Did you read The BIG Con article in the Your Weekend section of last Saturday’s Dominion Post (written by Rose Hoare)? It carried the by-line: “If you’ve been thinking about going on a diet as part of a New Year resolution, don’t bother.”
The key message the article delivered was that diets don’t work, and in fact they are more than likely to make us fatter!
To learn more about why diets don’t work - you might like to check out this TED talk – Why Dieting Doesn’t Usually Work by neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt. In this honest, raw talk, Sandra uses her personal story to frame an important lesson about how our brains manage our bodies, and explores the science behind why dieting not only doesn't work, but is likely to do more harm than good.
So diets do more harm than good - EEK!
Right now you might be wondering: “If diets don’t work does that mean I’m doomed to be overweight forever?
Fortunately the answer is “NO”. Most people in the industrialised world are the weight and size they are because, of the unhelpful eating habits they’ve formed over a lifetime.
When you were a baby you came into the world with a perfect inbuilt system for ensuring you only ate when you were hungry and that you stopped eating when you were full. You were finely attuned to the hunger/full signals that your body was sending your mind.
As you got older you learned to eat at set times, not necessarily when you were hungry. You learned to eat in front of the TV so your attention was diverted away from those hunger/full signals your body was sending - you just kept on eating until your plate was clean. Perhaps you had a mum like mine, who would encourage us kids to clear our plates because, what would the starving kids in Africa think about us, if they saw us wasting good food? Plus over a lifetime you've been bombarded with messages from advertisers to eat ready meals, snacks and 'junk' food.
To cut a long story short, many factors have influenced us into overriding the effective eating system we were born with.
And we stopped listening to our body.
To lose weight permanently - eat like a naturally thin person
To manage our weight over the long-term we need to reset those innate eating programmes so we can once again eat like a naturally thin person. This ‘resetting’ requires a change in our thinking, our attitude and our behaviour towards food and eating.
As a mind management coach my work, with people seeking to lose weight, involves helping them re-install a set of beliefs, values and behaviours that supports their ability to once again eat like a naturally thin person.
One of the first things I do is share with them 5 simple, yet effective, rules. By following these rules a person begins to change their thinking and behaviours in relation to eating and they start shedding excess fat naturally.
I first came across these rules in Paul McKenna’s #1 bestseller I Can Make You Thin.
- Eat whenever you are hungry
- Eat only what you want, never what you think you ‘should’
- Eat mindfully, savouring and enjoying every mouthful
- Stop eating when you think your body is full
- Drink lots of water (including a glass of water a couple of minutes before you eat)
Here are a couple of reasons why they are so effective when followed.
- By eating what you want, you never feel deprived. When we feel deprived we tend to think more about the thing we are deprived of. So people on diets tend to think a lot about food and their brain is more likely to notice food which they will then crave.
- By eating mindfully, not only do you get to extract more pleasure from the food you’re eating – noticing the smells, the tastes, the textures but you also improve your ability to notice the signal from your stomach that you are full. And the better you get at reconnecting to that signal from your body the easier it is to avoid overeating.
If you’d like to explore how you can begin to eat like a naturally thin person and shed that excess weight permanently it's as easy as scheduling a 30 minute no-obligation, discovery conversation. Imagine if that conversation was the first step towards achieving the weight and body shape you want.
Have a great week,
Tony helps individuals to harness the power of their mind to achieve success and well-being in life, work and business. Tony's particular area of expertise is in helping people perform under pressure and gain freedom from worry, anxiety and stress. Tony’s solution focused approach to coaching uses a range of techniques drawn from the fields of co-active coaching, hypnosis, positive psychology and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).