Tag Archives: control

Eat more to lose weight

Recently I seem to have a lot of people telling me they can’t lose weight because they aren’t eating enough.

I don’t buy it.

There is a very simple equation when it comes to losing weight. If you put more in than you are using, you put on weight. If you put the same amount in as you are using, you stay the same. If you put less in than you are using, you lose weight.

OK, I accept that if you are doing a lot of training and building muscle, then that can go a little awry as muscle weighs more than fat, but in that case you will still be losing fat, even if you are not losing weight.

So what’s going on? Are people just in denial? Are they lying to me? Are they lying to themselves? My guess is the answer is yes to at least one of those if not all.

Let’s start by thinking about them lying to themselves. Did you know that when people are asked to keep a food diary, they normally under report the calories they are eating by about a third – yes 33% less than what they are actually consuming. They don’t do it deliberately, but it happens all the same. This comes from a number of things.

  1. They don’t notice that they’ve eaten a slightly larger portion than they should have had. Or that they’ve had seconds!
  2. They forgot about that sweet, cookie, crisp or snack that they had.
  3. They forget that what they drink also contains calories (unless you are drinking, pure unadulterated water) 140 calories in a can of coke, 210 calories in a pint of cider, 600 calories in a bottle of wine.
  4. They add little extras to their food like a drizzle of olive oil or a splash of dressing (both of which are likely to be over 100 calories)
  5. They read the calories wrong – for instance if you buy a pre-prepared meal it may have a calorie amount printed on the packaging – but look carefully as this often applies to 1/2 or 1/4 or the amount of food in there as this is what they consider to be a serving size.

Then comes the lying to me. As well as the fact that they may think they are telling the truth, but are in fact actually lying (see above!) there is also the fact that a lot of people are ashamed of their eating habits. They are secret eaters and don’t like to think that other people will know about it. Quite often this type of over eater is a binger. That is to say, they maintain a normal looking diet to the world, but secretly they will binge on snacks. I understand this, but lying is a very self destructive path to take when it comes to food. What you are saying to yourself is ‘my true self is not good enough’ ‘I have to hide it or others will not like me’ ‘my true self is not likeable’. This is, of course, not true. Your eating habits may be out of control, but that doesn’t make you unlikable.

The best way to get control of your eating, is to start by being honest. It’s the bedrock that everything else builds from. So this week, my challenge to you, is to really pay attention to what you are putting in your mouth! Notice what you eat. Notice what you drink. Notice when you are secretly eating. That way if you decide you want to change things, you have a good, solid place to start from.


Being overweight put additional strain on your body and leads to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer, stroke and heart attack – 4 major killers in the western world. If you struggle to get control of your weight on your own, think about getting some help. It really doesn’t have to be hard.

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Why am I always hungry?

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Diets work by restricting your calories. Simple as that. Yes, some combine foods in certain ways and some restrict certain food types, but ultimately it all comes down to putting fewer calories in your body than you are using.

There are 2 main reasons people fail to stick to their diet. One is because they crave a certain food or food type. I have already written a post about that this month – how to crack your cravings – check it out if you want some help with that. The other main reason is hunger, yet there is something you can do about this too – even on a restricted diet.

  1. Try to work out if you are ACTUALLY HUNGRY

That may seem silly, but quite often we ‘feel hungry’ even when we are not. Sometimes we are emotionally hungry, or hungry to be heard. Sometimes we are just thirsty and need a drink. Sometimes we want to eat food (because we like the taste) but are not hungry.

A starving man would eat just about anything – we’ve all heard tales of survivors who ate awful things just to stay alive – that’s the power of hunger. If you’re hungry, and you fancy some cake or crisps or other junk food, see if an apple will do instead. If it won’t, you’re probably not that hungry – you’re just looking for a taste sensation. That is not a good enough reason to eat if you are trying to lose weight.

You could also try asking yourself what else (other than food) you may need right now. Try giving yourself that instead and see if you feel satisfied.

Then again maybe you just need a drink and to put your feet up for 5 minutes. It’s worth a try!

