative self-talk at work?

Other techniques that can be helpful in stopping that negative self-talk from taking effect can include something called ‘Thought Stop’. This approach suggests that as soon as you consciously recognise those old thought processes in action, you simply say very clearly (and, again, preferably out loud) ‘STOP’. Thereby putting an end to that harmful train of thought, allowing you to move on to something more positive… perhaps an affirmation!
By using these simple tools (and there are many more out there!) we can become free to treat ourselves as we would treat others, and develop new, more positive ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving.