After years of practising cognitive behavioural interventions, I came to the conclusion that if a person wants to lose weight the worst they can do is start making attempts to cut down on food. This is so counter-productive. It creates a totally unpleasant concept of lack, scarcity, deprivation.... very unmotivating and disempowering and undesirable way to feel about life. No wonder so many diets fail. I have developed a new concept of losing weight to be launched officially in January next year. So I will not give the name away yet, but will just mention a few things about it. It is well known, researched and documented that all eating is emotional. We use food to give us a feeling of happiness really. So when we 'diet' and 'trying to lose weight' - I hate both of these expressions, the feeling has to be of joy and pleasure and happiness and motivation from seeing the results.
This feeling is achieved in this way: you add foods to your diet you don't try to remove foods from your diet. It's based on a natural law of filling, which I discovered when working with psychological disorders as cognitive behavioural practitioner for six years. You can't be happy and unhappy at the same time. It is as if there is a limited space in the mind that can be filled either with good feeling or with bad feeling. So instead of trying to stop being unhappy, just practise being happy. That will push out the unhappiness as it fills the space with happiness.
The same goes with eating. Fill your day with good foods. That's all you need to do. Then as an inevitable consequence all the bad foods will be pushed out of your diet without you having made any effort to stop them. It is the effort that is very wrong in dieting because it makes the whole exercise laborious and unpleasant. Eat as much as you like good foods. Vegetables. Steamed. Raw. Juicing. After a day of juicing is very difficult for the body to accept cakes. It is more than difficult. It is impossible. And if you find that your body is accepting cakes, that only is a signal that more vegetables need to be consumed by the body. That is all that needs to be done. No effort to remove foods, no feelings of scarcity and lack.
Ok, I can think of the first question in my direction. But what if the vegetables are not enough? Answer: yes that is felt strongly in the beginning but then the body gradually becomes used to less food. Answer 2: eat lots of protein which gives a nice feeling of enough. Answer 3: eat good carb which gives a nice feeling of enough - brown rice, brown pasta. Carb in the evening, protein in the day. Answer 4: add cumin and sesame oil to the vegetables - that gives them a nice comforting feel and they satiate better this way. Answer 5: Don't stop eating fats, lack of fat gives the strongest feeling of deprivation. Also fat is very much needed by the body and the myelin shield of the nerve cells. It can get thin from lack of fat in the body and that puts the nerve cells at a very big risk, it slows the firing of the synapses and all brain processing becomes impaired. Answer 6: Cinnamon tea with lemon juice - drink at the end of the meal and see how it makes you feel satiated. It's gives the meal a very comfortable end. Answer 7: remember losing weight is not only about the food it requires a change of lifestyle - more physical stuff, less sedentary stuff. I was planning to go to the shop to buy food today when I decided to play the latest set of Armin Van Buuren. I ended up dancing for 2 hours and completely stopped needing food. After which I was very hungry but that was well deserved after jumping around for two hours. Answer 8: Hunger is a state of mind and a state of feeling. All eating is emotional. Following that well-known research fact - it will be very detrimental to start removing foods as that will increase the negative emotions. It is not about willpower. It is about feeling good, being kind and gentle on yourself. That is when the results start coming. And if you still need a cake - despite eating lots of vegetables then treat yourself and have complete unconditional trust in yourself that this is just a treat and not a threat to your weight loss. Ensuring the mind that the body is not deprived and can have whatever it wants is the most effective technique for giving up stuff, whether that is bad foods or cigarettes or alcohol. In 2003 I gave myself permission to drink as much as I like and since then I have had about 5 glasses of wine on very rare occasions. This is a picture of me eating cake in July this year - I have given myself permission eat cake as much as I like. The result - I eat cake twice a year max, sometimes once a year. When I get the craving I allow myself to eat it straight away without any mental debating and getting into will battles. In that way the body is happy that it can get whatever it wants any time it wants and this is how the cravings come very very rarely to the point that it is not worth fighting them. It is October now and I still have not had any cravings to eat cake since then. This is the most effective and sustainable method for losing weight - trusting yourself and being kind on yourself. The magical mantra is: I give myself permission to eat as much as I like whatever I like, whenever I like. I give myself permission to feel all the spectrum of emotions. Why do we add the emotions: because all eating is emotional and it is linked with emotional management. More on this subject in another post.
Feel free to ask me more question, I'm happy to help.
Love and Blessings,
|At my favourite Pavilion Tea House, Greenwich|
|Lemon cake and I|