In the Daily Mail online today is an article that says eating chocolate helps you lose weight. The exact comment reads “It turns out that bowl of ice cream or packet of crisps could be good for you after all. New research on successful slimmers shows that indulging in unhealthy treats while on a diet makes you more likely to reach your goal weight”. I am both happy and dismayed at this report in equal measure. Happy that it makes the point that even slim people eat chocolate sometimes, and unhappy in that it implies chocolate is good for you.
I have long been advocating the very unsexy phrase “everything in moderation”, but the problem is that type of headline just doesn’t sell. It doesn’t sell books or any other diet product. Consumers respond to the “turns out chocolate is good for you” headline, when in fact that’s not actually what the research is saying. The basic content of the research as I understand it is not the nutritional or otherwise benefits of chocolate, but the fact that if we try and deprive ourselves of something we associate pleasure with, then we are likely to self sabotage. Any weight loss programme that “bans” all the foods you enjoy is going to be impossible to stick to in the long term. This week I am running my Easy Slim retreat at Champneys health Spa and this morning we were talking about the diet mentality. When you train your mind to make healthy decisions most of the time, you can achieve and maintain a healthy weight. One of the reasons people fail at weight loss is that they set themselves goals and targets they just cant sustain. After all who wants to change from a food regime they love to eating all the foods they don’t like! If you talk to someone who happily maintains a healthy weight, they have no concept of foods that are “allowed” or “not allowed”, they just make choices that they associate with health – most of the time. And that’s the key – it’s what you do most of the time that determines your weight and your health not what you do maybe once or twice per week.
Many consumers have become hypnotised by various diets and their minds are full of rules and regulations that puts food into various categories including “sins” and “treats” or a certain food is “free”. Let me un-hypnotise you; the reality is food is food. If you want to lose weight and never diet again, that’s the first thing to understand. There are foods that promote health and foods that promote illness and disease, but in both cases they only become so when eaten regularly. For example berries are a so called “superfood” but that doesn’t mean you can eat them once and guarantee good health. In the same way chocolate might be a “sin” but if you only eat it once it wont make you fat. The problem comes when you repeatedly eat a “bad” food, then the accumulation of calories/fat/sugar WILL end up on your thighs and or clogging up your arteries.
When people stop smoking they have to just stop. Very few people can have one cigarette per week, it’s all or nothing. But we cannot stop eating. That means we need to find a way of making food choices that is not painfully restrictive and yet gives us what we want in terms of pleasure. Even the highest calorie food in the world will not make you fat if you only eat it occasionally. At the same time the foods that make you healthy will only do so if you eat them regularly. If the perfect diet “score” i.e. if you eat only healthy foods and in the right portions sizes for your body size is a 10/10, you can still lose weight if you score a 7-8 if your starting score is 3 or 4. In other words you don’t have to eat 100% healthy all of the time – but you do have to eat 80% healthy 80% of the time.
The key to weight loss is to completely re-train your thought process and whether you associate certain foods with pain or pleasure. This is easier than you think and becoming un-hypnotised is both refreshing and empowering. Wouldn’t it be lovely if you could put on a thinking cap and change your programming! well it’s not quite as easy as that – but it is a lot more fun.
If you would like to join me in person to learn a range of practical techniques so that you can be healthy, lose weight and learn how to use your mind to change your body, then come along to CHAMPNEYS for a totally unique and life changing approach to weightloss 2 night and 4 night Mind Body Weight Loss retreats, and I will personally guide you through the process of using your mind to change your body. Alternatively you can read Think More Eat Less and follow the process using the techniques in the book and the FREE audio hypnotic downloads