IN 1980 I put myself on a very strict diet.

My grandmother had been putting sun-cream on my back, and said I was “well covered”.

What 20-year-old young woman wants to hear those words?

It made me sound like a sofa. So that was it. I was on a diet, despite not weighing more than eight-and-a-half stone.

I knew no better.

I ate almost nothing and lost weight very fast.

But I felt absolutely horrendous.

I still remember the coldness and tiredness, and not wanting to go out with my mates as I simply did not have the energy.

It was truly dreadful.

Fast forward 39 years and I know more.

So many people feel totally fed up with how they look and feel.

So many have a poor and guilt-ridden relationship with food.

I personally blame most of this on diets.

Health (and healthy weight) are so much more than calorie counting. Being healthy is all about thought processes, habits and the conversation we have with ourselves in our heads.

Psychologist Karina Melvin at “Artful Eating” asks this question:

What sort of Eater are you?

Melvin says there are two types of eaters.

1. Intuitive Eaters - listen to their body. They are much more likely to be healthy weight. They eat when they’re hungry. I would say this is me now.

2. Controlled Eaters - use willpower to control their food intake. They are more likely to be overweight. They’re constantly trying to override hunger signals – even a small bite of a cake can trigger a massive binge. This used to be me in 1981, aged 20, at a point when my grandmother said I was “well covered”.

Which type of eater are you?

Diets are about deprivation and self punishment, fighting against brains.

Willpower is finite. It is limited.

So we know it won’t work for long, especially if you use it up during a tough day of stress.

Cravings too, when food becomes all you can think about because you’re not allowed it.

Dieting is a constant battle. Dieting is constant deprivation.

Dieting will not leave you feeling good. The body / brain will win, because we have a natural urge to indulge.

Diets are indeed dead.

Successful weight loss only happens when people are not on a diet.

We are successful with weight loss when we stop trying to think about food as the enemy.

Achieving a healthy weight happens when we shift from a negative thought pattern to a positive one.

Eat when hungry. Stop when you are full. Respect your body and listen to its signals.

Dieters try this:

Take a minute to visualise this. You carry on doing what you’ve been doing.

You’re standing in front of a full length mirror in a year’s time, looking at your reflection.

What do you see? Are you bigger? What are you wearing? Are you smiling? Are you healthy? Is it a positive image?

Now take a minute to visualise yourself having achieved your goal.

Are you smiling, healthy, confident? Now tell yourself that this future is one that you can have. You can do this for yourself.

Our clients get many mind-set techniques like this to help them to respect and listen to their bodies and brains.

Retrain your brain:

· Eat only when you are happy or hungry – not when bored, or someone offers it to you. Am I hungry?

· Eat what you want – slowly - and enjoy it. Wait at least five minutes before eating more. Ask yourself if it's enough. Stop when you are satisfied.

· Eat from a smaller plate with half portions at the start so the plate is not full. Retrain your brain to consume what you need and not what the plate holds. Go back for more if you’re still hungry in five minutes time.

Need help?

If you feel like you’re stuck with your weight, maybe things just aren’t working, we can arrange a quick call.

I will be able to help, easily!

Just send me a text on 07766 645458 and we can set it up. No charge.

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