2. Eat to avoid hunger.

One of the reasons we feel hungry is because our blood sugar had dropped. When we eat high sugar food it gives us a high blood sugar that our body has to bring down (because it’s really bad for us) so it changes our body chemistry reducing it. That then causes our blood sugar to drop, which in turn makes us hungry. That’s why you might find that after starting on a bar of chocolate, or packet of biscuits, you keep going back to them until they’re gone. Avoiding sugary food evens out the blood sugar meaning you get less low blood sugars and therefore don’t feel as hungry. It’s worth pointing out here that some foods get converted to sugar in your body and have the same effect. White starches like potatoes, rice, pasta, flour etc have very similar effects to sugar.

Instead of eating sugar and starch try to keep your meals small but packed with lean protein and vegetables. If you really need some starch with your meal try a sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa or chick peas.

3. Plan your meals (and have a back up)

We often reach for bad food choices when we are really hungry. They are quick, satisfying and make our life easier. People who manage their weight well are often good planners. They plan ahead – they know what they will eat and when. No long periods of starvation. No panic take away orders. Just sensible planned food. You can do this too.

Trust me if I can, you can. I used to be the person I just described but now I plan better and I’m losing weight nicely. I’m not perfect though, and that’s where the back up comes in. By having healthy choice, ready meals in the fridge and batch cooked, freezer meals ready to go at a moments notice, I can forget to plan and still have a tasty, healthy choice available to me for my meals.

4. Eat regularly.

Your body gets used to eating at certain times. Try to stick to meal times. After a week or two your body will only expect food at these times and it will become a lot easier to avoid snacking.

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January Diet Tips

In the UK, today is known as Blue Monday. Statistically it’s the most depressing day of the year. The weather is cold and the sky is grey. Everyone is broke from Christmas (and waiting for their January pay). All those new years resolutions (like dieting and getting fit) are feeling impossible. Or to put it another way, things are feeling a bit rubbish.

It’s also the day most people are likely to give up on those New Years resolutions. Instead of thinking about their healthy food choices, they are calling for take out, shopping for cake and drinking the sugary and often alcoholic drinks. Coincidence? I think not.

So how do you stay on track when all around you are running for the sweet stuff?

  1. Remember why you started

When you told yourself that this was going to be the year that you got control of your diet, you meant it. Has anything changed? Have you suddenly decided that you want to be overweight? Probably not. So think about what you want to achieve, how you’re going to do it and feel the motivation. Why do you want to lose weight? Is it important to you? How will you feel when you reach your ideal weight?

2. Give yourself a treat (that’s not food/drink related)

When life is a bit tough, it’s only natural to want to make yourself feel better, but it doesn’t need to be related to food or drink. Pamper yourself. Get your hair cut, have a facial, get your nails done – whatever works for you. Then again maybe it’s a day out, booking a trip or getting tickets to an event. Possibly it’s just organising a catch up with friends or calling someone you like a chat with. There are millions of calorie free treats out there – find one that works for you.

3. Think about how you’ll feel tomorrow.

Lots of people with weight issues live in the past or the present, but rarely the future. Let me explain. When faced with a high calorie treat they are focussed only on the treat. About how they will feel when they are eating it and the few moments that follow. They rarely think about how they will feel tomorrow when they stand on the scales and the number has gone up. How they will feel in 2 months when they haven’t achieved the weight loss they were hoping for. When you want to indulge, use your imagination to project into the future and think how you will feel.

4. Be nice to yourself

Life can be hard sometimes and when it is we could all do with our own personal cheerleader to get us through the day. Someone who believes in us, someone who will help and motivate us, someone who cares about us. The great news is, you can do that for yourself. That little voice in your head can be a bully or a cheerleader – it’s up to you. If you have a natural bully, make the decision to not listen to that voice anymore and ask yourself what your inner cheerleader would say to you – listen to that voice instead.

5. Forgive yourself

If all else fails and you buckle to the sweet treat – forgive yourself. A moment of madness need not ruin your whole eating plan. Diets don’t work by the hour or the day or even the week. One bad moment shouldn’t ruin your day, One bad day shouldn’t affect the rest of the week. Forgive your little moment and get back on with making the choices that will make you feel great.


If you’re having trouble getting your eating under control hypnosis is a great tool to help get your head into the right space to make the changes you want.

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