So you have tried diet after diet, but just not getting the results you are after… these 4 tips might just be the answer you are looking for ;)
1. Forget holding out for lunchtime (or dinnertime!) to eat your meal at the supposedly ‘appropriate’ time.
So you normally eat lunch at 1.pm, but you are feeling really ravenously hungry at 11.30am, despite having a midmorning snack. What do you do? Eat more snacks to tide you over? Oh my goodness did this help me no end! I was always picking at extra snacks because it wasn’t ‘lunch’ or ‘dinner’ time yet and by the end of the week these extra snacks all add up.
The funny thing is, if you actually eat your lunch/dinner when you are feeling that genuine hunger, you more often than not find that you are not hungry again until you are next normally due to eat so you don’t go eating those extra snacks. This is also a great way to begin tuning back into your body so that you can learn to eat and stop eating when your body actually needs it. Additionally, even if you didn’t go having that extra snack and braved it to lunchtime you are much more likely to overeat because your mind is thinking ‘I’m starving!!!!’.
2. Do 30 seconds to 1 minute of mindful breathing before eating.
How often do you wolf down your food without barely noticing that you ate it? Well there is no surprise that you do not feel satisfied at the end of it since satisfaction is part physical and part mental. If you are not mentally present then you only get some of the satisfaction! Imagine getting it on in the bedroom, but going over a serious conversation you had with your boss in your mind at the same time... You might have done the physical act, but I doubt very much that you (or them) would be left feeling satisfied! The answer? Stop and breathe consciously and deeply into your tummy for 30-secs to a min before eating and bring yourself back into the now where you can actually notice and enjoy your eating! You are much more likely to feel satisfied and not massively overeat.
3. Let go of any unhelpful beliefs and fears around eating everything on your plate.
If I were given a pound for every time someone told me that as children they were encouraged to eat everything left on their plate to be rewarded with a sweet treat, I’d be a zillionaire! I too was one of those children and it leaves you with rather unhelpful conditioning with how you behave around food. It means that you learnt to ignore hunger and satiety signals and eat for the sake of it and it is a nightmare trying to unlearn that habit!
I find the best way to do it is to follow step 2 so that you are more switched on to how you feel, stay present as you eat, and then as soon as you sense a feeling of comfortable fullness put the remainder away. I say ‘put’ away rather than ‘throw’ away since getting rid of it completely can conjure up all sorts of anxiety about possibly getting hungry again soon. If it is put away you know that if you get genuinely hungry again then you can eat. Sometimes you might be and eat the rest, and others you might not, but over time you will feel more relaxed about eating what your body needs rather than scoffing until you want to explode. This small difference in calories amounts to big changes in the long run.
4. Trial out eating more in line with your circadian rhythms.
Always keen to learn more I have been listening to some really interesting podcasts, that you can reach here. Basically, there is now some pretty awesome research out there showing that our organs all go to sleep and wake up just like we do and in actual fact eating immediately upon waking and close to bedtime is probably not the best thing we can do if we are wanting to lose weight, let alone be our healthiest self! If your pancreas are still asleep and you get straight up and have a big bowl of cereals, your body cannot produce the insulin it needs to effectively deal with those carbohydrates. That can mean that the excess blood sugars can end up getting stored as fat.
The studies that Dr Satchin Panda discuss in the podcast show that rats fed within an 8-12 hour feeding period (rather than just anytime they wanted) lost weight and saw significant improvements in their metabolism and health markers. In fact, if they overfed the mice, the ones eating within this 8-12 window did not pile the weight on like the rats eating at all hours. Could be worth giving it a go to let your body wake up properly before eating your breakfast and then having your last meal at least 2-3 hours before you go to bed so that your body an properly assimilate that food. Its common sense really, but now there is science backing it up ;)
Give some of these tactics a go and let me know how you get on! I’d love to hear your
experiences with them.
P.s. If you want help on your weight loss or body transformation journey then take a look at how I can help you here